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Breakfast with Buddha
About the Book:
Otto Ringling is a straightlaced publishing executive with two kids, a lovely wife, a fine home in a fancy New York suburb, and a nagging suspicion that something's missing. How, then, does he end up traveling through Middle America with a berobed Mongolian monk? Ah. The real question to ask is, Why?
When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto, a confirmed skeptic, is not amused. Six days on the road with an enigmatic holy man who answers every question with a riddle is not what he'd planned. But in an effort to westernize his passenger—and amuse himself—he decides to show the monk some "American fun" along the way. From a chocolate factory in Hershey to a bowling alley in South Bend, from a Cubs game at Wrigley Field to his family farm near Bismarck, Otto is given the remarkable opportunity to see his world—and more important, his life—through someone else's eyes. Gradually, skepticism yields to amazement as he realizes that his companion might just be the real thing.
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.
"The lessons imparted are neither new nor startling (live fully in the moment, etc.), but Merullo eloquently conveys their simple power....Spiritual fiction is a byway little traveled by mainstream authors, but Merullo has grown so persuasive over the course of two luminous little novels that readers might well follow him even if he turned next to, say, Mornings with Mohammed."
A "pleasant, engaging novel . . . I got to liking Breakfast With Buddha more and more as I went along and was very sorry when it ended . . . it's such a sweet formula! . . . On finishing this book, I decided that Roland Merullo would be a great guy to take a road trip with."--Carolyn See of the Washington Post
"The skillful Merullo, using the lightest of touches, slowly turns this low-key comedy into a moving story of spiritual awakening."--Booklist
"Roland Merullo . . .is such an immediately engaging author (Revere Beach Elegy, A Little Love Story, Golfing With God) that you're sucked right into his world. He's so warm-spirited, conversational and seemingly unrushed — an art that's harder to achieve than it looks — that you're off and running without a second thought. . . . This is a wonderful, heartfelt novel that frequently surprises as we're lulled by the sights and sounds of the open road"--Providence Journal
"Merullo writes with grace and intelligence and knows that even in a novel of ideas it's not the religion that matters, it's the relationship; it's not the concepts, but the people, and here are two intriguing men, one with his eye on the destination and his foot on the pedal, the other who knows that we travel farthest when we are still. You'll enjoy sitting in the back seat of the car as Otto drives on deep into the luminous heart of his childhood. It's a quiet, meditative, and ultimately joyous trip we're on. And it's quite a treat, indeed, to eavesdrop on these two inquisitive and witty gentlemen and hear what they talk about when they talk about life."—Boston Globe
"Merullo is a pleasing writer. . . . His gift is slipping gentle spiritual lessons into easy-reading narratives . . . with such effortless charm ."-- Christian Science Monitor
"Merullo's other novels have explored life on Earth in insightful, amusing, loving ways, avoiding clichés or ponderous declarations about the human condition. Breakfast with Buddha, loosely based on a road trip Merullo took without a monk companion, is no exception."-- Seattle Times
"A wonderful, heartfelt novel that frequently surprises as we're lulled by the sights and sounds of the open road"--Providence Journal
"A laugh-out loud novel that’s both comical and wise…balancing irreverence with insight."—The Louisville Courier-Journal
"Insightful, amusing, loving…There are lovely moments of enlightenment that are not accompanied by angels with flaming swords; rather, there is that peaceful blue sphere that is available to all of us."—The Seattle Times
"[Merullo's] gift is slipping gentle spiritual lessons into easy-reading narratives…with such effortless charm."—The Christian Science Monitor
"Enlightenment meets On the Road in this witty, insightful novel."—The Boston Sunday Globe
About the Author:
Roland Merullo, is the critically acclaimed author of seven books, including the Revere Beach Trilogy, three novels about growing up in a tight-knit community outside Boston, and Golfing with God, a novel about a man's unexpected spiritual journey. He lives with his wife and two daughters in eastern Massachusetts.