The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin S. Sharma has a compelling storyline: A rich and successful lawyer drops out and travels to Nepal to find enlightenment. There, he searches for a mysterious group of sages that live high up in the Himalayas in order to acquire their ageless wisdom.
This storyline functions as a catalyst for conveying enlightenment principles. Sharma’s body of enlightenment is an agreeable cocktail of Buddhism, positive thinking, inspirational sayings, and life-changing statistics. Moreover, he presents enlightenment principles in a way that entices the reader to apply them right away.
The prose is not the best but it is just the wrapping and doesn’t diminish the value of the book’s content. Some allegories are clichéd, for example, comparing the mind with a full glass. Having said that, the book was published in 1997 and, at that time, these allegories may not have been that overused.
The book is an excellent example of SEO optimized writing. The title itself (factually incorrect since the lawyers sold his Ferrari) is a little gem of marketing strategy. It combines major trends at the time the book was written (1997): fast cars, luxury, dropping out, enlightenment, and religious determination (monk).
I enjoyed the core allegory the most. Not only because I am a fan of koans (short Zen aphorisms that trigger cognitive dissonance and enlightenment) but also because it produced great suspense that kept me turning the pages. Here it is: A sumo wrestler walked out of the lighthouse in the middle of a beautiful garden with nothing more than a pink wire cable covering his private parts and slipped on a shiny gold stopwatch and fell to the ground. After what seemed like an eternity, he finally regained consciousness when the marvelous fragrance of the yellow roses reached his nose. He then jumped to his feet in delight and was astonished to see a long, winding path studded with millions of tiny diamonds. Our friend the sumo wrestler took the path and, in doing so, lived happily ever after.
The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari is a Visionary Fiction classic and a must-read for all fans of the genre.