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107 of 114 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
If a book is full of wisdom, but in the form of a cheesy story packed with lots of cliches ... then is it a good book or not?

This is the issue I wrestled with in reading the Ferrari-less Monk. Much of the time I was cringing ("world class litigator" etc) ... and yet every few pages I found a delicious thought, mostly quotes from other sources, that made me glad I had perservered.

So, although I can understand why other reviewers seems to hate it, or love it ... I think it falls somewhere in-between.

If you haven't bought it yet, there are plenty of other books that do a better job (Siddhartha, The Alchemist etc). However, if you've got a copy on your desk and are wondering whether or not to read it ... I'd suggest you only speed-read the crappy narrative and focus on the ideas and quotes instead!
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91 of 102 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2006
Format: Paperback
The norwegian translation of this book states on the sleeve: The eternal wisdom presented in a completely new way.

Nothing could be further from the truth: Mr. Sharma seems to have made a porridge of the most easily digestible versions of eternal wisdom and the most glib and superficial versions of self-help books on the market, and put whatever rose to the surface in a "fable" strangely lacking in any form of drama or power to transform or inspire.

I admire those who can find upliftment in this flat copy of others` ideas, but rereading "Autobiography of a yogi" and reading Malcolm Gladwell`s "Blink" around the same time as I had the misfortune to encounter this book, the difference in quality is staggering.

Puzzled, I looked up Mr. Sharmas home page, and found the most blatant piece of commercialism and grandiose self-advertisement in the self-help field - no mean feat in a field of strong and heavy competition.

It`s obvious who bought the monk`s Ferrari.
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42 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
Started off very intruiging, kept wanting to know more ...got nothing. Very poor writing ability. I thought I was reading an elementry school kid's essay. Great ideas, should have pitched them to an actual writer who could have developed a story.

Here's what you're in for: (quoted from page 90)
"I still have much wisdom to share with you. Are you tired?"
"Not in the least. I actually feel pretty pumped up. You are quite the motivator, Julian. Have you ever thought about an infomercial?" I asked mischeviosly.
"I don't understand," he replied gently.

Was the book written by a 10 year old, I pondered sincerely...
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100 of 116 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting story. It is a story of a lawyer who appears to have it all - the corner office, the life style, the cars, women, ... Then he gives it all up and tours the East. While there he comes across this strange monk and monastery. He comes to live life in a much different way. Yet he is challenged by the monk who has trained him to go back home and share the message he has learnt, with the West. Julian, our main character, returns to his old law firm and to his prot?g? John. He tells him a parable; then the rest of the book explains the parable and how it relates to different aspects of our lives. The parable is rather simple and a little strange but as it is explained you will never forget it. Read it to find out how a garden, lighthouse, sumo wrestler, pink wire cable, stopwatch, roses and a winding path of diamonds are symbols of timeless principles and virtues by which to live your life. This book could help raise the quality of your life to a new level.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
I found the book to be a useful step-by-step guide to personal growth. The fable format helps to add interest to what could otherwise become a tiresome listing of all the good things we should be doing for ourselves but aren't. Although most of the principles dealt with can be found in countless other volumes on self-help, personal growth and spirituality, Sharma's way of putting it all together helps to keep one on track. And sticking to the straight and narrow is for me the most difficult aspect of becoming the person I want to be. I have a minor quibble with Sharma's treatment of fear. He ignores the fact that fear breaks down into two main types. The first is the healthy kind that keeps us out of the path of speeding trucks and the other is the kind of fear that, due to abuse or difficult upbringings or whatever, exists in our psyche as a chronic undertone of tension and anxiety that undermines our self-image and our relationships. Minor complaints aside, I feel that a careful reading of the book and an equally judicious application of it's principles will help anyone to find greater joy and freedom in their lives.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Enormous amount of wisdom is covered here. I finished this thinking that this is one of the best books I've ever read on how to live in this world. I was shocked at the amount of principles covered in this story. I just wasn't expecting what I got from this.

I initially refrained from underlining and marking up my book because I thought I might want to loan it out. So, I took notes. I've since decided that I'm gonna read it again and underline the great parts I want to revisit. Just when I thought this guy had covered most everything, he pulled out even more! This is an awesome book.

Okay, the other nice thing about this is each chapter ends with an action summary. I liked how this wraps up each chapter. So, you get the chance to think about what happened in the story, the points being made, and the great thing is it gives you the techniques.

I read a few reviews where people were criticizing the story. I thought the story was good, with a few weak spots. But the story isn't the main point, it was just the vehicle to deliver the goods.

I loved this book! This is one that I think can definately make a difference in your life. The thing about books like this is, usually people read it once, decide that there is something to it and maybe even make a few changes in their life and a little while later they slide right back into living the way they always have. Reread it, absorb it, and make lasting changes.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting story. It is a story of a lawyer who appears to have it all - the corner office, the life style, the cars, women, ... Then he gives it all up and tours the East. While there he comes across this strange monk and monastery. He comes to live life in a much different way. Yet he is challenged by the monk who has trained him to go back home and share the message he has learnt, with the West. Julian, our main character, returns to his old law firm and to his prot?g? John. He tells him a parable; then the rest of the book explains the parable and how it relates to different aspects of our lives. The parable is rather simple and a little strange but as it is explained you will never forget it. Read it to find out how a garden, lighthouse, sumo wrestler, pink wire cable, stopwatch, roses and a winding path of diamonds are symbols of timeless principles and virtues by which to live your life. This book could help raise the quality of your life to a new level.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
I thought that the anonymous review dated March 18 was most accurate. This book is a trite recitation of recycled wisdom. Sharma's verve and syntax is not compelling, and serves only to string together these old ideas. His attempt to mix a modern context to timeless truths went amiss. In the end we learn that most of us have denied ourselves our true calling, and long for a way to get paid to do what we cherish the most. We are spiritually lazy and are responsible for our destiny. I ask when will someone tell the story of a frustrated middleclass artist that always dreamed of becoming an accountant.
Notwithstanding my tentative reading, something happened half way through the book, as I was diligently trying to push back the reviewer's goading perspicacious comments. I realized that that is all there is. That there will not be any book that proffers the ultimate panacea, the answer to life's riddles and the chart to bliss. We will have to write our own. And that the unintended consequence of my frustration with Sharma's prose was to force me to find value in his words. And I did. And in the end that is all what this good prophet set out to do. It was a good exercise. Many others have made it much easier..
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting story. It is a story of a lawyer who appears to have it all - the corner office, the life style, the cars, women, ... Then he gives it all up and tours the East. While there he comes across this strange monk and monastery. He comes to live life in a much different way. Yet he is challenged by the monk who has trained him to go back home and share the message he has learnt, with the West. Julian, our main character, returns to his old law firm and to his prot?g? John. He tells him a parable; then the rest of the book explains the parable and how it relates to different aspects of our lives. The parable is rather simple and a little strange but as it is explained you will never forget it. Read it to find out how a garden, lighthouse, sumo wrestler, pink wire cable, stopwatch, roses and a winding path of diamonds are symbols of timeless principles and virtues by which to live your life. This book could help raise the quality of your life to a new level.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Unique, yes. But rhetorical and cliche, too. Example: What do you want more than anything in life? When you know the answer, focus your mind on getting there. Sure, that's easy for a monk to say. What else is he going to do in the Himalayan Mountains?
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