The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch

The Last Lecture

By Randy Pausch

  • Release Date: 2008-04-08
  • Genre: Self-Improvement
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 526 Ratings)


"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 chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn't have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave--"Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams"--wasn't about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because "time is all you have...and you may find one day that you have less than you think"). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.

In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come.


  • Amazing novel

    By db1030
    Many life lessons and brought me to tears the whole way through
  • I couldnt stop crying

    By Becky yo yo
    If there was one book I will keep thinking anout, using it as my life book. Last Lecture will be it. Nothing else will be real as the words of a wise man. The stories are emotional, uplifiting, and truly brilliant.
  • Excellent

    By GrannyTrek
    I've read many Christian devotional so. They are books designed to help start or end the day with inspiration or insight into aspects of a life of faith and our relationship with God. This book reminded me of that kind of book. Short chapters designed to encourage us all to live more fully and to enjoy the time we have on earth and make the most of it. Practical, joyful, sentimental, and endearing. A beautiful gift from Randy to his friends, family, and his readers.
  • Absolutely breathtaking...

    By Emily_Robber
    What a wonderful story. I would buy it again and again and again.đź’™
  • I'm Speachless

    By Tennisdog2144
    Wow! What a wonderful book, I read it in one sitting. I think every father needs to read this book. It really hit home the need to look at your attitude towards life. I have three boys a little older than his children. I will be looking for ways to show them I love them. We get caught up in "life" we forget to live. Thank you Randy, God bless you and you family.
  • Inspiring

    By Zabajaba
    The book/message is direct but still through a story telling way.
  • The Last Lecture

    By Mamazick
    A must read!
  • Great read!

    By Rhusheheudn
    It's not about your childhood life it's about how to life your life.
  • Inspirational Story

    If you saw Randy Pausch out in public on any given day, you wouldn’t think twice about him being any different then you. That’s fine by him. Pausch is a man dying of pancreatic cancer, with a few months to live. He has a wife of eight years, Jai, and three young kids: Dylan age six, Logan age three, and Chloe age one and a half. This story is an incredible story, written by Pausch himself, of his plan to leave his legacy to his kids, so that they can remember him for who he truly was. The book begins with details about Pausch’s life, his history, and his family. He talks about the last lecture he gave at Carnegie Mellon, which was taped so that his kids could one day see him for who he was. He carries on talking about his childhood dreams, transferring through his life, and eventually talks about how he found happiness, and how others should live their life to fully achieve that personal happiness. One moment that specifically sticks out is when he pours soda into the backseat of his brand new convertible. “While my sister was outlining the rules, I slowly and deliberately opened a can of soda, turned it over, and poured it on the cloth seats in the back of the convertible. My message: People are more important then things” (Pausch 69-70). This is just one of the many lessons that Pausch teaches to others. Throughout the book, there are many small lessons that Pausch will teach about life, and why one shouldn’t waste it. I can easily say that this is one of the best books I have ever read, and it truly spoke to me, and forced me to think about ideas and qualities of life. I would suggest this book to anyone who is looking for a quick, easy read that still has meaning.
  • Great book!

    By MFJones0117
    I haven’t read very many books because I don’t think they’ll be very good. With that said, I read this book and it is fantastic. It made me tear up towards the end. Randy is a very good guy.