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Throughout the course of his ordeal battling esophageal cancer, Hitchens adamantly and bravely refused the solace of religion, preferring to confront death with both eyes open. In this riveting account of his affliction, Hitchens poignantly describes the torments of illness, discusses its taboos, and explores how disease transforms experience and changes our relationship to the world around us. By turns personal and philosophical, Hitchens embraces the full panoply of human emotions as cancer invades his body and compels him to grapple with the enigma of death.
Mortality is the exemplary story of one man's refusal to cower in the face of the unknown, as well as a searching look at the human predicament. Crisp and vivid, veined throughout with penetrating intelligence, Hitchens's testament is a courageous and lucid work of literature, an affirmation of the dignity and worth of man.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Darwin8u on 09-05-12
Death IS the DARK backing
This short collection of writings done by Christopher Hitchens detailing his experience with cancer, dying and mortality reminds me in no little way of a 21st century Montaigne. While I was expecting Hitchens stoic materialism to jump off the page, I was also surprised by his gentleness. This is a man who loved life. He loved his family. He loved his friends. He loved to think, to write and to speak. Is there any greater testament to a life well-lived than to read or listen to a man's final words and walk away from that experience made better by his spirit and his strength. If "death is", to re-use Bellow's phrase, "the dark backing a mirror needs before it can give off a reflection," than Hitch's life and words were that same mirror's silver.
81 of 81 people found this review helpful
By Cathy on 02-03-13
devastating-ly beautiful and sad
Cancer. Spares no one. Christopher Hitchens nails it. How it feels to have cancer, the fears, the dealing with the stupid things people say to you, to atheism, theism and beyond.
As one who is dealing with Stage 4 cancer and also facing my death, I found Mr. Hitchens words (and those of his wife) comforting, scary and real.
A brilliant book. Hard to listen to as one who is dying. A necessary read for all.
21 of 21 people found this review helpful