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Mortality [Format Kindle]

Christopher Hitchens
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Dealing unflinchingly with bodily ravagement, reflecting on life's beauty and remaining rakish about his ideological foes, Hitchens proves that great writers are truly immortal."—People, 4-star review

"Remarkable . . . The book's power lies in its simplicity, in its straightforward, intelligent documenting, its startling refusal of showiness or melodrama or grandeur....The great polemicist, essayist, conversationalist, provocateur, arguer, has done something extraordinary in this book. He has created yet another style, another mode, another way of being and thinking and dreaming, on his death bed; he has written in many ways an un-Hitchens-like book, eluding proclamations, resolutions, mastery, wit, at-easeness with opinion, in favor of unnerving directness, of harrowing documentation. He has allowed his dismantled confidence, his undoing to breathe, and to live in the pages, in a way that is startling and new and an achievement unlike his others, different in kind, yet equally ambitious and relentlessly honest."—Katie Roiphe,

"Like virtually everything he wrote over his long, distinguished career, diamond-hard and brilliant . . .vivid, heart-wrenching and haunting - messages in a bottle tossed from the deck of a sinking ship as its captain, reeling in agony and fighting through the fog of morphine, struggles to keep his engines going . . . a final, defiant, and well-reasoned defense of his non-God-fearingness . . . It is, however, sobering and grief-inducing to read this brave and harrowing account of his 'year of living dyingly' in the grip of an alien that succeeded where none of his debate opponents had in bringing him down."—Christopher Buckley, New York Times Book Review

"This trenchant, sassy, tragically posthumous little black book earns a proud spot on the end-of-life shelf, along with Julian Barnes' Nothing to Be Frightened Of, Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking, Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Joan Wickersham's The Suicide Index, Saul Bellow's Ravelstein, and Philip Roth's Everyman and Exit Ghost, to name just a few."—

"A book driven by his desire to look death squarely in the face and provoked by detractors who were certain he would turn to religion when confronted with it. He did not... [MORTALITY is] full of humility, a humility worthy of kings."—Newsday

"The melancholy irony of 'Mortality' is that it gave our best essayist - I can't think of someone who comes even close - the chance to grapple with the most intractable subject, to wrestle with the angel of death in a battle we will all have to lose at one time or another.....The voice is gone. The words remain."—The New York Daily News

"These essays are brave and fitting final words from a writer at the end of his journey."—Bookpage

"There are no clever pitches to diminish the horror vacui of oblivion. He offers no self-pity or special pleading. The book is tough-minded . . . poignant, but the poignancy is ours, not his."—Wall Street Journal

"Mortality is a crash course in lived philosophy....bracing."—Salon

"Stark and powerful... Hitchens's powerful voice compels us to consider carefully the small measures by which we live every day and to cherish them."—Publisher's Weekly (Starred)

"A jovially combative riposte to anyone who thought that death would silence master controversialist Hitchens."—Kirkus Reviews (Starred)

"Mortality, the final book by Christopher Hitchens, the Anglo-American essayist, reporter, devout atheist and all-around intellectual troublemaker, won't be shelved in the travel section. But in a sense that's where it belongs, along with the best of the literary travel writers. Think George Orwell, one of Hitchens' heroes....Few writers wrote sharper sentences or treated words with more respect."—USA Today, "The 25 Big Books of Fall"

"Unsparingly blunt, rhetorically suave . . . It's rare that someone so powerfully writes of such deep connections between the death of intellectual ability and the decay of the body."—Boston Globe

"To the end, he produces sentences of startling beauty and precision . . . One of our best is gone, yet "Mortality" is a powerful and moving final utterance."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Mortality is not just for Hitchens' fans, but for all.... With almost unimaginable clarity, grace and wit, even for the master wordsmith we had grown used to. We see here a very warm and thoughtful human being. Poignant and deeply personal thoughts on the art of writing and the heartbreak of losing his unmistakable speaking voice during the course of treatment....The furthest thing from grim, Mortality is a gift. Not just from Christopher, but from Carol as well. Do pick it up."—Huffington Post

Présentation de l'éditeur

The world's greatest contrarian confronts his own death in this brave and unforgettable book.

