I finally got around to reading this book, after hearing so much about it (mostly good) for a long, long time. Make that "attempted" to read this book. After the first couple of chapters, I just couldn't waste any more time with it.
You guessed it.... just plain BAD!
I had heard about Dan Millman's story and his chance meeting with the mysterious and wise man: "Socrates" several times. I had been under the impression until I began reading the book itself (and not just snippets of reviews etc) that this was a completely authentic life story. It is not.
In Millman's own words from the preface of the book: "This story is based on my adventure, but it is a novel. The man I called Socrates did, in fact exist. Yet he had a way of blending into the world, so it's been difficult at times to tell where he left off and other teachers and life experiences began. I have taken liberties with the dialogue and some time sequences and have sprinkled anecdotes and metaphors into the story to highlight the lessons Socrates would want me to convey."
Ummm...already the alarm bells were going off for me.
Yes, it's fine to write a novel. But is it still ok if that novel is based almost completely around the author's interactions and conversations with a main character who actually lived? Where does reality fade and the fantasy begin? Make up your mind Dan Millman!
The credibility issues were already there for me. Add to that, Millman's own life story (the undisputed real one!) struggling for years to make ends meet. Dead end jobs that left him financially strapped and looking for ways to improve his lot in life.
Presto: the Peaceful Warrior has certainly done that for him and then some. Millman has gone on to write a number of follow-up books too including a companion edition to the Peaceful Warrior. Seems this whole magical experience of interacting with his buddy Socrates has paid off very well indeed. No more struggling! And as far as his writing abilities, this is written at about a pre-teen level. It's choppy, amateurish and pretentious. No....make that grade-school level. Especially for fairy tale lovers.
Here's a (oh so candid) review of this book, from Amazon:
Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives (Paperback):
Way of the Peaceful Warrior changed me. It transformed me into a being who will never trust the title of a book again. The degree pseudo-intellectualism and ridiculous insight within the pages of this book are only surpassed by the one-dimensionalness of the characters. I was forced by an employer to read this book and it only took a glance at the cover art and quick scan of the blurb to blow the top off of my lame-o-meter. The "sage" is a rude mystic who seems to hide every nugget of insight within a crusty coating of belittling insults. The progagonist is a somewhat dense, however sexually satisfied jock, who undergoes supernatural experiences vaguely reminiscent of peyote induced spirit quests. The entire time I read this story, I felt like I was listening to the ramblings of a person who has been brainwashed by a cult. If I were less opinionated, I would say that this book is not for me. Because I AM so opinionated, I'd say this book is not for anyone. If you haven't bought it, don't. If you have already purchased it, you could use it as a coaster. Aaron Boyd.
Aaron...I gather this book won't be on your Christmas gift-giving list either?
There are all sorts of fans of this book over at Amazon but also a lot of people who thought it was just another "get rich quick" venture for the author as I unfortunately have to agree with. I had high expectations for this book. It's sad that they were dashed before I got very far reading it. Definitely NOT what I hoped for or expected.
Overall rating for this book: BAD. 0 out of 5.