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Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Hardcover – Deckle Edge, 7 October 2014

4.7 out of 5 stars 8,863 ratings

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Review

Being Mortal, Atul Gawande's masterful exploration of aging, death, and the medical profession's mishandling of both, is his best and most personal book yet.” ―Boston Globe

“American medicine, Being Mortal reminds us, has prepared itself for life but not for death. This is Atul Gawande's most powerful--and moving--book.” ―Malcolm Gladwell

“Beautifully crafted . . . Being Mortal is a clear-eyed, informative exploration of what growing old means in the 21st century . . . a book I cannot recommend highly enough. This should be mandatory reading for every American. . . . it provides a useful roadmap of what we can and should be doing to make the last years of life meaningful.” ―Time.com

“Masterful . . . Essential . . . For more than a decade, Atul Gawande has explored the fault lines of medicine . . . combining his years of experience as a surgeon with his gift for fluid, seemingly effortless storytelling . . . In Being Mortal, he turns his attention to his most important subject yet.” ―Chicago Tribune

“Beautifully written . . . In his newest and best book, Gawande . . . has provided us with a moving and clear-eyed look at aging and death in our society, and at the harms we do in turning it into a medical problem, rather than a human one.” ―The New York Review of Books

“Powerful.” ―New York Magazine

“Atul Gawande's wise and courageous book raises the questions that none of us wants to think about . . . Remarkable.” ―John Carey, The Sunday Times (UK)

“A deeply affecting, urgently important book--one not just about dying and the limits of medicine but about living to the last with autonomy, dignity, and joy.” ―Katherine Boo

“Dr. Gawande's book is not of the kind that some doctors write, reminding us how grim the fact of death can be. Rather, he shows how patients in the terminal phase of their illness can maintain important qualities of life.” ―Wall Street Journal (Best Books of 2014)

Being Mortal left me tearful, angry, and unable to stop talking about it for a week. . . . A surgeon himself, Gawande is eloquent about the inadequacy of medical school in preparing doctors to confront the subject of death with their patients. . . . it is rare to read a book that sparks with so much hard thinking.” ―Nature

“We have come to medicalize aging, frailty, and death, treating them as if they were just one more clinical problem to overcome. However it is not only medicine that is needed in one's declining years but life--a life with meaning, a life as rich and full as possible under the circumstances. Being Mortal is not only wise and deeply moving, it is an essential and insightful book for our times, as one would expect from Atul Gawande, one of our finest physician writers.” ―Oliver Sacks

“Gawande's book is so impressive that one can believe that it may well [change the medical profession] . . . May it be widely read and inwardly digested.” ―Diana Athill, Financial Times (UK)

“Eloquent, moving.” ―The Economist (Best Books of 2014)

“A great read that leaves you better equipped to face the future, and without making you feel like you just took your medicine.” ―Mother Jones (Best Books of 2014)

“Beautiful.” ―New Republic

“Gawande displays the precision of his surgical craft and the compassion of a humanist . . . in a narrative that often attains the force and beauty of a novel . . . Only a precious few books have the power to open our eyes while they move us to tears. Atul Gawande has produced such a work. One hopes it is the spark that ignites some revolutionary changes in a field of medicine that ultimately touches each of us.” ―Shelf Awareness (Best Books of 2014)

“A needed call to action, a cautionary tale of what can go wrong, and often does, when a society fails to engage in a sustained discussion about aging and dying.” ―San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author

Atul Gawande is author of four bestselling books: Complications, a finalist for the National Book Award; Better, selected by Amazon as one of the ten best books of 2007; The Checklist Manifesto; and his most recent, Being Mortal. He is also a surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He has won the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science, a MacArthur Fellowship, and two National Magazine Awards. In his work in public health, he is Executive Director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit organization making surgery safer globally. He and his wife have three children and live in Newton, Massachusetts.

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Janie U
4.0 out of 5 stars Uncomfortable and challenging
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5.0 out of 5 stars The "D" word
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5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great read. Crucial. A fascinating insight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant and Sobering - a must read!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A sensitive discussion on age related illness and our attitude to the elderly and to dying.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A fabulously inspiring read
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4.0 out of 5 stars On the Care of the Dying
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 7 September 2015
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Carol Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly honest and thought provoking
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Simon Nixon
5.0 out of 5 stars Mortality at the end
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 25 March 2015
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Jayne LM Donegan
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of anecdotes - I love anecdotes. Information in medicine is now all supposed ...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful and though provoking
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking and Moving.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 April 2018
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Steve Annett
5.0 out of 5 stars An enriching but difficult book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 May 2015
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Christine Amakye
5.0 out of 5 stars In life, what matters at the end??
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 31 August 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 27 December 2018
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