Breakfast With Buddha
A NovelBook - 2007
In Roland Merullo's masterful hands, Otto tells his story with all the wonder, bemusement, and wry humor of a man who unwittingly finds what he's missing in the most unexpected place.
Baker & Taylor
At the behest of his sister, Otto Ringling finds himself reluctantly accompanying her guru, an enigmatic Mongolian monk, on a trip through Middle America to their childhood home, introducing his passenger to some American "fun" along the way.
Blackwell North Amer
The only thing certain about a journey is that it has a beginning and an end - for you never know what may happen along the way. And so it is with this journey into the minds and souls of two very different men - one of them in search of the truth, the other a man who may have already found it.
When Otto Ringling. husband, father, and editor, departs on a cross-country drive from his home in a New York City suburb to the North Dakota farmhouse in which he grew up, he is a man on a no-nonsense mission: to settle the estate of his recently deceased parents. However, when his flaky sister convinces him to give a ride to her guru, a crimson-robed Skovorodinian monk, Otto knows there will be a few bumps in the road.
As they venture across America, Otto and the affable, wise, irritating, and inscrutable holy man engage in a battle of wits and wisdom. Otto, a born skeptic, sees his unwanted passenger as a challenge: a man who assumes the knowledge of the ages yet walks a mortal's path. But he also sees their unexpected pairing as an opportunity to take Volya Rinpoche on a journey of cultural discovery, with visits to quintessentially American landmarks (the Hershey'S factory, Wrigley Field) and forays into some favorite American pastimes (bowling, miniature golf, dining out).
It is Otto, however, who has embarked on the real journey, that of self-discovery, led by his strange and remarkable passenger. By the time they reach North Dakota, Otto's head is reeling with the understanding that so much of what he had believed - as well as so much of what he had doubted - must be rethought before his journey can truly begin.
At the behest of his sister, Otto Ringling, a straightlaced publishing executive, finds himself reluctantly accompanying her guru, an enigmatic Mongolian monk, on a trip through Middle America to their childhood home, introducing his passenger to some American "fun" along the way, from a Hershey chocolate factory to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field. By the author of Golfing with God.
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"...I realized that he'd probably been using the redirecting of the river as a spiritual metaphor: Why not alter your life instead of changing its direction 180 degrees?' (Otto)
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