During the American book tour for his memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens collapsed in his hotel room with excruciating pain in his chest. As he would later write in the first of a series of deeply moving Vanity Fair pieces, he was being deported 'from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady.' Over the next year he experienced the full force of modern cancer treatment.

Mortality is at once an unsparingly honest account of the ravages of his disease, an examination of cancer etiquette, and the coda to a lifetime of fierce debate and peerless prose. In this moving personal account of illness, Hitchens confronts his own death - and he is combative and dignified, eloquent and witty to the very last.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 220 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 128 pages
  • Editeur : Atlantic Books; Édition : First Edition (25 août 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B006VSP906
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°74.069 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 parce que philosopher, c'est apprendre à mourir... 26 décembre 2013
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Parce que philosopher, c'est apprendre à mourir...
Ce livre apporte une énergie étonnante, une possibilité de garder sa joie et sa dignité face à l'inévitable fin.
Aucun pathos, juste un homme.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Why? Because you need to know... 28 avril 2014
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Because written at such a high level it goes beyond the drama or the morbid curiosity of someone's suffering. Because it will make you reflect on the fragility of life, on the power of love, and on one's integrity and strength of character. Because it will enrich you.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.4 étoiles sur 5  429 commentaires
305 internautes sur 318 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A no-holds-barred discussion of dying 25 août 2012
Par Kirk McElhearn - Publié sur
Christopher Hitchens never shied away from telling the truth - at least the truth as he saw it - and when he was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in June, 2010, he started "living dyingly," writing about his experiences with the illness. The stoicism with which he wrote, and the lucidity in the face of immanent death ("there is no stage 5"), go very well with the way Hitchens faced the rest of his life. Having only recently completed a memoir, Hitch 22, and on his book tour when he had symptoms which led to his diagnosis, Hitchens realized that he needed to tell the story of this cancer as he had just told the story of his life.

If you're familiar with Hitchens' writings, you'll certainly recognize the trenchant approach here to becoming a resident of "tumortown." In this brief book, composed of essays he wrote for Vanity Fair, Hitchens explains what it feels like to be dying, yet doesn't feel sorry for himself or for his lifestyle that may have contributed to his cancer. (His father died of the same cancer as well, so part may be genetic.)

You'll read this book in an hour or two, but you'll also want to come back to it from time to time. While the chapters are composed - these are articles, not journal entries - there is a spontaneity throughout them, as his condition worsens, and as hope seems to recede.

Hitchens again shows with his words that cut like scalpels that he was one of the finest voices of his generation, and we're not likely to see another like him for a very long time.
193 internautes sur 205 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Christopher Hitchens - The final journey through "Tumortown" 28 août 2012
Par Red on Black - Publié sur
It came as no surprise that one of the greatest and most remarkable troublemakers and polemicists Britain has ever produced didn't leave without having a few important things to say. The late great Christopher Hitchens used the pages of Vanity Fair during his battle against a tumor in his esophagus to partly apply the maxim of Dylan Thomas to "rage, rage against the dying of the light". That said you sense throughout the pages of "Mortality", a book collecting those special essays, that Hitchens instinctively felt that this was one argument he wasn't going to win. As such his tangle with death is a level headed but poignant dalliance with the slow degradation of a body which graphically charts the "wager" with chemotherapy taking "your taste buds, your ability to concentrate, your ability to digest and the hair on your head". He is painfully honest and reflective throughout about his predicament not least the "gnawing sense of waste" and the reality of becoming an early "finalist in the race of life". Yet it wouldn't be Hitchens if the opportunity for settling some old scores was not taken and in particular his restatement of his vociferous views on atheism despite the fact that September 20th 2010 was designated by one religious website as "Everyone pray for Hitchens day".

