The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch [Book Review]

Randy Pausch was computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon who was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  The university has a tradition of last lecture where the retiring professor imparts wisdom and tells their life experiences to fellow colleagues and students. For Mr. Pausch this was literally last lecture. For Mr. Pausch this was not a hypothetical question. Within minutes into the lecture he introduced the “elephant in the room”: advanced pancreatic cancer which would kill him in few months. What would you say? What wisdom would you impart? The lecture delivered by him became very popular watched by millions of people on YouTube because of the humor, inspiration and intelligence. Mr. Pausch penned down this last lecture and this book is result of that.


Mr. Pausch chose the topic of “Really Achieving Childhood Dreams” because that what differentiated him from others. Not been professor at Carnegie Mellon, not been one of the leading authority on Virtual reality, not been Imagineer at  Disney or not been a terminal cancer patient but his way to realizing his childhood dreams.

He emphasizes on having a specific dreams, need to get your fundamentals correct, importance of teamwork and need of critics in life. He gives lessons to live by which he experienced in his life. “Romancing the Brick Wall”  Walls in life are there to show how badly we want something. There is unpredictability in life and understanding that not everything needs to be fixed and joy in realizing dreams of others.


Mr. Pausch’s Last Lecture is not really about the last lecture. It’s the “head fake”.     “It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. The dreams will come to you.” “The Last Lecture” is about the joy of life.  It’s an inspirational and heartwarming book about living, not dying.