Book Review- The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture- Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture

I picked this up because it was lying near our bedside table and was comparatively thinner than other options available within a hand’s distance that day! Husband was all praises for the book and said that i must read it. Going by the title and summary even i had pretty high expectations from the book; but sad to say that i found it too over hyped. Disappointment is the right word.

The book is about this professor- the author, who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has only few months left to live. He has a happy family with three kids (all below age of six) and a loving wife. In this book he has captured (based on a lecture he gave at one of his univ) what all he would have shared with his kids had he continued to live longer; his experiences, his life’s lessons and many more things.

The good part first- the spirit behind the book is commendable. Not many dying people in the world would have the courage to take o the remaining days in their life with such positive attitude. Being a parent now i can completely understand the author’s feelings and state of mind. A parent’s only concern is – how would my kids do without me?  How would they remember me? how would they know what all i wanted to tell them, to share with them? There is no limit to what one wants to share and tell their kids, an untimely death of a parent snatches away a huge part of kids’ life. The very though of my daughter growing up without me brings a lump in my throat…so the fact that Randy wanted to create as much written and visual material as possible, to may aid his kids to know what he thought of them, what he wanted to tell them, what kind of a person he was etc, makes perfect sense.

So as i said, the intention and the spirit behind the book is awesome and at all the above places it does succeed in connecting with the reader.

However, the material inside the book is not that great. There is nothing spectacular about the wisdom/ stories shared in the book, to make it deserve so much attention and hype. Except for a couple of chapters, most part of the book is quite unimpressive. After reading every chapter (which by the way are pretty short) you end up thinking- oh! so that was it…hmm…ok. To me it felt as if the author has forcefully tried to convert some incidents into life’s lessons, when actually there are none!! The only line in the book which stayed with me after reading it was- Never make a decision until you have to! I liked this.

The other part of the book which i found annoying was- the author himself. The way he has described himself, he comes across as someone very arrogant and know all kind of person. Someone not very user friendly.

Overall, an over hyped book, with tall promises but low on content. Skip-able if you have something better to read.

Rating- 2/5



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