Others were less charitable for in some quarters at the onset of Hitchens illness produced a vicious form of schadenfreude not least amongst his many enemies in the Christian right where his strong opinions on religion had provoked and outraged those not prepared to countenance any debate. He quotes an opinion from an religious blog that viewed his throat cancer as "Gods revenge for him using his voice to blaspheme him". Undoubtedly most Christians would find such a view repugnant but in any case Hitchens would have no truck with such nonsense. In his autobiography "Hitch 22" he was candid about a lifestyle that some described as "convivial" while others though "excessive" a better term. He argued alternatively that a cigarette permanently locked in his hand and the love of a "second bottle" were as much sources of inspiration for his writing as his limited repertoire of heroes like Paine and Orwell. He knew the source of his problems but that's not the point of this book. It is in essence a slow diary of his journey through ""Tumortown" its excruciating levels of pain, the corresponding fatalism and resignation, its false hopes and eventual knock out blow. There are brilliant passages on figures as diverse as Leonard Cohen, and Nietzsche, a revisiting of the waterboarding torture which Hitchens endured to attack the Bush administration with a about with a searing polemic and finally a weariness at the offerings of possible cancer cures. `You sometimes feel that you may expire from sheer ADVICE", he exclaims in frustration

This short book concludes with a chapter of fragmentary jottings which are in every sense the most affecting part of the book. The broken phrases and quotes show a mind that thinks deeply, still questioning, still at work and debating until the very last. This is despite of "Chemo-brain. Dull, stuporous" and fears that this "lavish torture is only the prelude to a gruesome execution". Hitchens also brilliantly unearths a quote from Saul Bellow which argues with simple insight that "death is the dark backing that a mirror needs if we are able to see anything". Christopher Eric Hitchens was a man who did his fair share of seeing not least on his many travels to chart despotism and dictatorship and to rally against it with clarity not heard since George Orwell. He also always had the right words even when he was fundamentally wrong and the best of his writings are furiously brilliant, deserving the widest readership whether you agree with him or not. Hitchens died on 15th December 2011, and this the book concludes with a tender "Afterword" from his widow Carol Blue. At one point in "Mortality" the author quotes Horace Mann's observation that "Until you have done something for humanity you should be ashamed to die". In the case of the sadly lamented and much missed Christopher Hitchens there was no need to worry about this, you did more than enough.
214 internautes sur 230 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An Atheist Transcendent, the final chapter to Hitch-22 25 août 2012
Par David G Henry - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Other reviewers have already made comment on this book's overall structure. This is a fine reprinting of Hitch's award-winning essays as he approached his final hour, so there is no new information in most of the book. In his inimitable way, he draws you in not only with his fine prose, but his humanity. You can't help but feel pathos in this work. And where the emotion ends, he lines up the last words and wisdom of so many other literary figures as evidence for his case on "dying livingly."

What makes this book worthy to add to your bookshelf is the final chapter, the unpublished scribblings of Hitchens which give us a window not only into his final thoughts, but perhaps how the master crafted his essays...first as an idea, then a polished quip or two. For me, these classic one-liners and Hitch-slaps are worth the price of the book. The final tribute, by his wife Carol, gives us more insight into the private man than he allowed himself in his memoir, Hitch-22. If there is one error, it was made by Hitchens himself, who lamented that he might not live to write the obituaries of his villains--Kissinger and Pope Benedict. In fact, he had already done so in his canon of work, from "The Trial of Henry Kissinger" to "god is Not Great." In these works, he managed to in fact, have the final word on Kissinger, Catholicism, and many other sacred cows that are "dead enough"--as he might have quipped. He now joins the pantheon--pardon the word--of past great critics, from Twain to Mencken. For the literate, he will always live on. Overall, A moving, swift read that will linger in your mind long after the last page.
72 internautes sur 78 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good; so short I can't believe the kindle price 6 octobre 2012
Par Lisa - Publié sur
This book is very, very good - as with most of the author's work. However, it's also the about the length of a Vanity Fair article yet look at the (kindle) price! While I don't begrudge the author the length or his family the royalties I do want to take the publishers to task (and hope Amazon will actually print this review): You had the last work of a truly great man and you decided to rip off his loyal readers! Shame on you. This book is the second super short kindle book I've downloaded in the past month (at full price) and I'm done. I will no longer trust that a kindle version is worth buying until I check the length and reviews.

