Buddhaland Brooklyn

  • by Richard C. Morais
  • Narrated by Feodor Chin
  • 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the writer whose debut novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey, continues to charm readers around the world comes a modern fairy tale about a man who finds his true calling in a foreign land.
Featuring rich descriptions and a cast of eccentric characters, this is a contemporary fable about a Japanese Buddhist priest who ends up finding himself in the unlikeliest of places.
Growing up in a quaint mountainside village in Japan, Seido Oda spent his boyhood fishing in clear mountainside streams and helping his parents run their small inn. At the age of 11, Oda is sent to study with the monks at a nearby Buddhist temple. This peaceful, quiet refuge in the remote mountains of Japan becomes home for the introverted monk - until he approaches his 40th birthday and is ordered by his superior to cross the ocean and open a temple in Brooklyn.
Ripped from the isolated, serene life of his homeland temple, Oda receives a shock to his system in New York - a motley crew of American Buddhists whose misguided practices lead to a host of hilarious cultural misunderstandings. It is only when Oda comes to appreciate the Americans, flaws and all, that he sees his own shortcomings and finally finds that sense of belonging he has always sought.
A lively and vivid novel, this entertaining and edifying meditation on the meaning of true acceptance stirs from the very first page.
Richard C. Morais, author of The Hundred-Foot Journey, is a contributing editor at Barron’s in New York. An American raised in Switzerland, he was stationed in London for 17 years, where he was Forbes’ European bureau chief.

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What the Critics Say

"In exquisite prose, Buddhaland Brooklyn illuminates the hearts of wholly different cultures - an isolated Buddhist monastery; bustling New York - and also the universal truths of human life. Reverend Seido Oda’s journey from shutdown, haughty priest to compassionate religious leader is a profoundly moving one making for a complex, beautiful book that lingers in the imagination long after the last line is read." (Robin Black, author of If I Loved You, I Would Tell You This)
"Morais’s latest follows Seido, a Japanese Buddhist priest whose attachment to ritual fortifies him against the heartbreak of his youth.... By leaving the austere orderliness of Japan and entering the noisy hodgepodge of Brooklyn, Seido finds, for the first time, a community.... A breezy read that ably moves to a predictable feel-good resolution." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

engaging listen

This is a feel good listen with dharma (though the Buddhist sect depicted is fictional). The novel is unique and not at all saccharine, though it fits in the "happily ever after without angst" category. It's such an easy read, yet this novel has substance and poetry! I'm tempted to call it Paulo Coelo light, but I don't mean that as negative.

The publisher's label of "fairy tale" and "fable" may mislead fantasy fans. While it can be heard as a fable about finding oneself, it's a storyline/fictional memoir from everyday life with little of the fantastic except a belief in a spiritual world - one that is shared by many faiths.

I listen to a lot of novels, and this one landed just as I needed something fresh - It really gave my spirit a lift. I've listened to many Christian and Buddhist books about becoming less judgemental-- this novel worked better than nonfiction at getting me there. I haven't enjoyed a listen so much since many, many books ago.
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- connie "Narrative makes the world go round."

A Grouchy, Unlikeable Main Character

Was Buddhaland Brooklyn worth the listening time?

Buddhaland Brooklyn is an easy book to listen to. The writing is clean and simple, the plot moves along at a reasonable pace. My main complaint about this book is that I really didn't like the main character very much. He came off as a real snob. Perhaps Morais tried a little too hard to state cultural differences between a traditional Japanese Buddhist and the typical American Buddhist. The result was a grouchy, unlikeable character who no one would want to study Buddhism under. Then throw in a sex scene and it just gets creepy. I didn't get a whole lot out of this book, but I did listen all the way to the end. That's the best I can say for this one.


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- RaisinNut "Making the world better one review at a time."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-17-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.