Regular price: $15.96

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
In Cart

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars


  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars


  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
  • 3 Stars
  • 2 Stars
  • 1 Stars
Sort by:
  • Overall

How to Live

Love, love, love this book! Dr. Pausch, in his dying, tries to teach us all how to live. His bravery in the face of pancreatic cancer is so inspiring, I forgot the deep sadness I feel about his impending death. Having lost my best friend to pancreatic cancer last year, I know this disease, which makes it so much easier for me to "get" the uniqueness of his spirit. I was blown away by his love for his family and truly touched by his love for life. The 4 1/2 hours it takes to listen flies and you find yourself wanting more. Don't miss this book, it's incredible. Quick note to Dr. Pausch - I don't believe in the "no win scenario" either, keeping you in my prayers :>) Thanks for sharing so much of yourself -

34 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joe
  • Columbus, OH, USA
  • 04-15-08


There is soooo much to gain from this book. It will take many "listenings" to reap some of what is here. Well worth it!

29 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story


STORY - First let me say that for Mr. Pausch to undertake the task of writing this book when he had only a few months to live -- wow, what a great accomplishment by what must have been a wonderful person!

That being said, it's not Mr. Pausch's actual last live lecture, performed in his voice with crowd reactions and applause. It's a book he has written about how to live life which REFERS to his last lecture, and the book is read by a professional narrator. It gives lots of good suggestions about how to succeed, be happy, be a good person, etc., etc. The problem I have is that the suggestions are mostly just good common sense. Then each one is followed up with an example from Mr. Pausch's own life experience. Some examples are better than others, but the bottom line is I didn't really care about his father's medals or how he met his wife or why he took his son to Disney World. Yes, they were good illustrations of the points he was making, but I still found 4 1/2 hours of that to be pretty boring. I put the narrator speed to 1.25 and then to 1.5 to get through the book.

NARRATION - The narrator did a good job, but there was nothing special about his performance.

BOTTOM LINE - This book would be great for young adults just beginning lives and careers on their own, if you can get them to sit down and listen to it. They could learn a great deal from Mr. Pausch's life experiences which would prove invaluable. It would also be a great book for someone diagnosed with a terminal illness, giving them ways to be more positive in those final months. For a healthy adult who is reasonably successful and happy with their life, it could potentially be boring (as it was for me).

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

New Perspective

This author did something new with his devastating illness. While he had personal motives, he had something to say that we all should hear. I thought it would be "the lecture". It was not. It was deeply moving and thought provoking.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Interesting, but not that moving

I feel somewhat guilty saying anything negative about this book, because it came from the man's heart I am sure. However, this book was hiped up so much at our university, and I felt that it was not all that inspirational. I heard him speak on XM and couldn't wait to download the book from Audible, but the book wasn't near as moving as when Randy was just talking to an audience.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Got Kids?

"The Last Lecture" is now one of my top favorites and if you have children consider it a must. Even if you do not have children the lessons provided in "The Last Lecture" will provide inspiration to all walks and stages of life.

This Audible Book is about life and is all about living. It is a time capsule that we are privileged to peak into to learn the life lessons that a dying father will send to his very young children.

The book is well done and is structured in a unique method which delivers the messages in a powerful manner.

Messages that may be simple but provide direction and values for living life

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Barry
  • Northridge, CA, USA
  • 08-08-08

Indispensible Life Lessons... too little too late

If only I had experienced a professor with the depth, knowledge AND wisdom of the late Randy Pausch. Professor Paush's lessons are short, generally simple and too the point. He didn't spend too much time as he knew he didn't have time to waste. I feel for his wife, family and children who lost an incredible part of their lives.

Read it... listen to it... you will be better for it.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Worth Reading

Although I've heard that watching the video is a better experience. Either way, it's worth reading again and again, to remind yourself what's truly important in life.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A Touching, Nerdy Conclusion

This is the last lecture given by a young professor of computing sciences because of his terminal cancer. His intelligence and humor are clearly evident without the self centered ego and importance of Richard Feynman. He touches on aspects of his life such as his parents and mentors that shaped his life and how he hoped to shape the lives of those he came into contact with. The writing is 'plain' and straight forward without soaring rhetoric but is inspirational in it's message and goals. His humor runs a bit to the nerdy side, like when you have a terminal diseases you do things you wouldn't ordinarily do - last week I bought a McIntosh, that will make 9% of you very happy.

He says he wrote it so that his young children might get to know this aspect of his life. I believe he succeeded. You may not be in agreement with all he presents as ways to live but all listeners will probably be in agreement that his heart was always in the right place.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Richard
  • montclair, NJ, USA
  • 04-27-08

A book that reminds you what matters most

It's the ultimate parenting book because it makes you realize how fortunate you are simply to be alive and well, and taking care of your kids. Through Randy Pausch's story of coming to terms with a life about to end, we receive a gift that few books could ever offer: the appreciation of one's own life and the treasure of knowing that every day you have more to give to those who matter most--your kids.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful