Mortality

Mortality On June while on a book tour for his bestselling memoir Hitch Christopher Hitchens was stricken in his New York hotel room with excruciating pain in his chest and thorax As he would late

  • Title: Mortality
  • Author: Christopher Hitchens Simon Prebble
  • ISBN: 9781619691896
  • Page: 232
  • Format: Audiobook
  • 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 thOn 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 eighteen months, until his death in Houston on December 15, 2011, he wrote constantly and brilliantly on politics and culture, astonishing readers with his capacity for superior work even in extremis.Throughout the course of his ordeal battling esophageal cancer, Hitchens adamantly and bravely refused the solace of religion, preferring to confront death with both eyes open In this riveting account of his affliction, Hitchens poignantly describes the torments of illness, discusses its taboos, and explores how disease transforms experience and changes our relationship to the world around us By turns personal and philosophical, Hitchens embraces the full panoply of human emotions as cancer invades his body and compels him to grapple with the enigma of deathRTALITY is the exemplary story of one man s refusal to cower in the face of the unknown, as well as a searching look at the human predicament Crisp and vivid, veined throughout with penetrating intelligence, Hitchens s testament is a courageous and lucid work of literature, an affirmation of the dignity and worth of man.

    One thought on “Mortality”

    1. 3.75 stars really, but I gave it 5 because Christopher Hitchens wrote it whilst dying of cancer and because of the concept of cancer being another country foreign to the one that we live in.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 [...]

    2. Wow. He did it. He did dying just as he did living. 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 [...]

    3. 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 th [...]

    4. “It's probably a merciful thing that pain is impossible to describe from memory” ― Christopher Hitchens, MortalityThis 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 [...]

    5. This is proving very hard to write about.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 [...]

    6. A book on the dark subject of death that lightens the load with straight shots of clarity, honesty, and a form of wisdom. For those who loved the cultural critic Hitchens as a voice of truth that perfectly balanced logic and wit, fear not the potentials for emotional devastation in this discourse on his own process of death from esophageal cancer. It’s short enough to be read in one sitting and contains no self-pity. He gave me some courage about my own mortality.The book contains several essa [...]

    7. "The moment life departs the body, it belongs to death. At one with lamps, suitcases, carpets, door handles, windows. Fields, marshes, streams, mountains, clouds, the sky. None of these is alien to us. We are constantly surrounded by objects and phenomena from the realm of death. Nonetheless, there are a few things that arouse in us greater distaste than to see a human being caught up in it, at least if we are to judge by the efforts we make to keep corpses out of sight. In larger hospitals they [...]

    8. I didn’t always agree with Christopher Hitchens (war with Iraq, for instance) but I always admired his brilliant mind and I enjoyed his feisty, combative personality. Because Hitchens was an outspoken atheist, I was most curious to read his observations on mortality. These moving and brave final essays were so much more than what I expected. I found them to be deeply thought-provoking and sometimes difficult but compelling to read.The author died of esophageal cancer in 2011, which was as iron [...]

    9. Whatever one's opinion on Christopher Hitchens' religious views, it's indisputable that the man can write. This collection of essays was penned after his diagnosis of terminal esophageal cancer and before his untimely death. 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 [...]

    10. Transcendent and universal, yet without a happy ending: there could be no other title. And it's not like Christopher Hitchens would have authored yet another celebrity cancer memoir, is it?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 [...]

    11. ***NO SPOILERS***Christopher Hitchens wrote this when he was dying, a book about his dying, so you’d think there’d be some strong emotion, even anguish in these pages. Not so. He comes across as coolly removed from the esophageal cancer that’s 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 perso [...]

    12. Hitchens writes: "If I convert it's because it's better that a believer dies than that an atheist does." -pg. 91.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 [...]

    13. The day I found out that Christopher Hitchens had died was the day I felt as if someone from my own family had perished. 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 li [...]

    14. *sob* this will break your heart: "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. [...]

    15. Whilst I may not share many of the opinions of Christopher Hitchens, I cannot but express huge admiration for his ability to put into words what so many must think when faced with a Cancer diagnosis. His thoughts, feelings and reasoning on how to deal with the inevitable make compelling reading.

    16. This was like walking in on the final act of some grand production. Walking in on Romeo dooming himself as Juliet awakes. The last cries of ‘Jack! Rose!’ as the Leocicle drops into the icy Atlantichearing the last notes of ‘Hiding All Away’ by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. 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 Ir [...]

