Book Reviews

Book Review: Mortality.


The author, and avowed atheist, defended his beliefs and ideas in public vigorously and living life to its fullest.

After a lunch that started with a couple of generously poured Scotch whiskies, followed by a glass or two of wine and eventually finishing with a digestive, he would go to his office to write an erudite article, edit it, and submit for publication.

He never shied away from telling the truth, as he saw it.

During his travels to promote Hitch 22, one morning he woke up with unimaginable pain in his throat and could hardly breath.

Doctors diagnosed stage 4 cancer, but instead of stopping writing, Hitchens started writing again “living dyingly” in the face of imminent death.

In this short, but very insightful book he writes about dying, but nowhere will you find a thought or the feeling that he felt sorry for himself.

Hitchens writing is full of spontaneity, is precise and lucid, and readers are unlikely to encounter another writer of his calibre in the near future, ‘The author’s view of life, afterlife and the moments of leading up to them confirm his secular western thinking.

Far eastern cultures think about life and afterlife differently.

It is admirable that a dying individual can write about death so eloquently, but then Hitchens was not an average mortal. This book is not about dying but what he thought about his terminal disease. His wife carol Blue, in her touching tribute mentions, about his elaborate and long dinners for his literary colleagues and friends during which he has interminable discussions, exchanged views and ideas about religion and everything else.

Mortality is a short book, the length of an article in vanity far, but full of insights, his way of thinking, and excellent style of writing and thoughtful.

Highly recommended.

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