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The Last Lecture

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  201,447 ratings  ·  13,254 reviews
"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."
— Randy Pausch

A lot of professors give talks titled "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 c

Hardcover, First edition, 206 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by Hachette Books (first published 2008)
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Jul 27, 2008 Andrew rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone, just don't read it too quickly
Recommended to Andrew by: YouTube
I sat down to write my review of “The Last Lecture” on Friday July 25th. Before I started to write, I decided to check Randy Pausch's website for any updates on his condition. He had died that morning at the age of 47. The book, and the lecture itself, now take on new meaning.

For those who aren't aware, Randy Pausch was a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon University. The university has a tradition of inviting professors to give a lecture where they pretend that it is their last chanc
Jun 12, 2008 Todd rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: vacuous white upper middle class people
My review of this book will not be popular, but I must be honest. I'm halfway through this book, and although I appreciate a positive voice, it's really not that interesting or helpful. If I could sum up this book in three words, they would be "yay for me". The author tells us how great his childhood was, then that he accomplished all his childhood dreams, got the girl of his dreams...etc etc etc. It's really not a book how to better your own life, as much as it him telling us how great his life ...more
Books Ring Mah Bell
Aug 12, 2009 Books Ring Mah Bell rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of American Idol
Recommended to Books Ring Mah Bell by: The whole world
Shelves: memo-auto-bio, poop
While this man has a 5-star attitude, I can only give the book two.

yeah, everyone is raving about this guy...
Five star attitude... the author gets diagnosed with terminal cancer. He refers to this as "an engineering problem" (understated and true) has 3-6 months to live, tops. Has 3 small children (ages 6 and under)who will never know him. he was scheduled to give a "last lecture", ya know, how to live your life as if you were dying... (irony) and he writes it in such a way that it's a celebra
I was first "introduced" to Mr. Pausch while watching the Oprah show in the fall. My father in law was in the hospital at the time, fighting melanoma that had metastacized to his lungs. Simply stated, I stopped folding clothes and cried so hard during that show. Soon after, the emails began to circulate with links to the last lecture on utube and I watched every link I got and cried even more. I read all the internet articles and was touched every time. When I saw the book was coming out, I jump ...more
Beth F.
I think this was one of those books where knowing the criticisms before starting it ultimately upped my enjoyment factor.

Randy Pausch, the author, was one of those people who became wildly popular in 2008 thanks to the internet. He was a popular professor at Carnegie Mellon and was invited to give a “last lecture”, a tradition of sorts where a professor is urged to give a specially prepared lecture as though it were the last s/he were to ever give. And so they are encouraged to break down all t
Jun 29, 2014 Cara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Cara by: Mom
THIS BOOK BLEW ME AWAY!!! Yeah I really won't be able to give a coherent review.

Suffice to say that this is human beings at their best. You might not agree with all of Randy's lessons, but he tells you from the get go that this is what he thinks and he did it all for his kids.

Towards the end I cried because there really isn't another word to describe the whole thing but genuine. The book was published when he was still alive, but I read it when he had already passed away so it was even more hear
Lindsay Coppens
It's hard to criticize a dying man. I think this is a great book for his wife, family, children, and friends to read, and although it has some good life lessons that are not revolutionary but do need repeating from time to time, this book is not well written. At points while I was reading I found myself actually disliking Pausch and his way of presenting himself, but then I realized that this would perhaps make me a horrible person. Maybe I am. I very much prefer Tuesdays With Morrie for a simil ...more
K.D. Absolutely
I am writing this review with barely 4 hours to go before 2013. I picked this book up to inspire me to face another year. I learned about this book when I took our company-mandated safety leadership training last month. Our corporate safety manager talked highly of this as he related Randy Pausch's very personal experience with what one person's ultimate objective in life, i.e., what should really matter to each of us in the training room.

For those who are not familiar with this 2008 bestselling
William T.
No doubt Randy Pausch was a nice guy. But this book is smarmy, self-indulgent crap--which is ok given the circumstances under which he gave this lecture. But it is not worth reading.

This is typical 1980's individualistic, unreflective advise on how to succeed in life. Alas, Professor Pausch does not realize that he was born white, male, middle income, in exactly the time in the 20th century where he could avoid confronting WWI, WWII, the depression, Korea, Vietnam, urban riots of the 1960's, the
I couldn't bring myself to finish this book. Perhaps the author's buildup to the ultimate last lecture raised my expectations too high, but I found myself working hard to try to maintain interest as I plowed through a series of anecdotes and trite observations. I suspect I would have enjoyed the book more if he had simply written about his work at the university, but I did not feel a connection to the author, despite his obvious courage in the face of a terminal illness.
I suppose a reader can't
The Last Lecture, literally, for a professor with a terminal illness. Taken from a speech that he wanted to impart to his students, family, friends, - really everyone as he came to grips with his condition.

