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on 22 May 2008
Honestly, one of the best books I've read. Randy Paush not only has something unique and important to say, but the way he has chosen to say it is amazing. I'd rank this book, inspirationally, with THE POWER OF NOW and TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE.

Here's the idea of the book: Non-fiction, it is the account of Pausch's "last lecture" which he gave at Carnegie Mellon. Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given a few months to live so he decides to make some changes in his life--quit his job, be with his family. The title comes from the idea that at Carnegie Mellon, retiring professors are aked to give a "last lecture." So the title is ironic and a play on words in a sense.

While the lecture is for everyone, Pausch really did this for his kids, who were too young at the time to know what was going on. It is so inspirational and its basic premise is that we should get all we can out of life now. I also enjoyed LIFE BEYOND MEASURE: LETTERS TO MY GREAT-GRANDDAUGHTER which is somewhat along the same lines as THE LAST LECTURE in that it was what Poitier wanted to leave behind to his great-grandaughter who is too young to really understand things right now.

If you're looking for an inspirational book, and one that will keep you up at night thinking about how to live your life, THE LAST LECTURE is the non-fiction pick for you.
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on 29 April 2008
The Last Lecture has been top of the Amazon.com top 100 best sellers list for the last month. Quite rightly, as this is a must read book. Professor Randy Pausch, who is struggling with terminal cancer, writes inspiringly about the gift of life and making a difference. He wrote the book for his three very young children and luckily it has been published and so is available to us all. I recommend this book as the ultimate inspirational book - despite some of the chapters wrenching the heart strings.

My daughter of sixteen could not put the book down either and has recommended thoroughly to her friends too.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 3 February 2014
"The Last Lecture" by Jeffrey Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow is book about the life of an extraordinary man.
A man who instead of grieving when he learned that he will die from the terminal disease after several months, through this book and the last lecture at his university summarizes his memories and life experiences in order to leave them as a legacy to his young children and his beloved wife, but also to the whole world .

"The Last Lecture" book together with the video you can find on YouTube and his website are containing his whole presentation together with his many wise observations about family, children, work, friends and life in general.

Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University who also worked as a virtual reality world consultant for Disney company. His university has a tradition to invite its professors to give a last lecture when they're leaving University as a symbolic chance to address to their students for the last time. Randy also took that chance but instead only speaking about his profession he spoke about lot of small events and memories that happened during his life that made him such a beloved person, that made him happy man although he know that will die (too) soon.

Starting from the things he said on the lecture start when he is calling his cancer elephant in the room, up to the end when he said that this complete lecture wasn't for the audience but for his wife and kids, his talking is full of hope and humor although he is literally living his last days.

And although his lecture and this book are about his life, the events that happened to him are happening to all of us in our lives. Therefore, his advices of a man who says goodbye to this world, even though he had much more to give and will be missed very much as a father, husband, friend and expert are full of emotions, smart but most important applicable and useful to each of us.

He speaks things clearly because he has no more time, and although dying his words is full of optimism, hope and humor. Maybe you will disagree with some of his advices, like the one about the brick walls in our lives with whom I don't agree completely but he must be given credit because the whole of his life he was saying and doing things he believed, though due to that he wasn't always the most popular (teacher, husband, son...).

In Randy's book every person can find at least something that can help to be a better, inside there is a bit of wisdom for every one of us.
Randy Pausch died when he was 47 but his lecture and his lessons are so alive and will be for a long time.
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VINE VOICEon 29 June 2011
I love this book. I have a life threatening illness myself and was recommended The Last Lecture by a member of my support group. What a courageous man...but he would probably have been the last person to admit it. It left me with a feeling of hope and I am certain that is what Randy Pausch intended, but the sadness and helplessness felt by his wife is so well understood and conveyed by him.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 8 December 2014
"The Last Lecture" by Jeffrey Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow is book about the life of an extraordinary man.
A man who instead of grieving when he learned that he will die from the terminal disease after several months, through this book and the last lecture at his university summarizes his memories and life experiences in order to leave them as a legacy to his young children and his beloved wife, but also to the whole world .

"The Last Lecture" book together with the video you can find on YouTube and his website are containing his whole presentation together with his many wise observations about family, children, work, friends and life in general.

Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University who also worked as a virtual reality world consultant for Disney company. His university has a tradition to invite its professors to give a last lecture when they're leaving University as a symbolic chance to address to their students for the last time. Randy also took that chance but instead only speaking about his profession he spoke about lot of small events and memories that happened during his life that made him such a beloved person, that made him happy man although he know that will die (too) soon.

Starting from the things he said on the lecture start when he is calling his cancer elephant in the room, up to the end when he said that this complete lecture wasn't for the audience but for his wife and kids, his talking is full of hope and humor although he is literally living his last days.

