‘Release any concerns that you have about this path you’re about to walk on....’
Jack Valentine seemed to have it all. He made good money as an adman, and looked good doing it. He had a hot apartment, cool friends, even a slick car – at least until the hectic Monday morning a truck smashed into it, sending the critically injured Jack to the hospital.
Everything happens for a reason, though, and Jack’s reason reveals itself in the silverhaired cancer patient who becomes his roommate one evening. The elderly man, Cal, shares his life story – one not dissimilar to Jack’s – of material wealth masking a gaping hole within. Cal ultimately found salvation through philosophy (‘the love of wisdom’), and now offers to help Jack by prepping the younger man for the Final Questions we all must face: Have I lived wisely? Have I loved well? Have I served greatly?
Presenting Jack with three plane tickets, each accompanied by a map marked with a red X, Cal sends Jack to meet with three great teachers, each of whom will help Jack answer one of the Final Questions – just as they once helped Cal. First, in Rome, Jack will meet ‘the Saint’. Then a haunted beach in Hawaii introduces him to ‘the Surfer’. And finally the grandeur of New York City sets the stage for his last encounter: with ‘the CEO’.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Jack Valentine is having a very bad day. He's chronically unhappy, unfulfilled and broke; his girlfriend has left him; and he's just been hit by a truck. Still, when he wakes up in a hospital covered in bruises, he's certain it's all happening for a reason. As Jack recovers, his dying hospital roommate, who happens to be Jack's long-lost father, imparts some final advice: the only three questions that matter are whether one has lived wisely, loved well and served greatly. He sends Jack on a journey around the world to meet three teachers (the saint, surfer and CEO), who guide him through a spiritual transformation and help him answer the three questions. Sharma, a motivational speaker and "life coach," has attempted a spiritual allegory … la Paulo Coelho's classic, The Alchemist. Unfortunately, Sharma's book lacks any narrative drive, the characters are thinly rendered and the dialogue is almost comically wooden ("You're getting to be a pretty good surfer there Jack." "It's become a passion of mine Moe"). Readers seeking Sharma's brand of advice (e.g., "see your life as a fantastic growth school" and "be true to yourself") will lose nothing simply turning to the last page, where the book's lessons are laid out in 10 succinct bullet points.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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