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The Quotable Hitchens: From Alcohol to Zionism--The Very Best of Christopher Hitchens

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  719 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
A compendium of never-before-collected quotations from #1 "New York Times"-bestselling author Christopher Hitchens on hundreds of subjects
ebook, 0 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Da Capo Press (first published May 10th 2011)
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Paul Bryant
Jan 18, 2013 Paul Bryant rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned, politics
Ugh, avoid avoid avoid - this chopping up of the splendid Mr Hitchens renders him into a bile-filled spleen queen you would run a mile on broken glass to avoid - plus how would it be if someone took sentences here and there from your random writings from the past 30 years out of context and presented them as the dernier mots of political wit - you may be saying whoah, don't do that please, these old arguments of my youth have surely lost their relevance, whatever points I was making will have be ...more
Nov 05, 2011 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
As a kid I would sometimes read quotationaries for hours, pouring over page after of page of witticisms, highlighting the ones I wanted to memorize. I remember believing that memorizing quotes about virtue would magically make me more virtuous and that storing up perfectly-worded insults would make me funnier. Both of these hopes were largely hollow (they mainly contribute to the making of a self-righteous prick), but the second has at least brought me joy. Bonding over beer and bombastic rants ...more
Jul 29, 2011 Tahira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." "The measure of an education is that you acquire some extent of your ignorance." Have a feeling this will go into my Top Fav's list. Have only gotten through the Introduction and am already making highlights in my Kindle.

It's either love or hate him, there is no in between. Love Hitch & loved the quotes - and loved some more than others.
Jun 19, 2016 Perry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Which Mr. Hitchens Describes James Carville, in his Role as the Prosecutor in the Film The People v. Larry Flynt as "looking every inch the product of the love scene in Deliverance." [orig. rvw. 5/22/16]

I admit to being part of a crowd of people who chose not to read Hitchens on atheism/religion for fear of raising doubts. So, I'm exceedingly late to the party in reading and delighting in all of his legions of essays, opinions and reviews; his language and logic remind me of the incredible po
Tyler Malone
May 04, 2011 Tyler Malone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Similar to Amis's "King's English", and just as witty. The book reads like Hitch is sitting on your couch, sharing a bottle of Walker, and cataloging complains and brewing axioms. One interesting point: the book complies TV and debate quotations, too. In print, it's wonderful to really notice how well-spoken he is. A fine book, but not a traditional book. Probably the best bathroom book I own.
Maureen Flatley
Mar 06, 2011 Maureen Flatley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Agree or disagree w/ Hitchens, he is never boring and always challenges us and the conventional wisdom.
Chris Webber
"I have often thought that when I do die it will be of sheer boredom...

“Nonintervention does not mean that nothing happens. It means that something else happens.”

This man was not shy about his feelings on things. Agree or not, you just have to admire his blunt, honest assessments on issues. I wish there were more like him.
Dec 17, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This book is an excellent collection of quotes which you can use wherever necessary in your battles against smallmindedness everywhere. A previous reviewer said he was rating the book and not Hitchens, and thus gave it only 3 stars. I enthusiastically reverse this and rate Hitchens himself: 5 stars! He won't soon be forgotten.
Willard Brickey
Three stars may be a misleadingly low rating. If I were rating "Christopher Hitchens" instead of "The Quotable Hitchens" the rating would be five stars. And there are parts of this book that are about as enjoyable as reading gets.
But the book was edited by Windsor Mann, not Hitchens. A number of the quotations are confusing or even incomprehensible out of context. There are certain of Hitchens' opinions (his views on Middle Eastern politics, for instance) which require pages, not a paragraph, to
Jan 31, 2012 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All Hitch fans & Hitch curious
ORIGINALITY: “Originality is a quality so rarely met with in humans that when it does occur it is often disputed.” [“Steal This Article,” Vanity Fair, May 1996]

So rare are there individuals who truly possess the faculties to continuously amaze and enlighten those with similar and differing opinions with as deft a command of the English language as Christopher Hitchens. With his passing in late 2011, human discourse has suffered greatly, and may have lost a considerable amount of intelligence. ‘T
Marius Masalar
Jan 25, 2012 Marius Masalar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A magnificent compendium of wit and wisdom from one of the greatest thinkers we've ever had.

