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Publisher's Summary

Here is the dramatic story of young, docile Emil Sinclair's descent - led by precocious schoolmate Max Demian - into a secret and dangerous world of petty crime and revolt against convention and eventual awakening to selfhood. A brilliant psychological portrait of a troubled young man's quest for self-awareness, this coming-of-age novel achieved instant critical and popular acclaim upon its 1919 publication. A landmark in the history of 20th-century literature, it reflects the author's preoccupation with the duality of human nature and the pursuit of spiritual fulfillment.
©1925 Fischer Verlag; 1965 Harper and Row, Publishers, Incorprated; 1948 Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Inc. (Introduction) (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Demian

We listened to Demian on a long car journey. It is a very dense, complex piece of writing...but we greatly enjoyed it! We still have a few chapters left, and we tried to listen to it on the hifi at home but it's the type of story that works best in the car - just you in the pod with the narrator! It would make a good companion on a long flight, for example. The introduction, giving biographical information about Hesse, was also useful. I'd remembered him from school (Siddhartha) but didn't know much about his life. The story of Demian is interesting, because the path it's going to follow isn't obvious. The imagery and characterisations are well-drawn, I think - certainly I have pictures in my head as the narrator relates the story (I hasten to add that I am the passenger in the car!). In short, it's worth investing the time in Demian.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Moralist sounding Narration overdoes the story for me

Demian is marked as “Cain” of the story “Cain and Able”. Using that story as a jumping off point this is a reversal of “chosen ones” born with secret knowledge. Demian is a kind of guide for Emil Sinclair. If you read Carl Jung, you’ll quickly see that much of the story was drawn from that. The problem for me isnt so much the story but the telling of it. Something about the Jeff Woodman’s reading for this book was off. It feels very pretentious especially when there isn’t a story being told but Emil Sinclair’s thoughts being hashed out. I wanted to vomit in these sections - reminded me of narration on Christian Right Wing radio. So, for me, a better narrator who could temper the story without coming off as preachy would have served this project better. I usually am careful listening to the audible reading samples, I missed this one. Listen to Carl Jung’s “Memories, Dreams and Reflections” instead. You’ll get the exact story with far greater depth and insight and far superior narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Books that make you a better person.

This book is a guide and a journey in which you will re-discover yourself, beliefs, religion, and maturity..

No doubt this book must be read more than once through your life...

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

amazing

hard to understand but really such an amazing story that really is personal. thanks kim namjoon #btsarmy

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Omg. I can't even...

Absolutely new favorite book, an absolute master piece, and the reader's performance is amazing too., but God, this book...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

From a fan of Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse has a way of taking one through a journey that is less about time and space, and more about ideas. in "Demian," lead character Sinclair begins in a pious German-Christian home, but ends up somewhere in the light-dark swirl of Friedrich Nietzsche, Carl Jung, and Gnosticism. Demian follows the same pattern as Hesse's book "Siddhartha," though the settings and symbols differ. the character begins unsatisfied in piety. makes his way through loneliness, and near suicide. accepts their inner darkness within. and then finds Nirvana (or Eden) in the middle. As Hesse's psychiatrist, it is apparent Carl Jung had a profound effect on Hesse.

This book is fantastic. if you're a lover of Nietzsche, Jung, or Gnosticism, you'll love this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A new favorite

Having already read many of Hesse's works, steppenwolf, n & g, Glass Bead Game among others it is refreshing to read his earlier Demian. In it are many familiar at themes he went on to explore throughout his career society v the individual, morality v sensuality, the master and apprentice, transformation, and transcendence. Here they are clear and simply expressed without the adornment of his later works.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Spiritual journey

A spiritual novel narrated by a voice seems coming directly from your soul,can anything be more magnificenly fair?

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • michael
  • NEWTON CENTER, MA, United States
  • 02-14-17

Logically incoherent, dream-like wish-to-believe.

The idealistic world of the author was set on earthly events of a young growing boy. The boy's experiences are actually intriguing and well written, but the underneath causality imposed by the author seemed confusing and incoherent. What was worse, that the author tried to play it out as designed on purpose: that only chosen can comprehend. Well, I guess I am not "that chosen..."

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

You need to read this.

This book has changed the perspective on certain things in a good way. It helps one to find oneself while going along the journey of life of Emil Sinclair and his hardships. I highly recommend reading this book. It's worth your time.