Book Reviews of The Last Lecture

The Last Lecture
The Last Lecture
Author: Jeffrey Zaslow, Randy Pausch
ISBN-13: 9781401323257
ISBN-10: 1401323251
Publication Date: 4/8/2008
Pages: 224
Rating:
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 590

4.1 stars, based on 590 ratings
Publisher: Hyperion
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

64 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Last Lecture on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 18
This book is a keeper! Sorry everyone, I'm hanging onto this one. I finished it in about two days, let my 17 year old son read it and he finished it in four--and he doesn't like to read much. The beauty of this book is it is not maudlin. It does not dwell on his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer or the death sentence that comes with it. Instead, he tells you what he did with his life and why he's happy he did it. He also tells us how to learn from our mistakes. One of my favorite quotes was "brick walls are not put in our path to stop us; brick walls are there to see how badly we want our goal." (Not a verbatim quote, but you get the gist.) I recommend everyone run out and buy this book and buy it for all your friends--it's that good.
reviewed The Last Lecture on
Helpful Score: 17
I was first introduced to this book by the television special right before it came out. Since then I have been delaying actually reading it, but always saying "I need to read that book." There were always other books to read. I finally got down to reading it, and I have degraded myself for waiting so long.

In my opinion, every high school student in america should be required to read this book. This is a great teacher. From the beginning to the end, it is a great read that gives you more than most self-help books that are presently out there.

I am not one to write a review about anything, but this is one item I just had to tell others about.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
I absolutely loved this book. A quick read. It is a very inspirational book that encourages you to enjoy every day and live in the moment. This book will make you look at life and it's challenges differently. One of my favorite books.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
This is an amazing story of courage and inspiration! Wow is all I know to say! Please read this book if you get the chance. You won't be disappointed. It is not down trodden with painful memories but is filled with hope for all of us. Very easy to read. It was an honor to learn about this man and his message.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 161 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Amazingly motivational. This book came to me at a perfect time in my life and made me feel like I could handle whatever life decided to throw at me. We all have challenges to overcome, and we all have strengths to overcome them. Sometimes it just takes some digging. Definitely a keeper to read over and over again. Very easy read.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 163 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This book was written as a guideline to Randy's children to follow after he was gone. I was totally inspired by this man's ideals and standards. He was a great example to his students as well. He was loved by many, including me for his unfailing positive attitude, courage and strength. I have the book but I am not willing to part with it at this time. It is well worth reading for everyone. Read and learn.
reviewed The Last Lecture on
Helpful Score: 5
This is book is deeply personal for the author Randy Pausch who gave "The Last Lecture" as a gift for his children after he found out that he had terminal cancer. The wisdom he gives is something every person should read, and I hope will read. Its one of the greatest books I have ever read, one I'll never forget, nor his message about obtaining your dreams. I feel blessed to have read this book.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 599 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This book is a quick read with incredible and simple wisdom. A dying man's legacy for his young children to know who he was. It is inspiring, honest, humorous and touching. It's about childhood dreams and living life with enthusiasm. One basic principle included "Make a decision: Tigger or Eeyore." Beginning with his own pretty outrageous childhood dream list, he tells how most of those dreams were fulfilled in his life. It is a valuable few hours spent that will leave you feeling uplifted and grateful.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 75 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book was given to me by a contact at work. She gave it to me after she read it. Her only request of me was that I pay it forward when I finished it. She wants me to give it to someone who will appreciate and understand Randy Pausch's message.

Celebrate life! That's the best way to pay it forward! This book is a celebration of a beautiful life.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 117 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A heartbreaking reality--Pausch, a father of small children, is dying. He gives his "Last Lecture" as a professor, talking about his childhood and what he would like his own children to know about his life and his love for them. Poignant, witty, touching--this book could not be put down. Highly recommended for anyone with difficult challenges in their own life.
reviewed The Last Lecture on
Helpful Score: 3
This was definitely an inspirational book. I think everyone needs to take the time and read this book at some point in their life. The author has an amazing way of looking at life, family, career, and other aspects along the way that really makes you think about the way you live life and what you make important.