This is about as emotionally charged and spiritually powerful as you may expect, the author is exploring territory that we all face, but he was at the edge of existence when he put this together. Randy Pausch was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had months to live, from this perspective he
I'm appending this with the review I wrote for my paper:

I read this because I am doing continuing coverage on the author, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who is dying of pancreatic cancer and who gave a last lecture that has been viewed on the Web by more than 6 million folks.

For what it is -- essentially an expanded version of the lecture about his life story and his advice on how to live a fulfilling life which can all be read in a sitting -- it
Mohammed Alsaleh
لا أقول أن " راندي بوتش " قد أحسن الوصف أجمل من باولو كويلو في " فيرونيكا تقرر الموت " لكنه كتب لا كروائي " كحال باولو " بل كحال إنسان يعيش الواقع .. في لحظاته الأخيرة !
حين قرأت وصية بقراءة كتاب المحاضرة الأخيرة .. بادرت للشراء لثقتي بذوق من وصاني باقتنائه .. والحق أنني وجدته أجمل مما توقعت بمراحل !
راندي بوتش .. إنسان يعيش أيامه الأخيرة وهو محاضر جامعي في جامعة كارنيجي ميلون أصيب بمرض سرطان البنكرياس وأخبر أنه لن يعيش أكثر من ستة أشهر بالكثير .. دُعي لإلقاء محاضرة " أخيرة " وأعد لها كما لم يعد ل
This book grew out of the desperation of a computer professor, when he discovered that he had terminal cancer, and he wanted absolutely to leave a manual of guidance for his little kids. It's this fact about this book that drew me, because, in terms of parental guidance, I haven't been one of the lucky ones.

I was surprised by the vividness and vivacity of the writing. The pages kept turning as if by themselves, and I was disappointed that the book ran out so soon.

Authentic and practical wisdoms
Jul 19, 2008 Tifnie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Tifnie by: Juli Platzer
Shelves: non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leslie Jem
Apr 30, 2008 Leslie Jem rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: super meek high school graduate
It may be that I am particularly sensitive to certain topics, but I didn't enjoy this book. I realize that the author is trying to cram all that he has found to be important in life in 200 pages, which is automatically going to make it seem preachy. Maybe it's that I didn't like what he was preaching. He spent too much time encouraging people to scale brick walls on the paths to their dreams. Then he started describing other people as brick walls and he lost me. Sometimes no means no, and bounda ...more
I enjoyed watching his last lecture, which was extremely touching, but reading this book was even more touching. I actually teared up numerous times while reading it.

As far as I'm concerned, this guy is a hero. He was happy, and yet he achieved so much. He was diagnosed with cancer, and instead of just letting it put him down, it was a motive for him to leave this last lecture, a lasting legacy.

I do recommend that everyone read this book.
Fotooh Jarkas
"so many will get the chance to say goodbye,BUT It's never too late to think of the value of your life " Randy was trying to tell us that , and he did it in a great way !

It was more than a lecture ! and it's not fair to write a review about this great work .. Actually it was an every day's lecture ..
I was completely in , I cried with him and laughed with him, I was amazed by his courage, faith and pride , I liked how he decided to help his wife in raising the kids after his death .
he was a gre
A little bit cocky, irritating and smug but an easy read. Quite possibly overhyped.

I kind of felt like he presented his life lessons as if they were grand revelations, unheard of and earth shattering ... but I found myself struggling to see the sense in some of them. Keep $200 in my wallet? With the frequency that I lose my purse and my inability to even keep a $200 float in my bank account ... not likely to happen.

Besides, he didn't really follow through with the whole childhood dreams thing.
I will probably burn in hell--well, okay, suffer a few extra millenia in purgatory, maybe--for only giving this book two stars. It's one of the top gift books of 2008, if you didn't yet view "The Last Lecture" on YouTube you probably heard about it via Oprah or friends or co-workers: a talented computer science prof at Carnegie Mellon with three adorable little toddlers and a loving wife learns he has pancreatic cancer and about six months to live, so he gives a farewell lecture to his students, ...more
I arrived late to the parade -- sadly, the first I ever heard of Randy Pausch was when his obit ran on late last month. The bulk of the story centered around the "last lecture" that made him famous well beyond the halls of the universities where he taught and in the scientific realm.

