Otto Ringling is a straightlaced publishing executive with two kids, a lovely wife, a fine home in a fancy New York suburb, and a nagging suspicion that something’s missing. How, then, does he end up on traveling through Middle America with a berobed Mongolian monk? Ah. The real question to ask is, Why?
When his sister tricks him into taking her guru on a trip to their childhood home, Otto, 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 Cub’s 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.
The skillful Merullo, using the lightest of touches, slowly turns this low-key comedy into a moving story of spiritual awakening.
Kirkus Reviews, 7/15/07:
...the author here provides a realistic framework that plays to his strengths as an astute observer of society and sympathetic analyst of individual psyches.
Library Journal, 9/01/07:
Especially well written, Merullo's second visionary novel (after Golfing with God) captures the spiritual struggle for true belief and inner peace with wit, clarity, and subtle reality.
Publisher's Weekly, 7/16/07
Merullo...delivers a comic but winningly spiritual roadtrip novel.Breakfast With Buddha is being hosted by the Thornton Public Library, 726-8981.