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    A Tragic Tale of one Mans Woe

    “Mortality” by Christopher Hitchens is a profound look at a cancer patients treatment from his perspective. Starting from the beginning with his defiance with remarks such as ‘I have been taunting the Reaper into taking a free scythe in my direction and have now succumbed to something so predictable and banal that it bores even me” the blade of his defiance stays sharp through to the end, though his lamentations such as “in the war against Thanatos, if we must term it a war, the immediate loss of Eros is a huge initial sacrifice.” Adding the tint of sorrow to the wordsmiths sculpture. Its also a the story of how he struggles to maintain his voice and writing ability; as he laments his medication for making him feel he can write, but also numbing his extremities causing him distress that he soon may not be able to write. The final chapter, which is a mere collection of unfinished notes, comes with a somber realization that Hitch passed before finishing the book. The “Afterword” by his wife Carol Blue was littered with raw emotion as she detailed small traces of his home life which the author rarely shared. Reading his notes followed by her afterword was enough to move me to tears. I could easily imagine my own wife in this situation “searching through my old books” and reading my notes: small fragments of me left behind. Her finale to the book warrants repeating in any summary. The tragedy of it not lost on this reader: "Christopher always gets the last word."


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