For me, "The Broken Buddha" was an eye-opener.
Before I read this book I had a very rosy, idealistic view of bhikkhus and monastic life. I thought all bhikkhus would be hard-working, serious meditators, and of course they would all follow the vinaya; the Buddha himself laid down those rules, why would a monk not follow them?! I thought monasteries were sincere, intense places, where laypeople and bhikkhus alike strove towards the cessation of suffering.
When I got to know some actual real-life bhikkhus, they sensed this idealistic view in me and recommended I read some books that would challenge that view.
They recommended I read that Phra Peter book "Little Angels", where 10 out of the 12 novices are only in robes because it is a way for them to escape poverty. Only one of the novices had any inclination to actually become a bhikkhu when they reached 20. That startled me.
I read that trashy book "What the Buddha Never Taught", which while superficial, shallow, and biased, did at least give me a little more perspective on the failings of real-life bhikkhus.
And of course Broken Buddha, which was the biggest eye opener of all.
Plus meeting real bhukkhus in a couple of monasteries here in New Zealand... one of them only meditates at morning and evening puja, he says he's no good at it, and will leave it for the next life. He said his aim in this life was to accumulate merit, and perhaps he would be able to meditate better in future rebirths. What!?
Like many people have been saying in this thread, Broken Buddha does present a side of the sangha that some westerners are not aware of.
That is certainly true in my case, and I value this book for showing me that.
However, I don't think I would advise other people read it, especially my friends and family. They don't know anything about Buddhism in the first place, and for them to read this book would leave them with an overwhelmingly negative view of the sangha.
But for me - someone who is seriously considering going forth and who had an unrealistically idealised view of the sangha - it is very useful.
I still intend to ordain, and the book has perhaps prepared me a little... made my eventual encounter with lazy bad monks less of a shock.
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.