Book Review: Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens

Book Review:

Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens

12.10.2011

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

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Category: Non-Fiction

Author: Christopher Hitchens

Format: Hardcover, 816 pages

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart, Signal Books (imprint)

ISBN: 978-0771041419

Pub Date: September 6, 2011

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Well, I’m avid reader, but I tend to lean towards Canadian literary fiction and poetry. But, not this weekend. I figure, I might as well dabble into something different – broaden my genre-of-choice and maybe even a little bit of my vocabulary.

If I get passed the laundry, the long line-ups at the mall, and the incessant questions asked by my two hyper-active and overly inquisitive youngsters—then, yes, I’m going to attempt to read Arguably: Essays By Christopher Hitchens.

Aside from Hitchens’ piercing gaze on the design of the front cover, the book is a collection of diverse topics, intelligent snippets, and witty allegations exposing injustice and hypocrisy (to a name a few) within the political and cultural context. And he’s funny, too. And I don’t mean you’ll slightly chuckle at his ferocious dialogue, but actually snort. Which I’ve already done – twice.

It’s also a timely read, in lieu of Human Rights Day on December 10, and just in time before the battles begin beneath the Christmas tree and mistletoe.

And you don’t have to read the book in one sitting, nor do you have to read it consecutively from the beginning to the end. It’s a book of essays without the restriction of plot or the ploy of pretty poetry. You can dabble and take what you like. If you like original ideas and innovative thinking, and a direct, smart mouth—a fiercely intelligent and unforgiving one—then you’ll appreciate this sturdy book. You may not even agree with Mr. Hitchens, but don’t let it show because when it comes to an argument, he’ll sense your fear, ignorance, or illiteracy—and he’ll eat you alive—and make you laugh about it. He’s that smart. There are no superficial nuances in his arguments. He’s got a point (quite a few actually) and he’ll stick it to you with the blade of his sharp tongue.

Since I’m a fiction worshipper, it’s not my usual cup of tea. But, as ideas go, I’m willing to drink as much of it as I can—while it’s hot and while the second load of my laundry goes.

If all else fails, you and I can have a stare down with Mr. Hitchens just by looking at the front cover of his book.

To my dear, Mr. Hitchens, might I never fall into an argument with you—because arguably—you’ve already won.

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Zara’s Rating

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens”

  1. I could not agree with you more. There are few people [none really] that come out on the winning side of any argument with Mr. Hitchens. His passing is such a great loss to me, I am a major fan of his ideas. Recently I bought The Portable Atheist, a book edited by him — the Hitchens introduction itself is worth the price of the book.
    He turns clear-thinking into a work of art.

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