Top positive review
Equally moving, inspiring and hearbreaking
Reviewed in Australia on 20 June 2017
A fantastic, honest and thoughtful account of someone whose life was turned 180 degrees in one moment.
Kalanithi was a neurosurgeon with an exceptional career and life ahead of him. His personal life was facing some significant challenges, then a diagnosis comes along that changes his perspective on everything he had ever valued or wanted.
I really appreciated how frank Kalanithi was in the book. His wife Lucy comments that she appreciated Paul leaving in the marital struggles they weathered and that it was in character for him to name the beast that he was battling.
Kalanithi says in the book that he was a fan of literature; even if he hand't said so it would be hard to miss the plethora of influences in his writing. The words lift off the page into your heart in a way I've not experienced before. They take root and one feels themself being transformed in the reading and learning as Kalanithi does.
I listened to this read by Sunil Malhotra and it was the most moving performance I've yet to hear. Yes I know the material is already emotional, but Malhotra really elevates it with a reading that is at once pained and distraught while soft and resolved. Often there is a dissonance to me when listening to someone reading a book in the first person who I know hasn't written it, but Malhotra really embodies Kalanithi and becomes him.
This is a deeply moving and honest book, a fantastic reminder of the things that are really important in life. I'm indebted to Kalanithi and his family for sharing his story, warts and all.