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An allegorical novel by Hermann Hesse.

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An Underwhelming Read

  • Jun 29, 2010
I had read this book based on a recommendation from a High School teacher whom I respected. He let me borrow his copy and it honestly took me two years to finally read it. I had been told that it would be life changing and illuminating, but I felt let down when I finally finished it. I found the language to be simplistic and not particularly engaging. What bothered me most was that I didn’t feel challenged by the text, yes the book was straightforward, but the surface value of the themes was just…something I guess I couldn’t relate to. While I value the themes of growth, spirituality and patience in my life, I'm wondering if the message and meaning of this book went over my head. Have I already been spiritually awoken in that regard? I already practice the art of meditation and am continually learning more about Buddhist principles. After reading the Tibetan Book the Dead and other various religious texts, this fictional narrative of the Buddha didn’t quite strike me with the same depth and force as the primary Buddhist texts. Frankly, I had thought Siddhartha would be a great introductory novel for those questioning their life path or beginning a new spiritual journey. I still can’t help that I might have no given the book enough of a chance of the time and return to the thought that the book ought to be read at different times in ones life, I'm definitely going to save it and give it another read in 5 years time.

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July 09, 2010
You should definitely give this book another chance! This is one of my favorites ever. Though it probably means more to me because the first time I ever read it, I was going through a difficult period in my life and it helped me through it. Would love to hear your thoughts on the reread when you do :) Thanks for sharing!
More Siddhartha (novel) reviews
review by . July 01, 2010
Don't expect to get much out of reading this book unless you take it slowly and seriously. It is a short book, all in all, and it's densely packed with allegory and spiritual transition. Like the lead character of the book, you will be taken through many different ways of life, ways of responding to life; unlike the character, you can step outside of what you are reading and decide if you can feel what he is feeling, become what he is becoming... or if you really want to take that journey …
review by . July 01, 2010
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse is a novel seeking answers to profound questions of self, individuality, love, friendship, happiness, and more. Themes abound in this tale. The message sent is fairly clear and accessible, yet considerable in both breadth and depth. The book made me question many things in my life and the world. It made me wonder. It made me think. It made me see things in a different light. That is the joy I love most after reading a great book; I have grown in some direction; my time …
review by . June 13, 2010
I read this book when I was thirteen and it made an immense impact on me, because I was on a spiritual journey of my own in practicing yoga. The author, Herman Hesse, was an existentialist author who was attempting to portray the existince of a man searching for spiritual enlightenemnet and happiness. He begins the journey explaining the prince's life and all the temptations that he pursued, because his father did not want him to be a monk. It discusses how he wanted to be enlightened and traveled …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
I just finished this book. It is great, I can relate to the main character's search for his own way in life. I really like it, but the very end, like all Hesse's books was a bit mysterious.
Quick Tip by . July 07, 2010
Love this timeless book, relevant to everyone of any era. Life lessons for all worldwide!
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
great book!
Quick Tip by . July 01, 2010
This was a required reading in school, and just never caught my interest.
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
Quick Tip by . June 28, 2010
Amazing, philosophical, thought-provoking.
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
One of my favorite soul-searching books. A great read for those looking for answers to the really big question.
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Muriel ()
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Member Since: Jun 29, 2010
Last Login: Jul 17, 2010 04:15 PM UTC
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Siddhartha is an allegorical novel by Hermann Hesse which deals with the spiritual journey of a boy known as Siddhartha from the Indian Subcontinent during the time of the Buddha.

The book, Hesse's ninth novel, was written in German, in a simple yet powerful and lyrical style. It was first published in 1922, after Hesse had spent some time in India in the 1910s. It was published in the U.S. in 1951 and became influential during the 1960s. Hesse dedicated Siddhartha to Romain Rolland, "my dear friend".

The word Siddhartha is made up of two words in the Sanskrit language, siddha (achieved) + artha (meaning or wealth). The two words together mean "he who has found meaning (of existence)" or "he who has attained his goals". The Buddha's name, before his renunciation, was Prince Siddhartha Gautama. In this book, the Buddha is referred to as "Gotama".

The story takes place in ancient India around the time of Gautama Buddha (likely between the fifth and seventh centuries BCE). It starts as Siddhartha, the son of a Brahmin, leaves his home to join the ascetics with his companion Govinda. The two set out in the search of enlightenment. Siddhartha goes through a series of changes and realizations as he attempts to achieve this goal.

Experience is the aggregate of conscious events experienced by a human in life – it connotes participation, learning and perhaps knowledge. Understanding is comprehension and internalization. In ...
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