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Mortality (2012)

by Christopher Hitchens

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1,3957010,679 (4.07)70
"Courageous, insightful and candid thoughts on malady and mortality from one of our most celebrated writers"--Provided by the publisher.
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» See also 70 mentions

English (69)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (70)
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
في السنة الفاصلة بين تشخيصه بالسرطان وموته وضع هتشنز آخر أفكاره في هذا الكتاب، فحكى باختصار عن معاناته مع المرض واختلاف النظرة للحياة عند اقتراب الموت، وأيضاً ثباته على الإلحاد. ( )
  TonyDib | Jan 28, 2022 |
It's the honesty, I gotta say, that makes this book the best I've read this year. It just saddens me to know that we will never hear/read everything he wanted write when he set out on this task. I'll write more later. ( )
  ennuiprayer | Jan 14, 2022 |
Hitchens is still obsessing over religion and his religious haters here to an irritating degree. It seems to be the only thing he cares about: Showing the naysayers that he still rejects God and living out his last days in vehement atheism. It's not that I disagree with him -- I completely jive with this vehemence. But this book seemed to be simply a regurgitation of the ideas he evangelized throughout his life. Well-written, yes, but the insights into dying were too scant for this to be great. I really appreciated his wife's words, the last chapter of the book -- poignant, real, exposing the most invisible yet tangible consequences of grief.

( )
  Gadi_Cohen | Sep 22, 2021 |
An honest look at dealing with cancer and impending death. Will make religious people ask some fundamental questions about their faith. ( )
  larrybenfield | Jul 14, 2021 |
It is odd that I chose Christopher Hitchens' last book as the first of his to read, since I have known about him and been interested in his ideas for a long time. I have a bit of a thing for books about death, I guess, and this difficult, thoughtful, and interesting little one did not disappoint. But having finished it, I mostly feel eager to read some of his earlier, probably more purposefully crafted writings. I don't think I share the same joie de vivre that Hitchens did, because I came away from Mortality mostly feeling renewed in my resolve (developed during my father's treatment for and death from cancer more than 20 years ago) to decline treatment if ever similarly stricken. Chemotherapy and radiation are vicious approaches to an intractable problem, and Hitchens writes about his experience of them as good-humoredly and philosophically and brutally honestly as seems possible. He lived for 19 months from diagnosis to death, which, his widow says, came unexpectedly. Would he choose the same path from point a to b if he had it to do over again? That's a book I'd like to read. If anyone is capable of delivering dispatches from the grave, Hitchens would seem to be a good candidate, but I'm not holding my breath. I am grateful, though, that he penned these few words before he left this life, and that I had the opportunity to read them. ( )
  CaitlinMcC | Jul 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
The book takes us on the journey from June of 2010 (when Hitchens was diagnosed) to December of 2011 (when he died). What a beautiful, awful journey it was. Samuel Johnson said that "The prospect of being hanged focuses the mind wonderfully." Hitchens was not being hanged, unless you mean that metaphorically, but his literate mind stayed focused and articulate. He goes into the rich detail of his body becoming a "reservoir of pain," meditates on the old wheeze that pain makes us better people, offers thoughts on whether the phrase "the war on cancer" is appropriate, and reveals that near the end he became a willing morphine junky: "How happily I measured off my day as I saw the injection being readied."
 
Being in Christopher’s company was rarely sobering, but always exhilarating. It is, however, sobering and grief-inducing to read this brave and harrowing account of his “year of living dyingly” in the grip of the alien that succeeded where none of his debate opponents had in bringing him down.
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hitchens, Christopherprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blue, CarolAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carter, GraydonForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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At a dinner in Los Angeles this spring, a young actor named Emile Hirsch came up to me in a state of high excitement.
—Graydon Carter
I have more than once in my time woken up feeling like death.
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Onstage, my husband was an impossible act to follow.
—Carol Blue
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"Courageous, insightful and candid thoughts on malady and mortality from one of our most celebrated writers"--Provided by the publisher.

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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 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 death.

MORTALITY 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.

[retrieved 5/7/2014 from Amazon.com]
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