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Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives
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Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  51,049 ratings  ·  2,281 reviews
Way of the Peaceful Warrior is based on the story of Dan Millman, a world champion athlete, who journeys into realms of romance and magic, light and darkness, body, mind, and spirit. Guided by a powerful old warrior named Socrates and tempted by an elusive, playful woman named Joy, Dan is led toward a final confrontation that will deliver or destroy him. Readers join Dan a ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 13th 2006 by HJ Kramer (first published 1980)
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Stephen Byrne It makes you realise that your life is precious and that some things, that we ignore, are crucial, and others, that we place so much value on, are rel…moreIt makes you realise that your life is precious and that some things, that we ignore, are crucial, and others, that we place so much value on, are relatively unimportant. Examples would be breathing and thinking. It changed my life. It is one of the few books I've recommended to people over the last 20 years. Those that read it are always abundantly grateful to me afterwards. It is replete with wisdom. Dan Milman and the man called Socrates, 'Soc', are embedded in my psyche. It is helpful for overcoming the fear of death. Indeed it is a brilliant coping manual for life. (less)
Andrew Cain Yes. It's called Peaceful Warrior.…moreYes. It's called Peaceful Warrior.(less)

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Michael Cunningham
Jul 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I haven't been reading or writing much lately, but I did just finish Way of the Peaceful Warrior, a book that was given to me long ago by a friend of my brother. The friend was addicted to heroin at the time and had just pawned off my acoustic guitar I lent him in order to buy more junk. He came to me shortly after the event and told me he had something for me while reaching into his backpack. I knew my guitar wouldn't fit in the bag... and I wasn't using heroin.. so I had zero idea what the hel ...more
Dec 16, 2014 rated it did not like it
Either he was high when he wrote it or I need to be high to read it.
S. Ayleen Edwin
May 28, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The wisdom preached in this book is intense and it is a read that is difficult to put down. Having said that; I have difficulty recommending the book. It is apparent that Millman is passionate and knowledgeable. He is not, however, a writer. I would have liked to see this work ghost-written. The fourth quarter of the book was painful in its story-telling and while I understand the potential device used to portray that the time away from his teacher was less focused, I feel those 8 years might ha ...more
Deborah Edwards
Feb 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: garbage
Absolute crap. I still can't believe how truly bad this was, because a friend recommended it based on the alleged monumental effect it had on his life, and it appears to be quite highly rated by the majority of Goodreads readers. I don't know what they saw that I didn't, but I found this a completely ludicrous, utterly fabricated story told through unlikable, two-dimensional characters. The writing is abominable. Seriously abominable. I spent most of the time wondering how it had even managed to ...more
Otis Chandler
I first read this after college when my father gave it to me as a graduation gift. I almost didn't read it, but was very glad I did as it was very impactful on me, and I think helped shape me into the person I am today. I recently decided to re-read it after a meditation teacher was talking about it - and was glad to discover that it's just as relevant to my life now as it was before. It's a book I can easily see myself re-reading every 5-10 years.

The book is a story about how to be mindful and
Tom Quinn
Sometimes the story of how we come to a book is more interesting than the book itself. This one came to me by way of a tough old Brooklynite with a self-assured bravado more persuasive than a million book reviews.

"You reading?" he snarled at me. "I got a book you should read. Change yer fucking life."

"Oh yeah?" I said, "It's that good?"

He shrugged and laughed derisively. "Buncha bullshit from the 90s."

Intrigued (and too scared to say no) I accepted a copy to see for myself what the appeal could
Gordana Vuckovic-Glusac
Jul 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Precious lessons:
- There are no ordinary moments.
- The time is now, the place is here.

Live until you die!
Thank you, Dan Millman

What time is it?

Where are you?
Nov 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
While this book may be 'too simple' for some literary types, I feel it is an excellent story that can speak to all people from all walks of life.

