Arguably a Great Read

I’m always on the lookout for a good collection of shortish essays on a range of topics, written by someone who has worthwhile and interesting things to say and knows how to say them well.

I really enjoyed Clive James’ Cultural Amnesia, for instance. And the collected essays of Steven Jay Gould- I think my favourite was Bully for Brontosaurus, or perhaps Life’s Grandeur. And I have to say I am currently being delighted (annoyed, provoked, informed) by Christopher Hitchens’ Arguably, published last year by Allen & Unwin. Don’t bother with it if you prefer to read books about things you already know, which reinforce opinions you already hold.

Hitchens died last year, aged 62, after a year-long battle with cancer. With his passing, a bright light has been snuffed out. As an author and journalist, he did not pull his punches and he was so literate and so thoughtful about so many things that it is very hard to place him in one ‘corner’ or the other.  Love him or hate him, (or more likely a combination of both!), you won’t be bored by him. A great read and great value for money at around $33.00 for over 100 essays covering 750 pages on topics as diverse as Adolf Hitler, the King James Bible, Harry Potter, atheism, why women are not very funny, and the history of oral sex!


~ by Garry on February 22, 2012.

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