Most helpful positive review
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Those curious enough to finish this book will be rewarded.
on June 24, 1999
Hermann Hesse, mystical madman genius, blessed 20th century culture with an irresistable body of work. Magister Ludi, like so many of Hesse's novels, takes the reader inside the mind of its central character. Joseph Knecht, a human MENSA meeting, is given every opportunity to develop his intellect to its fullest potential. The majority of the book follows Joseph's charmed life from childhood music lessons to his apex as master of the glass bead game, a metaphor for the most balanced expression of music, philosophy, mathematics, and all that is and will be. Set in a futuristic, utopian nosuchplace long after the last of the great wars, the story begins and ends in an intellectual arena which seems to exist outside of time. Many readers may grow tired of the scores of pages dedicated to the ramblings, conflicts, and introspections of a scholar. However, the truly devoted reader will find unparalleled examples of Hesse's penchant for both harsh reality and eastern mysticism in the last hundred pages. The posthumous writings of Joseph Knecht, a collection of "homework assignments" written by the Magister Ludi in his youth, yields some beautiful poems and parables.