When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air

2016 • 256 pages


Average rating4.4


A powerful story of aspiration and the search for meaning in life. In the brutal twist that we all expect from the cover, the doctor seeking to understand how meaning, illness, knowledge, and death are intertwined gets to find out first hand.

There is a lot of message in this book about thinking about what gives your life meaning. If you had 3 months, what would you do today....three years? thirty? What should you do if those things are different? The idea of confronting the tragedy of uncertainty is powerful. I think that the author could have been a fantastic writer and perhaps (given the story) neurosurgeon. Tragically, he did not get that chance. This book is edited from notes he put together as his life came apart.

Having recently read “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande, I highly recommend that readers of Kalanithi's book also look into that one. Atul had the blessing of time to complete and expound on his ideas in his book.

February 29, 2020Report this review