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Prodigy, The (Peter Owen Modern Classic) Paperback – 7 Aug 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Paperback, 7 Aug 2002
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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Owen (7 Aug. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0720611741
  • ISBN-13: 978-0720611748
  • Product Dimensions: 12.3 x 1.6 x 18.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 744,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A gentle and insidiously persuasive plea for the flight from academicism and the re-establishment of the simple values of the workman's life." --"Sunday Times"

"It is unusual for a writer to begin with sincerity alone and to advance to a more complex apprehension of life without surrendering his pristine innocence. This has been Hermann Hesse's achievement." --"Observer"

""Written with deep sympathy . . . certainly makes you willing to read more of Herr Hesse."" --New Statesman

""A gentle and insidiously persuasive plea for the flight from academicism and the re-establishment of the simple values of the workman's life."" --Sunday Times

""It is unusual for a writer to begin with sincerity alone and to advance to a more complex apprehension of life without surrendering his pristine innocence. This has been Hermann Hesse's achievement."" --Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Counted among the leading thinkers of the twentieth century, HERMANN HESSE was born in 1877. Rebelling against a stern monastic education, he worked as a locksmith and a bookseller before embarking on a 65-year writing career. Having travelled as far as India, he settled in Switzerland in 1911 in opposition to German militarism. Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1946, he died in 1963 aged eighty-five. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
While it is not as fresh as Hesse's first novel Peter Camenzind, as rich and complex as Steppenwolf, or as enlightening as Siddhartha, The Prodigy is still a worthwhile and thought provoking read.
It is set at the beginning of the 20th century and centres on the conflict between freedom and control. By allowing us to see into the life of a talented young prodigy who is slowly being broken by society, the novel forces us to look at ourselves and reflect on how we all, to some extent, have our hopes and dreams twisted by life and other human beings.
As an aside, I prefer the original title, Beneath The Wheel, as I feel it gave a better impression of the grinding that young Hans experiences.
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Format: Paperback
Hesse's critical take on the educational system at the turn of the last century is witty, observant and at time ironic. His hero, Hans Giebenrath, suffers from the pressure piled on to him by his parents and teachers who all believe that a promising student can always - and should always - do more. The pressure leads to a nervous breakdown and eventually to suicidal thoughts.
Given today's educational system and parental pressure to always be better than the Joneses', I felt that this story was ironic in that it is almost 100 years old and yet still rather relevant. If I had read this book 10 years ago, I would have been depressed; or, to be accurate, more depressed than I was at the time.
An excellent read.
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By JB on 7 Mar. 2001
Format: Paperback
It takes a nervous breakdown for Hans to escape his oppressive upbringing as a boy genius and stumble delirious into a dreamlike first taste of life's simple pleasures.
I highly recommend this simple but powerful book.
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Format: Paperback
As another reviewer warns at the end of their review: If you have the book " BENEATH THE WHEEL ", do not buy this one, as it is the same book under another title.
Not only is " BENEATH THE WHEEL " more evocative of the real subject of the book, although " THE PRODIGY " , is a relevant title as well, but also it is much nearer the German original of " UNTERM RAD ", therefore easier to connect the two.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just as described
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