My mother died of cancer and it really was a different world. The hospice. A world shrunk to a single room and that defined by a wall of bitterness to one side, pain to another, a slow crumbling of the third wall, and the fourth was windows onto a beautiful garden she could only look at but not enter. A world...more
He faced his mortality with a steadfast gaze, as well as his trademark wit, humour, and incessant curiosity. His real most deep-seated fear was of losing his ability to express himself, of not being able to talk or to write.
He does still get the last word. I love that this book comes out posthumously. It's as if he is talking to us right now: "And another thing!"
His wife Carol Blue wrote a moving afterword in which she described their 'new wor...more
I’m one of those people who always enjoyed hearing Christopher Hitchens speak—on anything—in his confrontational style, with his humor, his lightning-fast logic, with the breadth and depth of his intellect always on display. I miss Christopher Hitchens. Even when I disagreed with his position (the invasion of Iraq), I’d still marvel at his grasp of fact and adamant (belligerent) defense. I miss him.
In Mortality, Hitchens describes his diagnosis, treatment and the subsequent failure of the body,...more
The book contains several essays...more
Hitch was a writer, to his core. I know this just through the sense of his writings - that's how I met so many other interesting people. It was something which defined him.
To this extent, it's not too surprising that new books come out after he has passed. This little collection of essays are meditative, a little self-pitying, but mostly as dignified as cancer would let him be. Fierce and stoic, almost up to the very end.
He was funny, provocative, and ch...more
"Most despond-inducing and alarming of all, so far, was the moment when m...more
He writes from "Tumortown" but beyond, there is a vast less-explored interior, where the likes of me hang out, those with the thousands, millions of different more-or-less sickly Cinderella illnesses. Though they comprehend the city's size and very serious troubles, they are sometimes resentful and bewildered...more
The focus of this book is more about his experience of dying of cancer than anything else, but his chapter on the varying responses of Christians to his diagnosis is among the richest in the book. The contrast between those who gleefully indulged in their belief that this wa...more
"The following is Carol Blue’s afterword to her husband Christopher Hitchens’ book Mortality, out in September from Twelve.
Onstage, my husband was an impossible act to follow.
If you ever saw him at the podium, you may not share Richard Dawkins’ assessment that “he was the greatest orator of our time,” but you will know what I mean—or at least you won’t think, She would say that, she’s his wife.
Offstage, my husband was an impossible act to follow.
At home at one o...more
There's no denying the integrity in his life, nor the intellect and wit in his speaking and writing.
But what can I make of this book? It was an easy enough read, but the fact that we're approaching the topic from two diametrically opposed worldviews made it challenging. Is it enough that we respect one another, or give some semblance of respect?
I've watched Hitchens debate religion an...more
Christopher Hitchens is, by far, the world's greatest orator, thinker, debater... and I say "is", because, despite his death his words continue to reverberate. He is alive. He will always be alive.
And just as his wife put it in the afterword, "Christopher always has the last word".
"Mortality" is Hitchens' journey through what must have been some of the most painful time in his...more
Yeah. Like that.
By now you know that I’m not the deepest well in the field. I spent my twenties reading Weetzie Bat and bopping around to King Missile. I know, I should have been studying the NYTBR or listening to Ira Glass...more
In one way, I suppose, I have been "in denial" for some time, knowingly burning the candle at both ends and finding that it often gives a lovely light. But for precisely that reason, I can't see myself smiting my brow with shock or hear myself whining about how it's all so unfair: I have been taunting the Reaper int...more
It's not that way. I've lost two parents, both unbelievers, and both of whom met their deaths with as much dignity as their conditions allowed, which is probably par for the non-believing final hole.
I was immediately s...more
I had already read most of these essays as they came out in Vanity Fair during his 19 months...more
This short collection includes seven short essays and some fragments written will he "lived dyingly" after being diagnosed with the cancer that took his life, plus a lovely afterward by his wife and a fitting forward by his editor.
I appreciated reading his thoug...more
Such is the case of Christopher Hitchens very short and succinct, Mortality. This book haunts me. We knew Hitchens. We joined him in the living room many times as we watched the Daily Show...more
That being said, I found that most of the pages seeped that vague hint of melancholy - although I don't th...more
I don't believe there is anyone left in the world who has not lost a friend or family member to cancer. It is a horrible wasting disease in which your own cells turn against you, and the treatments are as brutal as the sickness.
As you would no doubt expect, given his reputation and crede...more
I have had close family members die from cancer so I have first hand experience in how difficult dealing with cancer can be, but Hitchens view of cancer from the one actually dealing with the disease gave...more