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)
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.
The performance is amazing. The way the narrator change his voice to imitate the foreign language is so professional
Compared to other “seek yourself” books, this one is considered one of the best. Linking the ideas of the author with a story makes it very enjoyable journey.
I didn't encounter a complete change after reading the book, but it really helped me with reviewing some aspect of my current “material” life.
worth the cost
I've listened to this book several times - it's upbeat and very light, but every time I hear it I find just a little bit more insight on finding internal peace. I found the end a bit disappointing because it seemed a little far-fetched in a book that, although sweet and silly in places, always felt down to earth up to that point. I find it pairs nicely with "Opening the Door of Your Heart and Other Buddhist Tales of Happiness" by Ajahn Brahm, which I also bought on Audible.
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:
This book totally captured me. I loved it.
And then it fell apart in the last chapter.
So, for the first umpteen chapters, 5 stars. For that last falling apart drivel in the last chapter, 1 star.
Yes. It made me laugh and cry and think about life's priorities. There is much wisdom in this book to be learned.
Otto. I loved his brutal honesty and human stubborness,
Aliveness. It was like watching a movie with my eyes closed.
rinpoche. So I could ask him many questions.
Breakfast with Buddha was a fun and thought-provoking book. I like how the characters were thrown together and how their personalities are so opposed at the start of the story. As the road trip progresses they have many funny experiences, I laughed out loud quiet a few times. There is a side to the story that encourages you to look at the world and think about your personal beliefs without ever feeling preachy or telling you how to react to the ideas presented. I really enjoyed the story and found myself wishing I was on that road trip and going bowling with Rinpoche.
He was great at accents and sounding like different people
I picked this up because it was on sale, I never heard of it and didn't know if I would like it but I loved it.
Perhaps so. I think this would have been a very fast read, and the story deserves to be savored. I recommended it to my mother, who is reading it on a trip. It's supposed to last her until she gets home, and she's had to ration it in order to make it last. This book is such a delight, it would be easy to sit down and devour it whole. But, as I said, there's a lot of subtlety that isn't readily apparent, and it needs to be taken in at a leisurely pace. Having the audio recording ensures (at least for me, because I only listen in my car) that I had time to think about the story in between my commute times.
The main character, who narrates the story in the first person, more or less. He's a regular guy, very easy to relate to.
His voice is a great match for the main character.
There were many moments that made me laugh out loud or smile broadly.
Thank you - Audible, Mr. Merullo, and Mr. Rnnette, for such a delightful experience!
I have recommended this book to a friend.
The Rinpoche was my favourite character as he was a rather cool customer and very amusing in an unintentional way.
Sean Runnette was easy and interesting to listen to.
After the Rinpoche the most memorable character for me was the story teller, Roland. He was very amusing and cynical giving good balance to the story.
A great book to read between heavier material and it was enlightening. I looked forward to listening and did not want it to end.
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