A few nights later, a guy who took the seat next to me on the train home was reading the book Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow put out based off his lecture. I gave it a few glances out of the corner of my eye and d
This was a great book with a lot of poignant insights. The best part about it, I feel, is that it led me to think about my own life and the things I value and have experienced. And most of all, it gives inspiration to live life more fully.
ابتسام المقرن
من أي نوع هي أسرتك؟
قد يتبادر هذا السؤال على ذهنك بعد قراءة كتاب “المحاضرة الأخيرة” لـ راندي بوتش، البروفيسور في علوم الحاسب والبرمجة في جامعة كارنيجي ميلون الذي رحل عن عالمنا في يوليو 2008 بعد إصابته بسرطان البنكرياس الذي انتشر في جسمه وأمهله أشهراً قليلة ليحدثنا فيها عن حياته وطفولته وأحلام طفولته وإنجازاته الكثيرة التي حققها في فترة زمنية بسيطة!

راندي بوتش الذي كانت أحلام طفولته أهم ما يملك، وهو بذلك يشكر والديه الذين ساعداه على أن يحلم! كيف استطاع أهل راندي بوتش جعل ابنهم يحلم ويتمكن من تحقيق
Rehab Ali suliman
لأكون صريحة لم أتوقع أن يأثر فيَّ هذا الكتاب جداً ، ربما لأنني أظن أني متفائلة كفاية لأرى الجانب الممتلئ من الكأس لكن هذا الكتاب اخترق سقف توقعاتي ، قد لا تعنينا جميعاً أحلام راندي ولكن قوته وتفائله وعطاءه وثقته بنفسه وتحديه للمرض بتفائله الواقعي وتقبله للواقع هي مايدعونا لنندهش كيف لشخص مثله أن يختصر حياته بين دفتّي كتاب ومحاضرة لا تتجاوز الساعة ، كيف له أن يلقي الكلمة الأخيرة لكل من أثر بحياته وشاركه الطريق ويودعهم بامتنان ، بكيت في الصفحات الموجهة لأبناءه وزوجته لأنه كان صادقاً جداً ولم يكن ي ...more
May 29, 2008 Cassie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
This is probably the tiniest book I've ever read - I mean literally it's only slightly longer than my hand and contains little over 200 pages. When I first saw it, I was surprised and asked my mom, "that's it?" to which she responded, "yeah, he wrote the book because people were asking for it, he wanted to spend more time with his family, not writing a book." Of course after hearing that I was like duH! If you have absolutely no clue who Randy Pausch is or have never heard his "last lecture" do ...more
Mia Queen
Kamis kemarin, saya iseng pergi ke gramedia, niat hati sih mau beli Rolling Stone ama M2 edisi terbaru, sekalian cuci mata liat2 buku baru.
Cara diet menurut golongan darah. Gak menarik…
The secret bla bla bla. Kebanyakan rahasia, males ah…
The last lecture, pesan terakhir pengidap kanker ganas yang mencuri perhatian dunia. Buku apa? Kaya pernah tau bapak ini…
Sepertinya menarik, tergeraklah saya untuk mengambil buku ini, kebetulan ada satu buku yang terbuka bungkusnya lalu saya baca kata pengantarn
La Petite Américaine
Nov 07, 2008 La Petite Américaine rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Let me get back to you on that.
Much like The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, I can't give a fair review of this book because the poor bastard is dying. I feel for the guy, I'm sorry for him and his family, his wife, and his poor kids who are never going to know him.

Did his book inspire me? Impart anything more than one cliche' after the other? Was it moving, deep, poignant, intelligent? No to all of the above. Did the book, which was supposed to be about achieving your childhood dreams, live up to what it said it would? No. I

Oh my god. what can i say about this book? is it a book? no it is not,, it is a life and self awareness guide, heart breaking, motivating real stories , it is just the kind of books that u cannot write a fair review about!.
Everyone have to/must to read it. it should be a curriculum!. It is the life lessons that if u miss u will ruin your life!
Just read it, i am really speech less.

Here is the last lecture of professor Randy Pausch, a terminally ill cancer patient and married father of three young children.

This book, which expands upon the actual lecture viewable on YouTube, is essentially a love letter to his wife & kids. One would need a heart of stone to be unmoved by Mr. Pausch's plight and his earnest desire to express his love for his family. But the "last lecture" (and the book by the same title) is/was a public event. And illness by itself, though it might con
Max Stone
Really I'd like to give this book 3.5 stars.

I very much like that fact that it is a book basically about being positive and being effective and is by an author exactly unlike the author of the Secret.

I would suffer immensely if I had to read a book (the Secret) about how I should visualize something and then it will happen and that this is a great secret only known to abraham lincoln and some famous ancients, revealed now for the first time to a broader audience. I model that as basically taki
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I am flattered and embarassed by all the recent attention to my "Last Lecture." I am told that, including abridged versions, over six million people have viewed the lecture online. The lecture really was for my kids, but if others are finding value in it, that is wonderful. But rest assured; I'm hardly unique. Send your kids to Carnegie Mellon and the other professors here will teach them valuable ...more
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“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” 2218 likes
“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” 1628 likes
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