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on 5 January 2010
Siddhartha, son of a Brahman, is on a quest to find the meaning of life. We follow him as he struggles on through his journey, through many different life experiences. He is on a spiritual journey to find out for himself who he really is. Along the way he meets rich people, poor people, holy people, and becomes part of their world for a short time. Through his many encounters, he learns much more about himself and the world, but for a long time he is still not satisfied and still feels a deep need to strive for more and to search for something elusive.
I think this book is relevant to everyone, because although it is telling the tale of a spiritual and religious man, it is also a tale about life and how our life experiences make us who we are. Many of Siddhartha's feelings and thoughts are common to us all as we make our way along the road of our own lives. This book reaffirms the fact that in the end we are all the same, and someone who has stayed in the same place all their life can be as wise as someone who has spent his life travelling on a long search for the truth. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Its message appears to be that we are all the same and all of our life experiences whether good or bad, are necessary for us to find ourselves, and even though everyone will go through different things, we are all bonded by the fact that we are on the same journey. I believe everyone who reads this book will be touched in some way by the simple and poignant words. I would recommend this to everyone, it's a very enlightening and though-provoking read.
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on 31 January 1999
The message of Siddhartha is a personal one. As such, it can't be forced on someone as "required reading". Readers will either find Siddhartha inspirational because of an inherent truth they recognize relative to their own conduct in life, or boring because they find nothing personally relevant below the surface of the simple narrative. Siddhartha is wonderfully concise...if you hate it, its over quickly, and it doesn't require too much investment to revisit years later when your relationship to the story may be profoundly different.
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on 11 April 2000
This book was bought for me by a friend of mine, and I can never say enough thank you's for it. It is the most amazing read. Once I started it, I truely found I could not put it down, I was compelled to read it, and I will again. From the very first page, it makes you sit up and examine your own life. Do I really know who I am? Before your search of knowledge begins, do you know who you are?
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on 6 April 1999
Published in 1922 in German this novel received widespread poor reviews. This may be more to Hesse's persistently pacifist and anti-nationalist stance that eventually forced him to seek refuge and citizenship in Switzerland. 'Siddharta' is not a novel about the Buddha, it is a novel around the Buddha. The Sakyamuni's namesake is the son of a high caste Brahmin priest with great promise but he, too, casts aside wealth and privilege to join the great journey for Self and No-self. Simply written but intriguing, this is an uplifting book. I recommend it.
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on 28 December 2010
This brief review is simply to warn would-be buyers of the Kindle version of Siddhartha. Although only 60 pence it is a waste of time and money.

The translation is amateurish and entirely ruins what is a beautiful and profound book (I have read the Penguin translation in paperback and would give that 4 or 5 star). Moreover, the formatting is terrible - sentences often finish halfway across the Kindle screen. A disappointment as I just got my Kindle and think it is an excellent device, but now am concerned about quality control. In summary, DO NOT BUY this Kindle version!
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on 22 February 2003
This novel is about our hero Siddartha's search for spiritual truth and his eventual discovery of a personal philosophy, which leads him to enlightenment and a life free of fear and desire.
Siddartha is also an allegory that can apply to all of us. It teaches us how to have a liberating philosophy for life, which most westerners will very different from their usual modern, materialistic perspectives.
Should you decide to read this wonderful work, it is worth noting from the outset that, though it contains religion, it does not preach the tenets of any faith. It is purely and simply about philosophy.
This book is worth reading for it's own merits, but if you read Hesse's Demian and Steppenwolf first you will get even more benefit from it. These three novels changed my life!
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on 4 September 2007
Hesse's work was always concerned with spiritual quests that had a Buddhist 'feel' to them but which, in the early days, were always couched within a largely Christian framework. In Siddhartha he finally nails his own spiritual credentials to the mast as this is a novel about the Buddhist path. Hesse's other great preoccupation was with the tension between the hedonistic and the ascetic life, and this finds it's place here, too. Siddhartha, Hesse's central character, finds just as much wisdom via sensual pleasure as he does via spiritual devotion. In fact, to renounce the sensual world, perhaps one must have experienced it?

This is a book which can take multimple re-readings and certainly gives me something new and inspirational each time I read it.
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on 27 May 1999
Hesse's tale of a young Brahmin's son about to embark on the adventure of life is a wonderfully simple and concise story - it is a parable about the struggle of life, and has a wonderfully optimistic message.
Hesse's strengths as an author lie in the way he imbues a strong narrative with a dual meaning - one comes away with the impression of having read a good book, but at the same time with the realisation that the story was merely a framework on which Hesse has hung a touching spiritual tract.
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on 28 May 2001
Anyone who has looked at his or her reflection in a river and were momentarily startled will find this book a fascinating journey. Beautifully written, simple to interpret, prose to warm the heart and to make it weep. I commend this book as an important lesson in life from which self-comparison should be drawn.
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on 20 November 2001
When someone gave me this book, I openend it up somewhere in the first third, just to have a glance at a few pages. Well, once started I never stopped reading till the last page and then I read it all over again.
Throughout the book you get glimpses of deep wisdom in order to find out what our lives are truely about - at the end...
Hesse's "Siddharta" is "The Alchemist" of the beginning of the 20th century; an all time classic! A must for everyone, who likes meaningfull stories.
J.
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