It's a quick read with short chapters. Definitely one everyone should put on their wishlist. I would post it but i'm busy passing it around with family and friends!
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
amazing book!!! very touching!!! i laughed,i cried, and also enjoyed his happiness along with him... made me think twice about all the little things we take for granted in every day life!!!
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 87 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Wonderful book! I read this in a sitting. On the surface, the author is writing his last lecture - a collection of his thoughts on how to live one's life fully. What they don't tell you, and what sneaks in underneath, are wonderful tips on successfully running a business, relating professionally and personally to others with positive results, and the things that are important to pass on to one's children.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 170 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
a quick read, makes you think about how you would handle knowing you only had a short time to live. Randy was a very intelligent, creative man, who lived life to the fullest. I found the book a quick read, but a nice story.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I found the book to be absolutely excellent. There were points where I was almost in tears and it was just generally chalked full of good advice for living one's life to the fullest. I was especially moved by the clarity and optimism of Pausch's writing despite his quite dire circumstances. I chose this book to try to gain some inspiration as I headed into the new year and I think I got just what I sought.
reviewed The Last Lecture on
Helpful Score: 2
This was an unbelievable book. The way this man handled what he was dealt is amazing. It is sad yet uplifting at the same time.... It is a must read.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 193 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Nice, little, well written book. I did not see the video first of the Last Lecture . . . this is sort of the story of why and what lead up to his lecture. Impressive, positive attitude exudes from the book.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 50 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was an amazing, inspiring book. I was very tempted to keep it for myself, but I feel I need to pass Randy's message forward so others can also be inspired. But after the wish list here dies down, I may request it again as a keeper for my library.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
WOW! What a great inspirational book! Both my husband and I loved it!
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 82 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Full of arrogance but also very inspiring. It seems he lived his life to the fullest and wants to pass on his ideas and successes to others. The book gets you to look within and examine what it is you have accomplished and what your dreams are. He gives you inspiration to follow your childhood dreams.

I admire his outlook on life knowing that his time is limited. I hope that if ever faced with should a situation that I can see it the same way.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 122 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I first heard of this book when our principal showed us clips of The Last Lecture at a faculty meeting. I then saw clips on Oprah and on the internet. I wrote down the title immediately, but didn't get around to reading the book for over a year, by which time Pausch had passed away, making the book all the more poignant. The book deserves every bit of the media attention it has gotten. I read it in a day. It's full of wisdom without being "preachy". By the end of the book you're not only inspired by Pausch, you feel like he's a friend.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 334 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It's a common exercise in universities to have professors give talks entitled "The Last Lecture", where they are asked to imagine they are dying and talk about what matters most to them. For Randy Pausch, computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, it was not an exercise - he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given only a few months to live. Video of his final lecture has spread far and wide via the Internet, and this book is the story of how he came to give that lecture. Full of heartfelt and sound advice on life and love, it is a poignant but unsappy account of his life and experience with cancer, as well as a tangible legacy he leaves not just for his young children, but the rest of the world too, and well worth reading.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The book is a quick and easy read. Very inspiring. Motivates you to follow your dreams without fear.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Awesome writing, awesome lessons, awesome legacy to his family....
reviewed The Last Lecture on
Helpful Score: 1
interesting book, you can learn a few life lessons from reading this . . .
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

There's nothing more bittersweet than reading a story where you know the ending before you start the first page. Everyone knows that on July 25, 2008, Randy Pausch lost his battle with cancer. But fortunately for those of us who never knew the man, he's left behind his legacy in THE LAST LECTURE. The well-known lecture can be viewed on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo), but with the help of a Wall Street Journal writer, Jeffrey Zaslow, he's taken his famous "last lecture" and written a book on how to live.

If you've watched the actual last lecture (I took the time after reading the book to sit and watch the entire talk), then the book is a perfect companion. If you've not seen the video, you will still be touched by the book. Though the book doesn't quote the lecture verbatim, Mr. Pausch has taken his lecture and expounded with more details and memories.

Having gone to university in Pittsburgh, I am very familiar with Carnegie Mellon University. When I first heard about the book and famous talk upon the death of Mr. Pausch, it was the mention of CMU that first caught my attention. I proceeded to get my hands on the book and read it in one quiet evening.

Mr. Pausch doesn't preach about his cancer, nor philosophize on death. Instead, he tells of his childhood dreams and how others can achieve their dreams. He speaks often of hitting a brick wall. He tells all that if you want something badly enough, then you will find a way around that brick wall. He shares with the reader his rejections by Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, and even the Disney Imagineers. But he fought for what he wanted, and found a way to achieve his dreams.

He fondly thanks his parents for his wonderful childhood. He thanks his tough college mentor Andy van Dam. He tells about one of his students, whose dream was to work on the next Star Wars films. This coming in the early 1990s when no one anticipated there would be an additional three.

I believe all who pick up this book will be touched in some small way. It might not make you a better person for reading it, but I believe it will make you think. He offers simple suggestions for getting more out of life. It may be the simple truth of how to offer a sincere apology. It may be that you should put others first. Whatever it is, read the book with an open mind and be thankful that you are still alive and have the chance to live each day.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 155 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I was a little hesitant to read this one cuz the cover reminded me of The Secret, which I really didn't enjoy. I'm glad that I had to read this for book club, though. There were so many cute stories and sayings throughout the whole book. I'm going to have to reread it and flag everything that was funny or cute or insightful. I'm thinking that will be alot of flags sticking out of my book.

