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Chasing Daylight: How My Forthcoming Death Transformed My Life (UK Edt) Paperback – 1 Dec 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 201 pages
  • Publisher: US Adaptations (1 Dec 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0077118472
  • ISBN-13: 978-0077118471
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

As CEO at accounting giant KPMG, Eugene O'Kelly was so immersed in his job that over the course of a decade, he managed to have lunch with his wife on weekdays just twice. His travel schedule was set 18 months out. Once, he was so obsessed with impressing a potential client that he tracked down the man's travel schedule, booked the seat next to him on a flight, schmoozed the guy all the way to Australia, landed the account, and flew immediately back to Manhattan. His Type-A ways vanished when, at age 53, a top neurosurgeon in New York told him he had late- stage brain cancer. "His eyes told me I would die soon. It was late spring. I had seen my last autumn in New York." [p.7] There are no TV-movie-style miracle treatments or extensions of his life expectancy; he's told he has maybe 3 months, and he doesn't spend any energy hoping for a cure. True to his CEO style, he creates goals for himself, lists of friends to visit for the last time; he meditates; he tries to create as many "Perfect Moments" that he can, during dinner or phone conversations with friends, and realized how few rare those moments of connection and joy were in his "previous life."[p116] "Chasing Daylight" is as much a self-criticism of his job-before- family ways as it is a meditation on time and a transition to a tranquil, spiritual state utterly foreign to him as a CEO. O'Kelly's absolutely more fulfilled by the soul work that he finishes in 100 days, compared to his 30 years of corporate promotions and accolades, and he utterly convinces readers to ponder their own situation, whether "in the gloaming" of life as he was or not --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

A calm, moving account of one persons preparations for death. This little
book makes an enormous and enormously positive impact
-- Accounting and Business, May, 2006

A moving memoir
-- The Times, March 14, 2006

Highly recommended for its priceless lessons about how to live -- getAbstract, September 2006 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Sep 2006
Format: Hardcover
What if a doctor looked you in the eyes today and told you flat-out that you had about 100 days to live, and there was zero chance anything could change that shocking reality? What would you do? How would you spend your last days? In May 2005, Eugene O'Kelly, then the CEO of KPMG, received the bitter news that he wouldn't live out the year due to brain cancer. An accountant by training and a type-A personality by nature, O'Kelly set in motion a strategy for making the most of his last days. Part of that plan included writing a book on how to bring closure to life and prepare for the great transition to come. One conclusion: Sometimes you have to work hard at the "business of dying." O'Kelly's stoic, rational courage in the face of the unknown has produced this gift for all those he left behind. We recommend it highly for its priceless lessons about how to live.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Tom E Johnson on 4 July 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have the highest praise for Eugene O'Kelly's book, and highly recommend it for everyone to read. It is one of the very few books that, upon reading it, I have gone out to purchase extra copies, to give to special friends. It is a book that I feel you will come back to, (I certainly will) time and time again for inspiration and guidance, as to how to best live as quality a life as possible. It has certainly moved me greatly and at the same time, hopefully greatly improved me.

To begin with, I could so empathise with Eugene's truly awful predicament, being around the same age as him myself and also a father, but what truly amazed me was the response he chose to make to this predicament. It was this response (as recorded in the book), which marked him out for me as a very special higher order type of human being - one who should be listened to very attentively.

Not only did he use his newly discovered insights in his own life for whatever remaining time he had left, but he very magnanimously decided to devote a sizeable amount of his so precious dwindling time to helping the great mass of non-significant others, of whom I happen to be a member. How many of us would be so thoughtful?

The book is full advice for living (and not living only `in the face of death') which I can best classify as higher-order or noble, and the world would be a far better place if more people learned to see life the way Eugene did towards the end. I have already decided to make this book a part of my future life, with the hope that its amazing thoughts will affect the way I live my life in the future.

Eugene is, and will always be a hero and role model for me, somebody whom I would loved to have known in life.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 7 July 2009
Format: Paperback
I read this book over the course of a day and found myself relating less and less to the guy who wrote it as I went on.

It's about a top executive who gets the results of a brain scan that show he only has months to live. He then spends his last remaining days winding up his relationships and business affairs before he dies. As he says at the beginning of the book, in many ways his sentence of death is a wonderful opportunity to get something done that most of us won't have the chance to do. A last few months of dwindling physical capacities, yes, but absence of pain (in his case). A time when it's okay to drop work so that he can concentrate on what's really important.

The thing is, though, to my mind he never actually drops the work - or, at least, the work frame of mind. Sure, he resigns his job as CEO of the company, but the first thing he then does is make up a list of nearly 1,000 people he knows, carefully broken down into category of importance, he'd like to have "Moments" with to wind down their relationship. So, although not knowing for sure how much time he has left, rather than spend every minute remaining to him with his wife and daughters (one of them only 14 years old), he spends weeks having lunch, writing emails and talking on the phone to people, some of whom he's only been in contact with infrequently over the decades.

I felt the guy got his priorities all wrong. When you're about to die - and know it - your life is no longer your own, surely? It's no longer about your actualisation as a human being; you belong to your loved ones and owe them whatever you have left. But for the writer of this book it was as if death were just another work project. It was still all about Me Me Me.

And the targets.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By William Carrington on 8 May 2006
Format: Hardcover
Makes you think about what you need to do when you've only got six months to live. I think he hid his regrets very well but admitted that his definitions of priority may not, ultimately, have been the right one. Well worth reading.
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By Philip Colchester on 6 April 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a fantastic read! I can't stop purchasing copies of this book and giving them away as presents!
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By LyuDolg on 6 Feb 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
one of my favourite books. I've purchased more than 5 books as a present. Helps to realize what really matters.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got it very quickly, and this book is very good, the content encourage everyone, hope more and more people could read it.
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By kate carty on 11 Nov 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the book poignant and honest although rather cold and unemotional,perhaps reflecting the author's personality?
His honest story contributed to me getting off the motorway of life and meandering down the byways instead,so I will be eternally grateful to him .
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