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Extended Audio Sample Buddhaland Brooklyn: A Novel, by Richard C. Morais Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (160 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard C. Morais Narrator: Feodor Chi Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 eleven, 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 fortieth 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Morais’ 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

  • “This account of a Buddhist priest’s journey through life sheds light on cultural differences and finding acceptance.” 


  • “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

  • “A gentle Buddhist priest from Japan is given the task of building a temple in the Little Calabria section of Brooklyn, and the results are both calamitous and sweet…Morais writes with sensitivity and insight about the many ways American life challenges the Reverend Oda’s equanimity.” 

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Eileen | 2/19/2014

    " A fun read,especially if you lived in NYC in the "New Age" revolution of the 80s, 90s, and beyond! The interactions between the two cultures is handled in a witty and informative style. The prejudices that are brought to spiritual study and the expectations are cleverly shown. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Marisa Gonzalez | 2/5/2014

    " An 11 year old boy is sent to a temple by his family to become a Buddhist priest. Living within the temple he grows up to live a very sheltered and conservative life where he is happy to be practicing his religion alone. The Head Priest then chooses him to build and start the first Buddhist Temple in Brooklyn with an American congregation who believes Buddhism is more a way of life and has very little education in the actual tenets of the religion. This is a great book. I like how it had drama but also some humor. I also loved how all the characters including the priest grew in this book. You'll find that there are characters you don't like in the beginning but once you get to the end of the story you see them change and understand them more. It will have you thinking of the old adage of not judging a person until you walk in their shoes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jeff | 1/28/2014

    " An entertaining, enlightening and moving story of tragedy and happiness. I highly recommend this second novel by Richard Morais. I give this four smiles out of five. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Katharina | 1/27/2014

    " I quite enjoyed reading about Oda's journey as a migrant to America but found the references and descriptions of Buddhism rather lacking in depth and credibility. "

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About the Author

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 seventeen years, where he was Forbes’ European bureau chief.