Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens
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Before his death, I had a vague awareness of Christopher Hitchens, having read some of his contributions to Vanity Fair, but he never struck me as someone I should be paying close attention to until after he had died a...more
There were some definite serendipities, such as a run of essays on authors I too like very much (Waugh, Greene, Powell, Wodehouse, Nabokov), and some discussions that made me want to rush out and look again at others (I've only started the Flashman series, and he kept bringing it up). The po...more
A line appearing somewhere near the midpoint of this collection of essays is revealing: “Stay with me. I've been doing the hard thinking for you.” Christopher Hitchens does a lot of hard thinking apparently; keep up if you can. This may suggest that considerable ego is involved, and given the author's reputation you can be sure that it is, but on display too is considerable erudition.
The book is composed of six sections roughly dividing the essays on theme. Most important for an understanding o...more
All of these articles have appeared in print or online (and many, if not most, are still available there), so some tend to be more topical than others. Considering he writes a column for Slate once a week, it must have been hard to de...more
Boy was this man well-read. As you can probably tell...more
There are a hundred essays in this tome; the most dazzling of which cover Hitch’s favourite writers. What’s interesting about his peculiar love of literature is that most of his favourite and most obsessively read authors have political and religious views quite oppos...more
But what took...more
I was so enthusiastic with this point of view discovered in the first pages of this enormous book that I kept reading for a while before acknowledging that it's pointless to continue in a systematic manner and I began browsing and skipping.
The journalist's work is condemned t...more
The full-scale electronic edition is almost as infuriating as Hitchens' views on Iraq; it's 750 pages of unindexed text, and the table of contents is impossible to scroll. (Or that might just be my [Kindle] Touch.)...more
Here's a link to a great review, http://www.sffaudio.com/?p=42938&... and within that link, is a link to each of the original essays! Going through this list, I'm surprised at how many I've read. My favourites are the literary on...more
The sheer breadth of his critical ambit would by itself make this well worth reading, but when you add to that his humor, acerbity and political subtlety, you end up with a book of occasional essays that is dazzling, entertaining, occasionally infuriating, and even educational. Everything from brief evaluations of the oeuvres of (e.g.) John Updike, Saul Bell...more
Much of the essays are book reviews, often by people I know little or nothing about, and often heavy going, but often enjoyable, so I tended to cherry-pick what I read. It is largely the sort of thing that only the Literati would enjoy. The best essays for me...more
Comes in a bit short at a page shy of 750. I'd love to talk more with this man, fiery and funny as he may be.