When Breath Becomes Air

  • by Paul Kalanithi
  • Narrated by Cassandra Campbell, Sunil Malhotra
  • 5 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.

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What the Critics Say

"Finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option.... Unmissable." (New York Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Vivian

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.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-03-2016
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks