Book Review: When Breath Becomes Air



This book is about a man, an aspiring doctor in his last year of residency; a future full of opportunities with just a few years wait for his dreams to realize. Then all of a sudden, an aggressive cancer has chosen him, weaken him — rendering his whole life forfeited.

Because of this book, i have seen a glimpse of a doctor’s life. All my life, i know that i have fallen deeply for science. It is so funny how i did not pursue it and instead was stuck in the world of accountancy and finance. I am just a scared kid back then, so naive; what a dumb stupid kid and now i am paying for its price.

For me, medicine is a profession of nobleness: doctor, the savior, and patient, the one saved. My mind painted these people white and untainted; glorifying them because they are what i yearn to be. But this book has made me realize that doctors are just like anyone else, and they are humans. In their long hours of duty and full loads of responsibility, like humans, their nobility dims and their morality falters. I worry for my med student sister; praying that she will not fall in the same narrative, but she will — she inevitably will.



I admire Paul for being a man of dedication and a man of work. He always knew what he wanted and studied the things he want to learn. He is a brave and strong individual who faced death head on. This book is not Tuesdays with Morrie — do not be disappointed and expect Paul to be an enlightener because he is not. This is a story of his life and i feel honored that he shared it with us.

I disagree with what the epilogue said that this book is complete and Paul, in some way, finished his manuscript. Paul is a man of literature and i know for a fact that he wanted to say a lot more. This book taught me that “Death” is a thief and “Time” is his ambassador. Death steals a person’s life, robs off his future, and thieves him away from his love ones forever. But you can only witness “death” at the end. It is “Time” that comes for you at your doorstep; always ticking, always lurking, always there to represent death. These two things has always been our enemies — our scary and unavoidable enemies.


⭐️  ⭐️  ⭐️  ⭐️   S  T  A  R  S


4 thoughts on “Book Review: When Breath Becomes Air

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