The only thing that I didn't really like was that I now have to go online to see the actual speech. But, find it I will. This book was that good, that you just need to know exactly what he said and how he did.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was one of the best I've read. Very inspirational and about making the most of your life regardless of what time you think you may have. Live each day to the fullest as if there is no tomorrow for we don't know the number of our days! Carpe diem!
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
a heart warming story with a wonderful writing style
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 3 more book reviews
Awesome awesome book...I highly recommend this book!
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 893 more book reviews
It's been awhile since I stayed up to read a book but I did this one. What an incredible read! If there was ever a cockeyed optimist Randy Pausch was one. He loved and believed in cliches. He loved his work, his family and his friends. He lived life to the very fullest, even when he knew he was dying. He believed in childhood dreams and asked you to examine your own. So, what are yours? Have you fulfilled them in some way? Do you believe in scaling brick walls? Randy did. Read The Last Lecture and come away changed. It's a wonderful way to look at life and living.
reviewed The Last Lecture on
I loved this book! Made me cry- and kept me interested! Also, it was a very quick read.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 117 more book reviews
A heartbreaking reality--Pausch, a father of small children, is dying. He gives his "Last Lecture" as a professor, talking about his childhood and what he would like his own children to know about his life and his love for them. Poignant, witty, touching--this was worth a listen. Highly recommended for anyone with difficult challenges in their own life.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 67 more book reviews
I am not understanding the hype of this one. Good advice from a dying father written to his children, but probably along the lines of what anyone would say if they had the chance.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 6 more book reviews
I listened to it twice then passed it along to my sisters. The author was incredibly positive and down to earth. He made me both laugh and almost cray at times. What a great way to live.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 371 more book reviews
I have watched the video of Mr. Pausch's last lecture. The book is inspiring and motivational in the face of death. What a wonderful tribute to his family and a testimonial of his love of his wife and children. Lessons learned from this book would serve anyone well in life at any stage!
reviewed The Last Lecture on
This book was used as a textbook for my English Composition class. I LOVED IT!!!! When they say never judge a book by its cover, this is definitely the book that is being referred to. The chapters are short and to the point.

I think it is a beautiful legacy to leave not only to the author's family, but to the world.

Not only WOULD I recommend this book to others, I DO recommend it to everyone.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 38 more book reviews
Life lessons from Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch. Some good ponderings!
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Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

There's nothing more bittersweet than reading a story where you know the ending before you start the first page. Everyone knows that on July 25, 2008, Randy Pausch lost his battle with cancer. But fortunately for those of us who never knew the man, he's left behind his legacy in THE LAST LECTURE. The well-known lecture can be viewed on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo), but with the help of a Wall Street Journal writer, Jeffrey Zaslow, he's taken his famous "last lecture" and written a book on how to live.

If you've watched the actual last lecture (I took the time after reading the book to sit and watch the entire talk), then the book is a perfect companion. If you've not seen the video, you will still be touched by the book. Though the book doesn't quote the lecture verbatim, Mr. Pausch has taken his lecture and expounded with more details and memories.

Having gone to university in Pittsburgh, I am very familiar with Carnegie Mellon University. When I first heard about the book and famous talk upon the death of Mr. Pausch, it was the mention of CMU that first caught my attention. I proceeded to get my hands on the book and read it in one quiet evening.

Mr. Pausch doesn't preach about his cancer, nor philosophize on death. Instead, he tells of his childhood dreams and how others can achieve their dreams. He speaks often of hitting a brick wall. He tells all that if you want something badly enough, then you will find a way around that brick wall. He shares with the reader his rejections by Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, and even the Disney Imagineers. But he fought for what he wanted, and found a way to achieve his dreams.

He fondly thanks his parents for his wonderful childhood. He thanks his tough college mentor Andy van Dam. He tells about one of his students, whose dream was to work on the next Star Wars films. This coming in the early 1990s when no one anticipated there would be an additional three.

