Arguably: Essays by Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens, read by Simon Prebble. Hachette Audio, unabridged, 24 CDs, 28.5 hrs., $34.98 ISBN 978-1-61113-906-8
How does one possibly narrate the essays of Christopher Hitchens while capturing the author’s furious—and perhaps occasionally misguided—intensity and vigor? For this capacious collection of Hitchens’s essays, narrator Simon Prebble wisely avoids that dilemma. Instead, he offers a dry, slightly formal delivery. Covering everything from Charles Dickens and J.G. Ballard to the recent financial crisis and global jihad, Hitchens mingles the literary with the political, using his erudition to hone arguments to a carefully wielded point. Prebble’s controlled narration works to tone down some of Hitchens’s force—the narrator simply poses arguments without bludgeoning the author’s opponents—much to the benefit of this audio production. The sound is turned down, leaving Hitchens’s ideas to come to the fore. A Hachette/Twelve hardcover. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/2011
Release date: 09/01/2011
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