'Mortality' by Christopher Hitchens (2012)

Mortality - Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens, Mortality (London: Atlantic Books, 2013), 106pp


A good read (no surprise, it is Hitchens after all) but it lacks real meat. It is very short and I am wary of being too critical of it considering Hitchens was writing right up until his final days. But it doesn't really address the concept of 'mortality' and of coming to terms with death; there is no running theme or argument that Hitch is building. Rather, the book is more like a series of dispatches from the frontline of a battle with cancer. This is fine, as he does have some things worth saying, but it is not quite as essential, as clear-sighted, as classic Hitchens. In Mortality, he continues to write engagingly and occasionally poignantly, with unflinching resolve and - somewhat surprisingly - humour, but it lacks the force and focus of his better works.