By Christopher Hitchens
Twelve. 104 pp. $22.99
In June 2010, hard-drinking, hard-smoking professional atheist Christopher Hitchens was, ironically, a journalistic deity. His 2007 book, “God Is Not Great,” had stirred up believers and non-believers, and he’d debated priests and rabbis on the road. His just-released memoir, “Hitch-22,” was about to be a bestseller. Then, right before a reading and an appearance on “The Daily Show,” the unexpected happened: He started to die.
“I managed to pull off both gigs without anyone noticing anything amiss, though I did vomit two times, with an extraordinary combination of accuracy, neatness, violence, and profusion, just before each show,” he writes in “Mortality,” a slim cancer memoir billed as his last original book-length work, though much of it appeared first in Vanity Fair. “This is what citizens of the sick country do while they are still hopelessly clinging to their old domicile.”