CDMA
CDMA asked:

I've heard nothing but great things about this book. But what makes this book so great?

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Pranjal Singh It's simplicity.

The book feels so simple in its words but when you finish it you feel wiser and would read it again ... understanding even more. Although it's from a different culture, the experiences are so common and relate-able.

In life, sometimes it happens that we suddenly stop and become aware of ourselves... the person we have become drifting in the flow of the world and the person we wanted to be. That situation... I learnt how to handle after reading this book. Although, you might learn something else. Something more important to you.

My favourite quote from this book: 'What you search is not necessarily the same as what you find. When you let go of the searching, you start finding.'
hamid mazuji don't hear great things about this book. read the book. you have nothing to lose but time, which will go by regardless
Lorilee I did not fully appreciate it until the end which filled me with gratitude for having read it. Being a parent, really helped me understand the complexity of love that comes across so beautifully in this work. I often stopped reading and just sat there thinking. Then I'd reread with delight and contemplate the extraordinary gift of being alive, suffering, and moving into our own power, our own enlightenment. This book makes that all much more understandable.
Rich Everyone will find something different in a story. As you can see from the other responses, it is not one thing that makes it great but what each individual gets out of the book. I'm more impressed with the fact it is translated from the original German but still emanates that strong spiritual sense the general population of readers accepts; do I dare say "understands?" It is definitely worth the read. It may change your life. Maybe you will like it. Maybe you won't but don't let that possibility stop you. Also, I find that sometimes books start off quite different than the way they end so I read the entire thing before I fully decide whether I liked it or not. Take "The Sun Also Rises" for example. Seems to me it started down a path that soon became very different but I enjoyed the story.

Just another note on Hermann Hesse; he's a pretty intense writer and it seems that everyone gets something different from what he writes. He actually wrote about this "misunderstanding" in an authors note to Steppenwolf in 1961. Personally, I have no idea if I perceived what he wanted me to perceive but I do enjoy his writing very much. I think to have a better understanding of it though one would need to read the original German text.
Tanmay Meher If you are on a peace finding mission, then this will take you to the right track. The base line is that wisdom can only be experienced and learnt by oneself, it can neither be taught nor injected . One can only teach and transfer knowledge, not wisdom. This book will help you to reinvent yourself.
George This book isn't the "greatest" in my opinion, but it definitely has some good qualities and life lessons in it. While it is hard to stay entertained for the most part, if you carefully read this book and look at the deeper meaning, it can positively affect your feeling towards the book. The thing that most people won't like about this book, is that it's TOO realistic so it might be boring, but this book gives faith.
Jeanne Mixon It is not that great, but a quick read so decide for yourself. I found it to be Christianity lite set in a Buddhist backdrop. The concepts in the book had nothing to do with true Buddhism. Also if I was a slim brown beautiful charismatic man who could get jobs or food by just walking up to people and asking for them I might think life was pretty sweet too.
Pam
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Kumari de Silva The book is about finding value in life. It was real popular in the 60s when a lot of people questioned the whole get married have kids move to the suburbs way of life. Perhaps now that people have so many other choices: Women go to college! Men parent children! People wait until they're past 30 to marry! etc etc the book may seem less interesting to people nowadays. But I liked it. For me, the idea that having experiences is more enlightened than following tradition, was very powerful
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