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When Breath Becomes Air Audiobook

When Breath Becomes Air

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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"Finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option.... Unmissable." (New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (233 )
5 star
 (166)
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3 star
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2 star
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4.7 (220 )
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Story
4.6 (222 )
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 (158)
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Maxine 25/07/2016
    Maxine 25/07/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
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    Story
    "Slice of life"
    Would you consider the audio edition of When Breath Becomes Air to be better than the print version?

    N/A


    What did you like best about this story?

    Paul's descriptive and inspiring quest to find personal meaning in life and battles to find self worth are topics I enjoyed.


    What does Cassandra Campbell and Sunil Malhotra bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    n/a


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Opened my eye's to the physician's stresses and how much doctors truly give gifts to those in their care.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol 09/07/2016
    Carol 09/07/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "When breath becomes air"

    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

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gill Kolk 06/05/2016
    Gill Kolk 06/05/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    5
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    "A book to treasure"

    Beautifully written and narrated, its like Paul is there telling you his story himself. Very corageous.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry 13/03/2017
    Terry 13/03/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    3
    3
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    Story
    "A wonderful story"

    A very insightful and genuine piece delving into the concepts of mortality, power, hope, purpose and love.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    morgan 22/02/2017
    morgan 22/02/2017 Member Since 2017
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    1
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    Story
    "gripping, raw and beautiful"

    beautifully eloquent and thought provoking. Themes of love, mortality, and sacrifice are explored. I would definitely recommend this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Ander 19/02/2017
    Ron Ander 19/02/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    25
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    "brilliant!"

    a touching story coupled with an excellent narration. i would highly recommend to other listeners.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meaghan 05/02/2017
    Meaghan 05/02/2017 Member Since 2016
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    19
    4
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    Story
    "On my top 10 books to recommend."

    Deep, thoughtful book without being too heavy or sentimental. Easy to read, flowed well, but with detail and even some clinical explanations. Amazing story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cr3studio 29/01/2017
    cr3studio 29/01/2017 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    16
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    Story
    "No words..."

    Just a simple amazing piece of writing with authenticity and honesty about what it means to really be alive in the wake of death:

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SK Bloomsbury, London 26/01/2017
    SK Bloomsbury, London 26/01/2017 Member Since 2017
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    2
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    "Unmissable"

    As a doctor in my 30s, or perhaps just as a human, this book struck more chords with me than I can mention. Lucy is most certainly right - what happened to Paul was tragic but he was not a tragedy. A brilliant man who should be an inspiration to us all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emma 23/01/2017
    Emma 23/01/2017 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    2
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    Story
    "Beautiful"

    An amazing, searingly honest, beautiful, heart wrenching account of life, love and death. Powerful and unforgettable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Mickey
    10/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Such an inspiring and emotional book"

    I was so touched by this book. To understand life we need to accept death. I'm grateful for this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Elaine Smith
    15/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Powerful Book"

    A powerful story of hope and courage. Not a hint of self pity. A clear view of facing life and death and the complexities thereof.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Angela
    28/06/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A touching account of Paul's battle with cancer"
    If you could sum up When Breath Becomes Air in three words, what would they be?

    touching emotional honest


    What about Cassandra Campbell and Sunil Malhotra ’s performance did you like?

    Read gently with empathy and emotion


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Brilliant - a must read for anyone who is going through or has been through a similar experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    14/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Remarkable read"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jay
    12/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring"

    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...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Vivian
    27/09/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    2/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Powerful book"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dr. Siwan Thomas Gibson
    United Kingdom
    7/05/16
    Overall
    Performance
    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Angie
    25/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Zaman
    10/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great book"

    Great read about reflection
    Especially Great insight for medics
    I would highly recommend for all clinicians

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Diana W.
    4/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An inspirational book"

    An account both deeply personal and universally resonant, of living life, and seeking meaning, in the face of death. The memoirs of a man dying at 35, Paul Kalanithi reflects on his early love of literature combined with his discovery of science, and his intuition that both are essential in understanding the meaning of human existence. Later training as a doctor and practice as a neurosurgeon drew him to engage deeply with questions of meaning in the lives, suffering and deaths of his patients and their families, until, with a diagnosis of terminal cancer, he was forced to confront these existential questions most powerfully, painfully and profoundly, in his own life. A moving and inspiring book. Very well narrated.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Janay Gibbons
    18/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Life changing!"

    I recommend that every person experience the authenticity of Paul Kalanithi's words about life and death.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • luke
    17/08/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant, emotional, needed"

    This book is so well written. It has helped me in so many ways. Thank you

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jenny
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    4/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the best books I have ever read"

    Such an insightful and heart rendering look at lung cancer. Enjoyed every minute of listening to the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • akhil
    25/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "True heart touching memoir"

    Inspirational. True meaning of life and death. Gives me the courage to enjoy life beautifully.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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