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When Breath Becomes Air

Durée: 5 h et 35 min
4,7 out of 5 stars (374 évaluations)

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Description

Number-one New York Times best seller. Pulitzer Prize finalist.

This inspiring, exquisitely observed memoir finds hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as an idealistic young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question: What makes a life worth living? 

Named one of the best books of the year by: 

  • The New York Times Book Review
  • People
  • NPR
  • The Washington Post
  • Slate
  • Harper’s Bazaar
  • Time Out New York
  • Publishers Weekly
  • BookPage

Finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction and the Books for a Better Life Award in Inspirational Memoir.

At the age of 36, on the verge of completing a decade's worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi's transformation from a naïve medical student "possessed", as he wrote, "by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life" into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. 

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. 

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. "I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything," he wrote. "Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: 'I can't go on. I'll go on.'" When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both. 

©2016 Paul Kalanithi (P)2016 Random House Audio

Ce que les critiques en disent

"Narrator Sunil Malhotra is faithful to the straightforward tone of Paul Kalanithi's memoir.... Cassandra Campbell narrates the epilogue by Kalanithi's wife, recounting his final moments in a smooth, empathetic voice that is certain to bring tears. When Breath Becomes Air may be unsentimental, but it is profoundly affecting." (AudioFile)

“I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option.... Part of this book’s tremendous impact comes from the obvious fact that its author was such a brilliant polymath. And part comes from the way he conveys what happened to him - passionately working and striving, deferring gratification, waiting to live, learning to die - so well. None of it is maudlin. Nothing is exaggerated. As he wrote to a friend: ‘It’s just tragic enough and just imaginable enough.’ And just important enough to be unmissable.” (Janet Maslin, The New York Times)

“Paul Kalanithi’s memoir, When Breath Becomes Air, written as he faced a terminal cancer diagnosis, is inherently sad. But it’s an emotional investment well worth making: a moving and thoughtful memoir of family, medicine and literature. It is, despite its grim undertone, accidentally inspiring.” (The Washington Post)

“Devastating and spectacular... [Kalanithi] is so likeable, so relatable, and so humble, that you become immersed in his world and forget where it’s all heading.” (USA Today)

Ce que les auditeurs disent de When Breath Becomes Air

Moyenne des évaluations de clients
Au global
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Histoire
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Must read to have a deep understanding

Helped me in understanding the main priorities of my life which needs to be dealt with!!!

2 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Rest on Paul, my respected colleague!

I loved this book. It’s the most touching and interesting book I ever read/listened to. I think Audible added an extra touch with the reading but they were Paul’s words. I am pleased to be a physician. I am pleased to call myself Paul’s colleague. My view on life and things in general changed even before I was finished reading. Thank you Paul. Thank you. Thanks to your wife. And love to Kady, your daughter. Anike.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

The author is beyond talented! This is a must read. Though I disagreed with his take on atheism, I still found his perspective very thoughtful and enlightening. Do not skip this book!

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • B
  • 2020-07-05

Must read

Every human being over the age of 30 needs to read this book. Paul's life legacy is a gift for all of us mortals, to help us prepare for our end, whenever that is, and that of those we love the most. Because the end does matter. Masterfully narrated.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautifully written

I highly enjoyed this book. Beautiful story of why seemed to be a very likeable, honest and intelligent human being. Felt like it ended too soon and left me broken hearted. Rest in peace Paul. Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

the other's side

I found this book....enlightening, heartbreaking and gutting. With that said I couldn't put it down. He didn't throw in the towel, he held his head and his love out off the merky waters until the very end and the he just seemed to drift away. He was inspiring and so was his family. No one got in his way and that had to be hard. Thank you for sharing this book.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

I could listen to this book over and over

I had read When Breath becomes air before and I knew I wanted to experience it again so I did with Audible. Even the second time you continue to feel the depth of this experience for the author, his wife, family and friends. What a passionate and brilliant soul he was and I thank him for sharing his story and for his family for being sure it was published for him and his readers. A true inspiration regarding real life, real passion and being a human being.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

An amazing book

This book is one of my all time favourites. Helps you remember to cherish and enjoy the present. Would definitely recommend anyone/everyone to read it

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • CJH
  • 2020-01-22

it's like reading a heartbreak

it's like reading a heartbreak. one you cannot put down, nor would you want to. it's like taking a long walk with someone whom you just need to know, someone who will change your life and make you see the world more clearly. someone who you wish you had known.

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent! overall heartbreaking but necessary.

It's not fair to judge someone's story of their demise, and I think the author said it best when he declared that 'lung cancer' is not an interesting cancer...yet he made us reflect with him and I'm thankful for that.

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  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • tinkerbeal
  • 2017-07-07

Doctor-patient relationship

Good book to understand the trials and tribulations of the singular relationship between the doctor and the physician and when a doctor becomes a patient. As most autobiographies, it does not tell the whole story...if it had been less of a tribute and more honest, it could have been very powerful. The end by the wife is unnecessary and not a fitting ending to the book....the author himself leaves an open ending, which is much more fitting.

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  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anon E Mouse
  • 2016-02-21

Really good, but not as good as...

