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Buddhaland Brooklyn: A Novel Paperback – July 9, 2013
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"The world Morais creates is quirky and enchanting. His recurring rumination on the meaning of enlightenment and acceptance is worth savoring." (Washington Independent Review of Books)
"Readers who follow Morais's lyrical narrative will find spiritual redemption of their own in his search for the paradisiacal Buddhaland. A vivid portrait of faith lost and found through the eyes of a Japanese Buddhist monk in America." (Shelf Awareness)
"Morais has struck gold with this novel, which is simultaneously funny, sad, and enlightening." (Spencer Daily Reporter)
“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 shut-down, 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] has a definite talent for evoking a place – his descriptions of Japan in Buddhaland Brooklyn resonate like watercolors painted on silk panels. The secondary characters are fully realized and the journey to enlightenment is full of entertaining detours.” (Book Sexy Reviews.com)
"A delightful and insightful fish-out-of water tale.” (New York Post)
“A charming and touching tale of discovery… certain to be appreciated by those who enjoy reading about the human condition.” (Library Journal)
“Eloquent, unique, funny, tender, sad, and pristine in its delivery.”— (Luxury Reading.com)
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Morais does a wonderful job with making Oda a complex and interesting character to read about. His journey through life was filled with hardships and surprises and I loved reading about his growth as a person throughout the journey. The beginning of the book is about his early years in Japan with lots of descriptions of his home and what his duties were as an acolyte in the monastery. Though all of this was interesting I felt like the book really got good when Oda moved to Brooklyn. It was such a huge step out of his comfort zone in so many ways and is was wonderful to watch him change into a stronger and better person without him really realizing it himself. The other part that made the Brooklyn part of the book more fun were all of the quirky characters that were part of Oda's new world. It was great to see so many different personalities try to work together for the common goal of getting the new temple opened.
Lots of little details are included that add to the book like descriptions of a Brooklyn neighborhood, the painting that Oda loved to do, poetry, and a look into what it means to be a follower of Buddhism. All of these come together to make a delightful book filled with love, humor, and sections that will really make you think about your own life. It made me want to try stepping out of my own comfort zone a little bit and see what happens!
Odas story has possibilities but the author's handling of them leaves much to be desired. I enjoyed the first part of the book. The author portrays in loving detail the mountains and waterfalls of Oda's Japan, as well as its trees and animals which provide a sense of comfort and tranquility to the young Oda. However, when Oda arrives in Brooklyn the novel lapses into a cartoonish atmosphere. The Brooklyn acoloytes are portrayed as a group of boorish buffoons and are unlike any American Buddhists I have ever encountered. Of course in a thoroughly predictable way, after Oda has his emotional break through everything is nicely resolved and the boors become human beings.
I lived in the area of Brooklyn the author describes for most of my life, and the geography just rings false. Nor will you learn much about the underlying tenets of Buddhism from reading this book, despite the fact that at the end of the book the author lists the Buddhist books he used for research purposes. The Buddhism espoused here is as fake as the Brooklyn landscape where it takes place.Read more ›
This book is at times humourous and amusing, but for the most part it is a tract on the difficult questions of life and the Buddhist way of dealing with them. It deals with the problems ignorance can bring, but knowledge is not necessarily a boon unless one knows how to handle it.
If you enjoy this book, you might also enjoy his first novel, 'The Hundred-foot Journey', now a motion picture, starring Helen Mirren.
Oda is shocked on his arrival in New York, not only by the towering buildings and busy streets, which are an assault on the senses after a lifetime spent in a small mountain village, but also with the motley group of worshipers seeking spiritual enlightenment.
"You'll be very impressed" he said "...I've been giving a series of lectures on the proper Buddhist practice, based on my extensive study. It's very rigorous. Intellectually."
"This is commendable. And the lectures are based on what study material?"
"Tons of books. The Reader's Digest Encyclopedia of Religion, Tales of Siddhartha, Buddhism for Dummies. The list goes on and on." p86
Reverend Oda is horrified, if not surprised, by this conversation with a member of the Temple board just days after his arrival. It seems to him that the American flock tend to pick and choose the most convenient principles of Buddhism to follow. Oda however is intent on imposing order and proper practice on the Believers, though with little hope of success.
Morais shares some astute commentary about the assumption of cultures, society and religions in Buddhaland Brooklyn.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
How does he write like this? I have lived in Japan and his descriptions make me want to close my eyes and breath in the scents and sounds Morais brings back to me. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Brookley Bones
You don't have to have a knowledge of Buddhism to like this book. In a very subtle way he weaves some of Buddhist concepts without being dogmatic. Read morePublished 2 months ago by JULY
Buddhaland Brooklyn is one of those hidden treasures that no one talks about. I ordered it because I liked the movie based on Richard Morais's The Hundred-Foot Journey. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jane D. Anderson
Really good novel. I like spiritual fiction and this was a great read.Published 8 months ago by CindyLou
I loved the book, the beautiful descriptive writing, the simplicity, the complexity and rich characters. There is sadness, joy, misunderstanding, compassion and many surprises. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is such a sweet story. It is written with warmth and good characters, a story that unfolds from sorrow to a delightful realization. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Steve Lowry
I don't know much about the Buddhist religion, so, how accurate it is I don't know. Having said that I found the plot interesting and experiencing New York/America from the view... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Gary Lee