October 2009 Indie Next 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
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 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 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.