Hitchens wrote with a fearless, peerless vehemence that struck terror in the hearts of his enemies and ignited passionate inspiration in those whose willingness to think outweighed their fear of doing so. He will be remembered for many things, and this book serves as a refreshing bottle of some of his finer moments — to be enjoyed responsibly.

It hardly encompasses the full breadth of his contributions to
Nov 24, 2016 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book can be read straight through, but I don't recommend it. It's too disjointed that way. Pick a topic, and peruse the quotes related to the topic. I almost wish the book had been structured that way, rather than alphabetically. I think it was alphabetical to show the range of things Hitchens could talk about without having to come up with categories, but it would be an easier book to read that way.

In any case, I enjoyed reliving quotations from books and articles read or interviews listen
Feb 12, 2014 Frederik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hitchens ressemble bien á Michel Houllebecq en France et Knud Romer au Danemark - un type qui est á la fois sarcastique, profond, drôle, mais aussi profondément triste. Ses remarques intelligentes réussissent á convaincre le lecteur de l’absurdité et l’hypocrisie de la religion, de la monarchie, George W. Bush et bien d’autres phénomènes de notre époque.

La pratique de l’Islam est un bon example: “Even as we worry about what they might intend for our society, we can see very plainly what they hav
Paula Dembeck
May 10, 2013 Paula Dembeck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gathers a number of quotes from a variety of subjects by this eminent journalist, intellectual and public speaker. They come from all manner of media including among others, newspapers, journals articles, speeches, and debates.

Hitchens always has the ability to be on both sides of any argument and is willing to tackle almost any subject including those which no one else would ever consider commenting on (e.g. Mother Teresa and God).

Those who enjoy his writing will love this collection
Sep 18, 2012 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hitchens himself acknowledged quotes can easily be taken out of context.

It's a good read to familiarize yourself with some of the Hitch's opinions on various topics (Bill Clinton, Reagan, Iraq War, Israel, humor, mortality), however, without a comprehensive read of Hitchens, some of it is easily taken out of context.

Sometimes the barrage of quotes makes it sound like he was an ignorant, stereotyping, shoot-from-the-hip type of guy, but he was so much more than that.

I'm confident that any quot
Sep 26, 2012 Gabe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure how to review this book. On the one side the author does a good job of collecting a very wide assortment of Hitchens quotes and presenting them in a comfortable and accessible way. On the other hand Hitchens come off within the book as an attention seeking hypocrite. I agree with much of Hitchens stances on things such as religion, gay marriage and abortion, but on almost every other major topic, especially on his opinions regarding how we should live, I am so disappointed in him. ...more
Stuart Lutzenhiser
I love Hitchens' writing - not always his opinions - but his writing is usually superb. That being said, reading it usually requires some context to fully appreciate. This book is a collection of out-of-context quotes on Hitchens' writing on various subjects. Sometimes the citation of when and where published is enough to give it some kind of context, or it refreshes your memory of having read it when originally published. But for the most part, it is a disservice to his work and less enjoyable ...more
Oct 07, 2011 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
No matter how much I love Hitch, this was disappointing. I thought it would be a greatest hits, but at over 300 pages, it was an anthology of every hit. Also, I had hoped that most of the quotes would come from columns I had not read or television appearances that had not been transcribed, but it was mostly excerpts from his books. This would probably be a good book for someone who's read nothing by Hitch but wants to know (without investing the time reading his books) what he thinks about every ...more
Sep 09, 2015 Natasha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: default
even though the quotes are "out of context" as many have mentioned - i dont see this as a fault per se. one could refer to this as an introduction to the art and mind of christopher hitchens; if i did not know about his works and life this book would def. spike my interest and make me want to find out more about his work. i love that one can feel the essence and passion he is was so well known for. only minus point is the size of this book; i wish it came in a smaller format so it would be easy ...more
Mar 15, 2015 Katharine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun
I downloaded this on my Kindle for some non-dissertation reading, flipped through it, and returned it immediately. It's literally just a collection of very short, very out-of-context quotations in alphabetical order by subject. I expected "the very best of Christopher Hitchens" to involve whole articles and essays; I guess I should have read the description more carefully.

