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Publisher's Summary

A witty, wise, biting, and completely individual meditation on what it means to think, live, and be to the contrary.

In the book that he was born to write, provocateur and best-selling author Christopher Hitchens inspires future generations of radicals, gadflies, mavericks, rebels, angry young (wo)men, and dissidents. Who better to speak to that person who finds him or herself in a contrarian position than Hitchens, who has made a career of disagreeing in profound and entertaining ways.

This book explores the entire range of "contrary positions" - from noble dissident to gratuitous pain in the butt. In an age of overly polite debate bending over backward to reach a happy consensus within an increasingly centrist political dialogue, Hitchens pointedly pitches himself in contrast. He bemoans the loss of the skills of dialectical thinking evident in contemporary society. He understands the importance of disagreement - to personal integrity, to informed discussion, to true progress - heck, to democracy itself.

Epigrammatic, spunky, witty, in your face, timeless and timely, this book is everything you would expect from a mentoring contrarian.

©2005 Christopher Hitchens (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"[T]his mini-manifesto, despite the somewhat mountainous terrain, should provide readers interested in current events and anti-establishment philosophy with a clearer view into one of today's more restless and provocative minds." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator Sounds Like Hitch

This book is a timely listen for our present surge back into the populism mire.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Christopher Hitchens is a writer par excellence!

essential reading for a young contrarian. many insights for oratory and prose! thanks to the genius called the Hitch!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Worth hearing more than once..

Hitchens is much more than an author, he is an educator like no other. Listen carefully with dictionary at the ready.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Classic Hitch

This is one of the greatest examples of Hitch at his best and in his element. A wonderful arrangement of worldly advice, recollections of life experiences, and prime quotes from the library of works Hitch read in his lifetime. A must read for all truth seekers and intellectuals out there!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting

It took me 2 tries to finish this short book. Mood is everything when listening to a curmudgeon. Worth the listen if you've become too sure of yourself and your motives.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Arturo
  • Zapopan, Mexico
  • 04-28-14

Hitchens being Hitchens

One word: Hitchen-licious

A mere minute into the audiobook, you can already tell what you're getting in with this. Because of that, I found the book to be neither a great failure nor a great success. Rather, I felt it as just Hitchens being Hitchens, in all his witty-commentaries, thought-provoking ideas, and his sometimes repetitive arguments. James Adams does a great job narrating this book, he even injects the same cockiness of Hitchens' peculiar way of expressing himself into the narration, a welcomed feature that quickly makes you forget it is not Hitchens himself who is speaking to you.

However, what I realize is that I've grown to think of Hitchens as a sort of chocolate flavor. Great, enjoyable, smooth on the tongue, but highly predictable. Make no mistake, he doesn't wastes one's time, as chocolate also doesn't wastes one's time. But I found the book to be more of a reminder than a discovery, more of a visit to the familiar contrarian lands of my early teens than an exciting adventure to unknown lands. More chocolate than strawberry/pistachio, more spaghetti than focaccia. You get my drift.

So in conclusion, I do recommend it, but perhaps I would recommend it more to those who haven't read or heard a thing about Hitchens before. I have the feeling this would be a good introduction to this fascinating character of contrarian history.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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You'll love it

What made the experience of listening to Letters to a Young Contrarian the most enjoyable?

The work's content is so engaging!

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Christopher's musings immortalized within, for all time.

What does James Adams bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

James does a great job narrating this work very articulately.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Christopher's contrarian thoughts, and interesting experiences he faced throughout his life.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • linda
  • United States
  • 02-12-13

christopher hitchens lives on

Would you listen to Letters to a Young Contrarian again? Why?

yes. I like the way he thinks.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Letters to a Young Contrarian?

His discussion of his time in Bosnia during that war

Which character – as performed by James Adams – was your favorite?

n/a

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

Always look for the truth.....which may take a long time

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Karen
  • BUFFALO, NY, United States
  • 02-10-13

James Adams narration is distracting

What made the experience of listening to Letters to a Young Contrarian the most enjoyable?

The mind of Christopher Hitchens.

How could the performance have been better?

I would have rather Christopher read it himself. James Adams sounds like a blow-hard.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, James Adams must be taken in small doses.

Any additional comments?

In all honesty I haven't finished listening to the book - I will have to read it on my kindle.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it!

Brilliant and very pertinent in the landscape of 2017. There's valuable advice in there for all generations.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful