Review of When Breath Becomes Air

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  • Eloquent
  • Engaging
  • Inspiring


A brilliant doctor approaching the end of his neurosurgical residency receives the worst possible diagnosis: He has stage IV lung cancer. The late Paul Kalanithi’s moving and beautifully written memoir documents his journey from doctor to patient, from saving lives and making life-or-death decisions to grappling with the irrefutable proof of his own mortality. He didn’t shy away from the prospect of death. He faced it head-on with fortitude, courage and an insatiable desire to embrace life and untangle its mysteries before his time ran out. In his eloquent memoir, you will see that although the role of patient was foisted upon him, he used the opportunity to deepen his understanding of what people endure when they face illness or injury. getAbstract highly recommends this stirring New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize finalist.

About the Author

The late Paul Kalanithi, MD, was a writer and neurosurgeon who completed his residency in neurological surgery and a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience at Stanford University.  


Kalanithi, an intelligent, philosophical man, had an endless fascination with literature, medicine and science. He earned a BA and MA in English Literature from Stanford and a master’s in the history and philosophy of science and medicine from the University of Cambridge before studying medicine at Yale. When he became fatally ill, he continued to wrestle with humanity’s most profound questions: What is the meaning of life, and what makes a life meaningful? Even as his words move you and you mourn his loss, you’ll cherish the wisdom and insights of a man as compassionate as he was brilliant. As best-selling author Dr. Abraham Verghese says in the book’s foreword, “The prose was unforgettable. Out of his pen, he was spinning gold.”

Dr. Paul Kalanithi’s memoir offers these eight turning points and lessons:

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    O. K. 7 months ago
    No comment
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    J. D. 1 year ago
    When will the summary be available? Actually the book is really inspiring and I hope that many people could read this.