Randy Pausch writes this book along with Jeffrey Zaslow as a follow-up to his "The Last Lecture" at Carnegie-Mellon University. "The Last Lecture" series, although renamed by the time Randy was the speaker, is where professors are given an opportunity to speak on a subject as if this is the last lecture before the speaker's death. In Randy's case, it was aptly called his last lecture. Randy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had a very little time left to live.
The book resonates the theme of Randy's last lecture. How can you achieve your dreams? He provides himself as an example and demonstrates how he overcame the various brick walls encountered in his life. His perseverance is also attributed to the humble upbringing by his parents and the influence of his mentors. In fact, the book and the lecture is also a way to overcome the final brick wall in his life. Being in the book form, Randy is able to dedicate more words and anecdotes about his close family than a lecture of 1 hour duration.
How can a man on a death sentence inspire us to dream and to achieve the dream? It may sound impossible. But that is what Randy achieves with this book. It takes courage to accept the inevitable and do the possible best for the remainder of his short life. I believe people react in the best optimized manner when faced with constraints. Randy demonstrates it. Faced with the biggest constraint in his life, he has come out with this book (and the lecture) for inspiring people to overcome constraints.
After reading the book, you end up asking yourself many questions. What would you do if you had only limited time to live? Are you going to give up too soon whenever you find a brick wall?
This is different from the usual inspirational books. You must read this.