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daisyq

daisyq

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The Yearling
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Hitch 22 - Christopher Hitchens Christopher Hitchens could be very witty and incisive, and was clearly intelligent and well-read. His wit doesn't come through that strongly in this memoir, though. It is only at times a traditional autobiography. The foreword from the more recent edition (in which he writes about his terminal illness, undiagnosed when the book was written) the chapter about his mother, and a later chapter where he muses on his Jewish heritage that was hidden from him, were the most personal and interesting.As for the rest, for me there's far too much blathering about drinking games with his mates that are only funny if you were there, and also drunk. Far too much justification of previously held beliefs and attempting to reconcile them with later positions. Far too many wounded descriptions of his fallings out with others, without ever really taking any responsibility himself.I am not that interested in Hitchens' wider circle (e.g. Martin Amis, James Fenton..)and Hitch-22 would be more worthwhile for someone who is. I almost gave up on this after the visit to the brothel with Amis, and spent much of the rest of the book disliking both of them because I couldn't get over the attitude displayed here. Those awful, ungrateful prostitutes, looking with contempt at people who were paying for sex (or in Hitchens' case, fortuitously spared from the full deal as he didn't have enough cash). Poor, poor Martin Amis, forced - forced - to have sex with a contemptuous prostitute in order to use the experience in his fiction. The episode is just spectacularly lacking in self awareness, or any attempt to understand or empathise with the women in question, and paints Amis and Hitchens as somehow victims of an enterprise they chose to instigate. And it's not even funny!