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Mortality | [Christopher Hitchens]

Mortality

During the US book tour for his memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens awoke in his New York hotel room to excruciating pain in his chest. As he would later write in the first of a series of pieces for Vanity Fair, he was being deported 'from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady.' Over the next year he underwent the brutal gamut of modern cancer treatment, enduring catastrophic levels of suffering and eventually losing the faculty of speech.
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Publisher's Summary

During the US book tour for his memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens awoke in his New York hotel room to excruciating pain in his chest. As he would later write in the first of a series of pieces for Vanity Fair, he was being deported 'from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady.' Over the next year he underwent the brutal gamut of modern cancer treatment, enduring catastrophic levels of suffering and eventually losing the faculty of speech. Mortality comprises the most meditative piece of writing Hitchens ever produced; it is at once an unsparingly honest account of the ravages of his disease, an examination of cancer etiquette, and the coda to a lifetime of fierce debate and peerless prose. In this deeply moving and personal account of illness, Hitchens confronts his own death - and he remains combative, eloquent and dignified to the very last.

©2012 Christopher Hitchens (P)2012 AudioGO Ltd

What Members Say

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    Robert Surrey, BC, Canada 05-09-13
    Robert Surrey, BC, Canada 05-09-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    13
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    Overall
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    "Hitch leaves on a high note"

    Hitch leaves on a high note discussing his favorite topics religion (or his problems with it), literature, and life.

    This is actually a real good jumping off point if one is interested in reading further Hitchens at it almost purely Hitchens and his articulate opinions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results
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  • Richard
    London, United Kingdom
    9/10/12
    Overall
    "As eloquent at the end as he ever was"

    At just over two hours this is a concise collection of essays which originally were published in Vanity Fair. Those familiar with Hitchen's work will hear in his words the intellect, humour and detail that he brought to all his earlier work, and it is a testament to the man that he writes about his cancer and approaching death so honestly. There is no last minute conversion here, and so even though the voice is now silent his beliefs live on. I found this very moving and it brought home what a lose the world has suffered.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    London, UK
    6/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Moving and candid account of his illness"
    Where does Mortality rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the shorter audiobooks, really being a collection of the essays he wrote as his illness took hold. As always with Hitch, there's something uncompromisingly honest and unsentimental about his writing - the dissection of his illness and both his and others' reaction to it is characteristically elegant. Despite the title, this is by no means a morbid book, and is full of his love of words and ideas, and of his fascination with new experiences, however unpleasant. That's not to say that there aren't regrets here, but Hitch displays dignity & humour even among the painful indignities of his physical decline.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Prebble’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    Simon Prebble has a great voice, and his read for this is just right; his own smokey tones stand in well for Hitch's own. There are a few curious pronunciations that crop up towards the end of the book - 'stoycle' instead of 'stoical' for example - but generally handles the text very well, and catches the style perfectly.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nigel
    Reading, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "Lucid and deeply moving"

    Christopher Hitchens considers his life and his impeding death with an intelligence and humour that is admirable and inspiring. Simon Prebble is an excellent narrator.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • judith
    canary wharf, United Kingdom
    9/11/12
    Overall
    "Good, if brief"

    I imagine this book will only be read by Hitch fans, so it is hardly worth saying that God is not Great and Hitch 22 are better summaries of CH's thought and wit. Here Hitch is clearly under the weather, and, of course, cannot read his own work, so you miss his voice. We all have relatives who have passed here, and some of us will ourselves, so it is worth hearing thoughtful dispaches from 'Tumourville.' What sort of comments help, and which comments, however honest and sympathetic, jar. I didn't find the afterword by his wife added anything, and I would have preferred it just trailing off with the last disjointed jottings of Christopher himself.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
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