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The Last Lecture | [Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow]

The Last Lecture

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave - "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" - wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have... and you may find one day that you have less than you think").
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Publisher's Summary

"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand." (Randy Pausch)

A lot of professors give talks entitled "The Last Lecture". Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can't help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave - "Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams" - wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.

This recording includes an interview with the author.

©2008 Randy Pausch; (P)2008 Hyperion

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  •  
    Monica Vallejo, CA, United States 09-01-08
    Monica Vallejo, CA, United States 09-01-08 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Beautiful"

    Well written, well spoken and very much missed! The only downside is that there's no pictures to connect with, thankfully there's the internet.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annette M. Stacy Tulsa, Oklahoma 08-05-08
    Annette M. Stacy Tulsa, Oklahoma 08-05-08 Member Since 2014

    onelglbratt

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not my normal read!"

    This is not my normal genre, however, I throughly enjoyed it. I am amazed at how one can overcome the obstacles to leave such an amazing letter for his children and wife. It sure made me wish I had met him at least once. My prayers for his family.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carrie Santa Ana, CA, USA 06-13-08
    Carrie Santa Ana, CA, USA 06-13-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Well written"

    The book is well written and the narrator keeps it interesting. For those suffering with a family member dealing with this horrible disease, Randy's stories will be uplifting.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisha Koerdt 06-11-08 Member Since 2008
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    "Great Life Lessons!"

    This is a keeper! Pausch's way of translating his life lessons will surely relate to everyone on some level. It is a great motivator personally and career-wise. It will make you laugh, cry and think about your own dreams and if you lack dreams it will make you want to create dreams to achieve while you still have time!

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda SIMI VALLEY, CA, United States 08-16-08
    Linda SIMI VALLEY, CA, United States 08-16-08 Member Since 2011
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    "Wow!"

    What a ride! All I can say is that I wish I had known Randy. I thought that this "last lecture" by a man who knew he was dying might be morbid, or that I'd walk into work with my mascara smeared after listening to it in the car, but it is uplifting and funny and makes you think about how you treat other people and what you are doing with your life.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MichJ64 07-27-08
    MichJ64 07-27-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Zest for Life"

    I listened to this book in one sitting while knitting a blanket. It is not a handbook on what others should do if they are in similar situations, but Randy Pausch sharing -- allowing us a peek into how he approached life. I think some of his ideas for capturing his love for his wife and children so that they would have those memories after he passed on are great for those even without terminal illnesses, but just to have to be able to look back on ... for your children's teenage years, and for them to share with their children in the future. It it a very uplifting book from a man with a zest for life and a carpe diem attitude to the very end. It reminds you to rejoice and be glad in each and every day that God allows you to be here on earth.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott 05-29-08
    Scott 05-29-08
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    "Will change your perspective...."

    This was a wonderful book. Although the theme is depressing (he is dying), his outlook on the life he has had, and has left, is inspiring. After listening to this book, I have decided to start journaling. Hey....you never know. Life is definately short and unpredictable. If you have ever heard Randy speak, you will appreciate the narrator, as he makes you feel that Randy is speaking directly to you. A definate recommendation.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela Phillips Shelbyville, Indiana, USA 06-10-08
    Angela Phillips Shelbyville, Indiana, USA 06-10-08 Listener Since 2004

    Annabettin

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    "Too much hype"

    I'm sorry this guy is dying but I'm interested in giving an honest review here. This book has far too much hype and not enough substance to back it up.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William J Hanlon 07-05-15 Member Since 2015
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    "The Way for an engineer to live their life"

    Pragmatic warm with great relatable stories for those who have lost someone to cancer and know what it takes to keep on living the best life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mollie United States 06-28-15
    Mollie United States 06-28-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Outstanding non-fiction work"
    If you could sum up The Last Lecture in three words, what would they be?

    Meaningful life advice


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author does not know he is dying when given the assignment to give a "last lecture." A short time after accepting the assignment, he finds out he only has a few months to live. What he shares with the reader/listener is impactful. It reminds us not to take anything for granted.


    Have you listened to any of Erik Singer and Randy Pausch ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not. I would listen to both, though.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I really enjoyed this book, and I even recommended it to friends.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the best pieces of advice the author gives is that we have a choice to be "Eeyore" or "Tigger" from the Winnie the Pooh series. I'm afraid that I have always identified more with Eeyore, but I'm now trying to live like Tigger.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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