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The Globe and Mail

Christopher Hitchens 'was a gift from…God' and other famous impressions

Author Christopher Hitchens in Washington, D.C.

joshua roberts The Globe and Mail

Christopher Hitchens was a wit, a charmer, and a troublemaker, and to those who knew him well, he was a gift from, dare I say it, God.

- Graydon Carter, Vanity Fair

He smoked 50,000 cigarettes a year and drank like a whale (his first complete sentence, according to family legend, was "Let's all go and have a drink at the club").

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- Nicholas Shakespeare, English journalist

He was infuriating because he always dominated conversations and effortlessly attracted female attention despite appearing not to seek it.

- Roy Greenslade, The Guardian

My friend Christopher Hitchens has died. I loved and prayed for him constantly and grieve his loss. He knows the Truth now.

- Rick Warren, pastor, Saddleback Church

Christopher Hitchens, finest orator of our time, fellow horseman, valiant fighter against all tyrants, including God.

- Richard Dawkins, scientist and author

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You were envied, feared, adored, reviled and loved. Never bested.

- Stephen Fry, author and actor

One of our lunches, at Cafe Milano, the Rick's Cafe of Washington, began at 1 p.m. and ended at 11:30 p.m. At about 9 o'clock (though my memory is somewhat hazy), he said, "Should we order more food?"

- Christopher Buckley, author

He hated to say no to anything worthwhile, and cared less about getting paid than anyone I've ever known…Like all of us, he was often wrong, but never in the way everyone else was wrong. His originality was a constant, his independence an unstoppable engine.

- Jacob Weisberg, editor-in-chief, Slate Group

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He was an extraordinary, compelling and colourful human being whom it was a privilege to know.

- Tony Blair, former British prime minister

Christopher Hitchens was everything a great essayist should be: infuriating, brilliant, highly provocative, and yet intensely serious. He will be massively missed by everyone who values strong opinions and great writing.

- British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

In our Bohemian days, we were internationalist in politics and quite the opposite of patriotic, I hadn't realized the need Christopher felt to belong to something. He was far too satirical to show it. But in the fullness of time, he revealed that he really belonged in an America of his own choice.

- James Fenton, English poet

What allowed him to live such a packed life was a trait that any of us would relish: He never forgot what he had ever read or learned. His mind was always expanding.

- David Corn, journalist, Mother Jones

He looked at me, looked away, paused, assumed a deeply reflective air. "Did I read your novel?" He nodded a little to himself, as if sifting through a vast archive of recent fiction. He knew he had me – and there was nothing he liked more than the sort of conversation/discussion/argument in which one person might wield an advantage over another.

- Julian Barnes, novelist

At Christopher's request, [his son]Alexander and I set up a desk for him under a window. We helped him and his pole with its feed-lines across the room, arranged pillows on his chair, adjusted the height of his laptop. Talking and dozing were all very well, but Christopher had only a few days to produce 3,000 words on Ian Ker's biography of Chesterton.

- Ian McEwan, novelist

Goodbye, my beloved friend. A great voice falls silent. A great heart stops.

- Salmon Rushdie, novelist

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