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Publisher's Summary

In this long-awaited and candid memoir, Hitchens re-traces the footsteps of his life to date, from his childhood in Portsmouth, with his adoring, tragic mother and reserved Naval officer father; to his life in Washington DC, the base from which from he would launch fierce attacks on tyranny of all kinds. Along the way, he recalls the girls, boys and booze; the friendships and the feuds; the grand struggles and lost causes; and the mistakes and misgivings that have characterised his life.

Hitch-22 is, by turns, moving and funny, charming and infuriating, enraging and inspiring. It is an indispensable companion to the life and thought of our pre-eminent political writer.

Narrated by Christopher Hitchens himself shortly before his untimely death, this is a poignant listening experience.

©2011 Christopher Hitchens (P)2011 Audible Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The cup overflows

If only he'd narrated more before he left the party..

Ten words remaining whoever thought there should be a minimum word count??

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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An utterly audible treat.

Candid, unyieldingly honest, raw, moving, peppered with hilarity. I loved Hitch-22. Hitch's presence in this world is sorely missed today...

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Tour De Force but rebalance your speakers

Firstly I want to say an objective analysis of this book for me is impossible. I came to Hitchens through YouTube I think and vía Dawkins and Carl Sagan. I had been an agnostic before - but he hooked me on the atheist bent. When I finished god is not great, hitch 22 was the next step for me.

I owe hitch a great personal debt. In 2017 he revolutionised my life, leading me away from the self improvement tomes which were pretty much the only books I was reading - into a new world of critical thought, philosophy (though I had dabbled with this before), literature, politics and poetry.

I am now a WH Auden fan. I listen to classical music, and Gilbert and Sullivan. I have read David Hume, Lucretius, Marx and more. My to read list is populated by Hitch’s suggestions. Partially due to his influence, and the influence of others in my life i went back to university and started studying my masters degree. I met my girlfriend there. My politics started shifting from the traditional conservative area that I had associated with to more to the left, although I suspect that in his later years hitch would have not made too much of this. Crucially hitch has taught me to rediscover my critical faculties which have laid dormant for over 10 years and my love of the written word. He taught me the dialectic, the didactic and critical tenacity I owe him everything for my own personal renaissance.

If he can do that for me, imagine what he can do for you. This book tells you about the events, the politics and crucially the books that moulded him. Grasp the lessons that you can. It merits a second go, though I’m likely to do it with the hard copy next time to actually grasp more of the lessons to be squeezed out of it.

This is the only book I’ve ever awarded five stars. It should be part of your library.

One caveat - hitch’s baritone is so lovely, but it is so bassy the reverberations made it a difficult listen on a set of Bose speakers. I think the producers could’ve done a slightly better job with the balancing of the audio in what is otherwise a fantastic book.

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  • Ned
  • 15-02-2017

hitchs tells his story

it's more a summary of his work than an intimate biography. remains mostly aloof. his distaste for audiobooks is reflected in his narration, to the point that at times its inaudible. but I'd prefer this over anybody else.

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It's like having a personal conversation with Hitchens!

Hitchens was terminally ill during this recording, so I consider this a final gift from a man I love.

Beautiful to listen to, and I got teary during many moments when I realised again how much we've lost with his death.

Get this book if you were evenly slightly interested in this man's life.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

An interesting memoir

Hitchens describes the various phases of his life and politics with brutal honesty.

Worth a read

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  • Ross
  • 29-03-2012

MASTERFUL & REVEALING

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, yes, yes. It is a fabulous example of the value of a deep education, an insight into a brilliant mind and an honest walk in the shoes of a less than perfect but incredibly timely, talents, fortunate and authentic individual.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hitch-22?

There are numerous memorable moments but I would choose Hitch's narrative of the funeral of Mark Daily as one that has securely implanted itself in my mind.

Which scene was your favorite?

His vivid description of the approach to Malta with his mother as a child.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Hitch22 - erudite, eloquent and honest - the powerful life of an idealist.

Any additional comments?

In writing this review I am concerned that my feeble abilities may reflect poorly upon the subject. Hitch 22 is worth 'reading' even if the person or topic does not interest you purely for the quality of the writing. I normally listen to books on 2 or 3 times normal speed, Hitch packs so much content and meaning into each sentence that I had to listen to this, at least the first time, at normal speed and replay sections just to hear it again for deep effect. Hitch narrated with presence and sincerity. By listening to this book as opposed to reading it I feel I gained another dimension of or connection to who he was. This is a unique method of leaving your mark on the world and mark well worth the leaving. Well lived Hitch.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • mahoneko
  • 12-07-2014

Essential: The memoir of super-literate dissident

What did you love best about Hitch-22?

