The first new collection of essays by Christopher Hitchens since 2004, Arguably offers an indispensable key to understanding the passionate and skeptical spirit of one of our most dazzling writers, widely admired for the clarity of his style, a result of his disciplined and candid thinking. Topics range from ruminations on why Charles Dickens was among the best of writers and the worst of men to the haunting science fiction of J.G. Ballard; from the enduring legacies of Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell to the persistent agonies of anti-Semitism and jihad.
Hitchens even looks at the recent financial crisis and argues for the enduring relevance of Karl Marx. The book forms a bridge between the two parallel enterprises of culture and politics. It reveals how politics justifies itself by culture, and how the latter prompts the former. In this fashion, Arguably burnishes Christopher Hitchens' credentials as - to quote Christopher Buckley - our "greatest living essayist in the English language."
©2011 Christopher Hitchens (P)2011 Hachette Audio
I've been a fan of the good Mr. Hitchens for a few years now. Though being as young as I am means that I've only recently come to appreciate his essays. This worked well to help me hear many of those that came out when I was barely 11 years of age. Of the more recent ones, only ones from vanity fair were the ones I knew, so it was exciting to get to hear such a large and comprehensive selection.
The only thing I felt was off was mentioned in the review below(i.e. that Hitch wasn't the one to read this, but, as sick as he is, I understand.)
Two things are remarkable about this audio book.
The first is the quality of the content. Hitchens' mind, evidently, possessed a voracious curiosity, an enormous capacity, and the gift of incisive synthesis. Additionally, he had the ability to articulate this combination with precision and delight.
The second is the rare, to me, ability of the narrator to match the clarity of the prose. He makes no attempt to clarify meaning, merely and intelligently allowing it to come through in the phrasing of the writer's sentences and the shapes of his paragraphs. The result is the clear emergence of both sense and the author's voice.
The listener is very fortunate to find both at once.
A fantastic set of essays, brilliantly delivered
I openly wept at the end- to realize the world's loss of this intellect
Hitchens puts a lot of thoughts into a few words; his economy of words make one want to enjoy the thought or, perhaps the way it is expressed by a master of English. But, alas, this is the first book I have encountered on Audible where the narrator spews out the words so fast that it is impossible to keep up with the author's train of thought, let alone appreciate the style of writing. Granted the hard cover book is rather large, but don't skimp on audio space by racing through the reading of the book...
After attempting to listen to this book, I had to go out and buy the hard cover. This is the first book I have had this issue with. I have listened to many of Hitchen's debates on my IPod and have had no issue when the author speaks himself. This is clearly the narrator scurrying hastily through the book. Do we get paid by the quantity of books narrated, so that a short book is paid the same as a lengthy tome like Arguably? Doubtable as this may be, it is the only possible reason I could see for the TV and radio-like
Read Slower. A lot slower.
History enthusiast with military and legal background.
There are times when I am completely taken aback with the sheer genius of select members of our species. The way Hitchens wrote was so impressive, I often found myself thinking that he has no peer. I didn't agree with everything he said, but I had to concede, what he said could not have been articulated in a more entertaining or convincing manner.
Here is my only problem with the narration: the author didn't have the chance to record his own work. No fault of Mr. Prebble. But Hitchens was fun to listen to as well as read.
More than anything, this book humbled me. I like to think I am smart, and eloquent. But after this, I felt like an illiterate chump.
You likely won't agree with everything the man said, but you owe it to yourself to at least listen and let your beliefs get challenged.
The book itself is great, I've finished part of it on Kindle--I love Hitchen's irreverent wit and sharp mind--but the Audible version is just AWFUL! I have purchased hundreds of books from Audible and never felt the need to review any one of them. I've also been mildly annoyed by the amount of complaining I see on Audible about narrators, because, up until now, though I found some of them better than others, I've never heard one so seriously bad I'd think to mention it. Until now. The book is literally unlistenable. Between the narrator's speaking *very* rapidly and the sound quality being unusually low in every format I am unable to make out the words--at all--even straining to understand. I have tried different settings on my equalizer in an attempt to listen to this book, but I remain unable to make out any of the words. It's a complete waste of a credit, because I won't be able to understand any of this book in audio format. That Audible would release this book with this narrator's rapid-fire speech and the extraordinarily low audio quality is a great disappointment! Buy this book in dead-tree or ebook format. It's a great book. But don't waste a credit, or your heard-earned cash, on the Audible version.
I have listened to this several times and will no doubt listen several more. because I learn something new that i missed on the last listen. I Love this book! and the narration is outstanding!
Absolutely amazing. The sections on German National Socialism in the last third were, admittedly, a little dry. However, the rest is pure gold. The only improvement would have been to have the author record all the essays; the impossibility of this now is not lost on me.
Fantastic to think of another modern writer as literate as Hitch. You may not agree with all of his views, but isn't that the point? Think... if you dare.
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