The New York Times number-one best seller.
At the age of 36, on the verge of completing a decade's training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.
When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi's transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working in the core of human identity - the brain - and finally into a patient and a new father.
What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?
Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.
©2016 Paul Kalanithi (P)2016 Random House AudioBooks
"Finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option.... Unmissable." (New York Times)
I feel bad writing a negative review but this book was full of medical jargon that I am sure the average bloke on the street would struggle to understand. Paul is facing death and appears to be desperately seeking validation of his worth. He is well read and doesn't hesitate to namedrop a few literary bits and pieces. His story lacks any human connection. He skips over his marriage issues, the birth of his daughter and generally is very light on in regard to emotions. He rarely mentions the impact of his illness on his wife and family. I felt sorry for him and wanted to tell him, forget the writing, you're not very good at it. Put down the pen and go outside, sit in the sun and watch the world go by. I do have to say that the epilogue written by his wife was very moving and I believe she is a far better writer than her husband was.
Paul's descriptive and inspiring quest to find personal meaning in life and battles to find self worth are topics I enjoyed.
Opened my eye's to the physician's stresses and how much doctors truly give gifts to those in their care.
When I was looking for my next read I came upon It and I was captured from the first paragraph. What a wonderful man, I cried many times during the book. I lost my own father to cancer but was to young and immature to realise the significance of death....forever is a long long time. Thank you Paul
I am not sure why I purchased this audio book although I have always liked memoirs and autobiographies. I am so glad I did and I am sure I will read it many times again. Credit goes to the narrator for bringing Paul's words to life with feeling and emotion just as if he was speaking himself.
Anybody searching for the meaning of life, understanding or just wanting to hear a beautiful story of a life ended too shortly will love this and I would definitely recommend it.
It is clear that Paul Kalanithi had a special skill in the operating theatre and doing any reading of his legacy gives evidence to that. He also had a special skill when it come to the use of the written word and throughout this book there are numerous examples of this remarkable gift.
I really enjoyed this as sad as the story is but found it inspiring and would definitely recommend.
Such a wonderfully written book. Incredible insight into the mind of a gifted human being... It s a reminder of how important is to live your life to the fullest. Loved it
"A touching account of Paul's battle with cancer"
touching emotional honest
Read gently with empathy and emotion
The book resonated with me and was an extremely emotional journey as my mother recently suffered with, and died of, cancer. I could identify with all the stages, emotions and physical deterioration that he experienced from a loved one's point of view (the epilogue by his wife Lucy was especially touching as a lot of what she wrote was very real and touched raw patches of emotion still exposed by my mother's death).
Very well written but so sad.
It did help me see the trauma I experienced during the deterioration and eventual death of my mother as something that is not unique and that I will overcome the bereavement.
Brilliant - a must read for anyone who is going through or has been through a similar experience.
This is a fantastic book. It grips you at every part if his life story and makes you 'evaluate what is important in our short time on this earth.
I just don't get the rave reviews for this book. I found it so boring. Nothing insightful or particularly interesting (beyond the fact that he was dying). I love these kinds of books and am fascinated in how incidents such as facing your mortality can have people change the way they look at life or live their lives but this didn't offer any of that. Snooze...
"Deeply touching & a story of bravery"
Initially when I chose this book on audio version, I didn't know what to expect.
This book took me through love, strength as a person, couple, family, integrity of the patient but also of Lucy who stood by him relentlessly through each day.
Rest in peace, people like you are rare.
somewhat overly dramatic in parts but never the less a very good book four stars..
Very rarely, a book comes along that makes you pause and think about what you're doing with your life and what you want to do with it.
This is one of them and it's one of the best. Painful yet absolutely inspiring.
"Lovely insight into a doctor becoming a patient"
I think I cried through most of this book. It is very thought provoking as a doctor, as a surgeon, to rethink what makes me a doctor and what would I be if I am no longer a doctor.
It also describe from a doctor's point of view how it feels like to become a patient.
"Brilliant, emotional, needed"
This book is so well written. It has helped me in so many ways. Thank you
The book is very well written, really communicates how fragile life is. The author does a great job of painting an image of the experiences he went through. Will recommend this book.
"a gifted writer and doctor "
this book tracts wß story of brain surgery who ended up at 32 with cancer. His journey is an interesting read of the stepping over the void from a doctor to patient.
His writing style is beautiful.
he shows a clear tale of how the loss of a respected job while coping with cancer and it's aggressive rampage through his body, is a loss that redefines who he is. mesmerising x
This book was recommended to me. It was awesome. Make sure you have tissues near you but be prepared to view doctors in a different light. I couldnt stop listening.
"brilliantly sad book"
I really enjoyed this audio book and a great narrator of an extremely moving story
"Fear hope and love"
Moving in 'real time' this book shares the intimacy of terminal illness without drama or pathos.
A superb account of a personal experience that captures fear, hope and love.
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