To me, Christopher Hitchens was firstly and foremost a lover of the English language. He was a writer, an orator and an intellectual as well but it was his art with the English language I admired most. He wrote in the manner I would like to; a direct unobtrusive un-ornamental style where the writing never gets in the way of the story being told. There are not many writers with that skill.
There is not much I can say about Hitch-22 that others have not written far more eloquently. For me, the best chapters are the ones where he talks of his father and mother. And thats about as much insight he provides into his immediate family. Wives and children are dealt with briefly. He does write more about his friendships with people like Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and James Fenton. He also talks of his time as a member of the Socialist International and travelling all around the world. He also writes about feeling that he was in the wrong place as the various revolutionary events of his time passed him by; yet the role call of friends and other intimates suggest quite the opposite. While the books does trace his life, there seems to be disconnect between the writer and his life – lack of intimacy in the telling of a fascinating life. But there is a lot of humour and wit. One particular section on his alcohol consumption made me laugh aloud.
It is a book what would appeal to fans of Hitchens, those who are interested in knowing the man. But not something I would recommend to those unacquainted with Hitchens.
Promotional video made by the publishers of Hitch-22