Book Review by Cari Mayhew
I was torn between writing a glowing review and writing a scathing review. Here’s why.
With beautiful quotes of wisdom in almost every sentence, this is most definitely a feel-good book, designed to make you feel good just for being alive. It is simultaneously the cheesiest book I have ever read in my entire life.
It starts dramatically when protagonist Jack gets a shock to the system following a serious car accident. Whilst in hospital, he meets Cal, a particularly enigmatic man, who offers Jack some long-awaited wisdom. When Jack awakes the next morning, nurses find, sadly, that Cal has passed away. Cal has gifted Jack plane tickets to meet…you guessed it a saint, a surfer, and a CEO.
As delightful as the book is, there is nothing novel in the wisdom it puts forward. Here goes a list of more than 10 pearls of wisdom from the book: be yourself, see life as a personal growth school, our outer lives are a mirror image of our inner lives, stand back to see the bigger picture, journaling, attitude of gratitude, follow your heart/passions, live in the moment as much as possible, importance of self-care, help others, concentrate on building value more than building profit, and leave a legacy. Should any of these concepts be new to you, I’m sure you’d love the book, but for me I’ve come across all this before and it’s nothing new.
That said there was one concept I liked that I do intend to bring into my daily life. It was a suggestion by the surfer that you start the morning by asking yourself 5 morning questions that should set you up to aim to have a good day, such as “How would I live out this day if it were my last?” “What can I do to make today incredibly fun?” or “How can I help someone today?”
The book is written by the author of the number 1 bestseller “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” and I was expecting something like “The Celestine Prophecy” or works along the lines of books by Paulo Coehlo. But unlike those books, there was no narrative to back up the claims put forward, such as (and this is why it’s so cheesy) “The universe is a friendly place.”
I also felt that there was more the author could have done in terms of bringing out the characters, and developed more narrative around why Cal did all this for Jack in the first place.
In sum, if you already like this kind of book, you’ll be enthralled I’m sure, but if you are looking for a good story, you’d be out of luck.