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
"The skillful Merullo, using the lightest of touches, slowly turns this low-key comedy into a moving story of spiritual awakening." (Booklist)
I would rate it as one of the top stories.
The narrator was excellent. The story was both funny and insightful.
The bowling scene when the guru discovers fun!
The plot was a little weak but interesting enough to keep me looking forward to the next chapter.
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.
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.
Voice was as boring as the book.
The main narrator of the story.
I would recommend it to others but I seldom listen to or read a book twice.
The Rinpoche. He was fully realized and quite believable as a wise and transcendent practitioner of the buddhist philosophy.
I really liked his personalization of his accent/voice for Rinpoche.
I liked the conclusion. It made sense.
It's a fun listen and also would make a great beach read or road trip listen.
The characters annoying and the performance overdone. Just couldn't stand listening to it. Only got through about one hour of it.
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.
He did his best.
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.
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.
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 .
Reading expressive and natural, perfect inflection
Relatable Characters wonderful pace
Otto, he'd know where to get a good meal and enjoy it
This is one of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to.
I might compare this novel to Paulo Coelho books, but even more spiritual.
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.
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.
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