The way he takes us through the last 60 odd years cutting away the nonsense, smoke and mirrors and infighting hidden truths, conspiracy and corruption.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Obviously Hitchens himself.

Have you listened to any of Christopher Hitchens’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Actually his performance on his God is Great book is a little better, but obviously he was ill when he narrated this memoir, it is still a delight to hear him narrate it himself, he was one of the best public speakers.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A very British American Dissident.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Felix Del Barrio
  • 12-04-2013

A masterful memoir

If you could sum up Hitch-22 in three words, what would they be?

The Horse's Mouth

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

An amazing recollection of the boy from Irvine who took Christopher's views to heart.

Any additional comments?

A great book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian
  • 06-09-2012

Hitchens history, Hitchens words, read by Hitchens

I know there should be apostrophes in the "Hitchens"es in the title. But Audible wouldn't give me space and I couldn't bring myself to call him Hitch. Because I don't know him well enough and very sadly I now never will. So I chose bad punctuation over disrespect.

If you love Hitchen's writing, which I do. And love his speaking, which I do. Then you will love this work. The biography of a clever, witty and educated man spoken by himself is always going to be an interesting read and this is. The only downside is that I had to keep stopping it because it made me sad to realise that the supply of thought from this man has been cut short.

If you don't like Hitchens ideas or the way he expresses them then quite frankly you will hate this book with a passion. Good. Real thought is not meant to be easy and real ideas require work. The problem is that the people who will hate this work the most will do so without ever reading it.

Starting from his childhood and dealing openly with his schoolboy experiences , his family and the beginning of his political thinking, Hitchens reveals himself to be a very human set of contradictions. He speaks warmly of favoured authors and people who he touches along the way. There is enough soul searching to be interesting and enough lack of cod psychology to be refreshing. He tells it the way he sees it and explains why he sees it that way.

There is some slightly boring stuff about the literary circle he moved in and literary people he meets. Its interesting enough in small doses but there are sections where it goes on a bit and has a quality of "You probably needed to be there" about it. But at the end of the day that is the man. He is literary to his boots except when he is political.

And the politics is interesting. Always leftist (whatever that means) he shows that his actual politic compass was always pointed at attacking totalitarianism in any of its many forms and that sometimes meant that the lesser of two evils still looked evil from the outside. The passages dealing with his road to US citizenship are fascinating.

There is relatively little about Hitchens high profile contribution to the rationalist atheist movement. If you want to hear Hitchens on religion then buy a copy of "God is not Great". (No - I mean it - buy a copy - he reads that too and its marvellous).

All in all this is a work that I will listen to again and again. As much because it feels just a tiny bit like it gives me the privilege of spending a little time with a careful thinker who I shall never meet.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-10-2017

Hitch is great.

The world is little less without Hitch. He was a champion of social justice and liberalism. Both a vociferous and eloquent voice of reason. His life story is fascinating, yet it is ironic sadly that he penned his autobiography unaware of his pending fate.

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  • Dj Shelwell
  • 07-08-2016

A must hear if you love Hitch

Can get quite obscure but to have his story & insights spoken by his own voice is fantastic

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  • jammer
  • 14-05-2015

The amazing Christopher Hitchens

Just get it. You will learn stuff. The mans life and knowledge is very compelling as one of the worlds best orators and thinkers. Highly recommended.

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  • Roger Morris
  • 27-01-2015

Fantastic!

Any additional comments?

A fascinating and highly entertaining memoir of a extremely interesting and multifaceted public intellectual. Hitchens is a fine and inspiring example of the value of a broad education in literature and the humanities, as well as an excellent advertisement for being well and broadly read in both the classics and contemporary literature. Highly recommended!

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  • Penny
  • 18-06-2016

Honest but difficult listening

I was always engaged in the unfolding story of C.H. and his family - a very honest and revealing memoir of an interesting life. His was no ordinary life, living in a world where elitism is the norm, the world of private schools and Oxford, rubbing shoulders with influential people. However, you get the feeling that despite inhabiting the 'dreaming spires' he was a decent bloke at heart. I feel bad complaining about the narration of this audiobook as it is done by the author, and who could better that? But his voice rises and falls away over the course of phrases and sentences and I completely lost a lot of it - I found at times I was just about yelling at him to 'speak up'!! Sorry - I'm a fan and have great respect for his writings but C.H. is not a good narrator.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • CCW
  • 18-09-2012

Tour De Force

I lament the ending of this audio master-piece, made superbly personal by the voice of Hitch himself. What a wonderful man, and what a marvellous contribution to call for sanity in a mad and cruel world. Truly one of my hero's. So much better in audio format as well when read by the author. So very personal for the listener. I wish I had known this human being who's self deprecating honesty is a tonic to me, and a rare trait in one so gifted.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Sean Inglis
  • 30-01-2014

Wide ranging, erudite and opinionated

Anyone looking for a biography / memoir of Christopher Hitchens probably has a decent idea what they're in for, so there's little point in dwelling on his opinions and analyses as such.

