The Last Lecture: Book Experience

I started reading The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch in February. It was after the recommendation of two of my friends. Initially when I started to read the book I was enjoying it thoroughly, until one day I accidentally started to read its reviews on Goodreads. The reviews as expected were great and the readers seemed to be totally inspired and emotional over the warrior like spirit of Randy and Jai. But then to my utter surprise I noticed there were some readers who gave the book 1/5 star. I was intrigued to know how people can dislike such an encouraging book. The reasons stated by them for not being impressed with the writing mostly had the same undertone, which was that throughout the book Randy was just being a loudmouth, blabbering over how great he was. Well now when I think about this reason I wonder what else were people expecting for a professor to talk in his last lecture to a collective mass of his students, friends and family other than his life journey. But that day I thought something else. Reading the comments made me see the book under the light of arrogance of the writer and this idea kept resonating in my mind with every flip of the page. Very soon I got disinterested in the book and kept it aside, half read.

Today out of boredom as well as to finish the unfinished business of the last lecture, I opened the book again from where I had left it. Probably I had forgotten the 1 star reviews of the book and was once again marveled by the Tigger like spirit of Randy (reference to Winnie the Pooh, as mentioned by Randy himself that best describes his personality). I couldn’t help but finish the rest of the book in a go. Reading it was one of the most emotional experience I have had, to say the least. Quite often people question and discourage others so as to cover their own insecurity and inferiority. All I could ponder by the end of the book over the reviews was that rating a book with 1 star is perfectly fine, but every like and dislike must come with a strong reason and preferably must be articulated well, particularly while critiquing a “book”. This way we help our development even in criticism. Instead of having empathy towards a man who in his last counting days could write such a personal yet so easy to connect book, if we rather care to write a criticism of merely a sentence, then it can be regarded as something totally opposite of the essence of The Last Lecture. The same philosophy applies in our daily lives too and I will try taking care of it in my future decisions.


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