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Breakfast with Buddha Audiobook

Breakfast with Buddha: A Novel

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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

4.3 (2478 )
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4.4 (2187 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer La Mirada, CA, US 09-15-11
    Amazon Customer La Mirada, CA, US 09-15-11 Member Since 2016
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    "a thoughtful and often hilarious journey"

    This audiobook was a real pleasure--one I plan to come back to again and again. One reason is I love the performance as well as the voice of the reader, Sean Runette. I found it soothing yet compelling--you know, the type where you don't want to get out of your car and turn it off. Even at the end of the story, the characters rest with me--I have shared the better part of a week with Otto and his travelling companion and felt as if I was there with them.

    The plot is simple enough---a middle aged man travelling from his home NY to his childhood home, to the heartland settle the estate of his parents who were killed suddenly. However there is a rhythm to the book, a progression across geography, cultures and the thoughts of Otto--flowing out at first in a rapid stream of consciousness that had a bent to describe, label and judge, and eventually coming to a place of peace, home and family---and something more-- an interior voyage, to find his own heart, breath and soul.

    The entire concept of this book appealed to me, but I was afraid it would not be so digestible to my own middle aged husband. However, he really enjoyed this audio book as well. The rich imagery, descriptions of food so vivid that could almost taste it, and the humor....lots of humor appealed to my own Otto-like husband and will hopefully set him on a bit of a journey of his own.

    As for me, it gave me a lot of food for thought. I adored the Rimposhe's perception of the "real" America, his kindness even when in adversity, in fact, I loved loved how "stress" was dealt with in this story. So much to love in this book.


    70 of 81 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara 09-11-15
    Sara 09-11-15

    Avid Reader

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    "Weak Theory & Tedious Fictional Adventure"

    The only way this book would have worked for me would have been if it was nonfiction and based on an actual experience of a road trip and a Buddhist guru. Scratch that--the "contrast character" could have been any serious spiritual seeker--not even a "guru" as long as the character was real. If you have ever spent time with an actual spiritual guide you will find the portrayal of this "guru" one dimensional, juvenile and totally missing the mark. What's more--the characters, premise of the action and spiritual lessons presented lack depth and believability. All the talk of food, hotel rooms, and this road trip experience became self absorbed and as such quickly boring. To me, a humorless fantasy that misleads and disappoints. I really wish I hadn't wasted time on this book.

    36 of 43 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-12-15
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    "Will this never end?"

    I'm on chapter 33 and I find myself skipping not only whole pages but entire chapters wondering when this is going to be over. It started with such promise and now we just been wandering around Wisconsin, lost, no end in sight.
    I'll fight my way through a few more chapters but then I give up.

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth Bain 05-04-15
    Ruth Bain 05-04-15

    RueRue

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    "No substance"

    I guess I was expecting some insightful observations, but there is thing here but a road trip with (2) very boring characters. Very flat narration. Not much to enjoy apart from a few humorous interludes. Disappointing.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn 04-15-14
    Lynn 04-15-14 Member Since 2010
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    "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.


    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dance 04-20-15
    Dance 04-20-15
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    "Not sure what it tried to accomplish"
    What disappointed you about Breakfast with Buddha?

    I seldom write reviews but I felt with this book I need to write one... maybe I can save you from wasting hours of your life. I hope the author never reads this as I don't want to bring pain into his life, yet I do this to spare others from this book.

    Let me start saying that I love buddhism and good stories. Yet, I kept waiting for this book to become something else than a guy complaining about everything. Unfortunately it never did. This book did not provide an interesting story nor any sort of buddhist insight beyond the utterly most pedestrian buddhism.

    Save your time and money.


    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hector Hanover Park, IL, United States 03-29-13
    Hector Hanover Park, IL, United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2015
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    "A Must-Listen!"

    I will not lie. It started off rough. The first half an 10-15 minutes didn't grab me, but once they set on the road...WOW!!! I couldn't stop listening to it. Sean Runnette did an amazing job with Rinpoche. And Roland Merullo made me laugh, made me think, and came close to making me cry. I actually think I might have shed a tear. It was wonderful. If you are open enough to have come this far, go for it. You WILL enjoy it...after the first 10-15 minutes. c:

    30 of 39 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda A. Wright 06-10-15 Member Since 2016

    I'm a recovering librarian. Since I had a stroke in 2002 I have found reading print difficult. I am so grateful for audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sloppy theology, simplistic and trite"

    Rather week plot. Too much about what he ate for dinner and too little about personal struggle to come to terms with existential angst.

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robin 01-15-14
    robin 01-15-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So Boring"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I could not recommend this read to anyone I know


    Would you ever listen to anything by Roland Merullo again?

    Probably not


    Would you be willing to try another one of Sean Runnette’s performances?

    No. The monotone quality of his voice left the listener begging for any ounce of deflection.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Breakfast with Buddha?

    The first six chapters that I suffered through, couldn't to listen to more then that


    Any additional comments?

    If I said the writing of this book was lackluster, it would be a complement. I have never read of caricatures more boring . I kept waiting for something, ANYTHING to take a turn; however, by mid chapter six I realized that it wasn't going to.

    14 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Big John Montana 08-21-13
    Big John Montana 08-21-13 Member Since 2011
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    "A lighter introduction to spirituality."

    Some people are not capable of taking in purely spiritual books yet, so this one has a lot of spiritual messages hidden in an actual story and story telling format, it's pretty good actually, but it needs to be recognized as a mostly spiritual book, not a mostly story book.

    31 of 43 people found this review helpful

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