I believe all who pick up this book will be touched in some small way. It might not make you a better person for reading it, but I believe it will make you think. He offers simple suggestions for getting more out of life. It may be the simple truth of how to offer a sincere apology. It may be that you should put others first. Whatever it is, read the book with an open mind and be thankful that you are still alive and have the chance to live each day.
reviewed The Last Lecture on
Good book. really makes you think about what is truly important. He seemed a bit arogant at times, made me want to see the actual lecture (which is what I thought this book was).
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 43 more book reviews
206 pages in about an hour that confirmed that I was called to teach and be an example of how to be a community change agent. Must read for those that want to be an example for others...5 stars!
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this is a very inspiring book.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 9 more book reviews
I finished this book in less than a day. Each story just drew me into the next. Pauch's zest for life and positive attitude in the face of tragedy is truly inspiring. I felt as though I was following him through the process of living a full life as it should be. The stories he tells are full of affirmations of life, tempered by the sad reminder that this was his way of letting go of this life. They are stories that anyone can relate to and learn from.
This book would be a perfect read for anyone, at any point in life. It's an easy read broken down into bite size portions for anyone who may be 'too busy' to sit down and read.
reviewed The Last Lecture on
This book should be mandatory reading for everyone! Though it is not an autobiography, it does have autobiographical moments, so has its share of "I, I, I & Me."

Aside from that, it has some wonderful life lessons in it, told in a manner that you don't feel 'lectured to.'

I feel everyone will pull something beneficial from this book.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 685 more book reviews
This reminds me a great deal of the everything i learned in kindergarten lists. It is certainly touching since the reader is aware of the unfortunate terminal illness and it is probably what prompted readers to buy the book, I thought it was the actual transcript of the lecture, it is not, now I need to find that on the internet somewhere. I am wondering if the author has passed, I will need to seek out that info on the internet as well, seems this book just gave me more to do!! All in all it is uplifting, it is nice to think that this man is dying and he is so selflessly thinking of others, makes you want to be that kind of person in the living.
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everyone should read this book
reviewed The Last Lecture on
Great book, really inspiring on how to live life better. I'm not sure I want to give it up again.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Mr. Pausch's experiences and his sense of humor are delightful as well as insightful. It was an inspiring read, which is why I added it to my library!
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 14 more book reviews
A very uplifting and quick read - Randy Pausch was an incredible person and educator. We all need a little reminder sometimes to be "glass half full" people - Randy hits us over the head with that lesson.
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Excellent words of wisdom from a dying man.Funny, poignant and memorable!
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great book
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Absolutely astounding. A touching read for anyone. Really shows insight into the struggles of a family through a traumatic time. I recommend it strongly!
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Great book!
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A must read for everyone!
reviewed The Last Lecture on
I don't know exactly what I was expecting from this book, considering the hype. It was chosen for my book club so I gave it a try. It was an easy read, sad in parts, but not as inspiring and insightful as I had expected. Just not my sort of book, I guess.
reviewed The Last Lecture on + 49 more book reviews
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is an inspirational lecture by a professor of computer science who was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. Professor Randy Pausch was a 47-year-old man who had a wife and three small childrenand three months to live. With precious time to waste, he felt the need to deliver one last message to his students, and mainly to his kids. His lecture wasn't about coping with dying. It was about living. The lecture was titled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, but it went into so much more than that. Pausch weaved his optimism through stories of his life. While the cancer lingered as a backdrop, the meat of the book contained tools for living an abundant life. He urged the need to never give up, the determination to follow your dreams and enable the dreams of others, as well as simple common sense tips like always telling the truth. Some of his anecdotes were poignant. Some were funny like the dream balloon ride with his new bride on their wedding day. As a teacher, Randy was direct and demanding. He had high expectations of his students and wanted them to reach their potential. Pausch said: Im a scientist who sees inspiration as the ultimate tool for doing good. He was actually talking about the inspiration of the moon landing in 1969, but he could just as well have been talking about himself. With this book he leaves a force of motivation, not just for his students, but for others, too. This book is saturated with life lessons for all of us.

Randy Pausch died on July 25, 2008.

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reviewed The Last Lecture on
Easy read. My rising 11th grader loved it!
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good book
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Randy Pausch really learned the lesson of life and does an excellent job of trying to teach others to live while you still have time to live. It isn't depressing or a downer. Quite the opposite. It is a book of hope and dreams. It should be required reading on the college level, again at 40, and again at 60. Happy are those who truly have learned what life is all about.
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Very well written. A great lesson on savoring life and not wasting time on the small stuff.
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A professor at Carnegie Mellon was asked to give his "last lecture." He had recently been diagnosed with cancer. He talks about the importance of overcoming obstacles, living out your dreams. A very good read.
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I was kind of afraid that this book would be sad and depressing, but at the end of the book I felt inspired and uplifted. He works really hard on not focusing on the negative and sad in his life--and it makes this reading very enjoyable.
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Terrific book about imagine what you want and believe it and be ready when it comes thru. Randy Pausch lived a lot of his dreams before his death. So inspiring.
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Inspirational book