    17. 02:11:00Read by Simon Prebble. Afterword spoken by Carole BlueDescription: 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 ei [...]

    18. Time after time I read Hitchens and I shudder at the thought of his mind. He is a giant of thought of any kind, political, religious, economic, you name it, he's researched, questioned and written about it. This personal account of his last days is haunting, to say the least. To be able to concentrate your intelect on such a high point as to look down from it to cancer is a feat that I doubt many of us could ever achieve. The sharpness of his tongue and the broadness of his thought managed to st [...]

    19. when christopher hitchens passed away last december, the world lost one of its most trenchant, penetrating, and unabashedly forthright journalists and thinkers. as an intellectual luminary and stalwart critic of organized religion, zionism, and political duplicity, hitchens must surely rank amongst the late twentieth century's most iconoclastic and outspoken figures. with acolytes and detractors aplenty, hitchens was often a divisive figure, yet one seemingly committed to veracity above allrtali [...]

    20. I have no love lost for Christopher Hitchens (1949-2011).That's probably I got least affected compared to many of my friends who have read and liked this farewell book of the great literary critic. When I was new in , I heard about him from a fellow Filipino who is in but lives in the Visayas. He ranted and raved about him because he thought that the literary criticism books of Hitchens were must-reads for all serious literary readers. I got some of those books but still have time to read them. [...]

    21. It is extraordinary to read the inner life of anybody grappling with oncoming death, and Hitch being Hitch he has done it differently and memorably.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 [...]

    22. I might give this book 5 stars on a second read. I watched my mother's chronic illness become terminal over the course of about 12 years. So much of what Hitchens writes was so familiar -- but he only had 19 months to face it all. Being with my mother in her death stripped the concept of all sentimentality for me. It's simply a fucking nightmare. But real. I feel like Hitchens captured that awfulness -- in every sense of the word, and again, without sentimentality. He calls out the bullshit ways [...]

    23. DeathAs a dark ShadowBeckons his preyInto the unknownBy a soft whisperIn the soulCINDY CHENEY, "Death"Like many others, I don't want to face my mortality, especially now that I've come to accept this may be the only chance at "life" that we get. Quite frankly, I'm enjoying the party and in no hurry for it to end least not yet.It is with this mindset that I read Mortality, a reflective and painfully poignant piece written by an atheist in the foxhole (ie the thoughts and musings of Christopher Hi [...]

    24. Hitchens had no patience for pieties or platitudes. What subject summons up more pieties and platitudes from others than one's own impending demise? His diagnosis of stage 4 esophageal cancer (there is, he reminds us, no stage 5) makes for a perfect match of author and subject. No one better than Hitch - in-yer-face atheist, talker extraordinaire, all-around pain-in-the-butt - to send the sanctimonious scurrying. My favorite episode here involves his dialogue with a matron at a book signing who [...]

    25. I put off reading this for a bit because I knew it would hurt. I have been a Christopher Hitchens fan since his excellent and well researched book on Jewish/Christian/Muslim mythologies (among others)God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything came out. I had been able to share that book with adults, teens, and even some intelligent tweens who had been brainwashed into believing in Christian mythology as well as using it as a worldview text when teaching homeschool classes on the subject. [...]

    26. Ah, Hitch. Miss you. After reading half of Mortality last night, I fell asleep to a personal, internal conversation with you. How is it that I can miss someone so much that I never actually knew? That I feel I knew. Why is that? Hitch identifies it, I think, when he thanks a past editor who advised him to write "more like the way you talk". Even to the last he did just that. He speaks to you, the reader.I had already read most of these essays as they came out in Vanity Fair during his 19 months [...]

    27. This is a brilliant collection of Hitchens' essays written after he was diagnosed with cancer. Some were previously published in Vanity Fair magazine, but there are also some new pieces. The foreword by Graydon Carter and the afterword by Hitchens' wife were also moving. Highly recommended for all Hitch fans.

    28. I have always had a kind of love/hate relationship with Christopher Hitchens. I suppose hate is too strong a word but I have definitely felt infuriated and frustrated with some of his views. And yet, at the same time, I have always admired his intellect and thoughtfulness. A self-proclaimed atheist, Mr. Hitchens seemed to look upon the world's religions as more a source of humanity's problems than it was a source of comfort or goodness. He discussed his views on this thoroughly in his book, God [...]

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