PJ Swanwick's Reviews > The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin S. Sharma
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Aug 15, 11

bookshelves: new-age, spiritual
Read in August, 2011

Short on story and long on instruction, but an easy, rewarding read

In "The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari," Robin S. Sharma clothes sound advice for spiritual and personal growth in a thin mantle of fiction that delivers much instruction but minimal entertainment. However, Sharma’s fictional approach makes for an easy read and good retention of his key principles.

Spiritual/metaphysical content: The narrator spends one revelation-filled night with Julian Mantle learning the fundamentals of spiritual growth. Julian imparts everything he has learned from his time with the Sivana monks, cramming a lifetime of wisdom into their short time together. Sharma structures the lessons into seven chapters based on a short fable full of symbols. Each symbol represents a key idea from the Seven Basic Principles for Enlightened Living. Each chapter ends with an action page that summarizes the symbol, what you need to remember, and techniques to try, such as the Ten Rituals for Radiant Living.

My take: Sharma calls his book a “fable” in the subtitle, but it is both more and less than that. The fable part takes place in the opening chapters of the book, in which we discover that the hard-driven attorney has moved to India, become a monk, and after three years has returned to pass on his wisdom to his protégé. That’s the extent of the story, and character development fares little better. As a work of fiction, the book leaves much to be desired.

However, as a collection of easy-to-digest life strategies and pearls of wisdom, the book is quite satisfying. Sharma has organized the book around a short fable about a garden full of symbols (a fable within a fable), which makes it easy to understand and follow his 30-day plan to enlightened living. The give-and-take of dialog between Julian Mantle and his student rescues the story from the tedium of an instructional guide. If your primary goal as a reader is to quickly absorb the core of Sharma’s life improvement teaching, then this book is a great place to start.

For more reviews of new age novels, see Fiction For A New Age.
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