Honestly, I feel bad docking the author's review on this...he wrote a great article. But I wish another reviewer had done the same and had pointed out the length (they may have more recently; I checked the reviews shortly after the book came out and didn't recheck before buying). I would not have bought the book had I noted the length - my mistake but I just didn't think a major publisher would do such a thing. I won't do it again.

To anyone wanting to read Mortality - it's touching and brilliant and deeply honest. A great read. But don't get the kindle edition!
32 internautes sur 35 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 One more chance to "spend time" with a remarkable personality 9 septembre 2012
Par Ann Norman - Publié sur
The brilliant and provocative, Christopher Hitchens exercised his freedom of speech with breathtaking results--as in, one literally gasps out loud at some of his statements. His new book, "Mortality," reprints a selection of his Vanity Fair articles--those in which he muses on his own impending death. Fans who missed these essays have been given one more chance to "spend time" with a remarkable personality.

I approached the slim book with some trepidation. Did I really want to read an honest account of death by a writer with the skills to make it all very vivid? I feared I might be holding the atheist equivalent of C.S. Lewis's heartwrenching "A Grief Observed" (about the death of Lewis's wife). Also, I had already said a sad goodbye to Hitchens by reading "Hitch 22: A Memoir." That ramble-y autobiography, alternating between on-the-spot reporting and analysis of huge world events and chapter-long tributes to individual friends and family members, includes a preface updating his story to include a recent, grim diagnosis: Stage Four esophageal cancer.

"Mortality" begins with a slightly stunned, journalistic account of the author's "very gentle and firm deportation . . . from the country of the well . . . [to] the land of malady": "The new land is quite welcoming in its way. Everyone smiles encouragingly and there appears to be absolutely no racism . . . As against that, the humor is a touch feeble and repetitive, there seems to be almost no talk of sex, and the cuisine is the worst of any destination I have ever visited." He ponders his new predicament, trying out different ways of looking at it (Is this a battle? Can suffering make one stronger?) He engages with great minds throughout history (how did they approach death?). He wonders how to handle things in a dignified manner.

There are vague references to blood and sores, but, you will be glad to know, Hitchens's English restraint prevents him from oversharing. His proposed handbook on cancer etiquette would "impose duties on me as well as upon those who say too much, or too little, in an attempt to cover the inevitable awkwardness in diplomatic relations between Tumortown and its neighbors." It is reassuring to see that Hitchens's lifelong concerns remain his concerns to the end. When these issues are not front and center, as in a long section ridiculing prayer, they pop out as asides: a second-hand tip to "write `more like the way you talk'"; a Hitchslap to the Calvinists; a beautiful praise of free speech; frivolous word play; surprising observations and odd connections in the continuous search for truth.

His illness becomes terribly painful near the end, but he only barely sketches this, as if there is little to be gained by staring at his own ravaged body. Instead, his pain causes him to worry aloud about those who are purposely tortured, to wonder whether sick people in Catholic hospitals might be disturbed viewing all those crucifixes, and to reflect on the issue of assisted suicide--in the abstract (he himself seems more inclined to try everything to survive).
The last chapter (not a reprint) is poignant because it consists of scraps of disconnected notes--a reminder that death always comes before we are "done." It is also poignant as it reveals that Hitchens probably constructed his startling works from notes rather than writing them out in one inspired flourish (while gloriously drunk?) as one is tempted to imagine. But in the end we learn that he is only mortal, like the rest of us.

Still, some of the last lines he jotted down are absolutely perfect! I leave it for you to discover these treasures; but they clearly show he died true to himself.

And that message is as much, and as little, consolation as we are going to get from this short, thoughtful book.
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