Dan Schwent's Reviews > Siddhartha

Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
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's review
May 23, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2010, oldies
Read on May 24, 2010

Siddhartha rejects his life as a Brahman's son and goes out into the world in a quest for enlightenment, to live as an ascetic. After meeting Buddha, Siddhartha rejects the ascetic life for a more material one, the life of a merchant, learning the ways of love from a courtesan, and in time leaves that life behind as well. Will Siddhartha ever find what he is looking for?

Normally, a Nobel prize winning book wouldn't get a second look from me. I'm more into people getting pistol whipped and big monsters. I kept seeing this book on my girlfriend's bookshelf and finally decided to give it a shot. I'm glad I did.

Siddhartha is the story of one man's quest for meaning and it's a good one. Since it's a classic AND translated from German, I wasn't expecting an easy read. It was a breeze compared to what I was picturing. The first couple of paragraphs were a little rocky but I started digging it right away.

The story mirrors the life of Buddha but isn't a retelling. This Siddhartha has his own road to travel. He goes from having nothing to having everything, including a woman was eager to teach him to be the best lover she'd ever seen, back to having nothing and living as a ferryman, learning life lessons every step of the way.

While it's a novel, it's also pretty inspirational. There are nuggets of wisdom to be mined from it. My favorite is that wisdom can't be taught but it can be learned.

I highly recommend this book to those interested in Eastern Philosophy and Buddhism and those needing a little more than gun play and werewolf attacks.
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Quotes Dan Liked

Hermann Hesse
“My real self wanders elsewhere, far away, wanders on and on invisibly and has nothing to do with my life.”
Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Reading Progress

05/24/2010 page 5
05/24/2010 page 40
26.32% "part 2"
05/24/2010 page 50
32.89% "With the childlike people"
05/24/2010 page 100
65.79% "By The River"
05/24/2010 page 115
75.66% "The Ferryman"
05/24/2010 page 130
85.53% "The Son"
05/24/2010 page 140
92.11% "Om"
02/08/2016 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Donna (new)

Donna This is one of those books I had to read for a class that really stuck with me, I should make time for a re-read soon.

But I know what you mean, I'm usually more into books with explosions and murders and dragons and stuff.

Michelle This has been one of my favorite books since high school. It's not one I re-read often, but I think that's because the lessons of it are simple ones we can utilize daily. It might be time to pick it up again, though!

message 3: by Amanda (new) - added it

Amanda I want to read a book where a big monster is pistol-whipped.

Bookdragon Sean it really is an inspirational book! ;)

message 5: by Dan (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dan Schwent It's been almost six years since I read it but I still think about it sometimes.

message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert I only need gun play during a werewolf attack if I have silver bullets, otherwise I'm running away.

Aimee Tariq I completely agree (╹◡╹)♡

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