2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent, yet flawed, 12 Jun 2009
Gertrude has attracted quite a bit of criticism, due to it's not being up to he same standard as Hesse's later writings. But I think to look at it that way is to miss the point entirely: yes, the book is flawed compared to the author's main corpus, yet it is still vastly better than most contemporary literatire which is published today. One can see glimpses of certain themes in this work which were to become central in Hesse's great works.
There's a certain irony in the author's relationship to the book: throughout, the protagonist -who is a composer- remarks how the pieces he composed in his narration do not reflect him in his current lonely state; Hesse, much like his storyteller, also distanced himself from this early work.
This is a young work and should be treated as such. Interestingly, one can also view the story in Gertrude as Hesse being prophetic of his own reaction to it in later life.