Christopher Hitchens in his own voice


Last Updated on 2020-01-03 by Joop Beris

I’d never read an audio book. Wait, is that right? After all, you don’t read audio books, do you? No, you listen to them. Okay, I’d never listened to an audio book but quite recently I managed to grab a copy of “God is not Great – How religion poisons everything“. It’s one of the first books I read when I began searching for counter arguments to my Christian faith. To hear Christopher Hitchens in his own voice, reading the book to you, that’s something else though.

There’s probably few outright atheists in the world who’ve never heard of Christopher Hitchens, even if it is only for this book. When I read it for the first time, as a Christian struggling to reconcile my admittedly recent faith with the world, it was a definite eye opener. At work was an author who with a combination of observation, logic, outrage, ridicule and scathing wit, eviscerated the general view of religion and its claims. Nothing and nobody was spared. I suddenly realize that I have never written a review on it so I may as well do that in the near future.

I am unfortunate that I learned of his existence and this book only a few months after he passed away in December 2011. Had I read his work or seen him in debate sooner, I doubt I would ever have taken Christianity as seriously as I once did. I don’t consider myself a Hitchens groupie or an uncritical fan. But it’s hard not to admire a man who speaks so eloquently and with this much conviction, knowledge and insight about topics which are but shouldn’t be controversial.

The audio book is an uncanny experience. To hear Christopher Hitchens in his own voice, reading from “God is not great”, allows me to hear the text as he meant it. His sonorous voice booms out of the speaker or into my ears through the headphones, I can hear each inflection and his wonderful command of the English language. Audiobooks read by the author are definitely worth considering, I find. I may have found a new, or rather new to me, way to “read”.

There are no final solutions…

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