on 30 March 2011
I've nearly managed to read all his books now. This one is another that should not dissapoint. I took so much from it that it gets 5 stars
3 Stories included in this version.
Childs Heart - An amazingly perceptive story from the perspective of a child. Showing the huge turmoil he goes through for doing something (wont spoil it) that as an adult you learn to disregard as "just something that kids do". But as so well shown here by hesse - it is not something to brush off so lightly.
For the child (person) it is a huge thing! This story showed me how the natural unhindered morality of a child is in fact very strong and far superior to that of most misguided, even well intentioned adults. And as is often the case with hesse, the child reminded me of myself. I think this would be the case for anyone reading the book. I'm sure we all did what this kid did.
Klein and Wagner - The second story is again very good. I wont give the story away. But showing that in the end all our miseries, confusion and uncontentedness (is that a word?) are caused by not letting go. Letting go of endless analysis, desires, expectations etc. All misery in life is created by yourself. Amazing honesty in this story.
Klingsors last summer - The 3rd story, in strange contradiction to the other reviewer is actually my least favourite. But his comments about it are spot on. I wont add to them.
I find it difficult not to give Hesse 5 stars for everything he does. In every character I feel recognition. And In every book a wealth of truth.
This however is not his best by a mile in my opinion. Narcisus and Goldmund, Siddhartha, Journey to the east, Steppenwolf, Strange news from another star, glass bead game are all better in my opinion. I thought this book was on the same level as his other earlier books, demian, knulp, rosshalde, peter carmanzind, which incidentally are all worth reading
If he was still alive I'd write him a letter to say thankyou.
on 2 July 2013
Having read all Hesse's books in my youth, I've been rediscovering them recently. I loved Knulp, a lesser known masterpiece, and moved on via Rosshalde - almost equally brilliant - to this, which I don't feel is in the same class. The actual style is as polished and fine as ever, but little happens in these stories. Most are examinations of states of mind, in the first that of a child who has stolen something from his father and undergoes agonies of guilt, in the second a formerly respectable citizen who has absconded with a fortune as an act of rebellion, and in the final, least satisfactory one, a painter in his final months.
Hesse fans may well revel in the rich language, but I couldn't recommend this to a newcomer, and after rediscovering a couple of classics it came as something of a disapointment
on 27 February 2011
This book contains three stories - all are pretty memorable but the last one which is also the title of the compendium steals the glory. Klingsor is a painter living in Italy, whose days on earth he feels are coming to an end. He revels in this late flush of life, distilling all that he has learned into his last brilliantly coloured works. He consorts with friends and women, drinks and eats everything in and we see his last struggles with his art and decaying death. star-gazing for those that are seeking enlightenment