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Breakfast with Buddha: A Novel | [Roland Merullo]

Breakfast with Buddha: A Novel

When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, 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.
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Publisher's Summary

When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto Ringling, 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.

©2007 Roland Merullo (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"The skillful Merullo, using the lightest of touches, slowly turns this low-key comedy into a moving story of spiritual awakening." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (329 )
5 star
 (145)
4 star
 (119)
3 star
 (47)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.2 (278 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (278 )
5 star
 (143)
4 star
 (91)
3 star
 (31)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (6)
Performance
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  •  
    Karen R. Dill WEBSTER, NC, US 03-04-13
    Karen R. Dill WEBSTER, NC, US 03-04-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    Story
    "Interesting journey"
    Where does Breakfast with Buddha rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I would rate it as one of the top stories.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narrator was excellent. The story was both funny and insightful.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The bowling scene when the guru discovers fun!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    NO.


    Any additional comments?

    The plot was a little weak but interesting enough to keep me looking forward to the next chapter.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Wilson 03-18-12
    Greg Wilson 03-18-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Gentle musings of two men"

    As long as you're not looking for anything of depth this is a gentle way to spend an afternoon listening to the musings of 2 men trying to make sense of their lifes. I enjoyed it but was somewhat disappointed in its lack of substance.

    Recommended

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lori 07-24-14
    Lori 07-24-14 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Verbose and pretentious"
    What disappointed you about Breakfast with Buddha?

    3 hours in and I had to stop. Too boring! White upper middle class male pretentious ramblings! It's more like a journal of a man who fancies himself interesting, and you get the feeling he thinks his thoughts are profound. They aren't.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Voice was as boring as the book.


    What character would you cut from Breakfast with Buddha?

    The main narrator of the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sudi RICHMOND, VA, United States 05-03-14
    Sudi RICHMOND, VA, United States 05-03-14 Member Since 2011

    Coffee-UFOs-Cats-Books-Halloween

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    Story
    "Breakfast with Buddha: A Tasty Treat"
    Would you listen to Breakfast with Buddha again? Why?

    I would recommend it to others but I seldom listen to or read a book twice.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Rinpoche. He was fully realized and quite believable as a wise and transcendent practitioner of the buddhist philosophy.


    Which character – as performed by Sean Runnette – was your favorite?

    I really liked his personalization of his accent/voice for Rinpoche.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I liked the conclusion. It made sense.


    Any additional comments?

    It's a fun listen and also would make a great beach read or road trip listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Boalsburg, PA, United States 04-15-14
    Lynn Boalsburg, PA, United States 04-15-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    Story
    "Sad"
    What disappointed you about Breakfast with Buddha?

    The characters annoying and the performance overdone. Just couldn't stand listening to it. Only got through about one hour of it.


    What could Roland Merullo have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Given the protagonist a less irritating flaw than temper tantrums. Given the same person a profession that the author actually knew something about. A food expert he is not. More like a food aficionado.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He did his best.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Pennsylvania 01-11-14
    Andrea Pennsylvania 01-11-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Exactly what I expected"

    This book had me with the cover. Knew there would be humor mixed in with some spiritual reflection. The right doses of each of these makes it a success. The author is such a real guy that admits he is skeptical about spiritual things. You will probably see yourself in him and feel like you are taking the journey too. It is very enjoyable and will recommend to others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Male Hawaii 12-22-13
    N. Male Hawaii 12-22-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    "Not sure what to think"

    Two individuals with two totally different perspectives. Can either learn from the other? They cannot "live in each other's shoes", only gain an understanding of each other's perspectives by really listening. So, I was taken on a road trip of the American culture vs. Eastern philosophy and listened. I am not sure that I gained a larger understanding of the two perspectives. I didn't stop listening tho', so I must have been interested enough to want to learn. And at the end of the book I feel just as unenlightened as I was in the beginning. Or maybe a seed was planted because I am still wondering why I kept listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ginette montreal, QC, Canada 11-27-13
    ginette montreal, QC, Canada 11-27-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "not too preachy!"

    When I bought this book, I made sure that it fell into the category of novels as I did not want a self-help book. While it is not a complicated plot it does unfold as a story. It was laugh out loud funny in spots but also very thought-provoking in others. It is the kind of book I will listen to again.

    There are not a lot of characters here , nor is there much action, but the reader did a good job of conveying the right atmosphere for the book. I think he added to the story .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kendall Union City, NJ, United States 09-02-13
    Kendall Union City, NJ, United States 09-02-13 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
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    Story
    "Uplifting story"
    What did you love best about Breakfast with Buddha?

    Reading expressive and natural, perfect inflection


    What did you like best about this story?

    Relatable Characters wonderful pace


    Which character – as performed by Sean Runnette – was your favorite?

    Otto


    If you could take any character from Breakfast with Buddha out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Otto, he'd know where to get a good meal and enjoy it


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kayla Carpinteria, CA, United States 07-29-13
    kayla Carpinteria, CA, United States 07-29-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredible Read and Listen"
    Where does Breakfast with Buddha rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is one of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to.


    What other book might you compare Breakfast with Buddha to and why?

    I might compare this novel to Paulo Coelho books, but even more spiritual.


    Have you listened to any of Sean Runnette’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This was my first listen to Sean Runnette and he blew my mind. He flawlessly transitioned from character to character with accents, moods, inflections, etc.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    This book had some depth to it. I had to stop it periodically to let ideas and emotions that came up because of it soak. I needed to let some parts stew before going on.


    Any additional comments?

    Listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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