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Showing 1-10 of 138 reviews(5 star). See all 212 reviews
on June 11, 2017
I cannot imagine a better read as one approaches a transition in life. I now understand that preparing the soul, the state of mind, takes precedence over the more tangible aspects of change.
3 people found this helpful
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on September 21, 2015
I cannot do this justice here. I will have to post a full review when I have the time to give this what it deserves. This is one of the best works of art and one that can and should move each reader to greater things then they have done before.
2 people found this helpful
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on November 30, 2006
This is a story of one man's life and spiritual journey of awakening. It is presented as the biography of Joseph Knetch who, among other things, becomes Master of the Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi) in a fictional province of the mind segregated from the rest of the world. The book is divided into four parts. The first, and weakest part, is an introduction to the Glass Bead Game and to the fictional world in which the events take place. If you have the endurance to make it past this introduction, you will find your reward in the second part which is the actual biography of Joseph Knetch, and which comprises the bulk of the novel. The final two parts are collections of Joseph Knetch's writings from his student days: a series of poems, and three short stories depicting his hypothetical life in three different historical settings.

Hermann Hesse's style is reflective and inwardly focused, and he writes with remarkable clarity and depth of insight into human nature. He discusses actions of the mind as effortlessly as most good authors discuss actions of the body. I have never been more content at being able to relate to a character, and I left the book feeling as if I had experienced living another life.

I disagree with the characterization of this book as satire or humor. Do not pick it up expecting humor or satire. While it is set in the future, it is also not science fiction. It is simply a penetrating and beautifully written character exploration that the more mature and reflective readers should find deeply satisfying.
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on August 4, 2014
This book, which was a classic to the counterculture in the 1960s, holds a deep, quiet appeal. Its slow and formal narration, while it does not for one moment reach out toward the reader commanding attention, creates a meditative, half mesmerizing mood that goes deep, always eluding the intellect--at least this reader's intellect--but reaching deep into chambers of feeling. Not easy to categorize or even to praise, yet its power lingers, a ghost of a half-buried human truth.
2 people found this helpful
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on September 3, 2017
I have now read this book twice and enjoy the details in it. Although very long, it is a delight to read.
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on August 15, 2017
This is the strangest book I ever read! I highly recommend it because of it's uniqueness and because Hermann Hesse had to be absolutely brilliant to write it. A difficult read, but to see genius at work writing it is this opportunity. How did he do it? It would take a lot of effort to write a review on this book because of it's complexity and because it has been a while since I read it and I don't have a good memory.
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on January 29, 2013
The ending drops like a bomb. Intentional or not, it cuts against the rhythm of the long, well articulated story that leads up to it. I am still pondering why Hesse chose to end it in such a way. I'm sure many will agree and there are many differing conclusions why. Hesse's storytelling blilliance shines otherwise, using the Glass Bead Game as a mistical metaphor around which he spins his human and spiritual threads, rather than a concrete game that can be learned and brought into present reality which many readers spend too much time trying to do.

That said, the three short stories at the end of the book are its crowning halos. They stand alone as brilliant delicasies worth owning and reading the book for.
2 people found this helpful
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on April 6, 2014
When I first got my kindle there was not much in the way of the classics available. It is a joy to be able to obtain and read the books of my high school and college days. This was the only Hesse book I had never read. I wanted to save one to have when I was older. Now I am older and it was worth the wait.
One person found this helpful
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on May 13, 2018
This is my all-time favorite novel. I have read it several times and have given it to friends many times over the years !
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on December 11, 2013
Though it was difficult to get past the first 100 pages, a friend of mine wanted me to read this so we could discuss. I am very pleased I stayed with it as this will rank up there as one of the most thought provoking books I've ever read. Hesse was a brilliant author and this is his best book. Outstanding read! (once you get past the first 50-100 pages!)
3 people found this helpful
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