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The Glass Bead Game: (Magister Ludi) A Novel Paperback – December 6, 2002
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About the Author
- Publisher : Picador; First edition (December 6, 2002)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 558 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0312278497
- ISBN-13 : 978-0312278496
- Item Weight : 1.08 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.65 x 0.98 x 8.26 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #46,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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What bothered me about the book:
1. An unrealistic setting. The utopian province of Castalia was void of all girls or women. If it weren’t for a few appearances by Plinio’s wife (i.e., she who has no name) and some incidental characters (a servant, the mention of prostitutes), all of whom are outside the realm of Castalia, this book would take place in an entirely all-male world. As profound and transcendental the purpose of this book seems to be, such an environment made it seem quite one dimensional.
2. Repetition. Concepts were worded and reworded and then reworded again in so many ways to drive a concept home. It was tedious. I wanted to skip over chunks of rehashed description, which defeats the purpose of reading a novel.
What impressed me about the book:
1. The Game. Hesse described a game that in reality doesn’t exist and in the novel is at best nebulous, yet somehow is made tangible and alive.
2. Knecht. Being just a regular person, I have practically no insight into how someone can live a life of austerity and extreme discipline. Knecht’s compulsion for devotion to the Game and the creativity involved in its design was well brought to life.
I found this book a bit of a slog and would not recommend it, unless you liked The Celestine Prophecy.
Joseph Knecht is a supremely intelligent diligent and hard working student rising rapidly through the ranks of the elite Order. eventually achieving high rank and status as the Master of the Glass Bead Game. The ultimate intellectual achievement in the minds of many. Though it’s very name suggests a mischievous ambiguity in the intentions of the author.
The Order is an independent organisation outside ordinary life and politics devoted entirely to the life of the mind. Large. Powerful. The story is Set some time in the future after a time of great crisis. No hint of modern technology. Almost monastic in its cold austerity. Empty rooms. Parchments. No women allowed. Male only. There is not much overt emphasis on the asexuality of it all. But it’s there as a factor.
For Joseph the austere life of the mind is not enough. He sees its ultimate vacuity - and the inevitable fall of an Order becoming increasingly impotent and irrelevant. He yearns for more. Something simpler. More ‘real’. More vital. More significant.
He plots his escape. And then ....
Author Herman Hesse stirred this ancient mind when searching life's meaning as a newly arrived member, just entering onto the world stage, literally.
Freedom of thought is a constant star sought for by the populations of the world, great and small, noted and insignificant. "The Glass Bead Game" challenges the reader to mount this distant plane page by page, paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence, thought by thought.
A plateau of refuge for all who think, a respite for newcomers seeking the Everest of truth, found only in Jesus.
Far down and away on the slippery slopes of reality, as a young man I stumbled upon Hesse on the Emerald Isle, where reality clashes head-on with the mortal mind, directing the temporal person to eternal vestiges unseen.
Cleaving open the distant reaches of inter-communications, the author leads the way to the inner depths of connectivity intertwining the pursuits of all in journey of reason and the quest for peace.
Hesse's greatest accomplishment is the discovery of mutuality from the heights of intellectual endeavor. One finds a score in music, translated into mathematics, which in turn is converts onto a canvas, then is pummeled into a figure of clay, finding rest in marble, only to be linked with a poem, 'und so weiter'.
Perhaps the most powerful moment reveals when one perceives arriving only at the edges of one galaxy within the ever-expanding universe of undiscovered space.
Even half a century on, the look back is a dot on the map. Man's frustrations announcing the ultimate truth in their unwitting anguished cries which can only be answered through Jesus Christ.
And then the shock of hearing one's youngest, embedded in Bible School, requesting a copy of a book he's heard of called "The Glass Bead Game," thrusting one back through the decades to the night's in Grosvenor Square, Rathmines, hot tea and milk before a coal fire, reading "Siddhartha", and "The Glass Bead Game" awaiting at the side.
Now these seeming eons gone by, new generations continue, also entering upon the world stage, moved to seek the capturing of thought within the cosmos of ideas.
"Blast Off Rapiemur - IVth Edition" - I Thess. 4:17 - Jesus Speaks to the Rapture, the 1st Century proclamation and practice to this very hour.
Top reviews from other countries
Hesse's book is a precursor for understanding CENTRE The Truth about Everything a rare book of wisdom about locating the Centre, understanding it, using it and how to enter it.
After reading the kindle I ordered the paperback (Vintage Classic) but returned the book as the last three chapters THE THREE LIVES (previous lives of Knecht) are not in this edition! These stories are a vital part of Knecht's quest and preparation for his awakening to universal wisdom. (I found a second hand paperback edition of THE GLASS BEAD GAME that was complete: Picador ISBN 0-312-27849-7).
A sublime read reminding us of our human destiny to Awaken.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 21, 2020