Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav

The Delight of Being Ordinary

Cover of The Delight of Being Ordinary

The Delight of Being Ordinary

A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama
What happens when the Pope and the Dalai Lama decide they need a secret vacation?

Roland Merullo's playful, eloquent, and life-affirming novel finds the world's two holiest men teaming up for an unsanctioned road trip through the Italian countryside—where they rediscover the everyday joys and challenges of ordinary life.

During the Dalai Lama's highly publicized official visit to the Vatican, the Pope suggests an adventure so unexpected and appealing that neither man can resist: they will shed their robes for several days and live as ordinary men. Before dawn, the two beloved religious leaders make a daring escape from Vatican City, slip into a waiting car, and are soon traveling the Italian roads in disguise. Along for the ride is the Pope's neurotic cousin and personal assistant, Paolo, who—to his terror— has been put in charge of arranging the details of their disappearance. Rounding out the group is Paolo's estranged wife, Rosa, an eccentric entrepreneur with a lust for life, who orchestrates the sublime disguises of each man. Rosa is a woman who cannot resist the call to adventure—or the fun.

Against a landscape of good humor, intrigue, and spiritual fulfillment, The Delight of Being Ordinary showcases the uniquely charming sensibilities of author Roland Merullo. Part whimsical expedition, part love story, part spiritual search, this uplifting novel brings warmth and laughter to the universal concerns of family life, religious inspiration, and personal identity—all of which combine to transcend cultural and political barriers in the name of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
What happens when the Pope and the Dalai Lama decide they need a secret vacation?

Roland Merullo's playful, eloquent, and life-affirming novel finds the world's two holiest men teaming up for an unsanctioned road trip through the Italian countryside—where they rediscover the everyday joys and challenges of ordinary life.

During the Dalai Lama's highly publicized official visit to the Vatican, the Pope suggests an adventure so unexpected and appealing that neither man can resist: they will shed their robes for several days and live as ordinary men. Before dawn, the two beloved religious leaders make a daring escape from Vatican City, slip into a waiting car, and are soon traveling the Italian roads in disguise. Along for the ride is the Pope's neurotic cousin and personal assistant, Paolo, who—to his terror— has been put in charge of arranging the details of their disappearance. Rounding out the group is Paolo's estranged wife, Rosa, an eccentric entrepreneur with a lust for life, who orchestrates the sublime disguises of each man. Rosa is a woman who cannot resist the call to adventure—or the fun.

Against a landscape of good humor, intrigue, and spiritual fulfillment, The Delight of Being Ordinary showcases the uniquely charming sensibilities of author Roland Merullo. Part whimsical expedition, part love story, part spiritual search, this uplifting novel brings warmth and laughter to the universal concerns of family life, religious inspiration, and personal identity—all of which combine to transcend cultural and political barriers in the name of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Listen
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    2
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you


Excerpts-
  • From the cover Day One

    1

    My name is Paolo dePadova—­son of an Italian mother and an American infantryman father, and thanks to a peculiar combination of loyalty and luck I served, for a time, as First Assistant to my beloved cousin His Holiness the Pope of Rome. My tenure didn't last long. In fact, my duties came to an end as a direct result of the story I'm about to tell here, a story the Pope himself asked me to make public when I felt the time was right. Parts of it will be familiar from headlines in the international news, but, as you might expect, those parts were sensationalized, tarnished by rumor, stained with misinformation. The heart of it, the essence, the real, full story, remains known only to a handful of people, myself included. I share it now in a spirit of reverence and compassion, but also in service to the truth. As my cousin liked to say, "Anche i papi sono uomini." Which might be translated as "Popes are people, too."

    2

    My odd story begins, oddly enough, with a Buddhist. Or, at least, with the visit of a famous Buddhist to the most sacred halls of Roman Catholicism. It's common, of course, for a pope to receive visiting heads of state—­presidents, prime ministers, first secretaries. Catholics have a great deal of clout in the world's voting booths, and politicians, even the least religious politicians, like to make a papal pilgrimage. They sit for a photo op with the Pontiff, pretend to exchange ideas, make promises they never intend to keep, then fly back to their luxurious lives and seats of power.

    Popes, in my experience, handle these visits with an admirable patience. Disappointed again and again, they nevertheless always seem to hope that the leaders of the world will actually behave in ways that reduce the chance of war and give comfort to their poor.

    In the case of the Dalai Lama's visit, however, the Holy Father had good reason for optimism. Here was a man whose responsibilities were similar to his own, and whose devotion to his faith and his people was beyond question. It was the second year of our joint tenure—­the Pope's and mine—­and probably the three hundredth official visit. I was used to the frenzied preparations: security precautions, press conferences, interviews. But when I went to see the Pope that morning I could sense, almost immediately, that the Dalai Lama's visit would not be typical.

    My cousin liked to rise at four, spend three hours in prayer, and then take a light morning meal. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays when he was in Rome, ­Giorgio—­as my parents and I had always called him—­asked that I have breakfast with him in his relatively humble accommodations: a three-­room suite at the Domus Sanctae Marthae hotel in Vatican City. Seven a.m. sharp.

    This wasn't easy for me. At seven in the morning I'm not yet at my best—­not that my best is very good at any hour—­but out of devotion to the famous man and in deference to his inhumanly busy schedule, I always showed up on time. In order to reach the papal chambers, even with my top-­secret Vatican credentials, I had to run a gauntlet of security officials and various secretaries. After doing so on that morning I went, at last, along a familiar, carpeted corridor and tapped on a set of wooden doors twice my height.

    "Entra, cugino!" the Pope always yelled joyfully. Come in, cousin! That day it was no different.

    The velour curtains hanging from the windows of his dining area had been pulled aside and, even at that early hour, a golden sunlight poured through the glass. The Pope was dressed casually in dark pants and a white...
Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Imagine the pope and the Dalai Lama making a temporary escape from their regimented lives by hitting the open road in Italy with an estranged married couple. Intriguing, right? What would they talk about? Where would they go? How would it end? Though the makings of a provocative listen are there, the experience is undermined by P.J. Ochlan's disappointing narration. His Italian and Tibetan accents are inconsistent, and his performance of the Dalai Lama borders on caricature. Also, his female characterizations play to exaggerated stereotypes. The story itself offers much to listeners who are open to debates about orthodoxy, morality, and the business of living. That said, reading a text copy may be a better option. A.S. � AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
  • OverDrive Listen
    Release date:
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • OverDrive MP3 Audiobook
    Burn to CD: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to device: 
    Permitted
    Transfer to Apple® device: 
    Permitted
    Public performance: 
    Not permitted
    File-sharing: 
    Not permitted
    Peer-to-peer usage: 
    Not permitted
    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Enhanced Details

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Permissions

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Holds

Total holds:


Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
The Delight of Being Ordinary
The Delight of Being Ordinary
A Road Trip with the Pope and the Dalai Lama
Roland Merullo
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel