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Siddhartha (Penguin Modern Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Hermann Hesse , Paulo Coelho
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This edition has a NEW introduction by PAULO COELHO.



Siddhartha is perhaps the most important and compelling moral allegory our troubled century has produced. Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922. Set in India, Siddhartha is the story of a young Brahmin's search for ultimate reality after meeting with the Buddha. His quest takes him from a life of decadence to asceticism, from the illusory joys of sensual love with a beautiful courtesan, and of wealth and fame, to the painful struggles with his son and the ultimate wisdom of renunciation.



This edition is a translation by Hilda Rosner, with an introduction by Paulo Coelho.



Product Description

About the Author

Hermann Hesse was born in southern Germany in 1877. His most famous works are Siddhartha (1922), Journey to the East (1932), Demian (1919), Steppenwolf (1927), and Narcissus and Goldmund (1930). Hesse died at his home in Switzerland in 1962.

Paulo Coelho was born in Brazil and has become one of the most widely read authors in the world. Especially renowned for The Alchemist and Eleven Minutes, he has sold more than 100 million books worldwide and has been translated into 66 languages.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 856 KB
  • Print Length: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (7 Aug. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002XHNN7A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #72,706 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zarathustra meets the Buddha 28 Mar. 2010
Format:Paperback
The sources of this book include classics like Nietzche's Thus Spake Zarathustra, the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita and elements of Buddhism. It is the story of a quest that mirrors the quests of several Indian sages from the Buddha to countless Sadhus since. It is important to let go of preconceptions when reading this book, it is however probably more suitable to westerners who don't appreciate Indian religions that don't bear comparison with monotheistic traditions that seek salvation using one totem. Indeed, Hess seems to treat Buddhism just like another totem to be ignored given that as a religion it implies "allegiance". Taking refuge with an open mind is not the same as swearing allegiance. Everyone has to discover realisation/s for themselves. The Buddha said this. Leaving this aside, Hess is deeply sympathetic to Buddhism but prefers instead an individualistic path based on love and a simple appreciation of the world, the way many human beings come to terms with the world. It is not necessarily the path to the realisation of ultimate truth, but more coming to terms with the problems of life. I was especially touched by the descriptions of listening to the soothing river. Chapter after chapter offers various teachers and the book as a whole is about the quest and not necessarily about answers.

Philosphically the book is about independence and individualism and makes the case for a lone seeker "fare lonely as a rhinoceros" as a Buddhits text has it. This means being wary of any religion or movement and understanding the limits of concepts. Many of us do have to join groups to come to understand this and it has to be borne in mind that Siddhartha, the protagonist finds his way by forming relationships, not by being entirely alone.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Siddhartha 9 April 2009
By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
`Siddhartha' is one of those books that is both simple to read and yet powerful and profound at the same time. Following a young Brahmin's son as he tries to find his spiritual path in life, this book manages to weave a tale that is both captivating and enlightening. This book is so good I could read the first 30 pages alone and put the book down a happy man, the remainder is purely icing on the cake! Hesse manages to write in a deceptively simple style that belies the depth to the message he shows us and the skill behind his writing. He won the nobel prize for good reason. This may be a short book, but it is one that will stay with you long after you have read it and will bring you back to rediscover it's delights at regular intervals. Beautiful prose, beautiful message and highly recommended indeed.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illusion of Time and of divisions 31 Jan. 2011
By M.I.
Format:Paperback
In my opinion, these are the two most important teachings of Siddharta: time and divisions are illusions, everything is one and it is one at the same time. A powerful message of unity which supports the whole novel of Siddharta. A beautiful book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Siddhartha 9 April 2009
By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
`Siddhartha' is one of those books that is both simple to read and yet powerful and profound at the same time. Following a young Brahmin's son as he tries to find his spiritual path in life, this book manages to weave a tale that is both captivating and enlightening. This book is so good I could read the first 30 pages alone and put the book down a happy man, the remainder is purely icing on the cake! Hesse manages to write in a deceptively simple style that belies the depth to the message he shows us and the skill behind his writing. He won the nobel prize for good reason. This may be a short book, but it is one that will stay with you long after you have read it and will bring you back to rediscover it's delights at regular intervals. Beautiful prose, beautiful message and highly recommended indeed.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 26 Dec. 2009
Format:Paperback
I received this as gift from my father, and I have to say that Coelho's introduction is absolutely correct - this book will change your life. It may appear a bit too new-age, but the simplicity and elegance of Hesse's writing prevents this from becoming overly preachy. Instead, it is a simple and moving tale of one man's search for enlightenment and happiness. My favorite element of this book would have to be that Siddartha himself is intrinsically flawed and makes some questionable decisions, and so I found myself easily relating to him and his story. An impressively relevant retelling of a classic tale, suitable for teenagers and adults alike.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Samsara is nirvana 25 Dec. 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are some books everyone talks about but nobody reads. And then, there are books everyone reads but nobody understands. "Siddhartha" by Hermann Hesse seems to be one of those. I didn't expect much from this book after reading about it on the web. I expected it to be a really bad hippie book about some libertine who callously abandons his wife and kid, and then expects to "learn from the river", or whatever. I definitely didn't expect it to be Buddhist. Actually reading the book was therefore a pleasant surprise. Apparently, force-feeding high school students with "Siddhartha" is a really bad idea, LOL.

Hermann Hesse's novel, first published in 1922, is obviously based on a close study of different Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Perhaps the author also studied Tantrism. The book is very clever, and contains allusions to both the Bhagavad Gita and the legend of the Buddha. "Learning from the river" turns out to be another allusion. Note also the deliberate confusion in naming the main character Siddhartha, while referring to the real Buddha as Gotama. According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha's full name was Siddhartha Gotama!

Whether the book is "Buddhist" or not is mostly a matter of definition. While Siddhartha rejects the Buddha, he eventually becomes enlightened himself by a path that could be accepted by some Hindu and Buddhist traditions. In the last chapter, Siddhartha realizes that samsara is nirvana, and grasps the concept of shunyata, fundamental tenets of Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism. More controversial are Siddhartha's libertine escapades. I think it all hinges on how you interpret his words that the libertinism was "inevitable". Was it inevitable in the sense that the path to enlightenment goes through rank antinomianism?
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