However the background describing how he came to be were he was is well told, entertaining and at least appears even-handed.

A fair bit of clever wordplay without being too clever for it's own good and, if you're anything like me, it'll have you entertained scuttling down various rabbit holes to follow up references.

The performance / recording is a bit more problematic.

In general terms, he has a great voice, and who better to understand how it should be stressed and delivered than the author?

However within that delivery there are issues; he has a tendency to start off a sentence in a booming and declarative way, but finish in the equivalent of an off-hand or conspiratorial whisper.

This means that in situations where there was any ambient noise - walking the dog for instance - it was impossible to achieve a comfortable volume and the experience degenerated into an exercise in constant swearing, rewinding, adjustment and replaying.

In the end, I gave up attempting to listen in anything other than ideal conditions, and that improved the experience by leaps and bounds. Maybe best listened to and reflected upon in that way anyway.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 21-05-2012

I Really Miss Hitch

This excellent autobiography has now become too complete a work following Hitchens death in November 2011.

Written with wit and I think understated modesty this book shows a reflection of the man I hope existed. Not knowing him one can never be sure.

An excellent read, especially for a biography - a genre which I'm very selective with.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen
  • 01-03-2012

How to be a Literatary and Polemic Genius

Christophers life as recorded in this book answers the question. With great honesty Christopher reviews the parts of his life that formed his opinions and world view. The answer to the question is to read deeply and widely. Returning to the same books at different times of life. TheTo also actually go and visit these places and talk with the participants. To become part of the debate. To get to the know the participants truely one must drink with them; long into the night and still be able to keep your wits about you. Christopher was a master at this. Hearing Christophers own voice reading the book made the listen personal and meaning filled. Worth every penny and every second spent listening and relistening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • flying_fin
  • 16-01-2016

AKA the death of a radical

If you could sum up Hitch-22 in three words, what would they be?

The life of a great raconteur, journalist and public intellectual as a backdrop for musing on every philosophical and political topic and major event of historical importance imaginable. He name-drops wildly, but not for effect: he really was best friends with Martin Amis, knew Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, Gore Vidal. Susan Sontag etc. etc. He charts his beginnings from public school communist to an eventual slide to the right and becoming a non-pacifist and supporter of the war in Iraq, without losing his sense of outrage at the worst aspects of neo-con policies, bigotry, inequality and despotism.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hitch-22?

His accounts of riotously funny lunches with Kingsley Amis, Clive James and Martin Amis et al. Also his stories of life at an English boarding school were an eyeopener. Too many great stories to recount here.

Any additional comments?

My only criticism of the book is that sometimes Hitchens sounds a bit bored with himself whilst reading his autobiography. His voice sometimes trails away and it was sometimes hard to hear what he was saying.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-07-2017

Marvellous

A wonderful insight into a thoughtful and compassionate man, I know I will listen to it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • William
  • 20-01-2015

Wonderfull

"Words are poor receipts for what time has stolen away." - John Claire

A wonderful recording of a remarkable individual delivered in his own unique style.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • chris
  • 13-12-2012

Life changing

This book should be a cold shower shock to most people who read it. The depiction of a life lived at full speed with a humbling thirst for truth and progressive thought is orated beautifully by the man himself. As this paragraph is meant to be a book review and not an opinion page about the mans politics as some below have cheaply used, I would advise that if you are intrigued by the beginnings and origins of one of the worlds greatest minds and writers, then this is simply unmissable. The combination of integrity and eloquence make this a book I was heartbroken to have reached the end of.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alan Michael Forrester
  • 12-04-2013

Interesting memoir

Christopher Hitchens was am interesting person. In this memoir he describes his life including his school days, the suicide of his mother, his political ideas and how he changed some of them over time. The book is very well written and interesting, sometimes funny, sometimes sad. The author's reading of the book is usually very good although I occasionally found it slightly too quiet. Very good.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful