Written by cycleguy on August 14th, 2016

There are some posts a blogger feels somewhat intimidated writing. This is one of them. I don’t consider myself an intellectual by any stretch of the imagination. But I recently read a book which was not only a stimulating and captivating read, it stretched me some.

Product Details

The book is subtitled The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist. Very few books do what this one did: have me wanting to keep reading even though I had things to do. Larry Alex Taunton has done a superb job of bringing to light the many different thoughts of “Hitch” as he was known.

Don’t read this book looking for a powerful conversion experience. Don’t read this book by going to the end of it to see if there was a death-bed confession. I wish there was. Instead, read this book to see what made “Hitch” tick and how a friendship with Mr. Taunton (his exact opposite in almost every area) developed into a mutual admiration and give-and-take relationship.

You will read of Hitch’s obstinance. You will read of his “earthy” life, his disregard for his body and health. You will read of his selfishness. You will also read of the two road trips Hitch and Larry took where they studied the Gospel of John and where Hitch made some phenomenal comments. You will read how Hitch had “two books”: a public book and a private book. The public: the one people saw on stage and in his writing. The private: the one which seriously questioned his atheism (but couldn’t pull the trigger due to his pride). You will read of his views toward some of his colleagues (know as “The Four Horsemen”). You will also read what Hitch thought of the religious hucksters -both those he saw on TV and those who tried to use him as a notch on their belt trying to convert him. You will also see a man whose esophageal cancer took him down, but not without a fight. You will see how he respected men who believed what they said (like Larry). You will also read a very probing final chapter where Larry considers Hitch’s final days.

This is not a “deep” book. But it is one I learned from. It is also one I recommend to anyone who thinks they know it all. I give this book 5 stars.


20 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jeff says:

    One of my top 5 all time writers, thinkers, intellectuals. Everyone that knew him said this is a must read book. I haven’t read it but I do plan to.

    • cycleguy says:

      I will be glad to loan you my copy Jeff if you would like.

      • Jeff says:


        I have read every book Hitch has written and watched his debates with many theists as he was marketing his “God is not Great” book. That book was good reading but I have others, that were not anti-theist, that I enjoyed even more. It is no surprise to me that some theists were his best friends.
        I’ll take you up on borrowing your copy of Larry Taunton’s take on Hitch. And when I am done maybe you will let me buy you a couple tacos and we can discuss the book.
        I think theists need to read more of this type of literature to better understand the non-believer. And to understand the need for solidarity across all beliefs with a common interest in goodwill (love) to all.
        I have a book and 1/2 ahead of this so no hurry.
        By the way…do you have Scott “The Tree Man’s” number. I have a tree I need cut down.

        • cycleguy says:

          I will accept that offer Jeff. I’m not much of a taco guy but I’ll figure out something to eat. Just let me know when you are ready for the book. I can drop it off at the house. It will give me a chance to read it (skim it) again.

  2. Linda Stoll says:

    Sounds challenging, intriguing, thought-provoking. Sadly, not every story has a happy ending.

    When all is said and done, only God knows …

  3. Sounds like a mesmerizing read, Bill. I know it isn’t something that if I saw it in a bookstore, I would be drawn to read, but I’ll definitely keep your recommendation in mind.

  4. Betty Draper says:

    It does us good to read outside our box to gain more understanding in how others think. My husband is reading the history of AAA, the organization who helps so many become free of alcoholism. Some people don’t like AAA because they tell folk to lean on a higher power, any higher power. Rubbing shoulders with so many different world views can actually make our foundation more solid.

    A footnote: Ace and I went to see Free State of Jones last night. It was excellent, so much revealed about the political mindset back then which is exactly the way it is now.

    • cycleguy says:

      I’m glad to see Ace reading about AA Betty. I have a couple who are members of that organization and it has helped them.

      As for the movie: I’m glad you liked it. And yes it is (sadly) not much different today.

  5. Ed says:

    The problem with knowing it all, is that someone else usually always comes along who knows more than you. 😮

  6. Dan Black says:

    Hi Bill,

    This book sounds interesting. I really enjoy reading about people’s stories, I’ll have to check this book out!

  7. Sharon says:

    I commend you for reading a book like this. We can always learn from the minds and struggles of others that don’t agree with our Christian perspective. And a story like this serves as a reminder that it’s important to search for God, with our minds as well as our hearts. I hope that *Hitch* met God at the end. Only God knows.


  8. I am simply fascinated by people’s stories, whoever and whatever they may be. I like varying perspectives and “the real story behind” types. This sounds amazing. I’ll have to check it out. Thanks Bill.

  9. Mike says:

    I like the fact that Hitch and Larry although opposites, could come together in some areas, and at least respect each other. I think that’s a lesson we can all learn from. When we don’t judge others who don’t agree with us, we can at least plant seeds and show the love of Christ rather than the judgement of the Pharisees.

  10. floyd says:

    I wanna read this. Real life has a way of making us ponder and brings wisdom. Thanks for sharing, Bill.

  11. Bill,

    I’m very intrigued to read this book. Mu great-uncle was a very intellectual atheist and we had some neat conversations through the years.

    Re your comment on my post “Grab your ugly socks,” cycling sounds fun, My husband likes to do that off and on too. Do you use any phone apps?

    Stamina and energy at 63 is great!

    Sorry my blogging consistency has been so horrid.

    Jennifer Dougan