Most helpful critical review
Important Message, But No Great Revelations
on July 9, 2012
This book uses a format which is hardly unique. That is it tells a story, almost a little morality tale, and blends in various universal truths or lessons. There is nothing which is new or unique in these 'revelations', but it is fair to say that it does not do any harm to remind ourselves of them once in a while.
The story revolves around a salesman who has clearly lost his way in life and has lost his sense of what should be his priorities. He is sent on a mission around the globe to pick up nine different talismans from diverse places, each of which has a message attached to it. As a story, it is not the most riveting, but I have read worse. As a travelogue it is actually quite interesting in parts and the few places which I have visited are described in a way that I would consider authentic.
As previously mentioned there are no great revelations here and most of the message is common sense along the lines of relentless pursuit of material wealth does not bring happiness, confront your fears, make progress one step at a time etc. This is the fourth `monk who sold his ferrari' book by the author and I imagine that whilst the first may have had an impact, the subsequent offerings have been a restatement, with slightly different presentation, of the same core material. Not having read the other volumes, this may be somewhat judgmental and rather cynical and I stand to be corrected by someone who has read them all.
This is not the first of this sort of book which I have read, and all in all I was a lot more enthusiastic about The Celestine Prophecy. However, clearly there is a demand for the Monk since, apparently over five million of them have been sold and I imagine that for certain people, if they read it at a particular stage in their lives, it could be quite pivotal in refocusing them.