Mortality

  • by Christopher Hitchens
  • Narrated by Simon Prebble
  • 2 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On June 8, 2010, while on a book tour for his best-selling memoir, Hitch-22, Christopher Hitchens was stricken in his New York hotel room with excruciating pain in his chest and thorax. As he would later write in the first of a series of award-winning columns for Vanity Fair, he suddenly found himself being deported "from the country of the well across the stark frontier that marks off the land of malady." Over the next 18 months, until his death in Houston on December 15, 2011, he wrote constantly and brilliantly on politics and culture, astonishing readers with his capacity for superior work even in extremis.
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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Darwin8u

Living Dyingly

What made the experience of listening to Mortality the most enjoyable?

The narrations! No question.


What did you like best about this story?

My mother was also, unfortunately, a resident of "TumorTown". So, hearing this amazing writer share his journey with such vivid clarity, in some strange way, it brought strength and courage to me. I suppose that is what I most enjoyed about this audiobook. The foreword and the afterword where amazing additions to this book. I can't help but think the book would be incomplete without them. The fact that they were narrated by their respective authors was a pleasant surprise and especially powerful. This is the first time I have ever cried while reading or listening to a book. I have listened to Carol Blue's afterword three times and it moves me if not to tears, nearly to tears, every time. Well done!


What does Simon Prebble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Simon Prebble is one of the best in the business.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Absolutely!


Any additional comments?

I would really like to know what song is being played at the end of the afterword. If any one reading this know what song it is or where the "credits" of the audio book may be found I would appreciate it.

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- Josh

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-04-2012
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio