Top positive review
19 people found this helpful
on 14 March 2007
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.