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In the shade of a banyan tree, a grizzled ferryman sits listening to the river. Some say he's a sage. He was once a wandering shramana and, briefly, like thousands of others, he followed Gotama the Buddha, enraptured by his sermons. But this man, Siddhartha, was not a follower of any but his own soul. Born the son of a Brahmin, Siddhartha was blessed in appearance, intelligence, and charisma. In order to find meaning in life, he discarded his promising future for the life of a wandering ascetic. Still, true happiness evaded him. Then a life of pleasure and titillation merely eroded away his spiritual gains until he was just like all the other "child people," dragged around by his desires. Like Hermann Hesse's other creations of struggling young men, Siddhartha has a good dose of European angst and stubborn individualism. His final epiphany challenges both the Buddhist and the Hindu ideals of enlightenment. Neither a practitioner nor a devotee, neither meditating nor reciting, Siddhartha comes to blend in with the world, resonating with the rhythms of nature, bending the reader's ear down to hear answers from the river. In this translation Sherab Chodzin Kohn captures the slow, spare lyricism of Siddhartha's search, putting her version on par with Hilda Rosner's standard edition. --Brian Bruya --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Siddhartha's life takes him on a journey toward enlightenment. Afire with youthful idealism, the Brahmin joins a group of ascetics, fasting and living without possessions. Meeting Gotama the Buddha, he comes to feel this is not the right path, though he also declines joining the Buddha's followers. He reenters the world, hoping to learn of his own nature, but instead slips gradually into hedonism and materialism. Surfeited and disgusted, he flees from his possessions to become a ferryman's apprentice, learning what lessons he can from the river itself. Herman Hesse's 1922 Bildungsroman parallels the life of Buddha and seems to argue that lessons of this sort cannot be taught but come from one's own struggle to find truth. Noted actor Derek Jacobi interprets this material wonderfully, and the package, despite abridging a Nobel prize winner's prose, can be highly recommended.AJohn Hiett, Iowa City P.L.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I was pleasantly surprised - this was so easy to read. It's a beautiful story. A caveat - I think you probably need to know something already about yoga or the Buddha's life in... Read morePublished 5 hours ago by Late Bloomer
Beautiful, clever story of Siddhartha, who follows a path similar to the Buddha's, and finds peace. The quality of the translation didn't match that of the story and I found it... Read morePublished 11 hours ago by Yan Tougas
Incredible book! One of the best I have ever read. Finished it in a night!Published 1 day ago by Joy
A must-read for anyone looking to further their spiritual understandingPublished 4 days ago by Ronit M.
This is literature in the Mark Twain sense, a book I want to have read but don't want to read.
First off, I want to mention that the translation I got was abysmal. Read more
I reread it every few years for something new to learn about myself!Published 8 days ago by Katherine M. Demsky