Amy Reads Books

Siddhartha (Penguin Modern Classics)

Siddhartha - Hermann Hesse Siddhartha is the story of a Brahmin's son named Siddhartha who goes in search of the truth, first by rejecting his belongings and living as a Samana, then by living in a town and becoming a rich merchant and finally by becoming a ferryman. It's almost like an Indian, slightly Buddhist, 1920s Eat, Pray, Love.To be honest, I know very little about Buddhism, the religion which is mentioned, or whose spirituality is embraced the most in Hesse's novel, and if you intend to learn a great deal about it from reading Siddhartha-as I thought I would-then you would probably be mistaken. Hesse certainly touches and shows a great deal respect for the various religious sects that he mentions, far more respect than the business men that Siddhartha interacts later in the book.Siddhartha is instead about one man's journey to find happiness and satisfaction in himself. It's certainly an interesting idea, and Hesse's respect for the religions, despite his protagonist rejecting teachings as they are just words and have no real impact, is quite refreshing when one compares it to the way religions are rejected or questioned in more modern writings.Hesse uses very simple language throughout, but still succeeds in creating images in the readers head, making you feel as though you were near the river, or in Kamala's grove. It also made it reminiscent of holy texts such as the Bible where events follow very quickly after each other with little room for flowing description. The repetition of sentences is occasionally annoying, reiterating entire ideas numerous times, however, in a way this is representative of the importance of meditation and the continual references to the transitory nature of life.I quite enjoyed Siddhartha, it read very nicely and Hesse used some great language. However, I will admit to expecting a little more, especially after reading Paulo Coelho's introduction which suggested that it had inspired an entire generation.