Tidewater Review work, not that he needs the money. He had risen in the old job, but he is lonely. His son is in college, and Natasha has a new boyfriend and a job, so she wants to stay with Aunt Seese, Rinpoche, and Shelsa for a while longer. So off the two men go, heading west. Here the book changes tone. Humor and adventures are the extra comrades on the journey. The searchers keep a schedule to stop at every place in the mountains that Rinpoche has ever seen, although he has traveled to almost ever y place on the globe to give lectures. He has several speaking engagements on his calendar, so the itinerary is complicated. Otto is affected by thin air sickness and meets a remarkable fortune teller who seems to know his whole life, including his reason for stopping at a little town so much higher than Denver. He’s delighted and surprised that restaurants, and even Mom and Pop eateries, serve an amazing array of cuisines from France to Hong Kong, and every kitchen in between. He meets pleasant people, and a drunken wife beater who attacks him for changing a tire on his wife’s jalopy. He has compassion for the American Indians who live on disgraceful reservations. Rinpoche revels in sliding down high desert sand dunes; infuriating
a group of pompous psychiatrists with a lecture on their greed and anger; playing all the machines in the casinos with incredibly good luck (and giving it away to those who look like they need it); and stopping to read every roadside placard giving the history of that spot. The tour climaxes in Vegas with a great twist in karma that sends the search to an undreamed-of conclusion. It’s as wild as the car chase in a movie, only much more hilarious. Readers may give serious consideration to the practice of daily meditation for themselves. It’s Rinpoche’s prescription for wiping out worry and self-belittling (bad karma), and bringing happiness (good karma). Hey, it works for Otto! I must read the book again before I put it away. It’s a delicious romp through a different lifestyle, with characters we are unlikely to meet on Sunday mornings. I can’t r e c om mend it mor e h ig h ly, s o run, don’t walk, to your library or favorite bookstore! Anne Stinson began her career in the 1950s as a freelancer for the now defunct Baltimore News-American, then later for Chesapeake Publishing, the Baltimore Sun and Maryland Public Television’s panel show, Maryland Newsrap.