Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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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