When Breath Becomes Air

Paul Kalanithi ★★★★★

The true story of a brilliant young neurosurgeon/neuroscientist, who, after a gruelling years of medical school, residencies and scientific work, is finally just about to see the fruit of his labor. Except that he is diagnosed with lung cancer, which changes everything and shatters all the dreams.

An extremely good read. I found the literary references and philosophical thinking a bit tiring at times, but maybe I’m just not cultivated enough (it’s probably the case).

The epilogue, written by the widow after the author passed away, makes it clear that the book was being written up until his very last days. It was his major focus in the last year of his life. This, to me, explains the philosophical literary tone. This epilogue is at least as touching, and much more brutal, than the main content of the book, perhaps due to the more practical tone, or perhaps due to being written by the person who was closest to the author.