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Christopher Hitchens was the best English language essayist of the past 50 years. This book is a gem, a collection of his articles for various publications. Some, like his Self-Improvement or Christmas articles, are downright hilarious. Others, like his disapproval of Hilary Clinton in early 2008 or his defense of the dethroning of Saddam Hussein are thoughtful and insightful even years after their authorship. By the way, although his views of Hussein are very much in the minority, he comes from the perspective of the Kurds, whom he visited and observed Iraqi government sanctioned torture and oppression. They have greatly benefited from Hussein's death. Mr. Hitchens is at his best with literary criticism. His views of Nabokov, Orwell, Vidal, his friend Martin Amis, among others, are brilliant. This is as good as it gets and one hopes there is more out there.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Not long ago, I wrote a lengthy glowing review of ARGUABLY, probably my favorite collection of essays of all time, certainly by anyone in the past half century. What a brilliant mind.
In contrast, the essays in "and yet..." are the Hitchens essays and articles not chosen for "Arguably." For good reason. These are either not as sharp and witty or cover subjects that aren't as intriguing.
If you're a fan of Hitchens however, I recommend you get these. I enjoyed most of them immensely, despite my disagreement with his views on religion. After all, Christopher Hitchens, not at his sharpest or wittiest, is better than the best of the muckrakers still living.
By the way, I could hear the voice of Hitchens in Simon Prebble's narration in "Arguably." Mr. West, the narrator here, unfortunately has the spirit of a saccharine shadow.
7 of 10 people found this review helpful