And although his lecture and this book are about his life, the events that happened to him are happening to all of us in our lives. Therefore, his advices of a man who says goodbye to this world, even though he had much more to give and will be missed very much as a father, husband, friend and expert are full of emotions, smart but most important applicable and useful to each of us.

He speaks things clearly because he has no more time, and although dying his words is full of optimism, hope and humor. Maybe you will disagree with some of his advices, like the one about the brick walls in our lives with whom I don't agree completely but he must be given credit because the whole of his life he was saying and doing things he believed, though due to that he wasn't always the most popular (teacher, husband, son...).

In Randy's book every person can find at least something that can help to be a better, inside there is a bit of wisdom for every one of us.
Randy Pausch died when he was 47 but his lecture and his lessons are so alive and will be for a long time.
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on 7 July 2016
This is a thought provoking book in which you have the opportunity to look into another persons mind. what he thought about himself , his faults and weakness s and his pride in his achievements. The fact that he's got terminal cancer almost isn't the biggest feature in the story but he does , of course, reflect on it through out the book. Lots of little nuggets of wisdom in here. I read it in three days .
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on 1 February 2013
I feel bad, given the story behind the book, for only giving this 3 stars; however, if you are interested in reading a book of this genre, I would recommend "Tuesdays with Morrie" or some of the other Mitch Albom books ahead of this one.
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on 29 March 2010
The book The Last Lecture was penned by Jeffrey Zaslow, a friend of Randy Pausch, from cellphone conversations that he had in the weeks leading up to his demise. The book starts off with transcript of the talk that he gave (video embedded above). The later parts of the book are devoted to reminiscences from Randy Pausch's past - experiences that he recounts that made him who he his today. His philosophy in life, and how he tried to impart it to his students and colleagues around him. Considering that the book was written down by someone else from telephonic conversations, you'll find that most of the `chapters' are as long as the words needed to recount the experience - ranging from a few paragraphs to a few pages. There isn't any structure as such individually but the experiences overall paint a picture of what this guy stood for. You also come across Pausch as a realist who knows he has precious few weeks left and how he tries to ensure that his family - his wife and three kids - have a smooth transition once he is dead.

Reading the book makes you too think of how valuable our lives and those of the ones dearest to us are. And what would our legacy be if we too were to die one day or be given a terminal diagnosis. "Would I be able to cope in the same `live the moment' way that this guy did?" is what you'll find asking yourself quite often. The anecdotes that Pausch recounts contain words of advice that would do good to many who follow them.

This is one of those titles that you can always go back to and read when you're feeling down and out, and it still never gets old.
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on 14 October 2011
As with many other reviewers, I watched the video of the lecture some years ago and always wanted the book - which I finally done a few months ago when out and about. If you've seen the video, then you'll know the basic gist of the content and is presented here in small portions, so if you just wanted to highlight one particular story and read it to another person, you could and probably within five minutes.

And that's a *good* thing. If you're looking for something that is many pages long, then I'd recommend the collection of James Thurber's fictional stories (at 1024 pages) for philosophical meanings and intrigue. Or if you want more directly-related detail, buy "The Comet & The Tornado" by Don Marinelli - which provides, amongst other things, further detail into the professional legacy of Randy Pausch.

Some people will read this book and scoff with "oh I already knew that!" and put the book down. It's those people who miss the point - this book serves as a reminder of having principles and values, if anything if you're a person who already knows these things (like myself) then see this book as an affirmation of your genius or simply ignore one's own ego for a moment or two. As for me? I enjoyed reading stories from early in Professor Pausch's life such as highlights from his childhood, career as a young man, falling for and wooing the woman of his dreams after being a bachelor for many years and through to his diagnosis of cancer, how he dealt with it and what happened after the lecture was recorded up to the point that the finished manuscript was sent to the publishers.

As a 27-year old at the time of typing, I have gotten a glimpse of the world through an older man's eyes of "been there, done that, this is how it all turned out and this is my advice on that" and personally I do listen to those older than myself and/or those who have been where I'm headed so as to not repeat the same mistakes (but instead make new ones and learn from those! :P ), if only those both younger *and* older than myself would read this book and maybe, just maybe, be a better person afterwards for having done that.

For being so generous as to share his experiences during great difficulty whilst alive, and keeping in mind that this is more for his children than the rest of us (and is gracious enough to share it with the world anyway) and that it is optional for those who want to know more (because if anyone scoffs with "yeah but you have to pay for the book", as a reminder, you *can* watch The Last Lecture on YouTube for free along with his Time Management lecture, which managed to pack far more content in 1 hour 15 minutes than the "Personal Effectiveness" tutor did - when I went into Higher Education (as a mature student of 26 years old) - in one whole term!).

So, with all that being said, this book gets five stars.
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on 14 January 2014
When I heard about this book I knew I had to read it. The lessons are powerful and it takes a lot to write the story of a life that was actually ending. I liked some of the lessons he learnt from childhood and he exposed me to the effort that others put into give us Disney!
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