“Buddhaland Brooklyn” traces a Buddhist priest’s journey from the tranquil mountains of Japan to the heart of Brooklyn, New York, where he’s tasked with overseeing his sect’s first temple. In a similar vein to Mick of “Crocodile Dundee” fame, the Rev. Saido Oto is forced to confront myriad challenges as he comes to a profound acceptance of his own sense of loss. The dialogue suffers from time to time, and readers in Japan may wince at Oto’s initial attempts to speak English. By the time most readers get to the somewhat phoney conclusion, it’s more than likely they’ll have grown tired of the crabby nature of the priest and won’t care about his newfound sense of enlightenment.
Buddhaland Brookyln. Richard C. Morais, SCRIBNER