It takes an 'Average Joe' type and follows his unfolding toward true self-awareness. Millman's approach makes deep stuff an easy and enjoyable read. It's refreshing compared to some of the "serious elitist" spiritual books that are out there. I have read it 5 times and get so many new things from it each time I read's definitely a timeless gift
Marcus Solberg
Nov 25, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book is Millman's vain attempt to weave a supernatural/"esoteric" story out of his - in my opinion pitiful - new age inspired search for meaning and fulfilment in life. Full of "new agey" drivel. The main message of the book is that people generally are too achievement focused and that we don't live in the moment. Nothing new about that idea, but fair enough. However, the book is poorly written, the story dry as firewood and the concepts (as well as how they are woven into the story trough ...more
Apr 07, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: spirit, middling
This was an interesting book from many perspectives, it kept my attention and it was entertaining and easy to read. However, I found myself questioning a lot of the assertions made and at the risk of sounding all new agey a lot of it didn't resonate with me. Perhaps it was the authors occupation as a gymnast and his preocupation with the physical and his ego. I found it hard to relate to his problems and therefore some of the methods of Socrates. I think perhaps that it was just too masculine a ...more
Feb 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
I hate that they made a movie about this book. I think it cheapened the message. It is beautifully written and well worth the time, as is the book that follows this one...
Ali Reda
Dec 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
The first realization of a warrior is not knowing.

My ignorance is based on this understanding. Your understanding is based on ignorance. This is why I am a humorous fool, and you are a serious jackass.

Everything has a purpose, Danny; it‘s for you to make the best use of it.

It's just one of the body's changes. When it happens, it happens. The warrior neither seeks nor flees from death.

Reading the future is based on a realistic perception of the present. Don't be concerned about seeing the future
Kenny Murphy
Apr 28, 2011 rated it liked it
Also known as Way of the Peaceful Warrior: The Book That Changes Lives

Someone recommended this book to me many years ago and I finally got around to reading it. Its hard to describe exactly what this is, part metaphysical/self help book, part autobiography/novel, if that makes sense. It supposed to be based on the early life of the author, who admits he took many liberties with the story. In the story, Dan, a young gymnast, meets a attendant at a gas station late one night who makes an impressi
Faith Quick
Dec 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
this is a book that changes lives. it changes your life as you read it in small seemingly insignificant ways. yet you begin to realize your impact you have on all those around you and more importantly the impact you have on yourself. how much you influence how you see the world and how much you live in the world. we need to stand back and look inside ourselves. look at what we like and especially what we don't like. face ourselves. our true selves. be honest. realize your own self potential. i l ...more
May 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: duds
I was excited to pick this book up. I mean, who doesn't want to read something that advertises right on the cover that it changes lives?! So, imagine me, sitting down at the table with said book and my cup of coffee, big cheesy grin on my face thinking, "Ok, Self. Are you ready to have your life changed?"

Now, imagine my face as I hit page 20 and realize that this book isn't going to get any better, doesn't contain deep life secrets, and that I will now have to power through this flaming heap of
Kevin Beary
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review is for my personal journal not for you to read so feel free not to read this : These are more rambling notes and observations for me to reflect on in the future.

As far as the writing , dialogue , character development and interaction , this book is lacking. It was very difficult for me to get through what should`ve been a very quick read. I didn`t really enjoy the characters at all and rarely empathized with them even when confronted with obvious universal "situations" we all have b
Jan 17, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i wanted to like this book more; perhaps i didn't because i had expected some Simple Truth in the pages, some life manual that would point me to utter and extreme bliss. to a certain extent, it's there -- if you're looking for the Zen lifestyle. i'm not particularly sold on Zen, though i suppose there are some basic Life Lessons you could glean from this novel: detach yourself from the need to acquire worldly goods, remember we're all part of everything else, etc.

however, this is ultimately a s
Aug 28, 2009 rated it it was ok
I think the biggest warning sign for this new-age fluff piece is that it says in the title "a book that changes lives"...if a book has to say it in the title, it ain't true. Let the text of the book speak for itself, and it's effects on the reader - don't make it a "sell point". Lame.

