Siddartha by Hermann Hesse – Book review by Dr. Preeti Chauhan
Genre – Spiritual , Fiction
Price – Paperback -INR 99/-, Hardback INR 120/-, Kindle -INR 15.5
You can buy it here
About Hermann Hesse – The Author
Hermann Hesse (born in 1877) was a German-born Swiss poet, author and painter. He is best known for his novels ‘Steppenwolf’, ‘Siddhartha’, and ‘The Glass Bead Game’. During his growing years ,at the behest of his father, he entered the Maulbronn seminary but left a year later as his love for writing beckoned to him.
Hermann Hesse came and lived in India in 1910s and wrote this book in 1922 in German language, it soon became a cult favourite of spiritual seekers.
He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946. His writings focus on man’s struggle to break away from the rigid structures of civilization and follow his essential and inner spirit to finally achieve spiritual self-realization. Hesse became a literary cult figure for this breaking away from the norm in the 1960s.
Siddartha by Hermann Hesse – Review
Siddhartha’ is Hermann Hesse’s allegorical novel, which takes us along the spiritual journey of an Indian boy named Siddhartha. This book is set in the times of Gautam Buddha- the enlightened monk. The story revolves around a young Siddartha, who leaves his home behind in search of the truth and enlightenment. He embarks on a journey that takes him from the rigors of abandonment to the waste of wealth.
His journey takes him through a myriad of human experiences, from hunger and need, to joy, pain, greed, longing, boredom, love, lust, despair and hope. His journey that eventually leads him to a river where he ultimately achieves peace and wisdom.
What I loved about Siddartha by Hermann Hesse
Though I was skeptical about a German writing about an Indian boy but at no point did I feel that I was reading the work of somebody not born in India. Hermann portrays an accurate picture of the Indian traditions and ethos in his book.
Further still, not having read the original “Siddartha” written by Hermann in German ,I still found the translation in English to be beautiful. There is a lyrical quality to the prose which I find very soothing and appealing.
Finally, the only downside to this book is also its upside for some and that is the size of the book. It is a very concisely written book with not a word wasted which made it a very slim book of just 144 pages. At the end ,I just wished there was more to learn and explore.
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17 responses to “Siddartha by Hermann Hesse | Book Review”
This is the same book that was made into a movie, isn’t it? It is very popular and the story of an Indian by a german is commendable.
I will have to check that fact.
It is impressive that despite author is not born in india, but still he had written a great book on spiritual subject. my brother is highly interested in writing spiritual theme books. will share about this book with him. I am sure, he would love to read it.
I am sure your brother must have already read it , it is a much celebrated book among spiritually inclined.
That’s really interesting to know that the author not being an Indian penned down a book on the life of Gautam Buddha when known as Siddhartha. Its difficult to capture the Indian sentiment in the writing but you said he did it beautifully and I wish to read it
We assume foreigners don’t know about our culture or history but in reality they’re very inclined and do their research well. Sounds like a beautiful spiritual journey that’ll teach us a lot too.
Yes , in fact it is a beautiful look. Very short but very impactful.
Short read is what I am looking for now and this book looks quite an apt read. Would love to know the authors take on spirituality and about India as he Is not born here. Will grab my copy soon.
I have never read a german author, but it would be an interesting read, reading about an Indian boy, a story we already know from the view point of a german writer. WIll check in out on kindle.
This book seems so interesting, I always prefer short reads and this seems perfect to grab. Thanks for sharing an honest review.
I would love to read a German perspective on the Indian spiritual figure. Sine the book is very precise. I ma sure gonna grab it.
I have read quite a few translated books this year but not one by a German author. This one does not seem interesting to me but the way it was beautifully written in English is even intriguing.
Im intrigued about how a german man has presented an indian boy. And i feel I will love this book .and as it is a short read ,then its one of my favorite.
I have read the book and so fallen love with the metaphors in the book. I also truly appreciate the efforts of author that brought authenticity to the story line.
I agree a most enlightening book. Thanks for sharing your feedback!
Glad to have read your review today, will add this book to my TBR list
Thanks for sharing your honest reviews. I would check out the book soon. Added in my tbr.