The first new book of essays by Christopher Hitchens since 2004, ARGUABLY offers an indispensable key to understanding the passionate and skeptical spirit of one of our most dazzling writers, widely admired for the clarity of his style, a result of his disciplined and candid thinking. Topics range from ruminations on why Charles Dickens was among the best of writers and the worst of men to the haunting science fiction of J.G. Ballard; from the enduring legacies of Thomas Jefferson and George Orwell to the persistent agonies of anti-Semitism and jihad. Hitchens even looks at the recent financial crisis and argues for arthe enduring relevance of Karl Marx. The book forms a bridge between the two parallel enterprises of culture and politics. It reveals how politics justifies itself by culture, and how the latter prompts the former. In this fashion, ARGUABLY burnishes Christopher Hitchens' credentials as-to quote Christopher Buckley-our "greatest living essayist in the English language."
How does one possibly narrate the essays of Christopher Hitchens while capturing the author's furious--and perhaps occasionally misguided--intensity and vigor? For this capacious collection of Hitchens's essays, narrator Simon Prebble wisely avoids that dilemma. Instead, he offers a dry, slightly formal delivery. Covering everything from Charles Dickens and J.G. Ballard to the recent financial crisis and global jihad, Hitchens mingles the literary with the political, using his erudition to hone arguments to a carefully wielded point. Prebble's controlled narration works to tone down some of Hitchens's force--the narrator simply poses arguments without bludgeoning the author's opponents--much to the benefit of this audio production. The sound is turned down, leaving Hitchens's ideas to come to the fore. A Hachette/Twelve hardcover. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/2011
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1 . Brilliant
Posted May 31, 2012 by bruce r , nyReadable essays from one of our best and brightest humans. You won't agree with everything, nor should you, but you have to admire the author's craft and analysis.
August 31, 2011
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