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Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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    Allons Travailler with Hitchens

    By kyle | November 13, 2010

    Christopher Hitchens continues to amaze. I’m told he has commmitted to two more books, one a work of nonfiction which I assume is to be a memoir and one to be a tome of selected, previously published essays. He is going to debate Tony Blair and give interviews, such as this lengthy one with the Guardian. I didn’t know Hitchens had a one-year affair with Anna Wintour in the 1970s; in “Hitch-22,” which should be listened to in its audio format (read by the author) to get the full force of the Hitch’s dry wit and determined baritone, Hitchens barely mentions his two wives, his girlfriends or his children (though he notes that he could scarcely conceal his pride when his son agreed to visit with him the Green Zone in Baghdad during a very violent period). His personal motto, he says in the book, is “Allons travailler,” or let’s work. I assume he is not cribbing this catchphrase from the Mark Wahlberg film “The Big Hit.” Though Hitchens’ health is not good, he is also very far from tossing in the sponge. As for the deathbed conversion, don’t wait up for it:

    “So now I know that there’s another life in my body that can’t outlive me but can kill me, it’s the perfect moment to gratefully acknowledge that I’m a product of a cosmic design? Who thinks up these arguments? Actually it’s an insulting question: ‘I hear you’re dying. Well wouldn’t it be a good time to get rid of your beliefs?’ Try it on them and see how they would like it. ‘Christian, right? Cancer of the tits?’ ‘Well, yes, since you ask.’ ‘Well, can I suggest you now drop all that tripe?'”

    Encouragingly, the correspondent — a superb writer himself, Andrew Anthony — admits to being bested by Hitchens when it came to drink:

    We repair back to the apartment for a nightcap or two, and I fear it is I, the ostensibly well one, who crashes first.

    Even better:

    The following morning Hitchens rises late, as is his routine nowadays, and after working for an hour or two, reconvenes our discussion over lunch. We sit in the dining room with the window open on a distinctly chilly autumn afternoon. He’s wearing just a thin shirt, while I shiver in a thick pullover. Not for the first time, I feel a twinge of pity for that tumour. Does it realise what it’s up against?

    Topics: Books, Christopher Hitchens | 1 Comment »

    One Response to “Allons Travailler with Hitchens”

    1. Hunter Tremayne Says:
      November 16th, 2010 at 5:21 am

      Hitchen’s body may be ailing but his writing is not.