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The Last Lecture Paperback – April 17, 2008
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About the Author
Randy Pausch is a professor of Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction, and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. From 19881997, he taught at the University of Virginia. He is an award-winning teacher and researcher, and has worked with Adobe, Google, Electronic Arts (EA), and Walt Disney Imagineering, and pioneered the Alice project. He lives in Virginia with his wife and three children. Jeffrey Zaslow, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, attended the last lecture, and wrote the story that helped fuel worldwide interest in it. He lives in suburban Detroit with his wife, Sherry, and daughters Jordan, Alex, and Eden
Top customer reviews
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I was told by a Doctor in September 2015 not to do anything as life after this procedure is compromised and a "quality of life" decision.
Unless you are told you will die, having to face your death, it is hard to appreciate how hard it is to define yourself, your loves, and how to tell all the people who have impacted your life how important they are.
Randy Pausch's effort is beyond commendable.
His life lessons, antidotes, as the critics say are from a "I, me" perspective but where were they suppose to come from? The evidence of his love of life, his family, his work are a gift to all of us who have to face difficult decisions and look death in the eye, but they are more than that, they are a reminder to those who go through life numb to the basic rules and the amazing things around you that put Quality in life.
I read this as I am recovering. I wish I had read it eight months ago and I would have made my decision to have the operation and the hope that it offers sooner.
It quickly summarizes the fear, anxiety, anger but most importantly imparts his version of what's important in a easy eloquent way. No it's not the final word on dying, but a noble attempt by an even nobler person.
* The life experiences he's had before getting sick are incredible
* The impact he's had on a huge number of people, primarily as a professor, is awesome
* The way he lived his life, before and after his illness, is inspiring. The lessons he shares will definitely be shared with my kids.
* The dude is wickedly funny and very humble
Although I shed many tears while reading this book, it's clear that the author lived an incredibly full and rewarding life.
This was a moving memoir by a former computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon. It’s not a professionally written book, and I don’t it’s fair to compare it against those… it is exactly what it proclaims to be: the last speech/lecture/lesson, giving by a dying man, and sharing some of his fondest memories, and translating how he applied some of life’s most important lessons. It is sincere and heartfelt. It’s honestly not a whole lot different than the lecture itself, available on YouTube, but I found it moving enough to own a copy of the book anyhow.
Randy Pausch was a computer science professor who gained fame when he gave his Last Lecture (which was filmed for some of his former students and colleagues who couldn’t make it, and then went viral). Originally a series of lectures that were designed to have professors ponder what they might say if they were only able to give one more lecture, for Randy Pausch, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer (and who passed away in 2008), it was not hypothetical. (He even talks about how he finally “nailed” the venue!)
The lecture (and thus this book) was all about “Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” and in it, he recounts his various failures (and how many of them translated later to successes). Almost all of his dreams involve extraordinarily entertaining anecdotes (how you can choose to be Tigger, as opposed to Eeyore, how to meet/be Captain Kirk, and becoming a Disney Imagineer). He speaks to you pretty much directly, and walks you through why he had these dreams, and how he accomplished all of them (and how failing, sometimes, was just as good of a lesson, e.g. playing the NFL).
Honestly, yes, a lot of the lessons are a little cliched, and I don’t know that this will completely transform/change your life, nor is it the most well-written/crafted book. But it’s clearly written, completely engaging, and quite heartfelt… which is what I want and expect in a book like this.
Comparisons to Other Authors:
I think that this is similar to some of John Wooden’s books and memoirs and/or some of Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays etc books. I liked this probably as much as my favorite Wooden book and more than Albom’s novels.
Denise A. Braley, Ed.D.