Carter and Edward are both diagnosed with lung cancer and are bunked together in the same room. Their personalities and backgrounds couldn't be any more different. Carter is a friendly mechanic, with a loving family, who is very astute in history. Edward is grumpy, arrogant, estranged from his family, and is filthy rich (in fact he owns the hospital). What starts out as an odd pairing becomes a case of a special friendship. Carter creates a "Bucket List," things he wants to do before he dies. Edward willingly offers to finance this endeavor, and comes along for the ride. Together they go on an around the world spree of insane activities and itineraries: seeing the pyramids, the Great Wall of China, dining in Paris, skydiving, seeing the Taj Mahal among other things. While they bond, both learn of each others "baggage" as well as talk about the meaning of life. When they get back to the States, Carter goes back to his family, while Edward returns to his lonely life. Sadly, Carter's cancer has spread, which requires surgery. He dies in the operating room. Edward is affected by this, so he makes amends with his daughter and they reconcile. Edward speaks at Carter's funeral, citing the importance of his friendship with Carter and how he taught him the basics of life. Edward lives a long life, and eventually has his ashes, along with some of Carter's placed in the Himalayas, where Edward's assistant Matthew, crosses off the final item of the bucket list.
Best part of story, including ending:
It's a fantasy that everyone has, that gets to be lived out by these two characters.
Best scene in story:
When the two buddies, in death, are together again, in the Himalayas.
Opinion about the main character:
Carter is a wise man who knows what he wants out of life, whereas Edward is clueless.