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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating
This little book totally captivated my attention, my imagination and my emotion. I found the book worked for me on two distinctly different levels...

Firstly, it is one of the best allegories of leadership that I have ever read. The intrepid group undertaking the Journey to the East (a spiritual rather than geographic destination) are having a ball until one...
Published on 14 Mar 2007 by Matt Wilson

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ah, the Folly of Youth...
Hermann Hesse won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1946. As the Nobel Committee so often does, it chose an individual who represented a minority position within his/her overall society, and usually that position was associated with Swedish liberal views. German had just been defeated in WW II; Hesse was German, yet had the foresight to leave his homeland in the early...
Published on 22 April 2011 by John P. Jones III


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating, 14 Mar 2007
This review is from: Journey to the East (Paperback)
This little book totally captivated my attention, my imagination and my emotion. I found the book worked for me on two distinctly different levels...

Firstly, it is one of the best allegories of leadership that I have ever read. The intrepid group undertaking the Journey to the East (a spiritual rather than geographic destination) are having a ball until one day they notice that one of their servants in missing. The realisation dawns on them that they all in various ways depend on this servant, Leo. He models lightness of spirit, he offers a listening ear and words of wisdom, and in his luggage he seems to carry all the important things required for the journey. Without him the journey becomes impossible - Leo was a true leader - not in name but in character.

Secondly, it is a book about loss: losing faith, losing youth and losing innocence. But unlike many books Hesse doesn't end there. He hints at what lies beyond... there are rays of hope for every reader who, like the writer, has faced the despair of age and asked, "Are my the best moments now behind me?" Hesse seems to be suggesting that whilst the answer may well be yes, that doesn't mean there's nothing to look forward to.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book, nice enough edition, 4 May 2009
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This review is from: Journey to the East (Paperback)
This short story of Hesse's has a magical quality; it tends to project the reader temporarily into a radically different mode of thought, and is quite beautifully written. It is also noticeably ambivalent towards many of the aspirations of the modern world, and in this sense is a welcome relief from much contemporary fiction. The one thing to note for this edition is that it is listed on Amazon as 'hardcover' when the best that can really be said of it is that it is a stiffer paperback.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that changed the direction of my life, 17 Nov 2010
Not sure how it happened, but I read this book at just the right time - I was, as many readers of Hesse probably are, on my own journey to the east at the time! His books were easy to pick up in India as they are/were favourites on the backpackers trail and crop up in the book exchanges and second hand shops you find on the way.

This book made more of an impression on me even than the more celebrated Siddhartha and Glass Bead Game - the work is a kind of parable that follows a spiritual group journeying through Europe in search of who knows what.....they seem to wonder through different eras of history and reality and fantasy are interwoven - the spiritual message within the story comes through strongly and it was this that really got under my skin when I read it - inspiring me towards a more meditative and spiritual life.

Sadly for an english speaker, the translation is a little dry (as so many translations are) but don't be put off - once you get used to the writing style, the story is compelling and the book really captures your imagination. My copy had an introduction by Timothy Leary which I am sure has attracted a lot of people who would not otherwise read the book. It's total garbage, but if it gets people reading the Hesse books then fine :)

A short book but a real gem - hope you get as much from it as I did.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Novella from Hesse, 12 Aug 2011
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Glasgow Reader (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
I've read most of Hesse's works, both fiction and non-fiction, and this is probably one of my least favourites. Yet it is still an enjoyable and stimulating read - like all Hesse's books the language verges on the poetic, and is very thought-provoking. In some ways it reminds me of Steppenwolf. I have gone back to read "Journey to the East" a number of times, and as I change so do my insights into the book.
I don't regard it as one of his best, but it remains an enjoyable, and beautifully-written, book.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What goes around............., 15 July 2001
Hermanne Hesse's reputation flowered amongst the sixties 'love affair' with all things Zen and Eastern, but in recent years his Buddhist allegories of self discovery have passed people by. 'Stepponwolf' was to most people a rock band from Canada who were on the 'Easy Rider' soundtrack. But Hesse's fiction is getting re printed more frequently now and 'Journey to the East' is what 'Apocalypse' was for D H Lawrence, a kind of philosophical touch stone to his fiction and a must read for any fans. Following a group of characters through time,myth and the very nature of self, Hesse blends the experiences he had with people like Paul Klee, into a sprawling tale of awakening and re-discovery of the nature of being. The East like a giant philosophical focul point draws all Western strands of narrative toward it, the stories middle beginning and end are not exactly clear cut, but what is clear is Hesse's determined stride to re awaken something he thought the world had lost after the two world wars. This book floats on the river of re-prints like a lotus flower, bobbing back onto book shelves like a hopeful ray of light.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Journey to the East, 4 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Journey to the East (Cathedral Classics) (Paperback)
This book has been my personal bible for many years. The importance of 'not selling your violin' will always be with me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars VERY, VERY ENJOYABLE, 4 Jan 2009
Cool, short story. Great ending and, having read it the once, works even better the second time around (it's only short - you can do it).
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4.0 out of 5 stars A real and spiritual journey, 17 Nov 2013
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Hermann Hesse is an imaginitive and graphic writer. This book combines the excitement and mystery of a physical adventure with the parallel internal spiritual adventure and initiation and an unexpected twist at the end.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Small book that takes a long time to read, 17 Aug 2013
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This is not a book for the faint hearted I first read it in the seventies when It was cool to read Herman Hess and I read many other books by this author. The story deals with the journey and is a allegory, it is a story witin a story and needs to be read at least twice.
The problem with Hess is his storys can bore you for fifty pages then suddenly like the lights being switched on you get it.
Like I said not for the faint hearted but like me if you want to revisit the sixties or seventies and one of the most read books of the time by those who dropped out try it, this is a small book that takes a long time to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Journey to Understanding, 29 May 2011
This review is from: Journey to the East (Paperback)
Of course the paradoxical lesson of this profound mythical book is its influence on Robert Greenleaf and the modern servant leadership movement, which is flourishing everywhere today. Of course this journey is a journey to the East but if you look from the Eastern perspective it is an attraction to Western intellectualism. We do actually complete each other. By stepping into this reality we bring alive Niels Bohr's famous prediction of the ordinary quantum reality - there is always the particle - and there is always the wave.
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Journey to the East (Cathedral Classics)
Journey to the East (Cathedral Classics) by Hermann Hesse (Paperback - 31 Aug 2010)
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