DEMIAN by HERMANN HESSE(book review)

April 8, 2011 § 5 Comments


Complete, contemplative and beautiful!

The story of Sinclair the narrator how he grew up and the influence of his friend Demian on his life. Simple yet powerful, this coming of age book is like no other.

Hermann Hesse is one of favorite authors. His writing has this force which is calm yet stimulating. While his protagonist is clever, knowledgeable and talented he is still brash, raw and innocent. One cannot but help identifying with him and in my case, this book is a landmark, just like how Siddhartha was. Like Siddhartha here too the protagonist is someone who moves from the existing conventions and lives a life of his own.

Hesse gives you hope, while reminding you that there are many obstacles you have to conquer- the biggest being yourself. The writing doesn’t merely appeal to you- it talks to you. While the book was intended to represent how a generation felt(Hesse has published it under a pseudonym as he felt that youngsters would feel that an older person will not understand how they feel), it is universal and personal at the same time.

The beauty lies in the simplicity of the writing and the depth of the theme. The book brings in art, music, writing, spirituality and religion- factors that influence and have a grip on you. The book is truthful and makes you think. To me it brought back memories of earlier times. In a way it reminded me of where I am today and because of what and gave me a renewed confidence.

I could completely identify with Sinclair, though Demian and his mother seem rather mystic. But that is part of the book- as everyone else except the author are influences that appear in the person’s life. There are some among humanity, who live with, for and because of a greater force, the characters in this book are such.

Simple and powerful, this is a must read book.

rating:- 9/10



October 4, 2010 § 12 Comments


Image from here

A book that can change you. A book that will influence you. A book that will make you see within.

Siddhartha is a contemporary of The Buddha. The book takes us through his life and quest for enlightenment.  The narrative is simple and yet involving. The author shows the thirst of a young man for enlightenment. He highlights friendship, love and most importantly the struggle of a young man to find meaning in life.

There is lot to be learnt from the book. The story is beautiful and you feel peace descending upon you, as you read the book.

We see the protagonist travel through the various stages of life-  Hesse has managed to capture in a way that  it is so natural that you might almost not notice it. We see the brahmin’s son, turn into a Samana, then into a business man and finally a ferryman. He realizes, learns and grows through each vocation and indeed every page of the book.

This is one of those books that will leave at least a footprint- one that you hope will remain for a while. To me, the message- “I can Think, I can wait, I can fast” , thought me that I need to slow down. All you need to do is a take a deep breath and watch, listen and speak to the river(as in the book).

This review is being written, some ten days after completing the book- simply because I wanted to feel its impact. Indeed, this has left a very big mark on me. I will say it is a must read.

Rating:- 10/10.

You can download the book from here.

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