Maggie's Reviews > Demian. Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend

Demian. Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend by Hermann Hesse
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's review
May 05, 2008

did not like it

Ugh. I forced myself to finish this short book and, in the end, felt it wasn't worth the trouble. I picked it up because I loved Siddhartha so much (though it's been years since I read it and now I wonder if it it will hold up). I found Demian terribly melodramatic and over-wrought and I could never really begin to care much about Sinclair and all his angst-ridden inner turmoil. There were a few interesting and lovely passages -- only a couple of times did I feel a thrill of poetry in the language or an inspired idea. Otherwise, I found it completely tedious and disappointing.

If anyone else wants to give it a try, I'd be happy to pass along my paperback copy. Many people seem to adore this book, and I'm sure it will be better appreciated by someone other than me.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 5, 2008 – Shelved
May 5, 2008 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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Michael Dipietro I had pretty much the same experience. Loved Siddhartha, hated this one. I felt that much of the "philosophy" here was just floaty mysticism with no substance. By the time I got to the end, the melodrama was making me laugh out loud a bit.

Jose Moch Would you mind reading my review?


Troels I suppose the spiritual message in the book is more fascinating and thrilling when you are young - just like me. You should take a look on @RandomAnthony's comment here on this site.

Jose Moch Why?

Jules I agree with the review.
I just couldn't seem to follow and I'm wondering if I'm just not in the right space for Sinclair.
As I stated in my comments section I will possible revisit this read at a later time.

Any recommendations for other Hesse books besides Siddhartha?

message 7: by Ana (new)

Ana Pardo I read this novel years ago as a teenager. It was one of the books we had to read and it blew me away, Siddhartha which we also read did not. More than 20 years have gone by and I have always meant to reread it because I forgot exactly why I found it so enlightening then. I finally reread it, just did. I found it over the top and really didn't offer anything new and enlightening. I'm now a grown 35 year old woman. Those years of adolescence and angst are past me. I have long come to terms with my spiritual beliefs and self that everything this novel has to offer is nothing that wows me.

message 8: by Alicia (new)

Alicia Alvarez Do you still have the copy of the book?

Alicia Sorry to disturb you but Do you still have the copy of the book? I would love to have it, if you don't want it

message 10: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Totally agree! I barely could finish it.
I guess I should read it when I was teenager.

Emmanuel Castellanos I had pretty much the same experience. I loved Siddharta. I think that the philosofy is deep but clear too. And, even when "Demian" liked me, isn´t better than Siddharta. Demian confused me just because I think that sometimes de symbolisms didn´t make sense, and more than that, don´t apport a real philosofy aspect.

Edrian Ancero Demian is a novel that is ultimately influenced by Freud's Psychoanalysis and Jung's Analytical Psychology. The book is not simply a representation of Hesse's philosophy. This is so much more than that. This shows how clear and accurate some of Hesse's interpretations of the concepts from both theories.

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