The author of Breakfast with Buddha brings his characteristic whimsy to a new novel about New York book editor Otto Ringling and Mongolian monk Volya Rinpoche, who embark on a road trip from Rinpoche's meditation center in North Dakota to the glitter and glitz of the Las Vegas strip.
What prompts the trip is Otto's recently altered life, having lost first his wife then his job, and then seeing both his children leave home for lives of their own. With Rinpoche's guidance, he hopes to find a new meaning in his life and a new direction. But what begins as a quietly contemplative journey becomes much more as the two men travel through the heart of the American Midwest, witnessing the decimated lives of so many American natives and giving Otto new perspective on the trials he is experiencing in his own life.
Along with these inner awakenings for Otto, there is also a very real hint of menace in the novel, as men show up who may be looking to make sure that the world never knows of the existence of Shelsa, the eight-year-old daughter of Rinpoche and Otto's sister, Cecilia. Shelsa has consistently shown that she has the markings and the instincts of a spiritual leader, leading to speculation that she may be the new Dalai Lama.
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Please Sir, can we have some more
I loved the first two books and so was very keen to get the third. I was a little concerned that this book might not live up to the first two as I have read reviews which said that it was a bit preachy. Not to me. I can see that one might feel that way if you haven't listened to the first two. I found the book to be every bit as good as the first two and the narrator - who is as brilliant as he was in the first two books - kept me fully and compulsively immersed in Otto's story. Otto, still very human, is at a different stage in life and asks different questions. They seem a logical follow on from his first (reluctant) encounter with spirituality. I enjoyed his continual questions as to whether he is a 'flake' or whether he is about to miss out on something real. I galloped to the end but also didn't want it to end as there isn't a fourth book written by the author yet. Really hope he does write another one and that audible uses the same narrator. So highly recommended, but suggest that you listen to Breakfast and Lunch with Buddha first.