Book Review: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Previously, I already knew that this is going to be one of those self help books meant to give profound inspiration. When I picked it up, I was expecting to have at something that would at least resemble The Alchemist. Full of wisdom, but also accompanied by a compelling storyline to keep you from getting bored. According to the back cover, this is the story of Julian Mantle, a superstar lawyer whose out of balance lifestyle has taken the toll on him.

Source: Amazon

The whole book is narrated from the first person view of John, a friend of Julian. The book started strongly, with Julian collapsing in the middle of a trial under heavy stress in addition to his unhealthy lifestyle. After that, Julian went missing, leaving all of his worldly possession behind. And, just like the title of the book suggests, it turns out that he went to India to become a sage. One summer day, Julian visited John again to offer him all his wisdom obtained during his stay at Sivana. Julian has transformed from a overweight, sickly old man into a healthy youth brimming with energy, and he has made it his mission to spread his knowledge.

This is where the book really starts to go downhill. The whole conversation between Julian and John feels like one long infomercial, with Julian practically narrating self-help advices that you can find in other books and websites throughout the rest of this book. John makes some remark for each advice to represent any kind of doubt that the reader of this book might have. Oh and they just have to insert a bunch of lame jokes in between conversations. Just to make the self-help part not entirely bland, Robin S Sharma invented Sivana, supposedly a place where ancient sages gather and where Julian gets all his self help knowledge. It’s just too bad that the place is never thoroughly elaborated, and it feels just like a convenient backstory full of plot holes.

What I think about this book: just another self help book. With some lame jokes added.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

  1. THE most useful book I have read so far!
    I guess, that when you read this book, if you open your mind to its ideas and concepts, you’re gonna find it revolutionizing and life changing. Otherwise, you’re just gonna think it’s boring and never go through with it. Well, in my case, and because I was looking for this kind of book for so long, I found it very useful, and I just KNOW that lots of things in my life won’t be the same because of it.
    In a very simple, yet very meaningful, short story Robin Sharma was able to walk me, step by step, through an entire life philosophy that made so much sense!.

    1. Yes, I totally agree with you that this book gives important concepts in life. What I’m criticizing is that instead of packaging them inside a good story (the beginning of the book makes for a really good start) it turns into a q&a session. At that time I wasn’t looking for a self help book, but more of an inspirational story – I use the alchemist as a model of this kind of stories – which is why I’m kinda let down with how it turns out.

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