For sure, this is a really good story and well worth your time. But I have to say that it didn't quite live up to the sky high expectations that I had after reading all the glowing reviews. To everyone who rated this as their best listen of the year, I suggest "Dying to be Me" by Anita Moorjani, Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, and The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee (a Pulitzer Prize Winner). The first two in particular have much in common with "When Breath Becomes air", but in my opinion are clearly more compelling. All three are must read five star books if you really liked "When Breath Becomes air".

77 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A. Potter
  • 2016-01-16

Phenomenal book!

Any additional comments?

I deeply connected with neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi’s search for meaning in his young life, as a boy torn between literature and science; during medical school as he carefully opens up cadavers and ponders their former human selves; and after his diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer, as he confronts his decline at the peak of his career and the birth of his daughter, a precious girl who brings so much joy to his final days. I’m thankful Paul found a way to share his love of writing and prodigious talents with the world, especially under such harrowing circumstances. The world is richer place because of it. I’ll carry this book in my mind for a long time to come.

140 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Shermeen
  • 2016-01-21

Life changing

It's the middle of the night, and I am still in tears as I have just finished one of the most profound books I have ever read. I fear I will never have the dignity and grace that Paul had, and continues to have in my mind. This book is vulnerable, beautiful, and just so completely honest. You will not forget this book. Amazing delivery as well. I know what this world has lost.

133 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Denise
  • 2016-01-21

How this book was recommended

This book was auto-recommended to me by audible because of the types of books I like to read. I, however, think it should be recommended to everyone. This is a book that is not only poignant, touching, and painful; it is a book that is full of love, insight, courage and humility. One I know I will read again and again. May I recommend that you read it at least once?

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  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Green Mountains
  • 2018-04-16

It's okay

Any additional comments?

I was inspired to listen to this after seeing his wife give an incredible account of his story on the news.

I don't regret reading it, but I did not find the authors tale as entrancing as the news story I saw. Despite Kalanithi sharing his mortality story, I was disappointed by his arrogant attitude and surgeon god complex that shone through at times. I wonder if he was trying to be creative by the way he put surgeons on a pedestal, not realizing that we want to know all sides to it and can still come away with affection despite being painted the full picture.

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  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Celia
  • 2016-05-31

Inspirational yet Existential Crisis Inducing

I found the foreword almost unbearably flowery and was unable to follow Kalanithi's discussion of the evolution of his religious beliefs in the face of his illness. Aside from this, however, this book was inspirational, informative, and deep. One caveat, however: this one can be quite the inducer of existential crises. Or at least it was for me.

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  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • CHET YARBROUGH
  • 2016-01-23

A LIFE OF DECENCY

“When Breath Becomes Air” memorializes a life of decency. It is not a perfect life. It is a short life of comfort and accomplishment, infused with stress and failure. Paul Kalnithi is the son of Indian immigrants who grows up in Kingman, Arizona. Kingman is a town of less than 29,000 people lying between Las Vegas luck and Phoenix senior living.

Those who choose to listen to “When Breath Becomes Air” will look at life differently. Not because of belief in God or the fallibility of human beings, but because we all live between Las Vegas luck and Phoenix senior living. Death is a part of life whether it is an end or a beginning. Education makes a difference and no life of comfort and accomplishment is without stress and failure. The best one hopes for is to live and leave life as decently as Paul Kalnithi who dies at 37.

115 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • C. Huang
  • 2016-01-23

Amazing book

This book brought me to tears many times. It's rare that we find someone so eloquent with such a tragic story and wonderful insights that is able to verbalize their findings so well. I recommend it to all my friends. As a fellow physician, it really struck a cord with me.

56 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • W Perry Hall
  • 2016-02-18

Memoir, Message, A Morning Glory


As memorable as it is moving for not only the charm and impact of Dr. Paul Kalanithi's writing but also his impressive might to complete the memoir's manuscript maugre the malignancy that ultimately ended his life before he finished writing.

Though I'd never presume as much, I try to maintain my faith that a reason exists for the premature death of someone like Paul Kalanithi, who was able and devoted to giving so much. That is to say, I must have hope that Dr. Kalanithi, a mid-30s highly respected neurosurgeon with a loving wife and infant daughter, was empowered by his disease, as the best of empyreal messengers, to contemplate, conceive and write his message in a way that reminds its readers that we are mortal, a reminder not in a melancholic or morbid sense, but as eyeing a morning glory, as we move forward on the road to the rest of our lives.

As I see his message, we will die, but we can live a meaningful life by giving of ourselves to make an impact on others, by trying to improve those around us by doing good deeds and by art, such as by creating through writing. In this way, we may live on, as Dr. Kalanithi has managed through this sublime memoir.

I found his wife's epilogue particularly touching in describing the last couple of weeks, when he could write no more, and his monumental endeavor to write this memoir.

48 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dusty S. Human
  • 2016-01-16

Love and Beauty in Extremis

The author expresses, lived, and has shared how meaning can transform tragedy into a deep transcendence of being that shimmers. As a hospice chaplain, I could not help but be awed by the clarity and beauty of love, vulnerability, and honesty that has been lived by the author and his family.

57 les gens ont trouvé cela utile