‘When Breath Becomes Air’ Leaves Bitter Taste Behind

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Dharma Shah, Staff

 

When I got my first look at “When Breath Becomes Air” I braced myself for the long journey finishing this book would be. To my utter surprise I found myself digging through the pages as I once did in my elementary school days. Soon-to-be Doc. Paul Kalanithi loaded his pages with lighthearted humor, strong diction, and honesty in a fascinating novel about his life and its turbulences.
Paul Kalanithi’s life was about to fall into place, his years of preparation were behind him and his desire to be a neurosurgeon were about to be realized. In a blink of an eye his perfect future is shattered by the heartbreaking news of his terminal cancer.
Of the many things I deeply enjoyed about this book, my favorite thing was how Paul described his life and choices with no bias. He depicted the malevolent and benevolent forces in his life with no interest in portraying himself as someone he was not. Additionally, this book kept me on my toes, the sharp twists in the storyline could keep even the most lackadaisical reader locked in.

Paul Kalanithi loaded his pages with lighthearted humor, strong diction, and honesty in a fascinating novel about his life and its turbulences”

— Dharma Shah


Despite the enormous amount of adoration I have for Paul, this book left a bitter taste in my mouth. The end of the book felt rushed and half-finished. Furthermore, it’s unusual and hard to read a story where the ending is known.
Lastly, when I give think of giving recommendations, it’s normally to heavy readers looking for their next fresh prey in the form of a book. By recommending this book, I wish everyone’s eyes would float across the inside mind of Paul Kalanithi, and experience the beautiful writing that is When Breath Becomes Air.