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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 (94 )
5 star
 (63)
4 star
 (24)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.7 (89 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Story
4.7 (89 )
5 star
 (67)
4 star
 (14)
3 star
 (8)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Gill Kolk 06/05/2016
    Gill Kolk 06/05/2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
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    0
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    Story
    "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
  •  
    Wendy 09/11/2016
    Wendy 09/11/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Honest and compelling"

    Beautifully written especially the last chapter. Approaches death from the unique position of doctor then patient. A lot to say to a society usually shielded from these matters. Thank you Paul.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maxine 25/07/2016
    Maxine 25/07/2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol 09/07/2016
    Carol 09/07/2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel 19/06/2016
    Joel 19/06/2016 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing and Inspiring"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cecilia Flynn Australia 23/05/2016
    Cecilia Flynn Australia 23/05/2016

    Cecy

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Moving"

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicolette 30/04/2016
    Nicolette 30/04/2016 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Inspiring ."

    The story made me re look my view on the everyday. What today really means.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maxine 26/09/2016
    Maxine 26/09/2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too much medical jargon"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • 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.

    2 of 2 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.

    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
  • 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.

    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
  • 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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Philip
    30/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"

    Anyone who works in healthcare should embark on this book, brilliantly written and spoken, it ensures we give a thought to what it may be like to be given such devastating news and what things become important when life is no longer a given.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • C
    Hampshire, UK
    19/11/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My book of the year"

    I would recommend this book to anyone who is

    A) thinking of joining the medical profession
    B) currently deals with patients in any professional capacity.
    C) is currently or has been a patient
    This book truly is a gift and a reminder of our shared humanity. Thank you to Paul & his family for writing about and sharing their very personal experiences and to the buyers at Audible/ Amazon for making it available in this format. My life is the richer for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sue
    31/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tragic story, beautiful writing"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. As a reminder of our own mortality in the business of life. The author is in control of his successful academic and professional career which he has worked long and hard for, only to have his future blown out of the water by a devastating diagnosis. Gradually his identity is taken away and he becomes a patient.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Paul himself, a lovely, intelligent, thoughtful and open man, living to learn.


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

    I think reading this book may be better than listening. Nothing wrong with the narration, but his beautiful writing is meant to be read.


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

    Too many to mention, but his joy in the new life of his baby daughter as his drew to a close was very poignant.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sam S
    24/07/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very insightful"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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