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The book developed as a result of a speech given by Randy Pausch, a professor at the Carnegie Mellon University. In an annual event known as the 'Last Lecture', the university invites one of its faculty members to deliver a speech to the lecture. The speech is to be based on the hypothetical premise that they are dying and this is their final lecture to the students.
In September 2007, the faculty member invited to give the speech was Randy Pausch. However, for Randy Pausch, the situation was not hypothetical. He had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given just a few months to live. Beaming his CT scans around the auditorium, Randy Pausch delivered a lecture 'Achieving your Childhood Dreams', which was so inspirational and upbeat that it became an Internet sensation. It was downloaded by millions of viewers.
Given its impact, Randy Pausch collaborated with fellow alumni member Jeffrey Zaslow to write The Last Lecture. The book, like his lecture, focused on living – and living as though every minute in life is your last one. The stories detailed in it help us to see how dealing with life's obstacles with humor, creativity and intelligence can help you not just achieve your dreams, but also to enable others' dreams. In his book, Randy Pausch says we must seize every moment, because “Time is all you have… and you may find one day that you have less than you think.”
General Reception and Other Adaptations
The book was a New York Times best seller for 85 weeks and sold more than 4.5 million copies in the US. It was also translated into several languages. Following the book, Randy Pausch appeared before the US Congress to testify on the need for more funding for research into pancreatic cancer.
About Randy Pausch
The author was a professor of Computer Science, Human Computer Interaction and Design at the Carnegie Mellon University. He also worked with Adobe, Disney, Electronics and Art as well as Google. Randy Pausch was deeply involved with a non-for-profit organization, Alice. He also co-founded a professional graduate program for interactive entertainment, the Entertainment Technology Centre.
His Personal Life
Randy Pausch lost his battle with cancer on July 25, 2008. He is survived by his wife Jai and three children. When he was working on the book, he was determined that it should not steal his time away from his children. He therefore used to speak about his thoughts and ideas to his co-author Zaslow on his cell phone headset while on his daily bike rides. Zaslow helped put it all together in the form of a book.
|Publisher||Hodder & Stoughton|
|Number of Pages||224 Pages|
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'The Last Lecture' is a book which should be read by every person who really wants to appreciate life...Randy Pausch gives a saving insight as to what life really is..it is the voice of a dying man who has no regrets & yet has to bid adieu to a wife & children whose love he is not fortunate enough to have for long..after reading this book, i have learnt to rethink my choices in life, i want to become a better person...if a dying man can laugh at his disease & not give a damn about the limit doctors have given to his life, how much more can we cope with our trivial problems! This book is life changing!!! It is not to be talked about..it should be every man's own reading experience...
It's fascinating how a man who knows that his days on Earth are numbered can actually approach his impending death with such panache! And in the process, he even manages to help the readers set a few ground rules for living life to the fullest. Randy Pausch had it all - be it a lovely family, a neat job, a wonderful life. Everything that a man could ask for! That's why it's hard to digest the cancer's attempt at playing spoilsport. I say attempt because even though cancer was out to put a full-stop on Randy's life, he made sure it served as a comma - not just in his life, but also in the lives of his loved ones!
This book is not about death, but it's about life. It's about living life the way it should be, and to make the most of the chances and the time we get in one lifetime. It's about staying alive even after death... it's about leaving a legacy!
Mr. Pausch's last lecture will surely serve as a first lecture for many on how to approach the remainder of their lives.
Hats off Randy!
We all know we have to die, but what if one day you recognize that you have less time than you think and you have lot to do.
That was Randy Pausch, a lecturer who just inspires you and forces you to introspect within, to find yourself and prioritize your life.
There would be a point in the book where you could feel bored but just flip a couple of pages and you are ought to be caught again by the book,
Not just because it's written beautifully but because it resembles the life of every other man, with only a difference that the persons it's talking about knows he is going to die anyway, leaving behind his three children( the eldest being 6 years) and a widow.
But as Randy said,"You cannot change the cards you are dealt, it's how you play the hand."
This book is certainly going to change the way you think and live.
And you are going Gift it to the people you want to get inspired by life.
I did it, I'm sure whosoever reads it will do the same.
Randy Pausch was not a professional writer and this is not just another 'non fiction', 'self-help' book. He was a professor of Computer Science, Human Interaction design at Carnegie Melon university. He has worked with Google, Adobe, EA.
The title gives you a fair bit of hint what's this book about. It's common for American Professors to look back on their lives imagining they are going to die soon and deliver a lecture in which they tell the audience what matters to them the most and what they have learned in the course of living.
Well, Randy Pausch did not have to imagine he was going to die soon while delivering his last lecture. He was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer and had only months to live while he was preparing for his lecture. So ironically his 'Last Lecture' was actually going to be his 'Last Lecture'. This is what makes this book a compelling read.
In this book he talks about his childhood and how he achieved his childhood dreams, he talks about his battle with cancer, about people who were important in his life and many other things that made him who he was.
The most endearing thing while reading this book is the absolute frankness and honesty with which he talks to the readers and his children through the book.
A very good book. Highly Recommended.
“The brick walls are not there to stop you. They are only there to check how badly you want the thing behind the wall.” This pretty much sums up the book. Written by Randy Pausch, Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon and a terminal patient of pancreatic cancer, this book entails author’s life story in an inspirational way.
Pausch delivered his last lecture at Carnegie Mellon in August 2006 and titled it “Achieving to your childhood dreams.” True to his words, he presented his ambitions as a child and how he went about in achieving them. It was all about his passion for a dream which enabled him to fulfill it - howsoever exorbitant it was.
This book is highly motivational and people will connect to it very quickly. It inspires you to go out there and demolish that brick wall which has been stopping you from achieving your dream. A great read.
I am an avid reader and have read a few good books... but i have not yet read another book like this one... a must read for all...Read More
I bought this book after watching The Last Lecture on youtube. I really like Randy Pausch but, as they say, it seems better to...Read More
This book is one of the best i have read so far. It's recommended for any age group. Especially for teenagers and youngsters wh...Read More
Randy creates a kind of empathy in d audience.
Please do watch the lecture video after reading this book :)