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Breakfast with Buddha

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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 ...

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Breakfast with Buddha

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post - Carolyn See
A "pleasant, engaging novel . . . I got to liking Breakfast With Buddha more and more as I went along and was very sorry when it ended . . . it's such a sweet formula! . . . On finishing this book, I decided that Roland Merullo would be a great guy to take a road trip with."—Carolyn See of the Washington Post
The Washington Post
A "pleasant, engaging novel . . . I got to liking Breakfast With Buddha more and more as I went along and was very sorry when it ended . . . it's such a sweet formula! . . . On finishing this book, I decided that Roland Merullo would be a great guy to take a road trip with."--Carolyn See of the Washington Post
— Carolyn See
Booklist
"The skillful Merullo, using the lightest of touches, slowly turns this low-key comedy into a moving story of spiritual awakening."—Booklist
Providence Journal
"A wonderful, heartfelt novel that frequently surprises as we're lulled by the sights and sounds of the open road"—Providence Journal
Boston Globe
"Enlightenment meets On the Road in this witty, insightful novel."—The Boston Sunday Globe
Christian Science Monitor
"[Merullo's] gift is slipping gentle spiritual lessons into easy-reading narratives…with such effortless charm."—The Christian Science Monitor
Seattle Times
"Insightful, amusing, loving…There are lovely moments of enlightenment that are not accompanied by angels with flaming swords; rather, there is that peaceful blue sphere that is available to all of us."—The Seattle Times
Louisville Courier Journal
"A laugh-out loud novel that’s both comical and wise…balancing irreverence with insight."—The Louisville Courier-Journal
Booklist
"The skillful Merullo, using the lightest of touches, slowly turns this low-key comedy into a moving story of spiritual awakening."--Booklist
Providence Journal
"A wonderful, heartfelt novel that frequently surprises as we're lulled by the sights and sounds of the open road"--Providence Journal
Carolyn See
Please don't be put off when I describe this pleasant, engaging novel as a sermon. I admit I was put off during the first 50 pages or so, when I realized what I was in for, but I got to liking Breakfast with Buddha more and more as I went along and was very sorry when it ended.
—The Washington Post
From the Publisher
"The skillful Merullo, using the lightest of touches, slowly turns this low-key comedy into a moving story of spiritual awakening." —-Booklist
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565125520
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 10/2/2007
  • Pages: 323
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 1.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Roland Merullo is the critically acclaimed author of five books of nonfiction and twelve novels, including the Revere Beach Trilogy, Golfing with God, Breakfast with Buddha, The Vatican Waltz, and Dinner with Buddha. He lives with his wife and children in Massachusetts. His website is www.rolandmerullo.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 89 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(29)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 90 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 2, 2011

    Great Book

    First, it's not for everybody. If you are reasonably open minded, it is an enjoyable cross-country trip that explores growing your spiritual awareness. This book is for readers who enjoy meta-fiction and have a life is a journey mind-set. It doesn't push any dogma or belief. It really just recommends you relax, clean up, and open up, while presenting a light quick, easy read. I enjoyed it. It made me think. John

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A friend recommended Breakfast with Buddha and I followed up on her clue.

    I enjoyed the book so much, I devoured it mindfully, at a slow pace, being such a brief book I steeped myself in the story. I read a lot of non-fiction, so I really enjoyed this little book as it was right up my alley. It is a good book.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2009

    Great Read

    Fun easy read. Loved it. Read it with a book club. Everyone liked it. It is the kind of book that you don't want to put down. From the first page it is entertaining. If you like food, road trips and peace this is the book for you. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2012

    What a Pleasant Book

    I wasn't sure about this book until after I had read the first 45 to 50 pages. From then on every page was a treat. When I had to put it down and do something else, I found there was a smile on my face and in my heart. It is also very thought provoking. This is a book that I will read again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2012

    Very thought provoking.

    Really good book. Makes you think about choosing good, quieting the anger and all of the superficial things that life throws your way every day. I've felt my mind relax over the past couple of days and find that I am taking deeper breaths and letting the constant roar of my thoughts float by.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    great read

    easy to read yet thought provoking

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    Good story

    It was a light hearted, slightly comical story ending with a slight twist. Not the best book I've ever read but still worth reading. I'd recommend it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2011

    I hated it.

    We had to read this for a class. I couldn't stand it from the very first chapter, and it never got any better. Otto is NOT a likable character and is also not relatable unless you are a middle-aged man with a middle class family. His sister is a stereotype, and the Rinpoche doesn't seem to do very much.
    Merullo makes several attempts at humor and fails miserably. His jokes and situations are unfunny and sometimes feel forced. He also makes several attempts at being deep, but most of those fall flat as well. The ones that don't are the lessons he stole from actual buddhists who actually know what they are talking about. He seems to be writing this from the point of view of a content, comfortable middle class american family man. One whose questionings only arise out of the death of his parents, before which he never had to seriously question or think about the world. For someone who has spent their whole life trying to understand the world without any outside prompt, it seems to lack authenticity and heart, and also understanding. Otto never seems to really get it. I think he only THINKS he gets it. He doesn't. But, like any all-american man he thinks he can just learn very little about something and suddenly understand it completely.
    This was a waste of my time, and it is unfortunate that my professor seemed to mistake it for REAL literature. If you really want to learn about buddhism, there are much better and more authentic ways. If you want to be like Otto and only have a narrow understanding, go ahead and read this, I guess.

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2009

    Breakfast with Buddha

    I found the book to be delightful - and thought provoking. In a gentle manner, Merullo asks the question "Why so angry?" Why today, in America, people seem to be angry over so many issues and non-issues. What is underneath that we are not addressing and how can we recover. This book is an excellent journey toward personal healing and renewal.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 13, 2014

    I'm not sure how I heard about this book or why now instead of e

    I'm not sure how I heard about this book or why now instead of earlier, but her I am.
    I very much enjoyed this. Told as if it were an autobiography, we get a very personal feeling for the transformation the main character undergoes.
    There are no unique spiritual "TRUTHS" revealed, but layer by layer Otto is allowed to look under his various layers and find more of who and what he really is.
    Quite delightful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2014

    I loved this book and am anxiously awaiting Dinner with Buddha.

    I loved this book and am anxiously awaiting Dinner with Buddha. This is a fun and engaging read with an uplifting spiritual component. I laughed out loud reading many of the passages. The journey is compelling and I for one would like to join in the fun.

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  • Posted February 4, 2014

    Enjoyable read

    easy to read, some humor and gets you thinking about some of the spiritual issues the story teller is going through. Good for book club discussions.
    Would read another from this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    great read - 5 stars *****

    Terrific book. Completely engaging characters, and I loved the developing relationship. Would absolutely recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2013

    Interesting read.

    interesting read....wouldn't say a great book but I was compelled to keep reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2013

    Loved it

    I so enjoyed reading this book and had some light bulb moments along the way!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    A good surprise

    Cute story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2012

    Great book!!

    Loved the jouney!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2012

    Cute story

    I felt pulled into the story like i was joining them on their journey.

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  • Posted June 22, 2012

    Loved it!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was fun and thought provoking. The author has read so much on world religions and has put much of his gleanings into the story. If you like pondering about God - a must read.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    funny and enjoyable

    It's a fiction story, the characters are lovable each in his own way.
    Easy to read and thoughtful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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