Hesse’s “Siddharta”

This one wasn’t for me. Hesse’s popularity as a countercultural icon in America seemed to have led to this book becoming the subject of Zeitgeist-fixation, but in spite of very moderate expectations, I was completely underwhelmed. The narrative of the searcher is fine, but nothing of any particular interest, and the titular character’s linear progression toward The Meaning of Life left no room for any interesting subtlety. Hesse’s prose was equally unremarkable.

I can see how this kind of book might be a powerful experience for an intelligent and emotionally sensitive young teen. More power to them. It’d be a hell of a lot better than reading Divergent or John Green books. At them same time, unless some rather compelling reasons make themselves known, I’ll wander past Hesse’s other offerings.

by Hermann Hesse

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