Nick Cohen

Extinction’s Alp

Mortality

By

Atlantic Books 240pp £10.99 order from our bookshop

Defending Philip Larkin from his critics, Christopher Hitchens said that readers loved him because he understood everyday suffering. He mapped ‘decaying communities, old people’s homes, housing estates and clinics’ better than most social democrats. While dying is often referred to as ‘going down hill’, Larkin, Hitchens saw, realised that debilitation is not an easy glide to oblivion but an exhausting climb of ‘extinction’s alp’.

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