Not recommended. Buy a collection of full-length essays instead.
Sep 11, 2012 Yurii rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book at Waterstones and I'm really glad I picked it up. Previously, I hadn't read any of his works before but have had the pleasure of watching him dominate debates and I loved the way he handled arguments. This was the first book of or, I should say about him, that I bought and I'm happy to have done so. I love opening it up every now and then and be impressed by his witty thoughts. Die hard fans should enjoy this.
Alex Gherzo
Non-stop Hitch quotes, which are always interesting and usually funny whether you agree with him or not (and his thinking is such that pretty much everyone will agree and disagree with him on different points). This works better if you're at least a little bit familiar with Hitchens, so watch some videos of him on Youtube, read some of his books and articles for Vanity Fair, Slate and several other publications before you pick this up.
Aug 24, 2011 Shaun rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Never before have I read a book that consisted of nothing but quotes of an author . . .
I had to make an exception with this book, because Hitchens is well known for his finely tuned and poignant "geohistorical" commentary.
Hitchens talks in complete paragraphs, making a Hitchens' quote informative and unabashedly honest.

Recommended -
Sep 04, 2013 Kyle rated it it was amazing
If you like politics, contrarianism, and a mastery of the English language, this is a great "grab it for a moment" book. Hitchens wrote about almost everything at some point in his career, and managed to turn a phrase often. Even if you don't agree with him, you'll probably enjoy the way he made his point.
Thomas Simpson
I love me some good Hitchslaps and bon mots, although reading 300 pages of them is a little self-indulgent, I confess, especially since many of them were from books of his I've already read. So three stars because a book of quotes, no matter how good, can't really be that great when out of context (although, as Hitch says somewhere in this book, quotes by their nature are out of context).
Jan 29, 2014 M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite part was the introduction by Martin Amis. A book of essays by Hitch would be better than just snippets here and there. I recommend it as an index so you can go look up the rest of the of the essay it's from.
Scott Woods
Jan 28, 2012 Scott Woods rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grossly engaging, even if you don't know who Hitchens was. It culls some of the best zingers from his many essays and articles on every popular subject in the last 30 years or so. Fiercely intelligent.
Dec 31, 2013 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking, a little like wading through Bukowski or speed reading a magazine at the doctors office for something interesting between all of the impugnery. I wouldn't recommend suggesting it to a cute, witty Arab-Muslim American Woman.
Jan 03, 2012 Joel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wrote a short review which took Goodreads a minute to fucking save so I just X'd out and now it's gone. In summary, this is the literary equivalent of a clip show, obviously. I'll read some actual books from him soon, probably.
Kevin Kizer
Jun 11, 2011 Kevin Kizer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I find myself regularly laughing out loud Hitchens' stuff, this book shows what a rare and wonderful thing it is for someone to be intelligent AND clever. Hitchens is one of those unique talents.
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Christopher Eric Hitchens was an English-born American author, journalist and literary critic. He was a contributor to Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, World Affairs, The Nation, Slate, Free Inquiry and a variety of other media outlets. Hitchens was also a political observer, whose best-selling books — the most famous being God Is Not Great — made him a staple of talk shows and lecture circuits. He was ...more
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“Nonintervention does not mean that nothing happens. It means that something else happens.” 23 likes
“Those of us who are most genuinely repelled by war and violence are also those who are most likely to decide that some things, after all, are worth fighting for.” 19 likes
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