Book: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
Author: Robin Sharma
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Genre: Self help with a ‘fabled’ mask
In One Line: A lawyer turns into a sage.
Characterisation: The story is about Julian Mantle, a lawyer who can only think of work till one day he has a heart attack and then he vanishes into oblivion, only to return years later as a changed man to tell his junior, John, of his learnings which he obtained from a Himalayan Guru. While fables do concentrate more on the lesson, the characters also have a persona of their own. I felt this book did not have it and the conversations between the two characters also seemed forced.
Language: In a book that is full of various learning, I liked the fact that the author has managed to introduce humour in places. For example this: “Serving as his junior was often an exercise in frustration, leading to more than a few late night shouting matches.” The book also has plenty of one liners that can be treated as quotes-to-be-framed-and-kept-in-front-of-you-see-every-morning. The ones I liked most are: “Life came to a few key moments”, “There is no such thing as ‘objective reality’ or the real world. Nothing is absolute” and “The very fact that you have a desire or a dream means that you have the corresponding capacity to realise it.”
Concept of the Book: The author discusses various concepts like respect time because it slips through our hands like grains of sand, constantly repair friendships, fear is one’s own creation that sucks out energy, enthusiasm is one of the key ingredients to successful living etc. However, after reading the entire book, I felt that he does not say anything new. It seemed more of reading that which we already know.
Would like to know from you readers out there: With the huge number of self help books out there, are they all then the same? Is it just the words , sentence formation, and syntax that is different? Where is the newness to it?
Book Cover Art: It’s about two lawyers, one of whom, eventually turns into a ‘wise-man’ after his visit to the Himalayas. Why an autumn coloured backdrop showing a path that runs through a meadow then? I would have much preferred a whitish-blue background that would have aptly depicted ‘peace’ of the mind with, say, an empty coffee mug on a table. Or even a red Ferrari parked somewhere in a hilly region.
How’s the Title: I liked the title. It is indeed catchy. Thumb-up for the naming of the book.
Is The Blurb Catchy: A short and crisp blurb with quotes from Paulo Coelho, TOI and The Hindu preceding it – excellent marketing tactic.
Learning From The Story: My greatest learning was that, there are many to-dos that we can follow which will make our life more ‘right-tracked’. For this, we need not read a book or even visit sages. We need to delve deep into our minds to understand what it is that helps us to lead this life with positivity. If it is one cube of dark chocolate a day, then so be it!
Areas Of Improvement: The read, despite the author portraying it as a fable, seemed more like a list of questions being answered. It just did not seem like a story. In places it seemed too didactic in its tone – at times to the point of boredom. John, the listener, just seemed to naive to be true and the ‘monk’ seemed too changed to be believed either. I would have rather the author kept it as a self help book rather than trying to turn it into a story-like structure.
What Is ‘Said By Not Saying’: Don’t work yourself to the point of a heart attack!
My Reaction When I Finally Closed The Book:
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