I *AM* a new-age, eclectic person and I gagged audibly at some of the tripe in this book. Yes, I finished it (yecch), but like a meal which one eats at the in-laws house as to not offend them, it left me with indige
Tyler Demos
Nov 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book The Way of The Peaceful Warrior is a story of how a man named Dan Millman became a "warrior". By finding out on his own just what really matters and what is most important in life. This book is great for people who are struggling to find out the important things in life. It is a good life lesson, and it uses powerful words and sayings that help the reader better understand the importance of the book. It shows how young people can often that they have full control over their lives when i ...more
Peter Upton
Feb 03, 2017 rated it liked it
If you are going to write a fictional book as a vehicle for your spiritual beliefs such as Richard Bach's 'Illusions' that is fine and the reader can still take a lot from the book. But if you are writing about spiritual or mystical events that really did happen to you then you should stick to the true events because to merge the true spiritual events with completely fictional events, as the author admits to having done, 'blending fact and fiction', means that you can take nothing of lasting val ...more
Mar 26, 2011 rated it did not like it
I have no doubt that this book was life changing for some people, but for anyone who's already done any research into alternate spirituality, this read like "New age 101". For a complete newbie, this might be just what you need to open up new vistas of thought.

Be aware though, This book only constitutes the beginning of a journey, and in my opinion, a very flawed start, but if it's what gets you asking questions, then so be it.

Like most self help/new age spirituality novels, Way of the Peaceful
Jan 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 16, 2008 rated it did not like it
I read this book in French so maybe it's a translation problem, but I just couldn't get past Millman's seemingly boastful tone. Even the title seems presumptuous. I realize the focus is supposed to be on Socrates' teachings - much of which is genuinely interesting - but I found myself being continually irritated by the author's way of talking about himself. Somehow it rubbed me the wrong way. And I might just be too cynical, but the frequent inspirational quotes were a little much. ...more
I'm going to keep this one short, or at least try to, because, to put it simply, this book was a huge disappointment.

Loosely based on the spiritual journey and personality transformations of the author's youth, the story ended up far too fictionalized and fantastic to remain credible. At first, the young man's personal struggles were very easy to relate to, and the events that started him on the path to eventual enlightenment were ordinary and believable enough, and my attention was firmly captu
Chris Porter
Jan 18, 2016 rated it liked it
A thank you to my friends Daniel and Kate who gifted me this book for my 30th Birthday. As a present, it was 5 out of 5. Very thoughtful and, most importantly, it entered my life with excellent timing. It helped to consolidate a lot of my current thoughts in to a more solid model.

'Way of the Peaceful Warrior' is a fiction story about one young man's mentorship with a character called Socrates.

As a novel, this book is bordering on awful. The prose is amateurish and the dialogue cliched.

But as a
“A Book that changes lives.” I have been attracted to some metaphysical literature lately. I just don’t identify with the young brash foolish boy/man who finds a teacher and then argues with him all the way to enlightenment. I know there is a purpose to that type of narrative and it is similar to Daniel Quinn, but it doesn’t touch my soul. Plus I think this book is very much about the self, about finding self enlightenment with no directive then to go and illuminate others. One part I responded ...more
Tony Bertauski
Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bailed-on
Many of the events in this book are said to be true, but the book is fictional. Right from the start, I was yearning to hear Dan Millman's true story, not a fake one. And I never got past that. As a guide to changing lives, as the title suggests, I applaud the author's efforts to introduce spiritual elements into everyday living. An introspective way of life can be rich and rewarding, and for those searching for deeper meaning this tale points the way. Clearly, many people have found it useful. ...more
Oct 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-books
I read this at the urging of my son. It just mostly made me feel old. As a few other reviewers have pointed out, there is not anything truly new in this book. Most of it is Asian mysticism made more palatable through American experiences by using an American college student as the focus. A subplot with a romance feels quite forced, as if the author figured he better put in some romance so people can relate to the book better and find it interesting enough to begin reading it. Many people have sa ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it did not like it
This is one of the worst written books I ever read. Some basic tenets of eastern philosophy are poorly communicated through writing which is self-indulgent, overly dramatic, predictable, cliche and amateurish. Did I mention I didn't like it?

How this awful book got a 3rd printing and a movie deal is beyond me. The only good thing is the title, which I hope is the reason for its success.

I always donate my books to a library or book store so someone else can read them. This is only the second bo
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book reminded me of The Empire Strikes Back when Luke meets Yoda mixed with the karate kid. I can't say my life was changed but it does have that classic teacher/student life lesson theme that people will spend money on. ...more
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Dan Millman is a former world champion athlete, university coach, martial arts instructor, and college professor.

After an intensive, twenty-year spiritual quest, Dan's teaching found its form as the Peaceful Warrior's Way, expressed fully in his books and lectures. His work continues to evolve over time, to meet the needs of a changing world.

--from the author's website

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