I was a big fan and now he is dead all too soon at 62. The ciggies and gin will do that to you I guess, but they did nothing but sharpen his mordant feisty wit.
I wrote over a year ago after finishing his memoir – “Hitch-22”:
“Hitchens intelligence and ambitions are unwavering. His mind is obviously astonishing. But it is is dogged refusal to back down from a life-long hatred of totalitarianism, to proudly wear the jingoistic labels of “Trotskyist,” to reject religion and faith and willingly face his attackers that makes this work a true profile in courage. His early calls for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, his proud embrace of American citizenship despite an upbringing as the consummate Englishman, his love of the language and the fun of word play …. in the end it combines into what I have to declare is my favorite literary autobiography ever.”
Buy and read him. He’s worth it.