Monday, March 5, 2012

Life's Golden Ticket by Brendon Burchard

"Find my coat," she whispered weakly. "There's an envelope in the pocket. Don't open it. Take it to the park. You remember the rumors." In what is sure to become a classic, Brendon Burchard has crafted a triumphant tale of personal growth and change that will inspire any reader who has ever wished for a second chance.

Life's Golden Ticket tells the story of a man who is so trapped in the prisons of his past that he cannot see the possibilities, the choices, and the gifts that are right in front of him.

At the behest of his fiancée, Mary, who is clinging to life in a hospital bed, he takes a mysterious envelope from her and makes his way to an abandoned amusement park to appease her delirious pleadings. When he steps through the rusted entrance gates, the deserted park magically comes to life. He soon meets an old, wise groundskeeper and together they set out to uncover what happened to Mary.

Along the way, he encounters a number of caring yet confrontational park employees--a hypnotist, a fortune-teller, a lion tamer, high-wire performers--and they teach him more about his fiancée and himself than he bargained for. What follows is an unforgettable journey of personal transformation as he overcomes his past, uncovers what happened to Mary, and, finally, discovers what is inside her mysterious envelope.

The author is donating a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book to Kiwanis International, Junior Achievement, and the YMCA.

My take: 2 looks
This is a good premise for a book. You go to a place, a carnival, to experience your past and glimpse your future, enabling you to change while there is still time. However, I felt no connection with the characters at all. There was no empathy, and I found myself getting a bit irritated at the protagonists' resistance to going through this journey ("What happened to Mary? What happened to Mary? What happened to Mary?" really got old).

Repeatedly, I was reminded of Mitch Albom's "The Five People You Meet in Heaven", which was much better written, more compelling and moved me to tears. As a matter of fact, the best thing "Ticket" did for me is to encourage me to read "Heaven" again.

Not recommended.

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