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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 (347 )
5 star
 (246)
4 star
 (71)
3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.7 (318 )
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Story
4.6 (317 )
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4 star
 (59)
3 star
 (32)
2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    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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    6
    2
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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
  •  
    Patrick 28/07/2017
    Patrick 28/07/2017 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Powerful and authentic memoir"

    This is a powerful, authentic and heart wrenching memoir from the first to the last page, it is a beautiful reminder of what it is to live and die and all the essential stuff in between.

    Cannot recommend it highly enough - essential reading for all...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ross McDougall Perth, Australia 20/06/2017
    Ross McDougall Perth, Australia 20/06/2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    11
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    Performance
    Story
    "Equally inspiring and heartbreaking"

    A fantastic, honest and thoughtful account of someone whose life was turned 180 degrees in one moment.

    Kalanithi was a neurosurgeon with an exceptional career and life ahead of him. His personal life was facing some significant challenges, then a diagnosis comes along that changes his perspective on everything he had ever valued or wanted.

    I really appreciated how frank Kalanithi was in the book. His wife Lucy comments that she appreciated Paul leaving in the marital struggles they weathered and that it was in character for him to name the beast that he was battling.

    Kalanithi says in the book that he was a fan of literature; even if he hand't said so it would be hard to miss the plethora of influences in his writing. The words lift off the page into your heart in a way I've not experienced before. They take root and one feels themself being transformed in the reading and learning as Kalanithi does.

    I listened to this read by Sunil Malhotra and it was the most moving performance I've yet to hear. Yes I know the material is already emotional, but Malhotra really elevates it with a reading that is at once pained and distraught while soft and resolved. Often there is a dissonance to me when listening to someone reading a book in the first person who I know hasn't written it, but Malhotra really embodies Kalanithi and becomes him.

    This is a deeply moving and honest book, a fantastic reminder of the things that are really important in life. I'm indebted to Kalanithi and his family for sharing his story, warts and all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carmel 18/06/2017
    Carmel 18/06/2017
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    REVIEWS
    5
    1
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    Story
    "Not as enjoyable as I had hoped"

    An account of facing death told by the person living it. I thought I would enjoy this more than I did. It was quite heavy on literary quotes & examination of religion and used extensive medical terminology that whilst relevant probably made it harder to warm to. The epilogue written by his wife was an excellent summation of Paul. I loved the line " whilst what happened to Paul was tragic, his life was not a tragedy".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01/06/2017 Member Since 2017
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    2
    1
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    "The most humbling piece of literature I've read"

    A beautifully sad perspective of mortality, captured wonderfully by someone who has faced it in his career and personal life

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caryn New Zealand 28/05/2017
    Caryn New Zealand 28/05/2017 Member Since 2017
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    3
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    "fantastic"

    amazing
    -made one reflect on life's journey. Written in a really interesting self reflected way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig 28/05/2017
    Craig 28/05/2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A beautiful but very sad story"

    Very well written, touching, personal and very raw, i found i had to put it down every so often to 'recover'. Happy i read it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gosh 08/05/2017
    Gosh 08/05/2017 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Story
    "Inspiring"

    I thought this book may be depressing, of course it is emotional, but I actually found it to be thoughtful and inspiring - definitely one that will stay with me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. A.M. Andrew Castle Cove, NSW Australia 04/04/2017
    Mrs. A.M. Andrew Castle Cove, NSW Australia 04/04/2017 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mesmerising"

    This book is an unforgettable tale of life and death. Completely captivating and wonderfully written.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Manoj
    29/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Touching book , opening mind to true meaning of TIME"

    Amazing book which touched life and opened mind to true meaning of time. Everyone tries to avoid death , Paul showed how to face it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • bhartendu
    Delhi
    4/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "life changing opportunity"

    it gives a perspective to build purpose and meaning of life in whatever time allocated to us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shyam
    21/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The directness of lived experience "

    it is a narration if a neurosurgeon diagnosed with cancer. He succumbs to it yet his spirit,thoughts and experience comes out in the book. His wife's account in the end adds a brilliant aspect to the book. There is truth, pathos and a splendid sincerety all through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Hari's Kindle
    Hyderabad
    22/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "woow"

    no words..the tear drop which flew down my cheeks were in sheer admiration...Thank you for publishing this...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • pikachu01
    22/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Narrator was spot on, on delivering"

    Some say this book describes how the wealthy face cancer. it's true, worth a read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah Vaulbert
    America
    17/05/17
    Overall
    "When breath becomes air"

    Excellent , very inspirational. Very open and honest account of his life with cancer .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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). <br/>Very well written but so sad. <br/>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
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  • 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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • 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.

    4 of 4 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.

    3 of 3 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.

    2 of 2 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.

    2 of 2 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

    2 of 2 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.

    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
  • 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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Anonymous
    16/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptional book"

    This was honestly one of the best books I've come across.

    God Bless Paul and his family, may his soul rest in peace.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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