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Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens by…

Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens (2011)

by Christopher Hitchens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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This fat collection of essays allowed me to confirm my General Theory of Christopher Hitchens: Reliably correct on literature; highly unreliable on politics; reliably wrong on religion. But always fun to read.

As much as I enjoy him, I’m extremely wary of his fans, who make me very nervous. He’s perhaps the author I’m least likely to read outside of my home, for fear that someone will see the cover and want to talk about it. No thank you. ( )
  k6gst | Jun 6, 2019 |
Although I'm a fan of Hitchens, his writing style can be a bit intimidating and I couldn't face the 800-odd pages of this tome. This thing is so big, it's even physically difficult to read - it really should be two volumes. On the plus side, the content is broken up into separate essays, making it easy to flick around reading just bits and pieces, if you wish. ( )
  adam.currey | Jan 2, 2019 |
A very thick collection of essays by Christopher Hitchens. Most of the essays are book reviews from magazines like Harpers, the Atlantic, Slate, or Vanity Fair. Reading through these is very helpful in a getting a peripheral view of Hitchens' literary diet from his childhood on. The transformation from a young Marxist intellectual into a more seasoned sceptic of politics and religion is fascinating. Probably one of the best critical minds or our age. I look forward to plowing through some of his other collections. Hopefully there won't be too much repeat. ( )
  BenjaminHahn | Feb 19, 2018 |
A top book. Full of information and insight and the trigger of much independent research.
This is the first book of Hitchens that I have read and I was amazed by his breadth of knowledge and his capacity for clear succinct writing. Not simple writing - I don't think any other book has sent me to the dictionary so often.
I expected more polemic, but he is very reasoned and doesn't take too many extreme positions. Of course, you get to know his world view, and you are free to disagree, but I wouldn't have wanted to ever enter into a battle of wits with this master.
Read Jan/Feb 2017. ( )
  mbmackay | Mar 9, 2017 |
When a person abounds in a talent for writing, they enlighten and provide insight that give reason to the power of words. There are few who did this better than Christopher Hitchens. Commentary and review aside, Christopher's ability to use words is similar to a magicians slight of hand. The words are quick, entertaining and -- in the end -- you wonder how he did it. Hitchens does it with intelligence and fortitude. Words accumulate in the writing with what seems little effort. But, as we know, the effort is displayed with abundance. Hitchens was a straight-forward, logical thinker and backed his opinions in writing. His unfailing support of Saldam Rushdie and his abiding disregard for religious arrogance are tantamount to his character. I can only guess at the number of books Christopher read during his life. Books and writing were, of course, a passion he surely enjoyed. Taken from page 748, "Prisoner of Shelves", Hitchens writes " ... I live in a fairly spacious apartment ... but for some reason the available shelf space, which is considerable, continues to be outrun by the appearance of new books." What a glorious sight! ( )
  MikeBiever | Aug 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
So, having paid my dues to critical candor, I still find Hitchens one of the most stimulating thinkers and entertaining writers we have, even when — perhaps especially when — he provokes. And while he clearly wants to win you over, you always sense that he is playing in part to the jury of history, which is why so much of what he might, in a rare self-deprecating moment, refer to as hackwork stands up so well to ­anthologizing.
Hitchens is, and has been for many years, the mightiest knocker-down in argumentative journalism in the Anglophone world. This vast volume, containing ten years of argufying, is every bit as pugilistic, as unanswerable, as toughly rationalist, as unstoppable, as strenuously lived, as its many predecessors from his hand.

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christopher Hitchensprimary authorall editionscalculated
Baker, EricCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Live all you can: It's a mistake not to."
— Lambert Strether, in The Ambassadors
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Essayist Christopher Hitchens ruminates on why Charles Dickens was among the best of writers and the worst of men, the haunting science fiction of J.G. Ballard, the enduring legacies of Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell, the persistent agonies of anti-Semitism and jihad, the enduring relevance of Karl Marx, and how politics justifies itself by culture--and how the latter prompts the former.

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