My mother died of cancer and it really was a different world. The hospice. A world shrunk to a single room and that was 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 w ...more
For those of us on the downward slide of dermal deterioration and progressive organ failure, Mortality is just the ticket: a sort of how-to about dying. No sugary, maudlin advice about the correct attitude toward the inevitable. No encouraging tales of the will to live. And no suggestions about mitigating the distress involved. Just a number of handy things to keep in mind about the roadblocks we’re all likely to meet on the road to peaceful non-existence.
Here’s the scoop: Barri ...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
― Christopher Hitchens, Mortality
This short collection of writings done by Christopher Hitchens detailing his experience with cancer, dying and mortality reminds me in no little way of a 21st century Montaigne. While I was expecting Hitchen's stoic materialism to jump off the page, I was also surprised by his gentleness. This is a man who loved life. He loved his family. He loved his friends. He loved to think, to w ...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
The author died of esophageal cancer in 2011, which was as ironic ...more
Christopher Hitchens wrote this when he was dying, a book about his dying, so I expected some strong emotion, even anguish in these pages. Not so. He comes across as coolly removed from the esophageal cancer consuming him.
The dust jacket promises a “riveting account of his affliction,” yet the book is as much a snoozy discussion of Nietzsche, religion, and medical advancements as it is about Hitchens’s cancer. He’s at his best when he gets personal, describing his medical proce ...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
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
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
Christopher Hitchens had a much longer book in mind when he started writing Mortality. His chronicle of living, and dying, with stage four esophageal cancer is a testament to his tenacity, and it seems fitting that he died as he lived: brilliant, irreverent and completely cognizant of inevitability.
"...the thing about stage four is that there is no stage five"
"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
Two ideas particularly stand out for me, both connecting me to thoughts of dear friends.
The first is the phrase perhaps best know from Hitchens' writing of his life after diagnosis with cancer as 'living dyingly'. I think of the three people I know in similar situations who chose to die livingly. There is a difference in emphasis that is too hard for ...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
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
Goes without saying, that the journey is very sad. Especially, reading his widow's speech she made at his funeral.
Like I said, wish I had discovered him sooner. However, this mea ...more
Read by Simon Prebble. Afterword spoken by Carole Blue
Description: On June 8, 2010, while on a book tour for his bestselling memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens was stricken in his New York hotel room with excruciating pain in his chest and thorax. As he would later write in the first of a series of award-winning columns for Vanity Fair, he suddenly found himself being deported "from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady." Over the next e ...more
It's probably a merciful thing that pain is impossible to describe from memory. It's also impossible to warn against.
Definitely a voice I will miss. Oddly, I feel a sense of loss because I missed Hitchens. If I'd been paying better attention I might have heard him before he passed. But then, I meet so many great voices after they're gone that it shouldn't matter, but in a peculiar way I feel like this was 'ships in the night' and a little bereft.
This is a candid account of Hitchens' diagnosis o ...more
|Drew Sennett||1||11||Aug 27, 2015 07:36AM|
|Goodreads Librari...: someone to look with powers to remove||4||244||Mar 26, 2014 06:53PM|
|The passing away of a great man and author.||4||119||Dec 06, 2013 07:41AM|
|Goodreads Librari...: Mortality: ISBN 9781455502752||2||26||Feb 15, 2013 10:56AM|