Breakfast with Buddha

By Roland Merullo
(Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, Hardcover, 9781565125520, 323pp.)

Publication Date: October 2007

Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc, Compact Disc, MP3 CD, Paperback

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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '09/Winter '10 Reading Group List
“Otto Ringling's sister tricks him into taking her guru on a six-day trip from New York City to the family homestead in North Dakota. Initially quite put off by the crimson-robed Buddhist monk, Otto resigns himself to his fate, and the two have a hilarious sightseeing trip across the country. You will laugh your way through this tale and wish you could be riding along in the back seat!”
-- Linda Smith, Sister Wolf Books, Park Rapids, MN


Description
The only thing certain about a journey is that it has a beginning and an end--for you never know what may happen along the way. And so it is with this journey into the minds and souls of two very different men--one of them in search of the truth, the other a man who may have already found it.When Otto Ringling, a husband, father, and editor, departs on a cross-country drive from his home in a New York City suburb to the North Dakota farmhouse in which he grew up, he is a man on a no-nonsense mission: to settle the estate of his recently deceased parents. However, when his flaky sister convinces him to give a ride to her guru, a crimson-robed Skovordinian monk, Otto knows there will be a few bumps in the road. As they venture across America, Otto and the affable, wise, irritating, and inscrutible holy man engage in a battle of wits and wisdom. Otto, a born skeptic, sees his unwanted passenger as a challenge: a man who assumes the knowledge of the ages yet walks a mortal's path. But he also sees their unexpected pairing as an opportunity to take Volya Rinpoche on a journey of cultural discovery, with visits to quintessentially American landmarks (the Hershey's factory, Wrigley Field) and forays into some favorite American pastimes (bowling, miniature golf, dining out).It is Otto, however, who has embarked on the real journey, that of self-discovery, led by his strange and remarkable passenger. By the time they reach North Dakota, Otto's head is reeling with the understanding that so much of what he had believed--as well as so much of what he had doubted--must be rethought before his journey can truly begin.Witty and inventive, "Breakfast with Buddha" takes readers into the heart ofAmerica and in the process shows us a man about to discover his own true heart.



Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. How do the first scenes of Otto with his family set the stage for what happens in the rest of the novel?

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