Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hitch 22 by Christopher Hitchens

This book was a gigantic (422 page, in fact) disappointment. I found his other book "god is Not Great" (his capitalization choices) fairly interesting, and I had enjoyed some article-length things he has written. This book was so boring and pointless. It was over 400 pages of Hitchens engaging in solipsistic name dropping.

Literally page after page of this book was descriptions of how Hitchens knew important poets, future politicians or activists and how much they all loved him. Barf. I kept waiting for the part about name dropping to end, but it really didn't. It was like the entire point of the book was for Hitchens to set down in writing how he met all of these people, how important and awesome they were, and how much they adored him. Gag.

The interesting part was about his childhood. There were some brave revelations and relevant background information. As soon as the book got to his college days it stopped being deep or revealing and just seemed to be him making an unconvincing case for what a clever, important man he is. I have never been all about reading autobiographies, but I thought they were supposed to have insight and history that would be relevant for someone other than personal friends of the author.

So my advice is to not buy this book. Borrow it from someone who was dumb enough to buy it, and read the chapter titled "Mesopotamia from Both Sides". It starts on page 281. You're welcome. This chapter was about the current middle east situation and America's involvement. Hitchens does have some interesting things to say about the topic, and keeps the name dropping to an almost tolerable level in this chapter. Unless you really want to know about the parties Hitchens attended with various poets and activists you've probably never heard of, skip the rest.

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