Tackling the agonizing transition from skilled surgeon to bewildered patient, When Breath Becomes Air is an unflinching account of what it means to be betrayed by the body you devoted your life to understanding.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Such an insightful and heart rendering look at lung cancer. Enjoyed every minute of listening to the book.
"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
"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.
"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...
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