Paul Kalanithi – When Breath Becomes Air Audiobook
From the Back Cover
A Doctor Facing Life and Death
At 36 and just on the cusp of a brilliant career as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi discovers that he is suffering from terminal lung cancer. In an instant, the future they imagined with his wife disappears. One day, he is this doctor who takes care of the dying, the next day, this patient who is struggling to survive. When Breath Becomes Air Audiobook is the story of his multiple metamorphoses. That of the young student, naive and obsessed with the existential question of what gives meaning to life, in this neurosurgeon, guardian if there is one of human identity. Then that of the veteran doctor in this patient and young father who must face his own mortality.
What prompts you to live when death is so near? What does it mean to have a child under these conditions? Here are some of the questions the author answers in this deeply moving and modestly detailed testimony.
Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015 while the writing of this book was not completed. Yet his words survive him. An unforgettable and vibrant reflection on the challenge of facing one’s own death as well as on the doctor-patient relationship, When Breath Becomes Air Audiobook is the work of a brilliant writer who had to face these two challenges with total sincerity. A testimony that has moved thousands of readers around the world.
My opinion ★★★★ ☆
“After finishing the book you are about to read, I felt insignificant: the honesty and truth of these pages took my breath away.
Prepare yourselves. Sit down. Discover the voice of courage. Admire the strength it takes to reveal yourself like this. You will see how, through words, it is possible to stay alive and influence the lives of others even after death. In a world of deferred communication where we so often have our noses plunged into our screens, our gaze riveted on these rectangular objects that vibrate in our hands, the attention devoured by the ephemeral, stop and immerse yourself in the dialogue with this young colleague who left too early but now eternal in our memories! Listen to him. In the silences between his words, listen to what you have to answer him. This is where his message hides. I grabbed it. […] It’s a gift.”
Preface by Abraham Verghese
What a very moving testimony … a disturbing feeling, intense admiration … and a message that comes to me as I close this poignant book: Carpe Diem … We do not control the turns that life us Reserve. I am very moved by this exposure, so sincere, so beautiful, so poetic.
Paul Kalanithi wrote remarkably well; his analyzes, reflections on the practitioner-patient relationship, on the quest for identity, on his quest as a student obsessed with the question of meaning, of the meaning of human life are extremely well formulated.
He talks about his experience as a practitioner, an ambassador of death as he calls himself, looks back on his adolescence in Arizona, his years of study, his first courses in human dissection, his internship, talks to us about the difficult and trying profession of neurologist, of his responsibilities, of the choices faced by practitioners … He was gifted, very gifted, recognized by his fathers, and his empathy towards his patients touched me a lot. “I have to help these people understand that the person they remember, this whole individual, full of vitality and independent, only exists in the past and that I need them to identify what he would have. wanted or not: an easy death or a life tied to pockets of fluids and an etiolation impossible to fight. ” He was a great man.
Certain passages are imbued with very strong emotion. The last pages, which are the words of his wife, his witness, are trying; they are also a very nice tribute to Paul Kalanithi.
This book has a special resonance for me; the passages on the end of life, the choice to leave calmly, on the accompaniment of a person suffering from advanced and incurable cancer, the technical terms cited … made me relive intense moments. A very touching story.
I warmly thank Babelio and Éditions JC Lattès for this book received as part of Critical Mass, a book that I will not forget.
“– The doctor will arrive soon. And with these simple words, the future that I had imagined, the one I could almost touch with my fingers, the culmination of years of effort, went up in smoke.
I was motivated not by the desire to succeed but by the will to answer this question: what gives meaning to life? For me, literature provided the best hypotheses while neuroscience established the most elegant rules for analyzing the mechanics of the brain. The concept of human meaning, while changing and difficult to define, seemed to me to be intrinsically linked to relationships and moral values. La Terre Vaine by TSEliot, which recounts both the feeling of isolation in a world that has become absurd and the search for an almost unbridled human contact, echoed it in particular. I found myself taking the author’s metaphors for myself. It wasn’t the only one I imbibed myself with. I understood from Nabokov that our suffering often makes us impervious to that of others. At Conrad’s, I understood how the lack of communication affects the relationship between two beings. For me, a book not only exposed the experience that another had lived, it also provided the noblest material to support a reflection on the meaning of life.
I believe neither in the wisdom of the child nor in that of the old man. There is a key moment when the sum of all the experiments carried out is finally eroded by the weight of the small details of everyday life. Nothing makes us more lucid than this moment.
… where do biology, morality, literature and philosophy meet? […] Hadn’t Whitman declared that only the practitioner is able to understand the “physiological-spiritual man”?
One word only had meaning when shared. The meaning of existence, this substantive marrow, was born thanks to the richness and depth of contacts.“