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Top 40 Book Club : 2011
42 43 Christopher Hitchens’ memoir Hitch-22 gives us a candid insight into this renowned journalist and intellectual’s complex life and beliefs. Famous for his strong opinions, wit and intellect, Hitchens has been associated with some of the greatest minds and personalities of his time. His memoir is furnished with such names as Bill Clinton, Gore Vidal, George Bush (junior and senior), James Fenton, Martin Amis, Noam Chomsky, Norman Mailer, Nelson Mandela, Ronald Regan, Salman Rushdie and many, many more. His memoir recounts his metamorphosis from his childhood within a British Naval family, to a jet- setting political commentator. The book begins with the suicide of his mother and his journey to come to terms with this loss. It deals with his estranged relationship with his Naval officer father, his association with left wing politics and his transition from Englishman to Anglo- American. It also deals with his beliefs on religion, opposition to Islamic fundamentalism and his endorsement of the invasion of Iraq. Hitchens is never short of a controversial view point or opinion and has been very honest in his assessment of many of the public figures he has dealt with in this memoir. Profoundly, Hitchens muses in his memoir of the timeliness of writing this account of his life. Little did he know that while on tour to promote this memoir he was to be diagnosed with metastatic oesophageal cancer. Hitch-22 is a memoir of a man who has lived a life too full to fill 424 pages. ‘ . .. Hitchens is never short of a controversial view point or opinion... hiTch-22 // christopher Hitchens