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Publisher's Summary

Roland Merullo's playful, eloquent, and life-affirming novel finds the Pope and the Dalai Lama teaming up for an unsanctioned road trip through the Italian countryside to rediscover the everyday joys of life that can seem, even for the two holiest men in the world, unattainable.

What happens when the Pope and the Dalai Lama decide they need an undercover vacation? During a highly publicized official visit at the Vatican, the Pope suggests an adventure so unexpected and appealing that neither man can resist. Before dawn, two of the most beloved and famous people on the planet don disguises, slip into a waiting car, and experience the countryside as regular people. Along for the ride are the Pope's overwhelmed cousin Paolo and his estranged wife, Rosa, an eccentric hairdresser with a lust for life who cannot resist the call to adventure - or the fun.

Against a landscape of good humor, exploration and spiritual delight, not to mention the sublime rolling hills of Italy, The Delight of Being Ordinary showcases the charming sensibilities of Roland Merullo (whose best-selling Breakfast with Buddha has sold over 200,000 copies) in a novel that makes us laugh as well as think about the demands of ordinary life, spiritual life, and the identities by which we all define ourselves.

©2017 Roland Merullo (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

" The Delight of Being Ordinary is a thrilling book, a rip-roaring, risk-taking literary tour de force that kept me up late and moved me deeply. Bursting with laughter and suffused with the divine comedy of the human condition, the story makes our complicated world seem a broader, more generous place. In this ultimate celebrity road trip, Merullo has written a love story for our times." (Susan Cheever, author of Home Before Dark)
"Another genre-defying installment in Merullo's engaging series of seriocomic religious novels.... Admirers of previous volumes will recognize Merullo's knack for depicting goodness without treacle in his deft portraits of the pope and the Dalai Lama, and a La Dolce Vita-esque party scene spotlights his ability to discern humanity in the most decadent circumstances....moving and unnerving.... Lucid, unpretentious fiction spotlighting the drama of trying to make the divine part of our everyday lives." ( Kirkus)
"A quirky but uplifting story in which Paolo de Padova, first assistant and cousin to Pope Francis, is asked to whisk away the pope and the visiting Dalai Lama on a clandestine vacation.... Merullo's newest is a thoughtful, compassionate, and mature work, a 'Christian- Buddhist-agnostic prayer' to the world, and readers will find a pleasant surprise in its conclusion." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Hope this is not the end of the story!

If you start with Breakfast with Budda and work through to this book, it is a great journey... 3rd time through and still find new insights. 60 years of reading everything and find this work the best. THANKS ROLAND !!!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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May be Merullo's best work yet!

I have loved many of Roland Merullo's works, particularly the Breakfast w Buddha trilogy and American Savior.
The Delight of Being Ordinary, especially as beautifully narrated on the Audible site, is my favorite!
It's a novel. But the premise of the storyline offers many insights to people of faith and to doubters about our commonality. It's about spiritual truths coming from diverse sources. It's about the value of travel to unlock new experiences, feelings, friendships, and enlightenment.
I highly recommend this book!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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spiritually enlightening and uplifting.

Very inspiring and full of hope. Very well written performed. The story is full of love.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Patricia

Excellent. A beautiful offering. Not to be missed.a deep awareness by the author of All That Is.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent

I have been waiting for this story to be released and I am so happy it was put as the author promised. I hope the story continues and we see how the children end up as adults. Love the adventure and rich characters bring to us. Excellent read!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wanted to like this more

I wanted to like this more. Love the idea of the book. That's why I bought it. Such opportunity for insight but the book ended up detailing a couples inability to get along. If I had been on this trip I may have taken my chances on my own rather than listen to them constantly bicker through a once in a life time adventure. Too bad. Missed opportunity for a great story. I found that I had to force myself to finish it. One reviewer wrote that it was funny, a few spots were genuinely funny but overall the humor is very sarcastic which over time leaves a bad taste. Would not recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Not my favorite.

I bought this because I liked the Breakfast with Buddha series so much. I found the Dalai Lana's and Francis' characters to be cartoonist and childish. I also didn't like how they were ancillary parts in what was essentially Paulo and Rosa's story. Even the narrator's attempt at their accents missed the mark. I'm glad everyone else enjoyed it. Maybe it just wasn't for me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Delightful Story!

We listened to this audiobook as we drove 45 miles each way to daily radiation treatments, and were so entertained that we didn’t dread having to go for 30 treatments quite as much!
We loved all the characters and thought the narration was perfect.

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Once again Roland Merullo delivers!

A fun story and concept, humorous but with thought provoking narrative. His description of the Dalai Lama is great and the performance of the Dalai Lama is wonderful. Even if you haven't read the "Breakfast with .. . ." books, you can follow this story line.

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Such a fun book! A wonderful journey for all.

This book is very original and fantasticl, a fun and intetesting journey, indeed!
What an imagination the author has!

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  • LindaJabo
  • 05-03-17

Wonderful

Another superb book by Roland Merullo with excellent narration from P J Ochlan. A real treat.