Tuesday, March 10, 2015

"Mortality" by Christopher Hitchens

I was picking up books at the library for Tami and noticed this sitting in the audiobook section. As I am generally a fan of Hitchens I decided to check it out.

Summary: This is Hitchens' last book before his death. In truth, it is not even a full book as it explains that Hitchens believed he had more time to write more content and polish it before publishing. His sudden death means there are fragments left unedited, still in their first draft.

Much of the book originally appeared in articles he wrote while in treatment. It starts with Hitchens waking up very sick and unsure what was wrong. The doctor suspected cancer, but any conclusive test was still in the future. Hitchens writes candidly about his struggle to live a normal life, unwilling to fail his friends and fans. He also reflects on the nature of his treatment, the effects of chemotherapy and what it's like to show up at the clinic. As he died of throat cancer, he also writes about his loss of speech, something that his especially hard on a man who loved talking. This book also includes a forward and an afterward in which two people close to him talk about his last days.

What I Liked: This is Hitchens making the best of a bad situation. He retained his ability to write fiercely and strategically right up to the end. 

What I Didn't Like: Obviously, these are the dying words of a man I respected. I would rather they weren't his last.

Rating: Worth reading, but left with a guilty feeling.

Also Read by this Author: Hitch-22.

Reviewed by: Nick

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