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Publisher's Summary

Siddhartha is Nobel Prize-winning author Hermann Hesse's most famous and influential work, a novel of self-exploration that will linger in your mind and spirit for a lifetime.

A young man, blessed with loving parents and a safe home in a world where want and neglect abound, leaves this haven in search of himself. He joins the Samanas, a band of wandering ascetics without possessions or earthly ties. His quest unfulfilled, he descends into a life of unbounded luxury and indulgence. Where is truth? Where will his soul find true ease? In denial? In decadence? Or in some truth far greater than himself, so simple, so close to him, yet so obvious that only clear eyes may see it?

Siddhartha reawakens questions most of us have long ceased asking ourselves and opens paths to spirituality many of us have never traveled.

Translated by Joachim Neugroschel.

Originally published in 1922. Translation ©1999 Joachim Neugroschel; (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Very Interesting to Listen

The narrator is very expressive. The story itself
is simple but extra ordinary in the vivid descriptive passages.
For the impatient and for those curiously after the twist and turns,
it would turn out to be outright boring. But for those
in a spiritual path, it is time worth spent.

31 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Excellent!

This presentation of one of my favorite books, is nothing short of excellent.I enjoyed listening very much. The narrators vocals were pleasantly soothing and harmonious with the the story of Sidhartha. The story is told without revision, silly soundtrack, or irritating sound effects. There is an informative lecture and commentary after the reading about Herman Hesse, and this classic tale of Sidhartha.

28 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • Glenn
  • Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 10-08-12

Simple and meaningful

I liked how this went through the ups and downs of a persons life... it has hidden meanings and provokes thought and reflection in ones own life. This is a great addition to a persons collection of self help books, the meaning of life, people searching for something more. It is easy to listen too in a story book fashion. Nice change of pace from the "do this, do that" type self help books

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Stanley
  • New York, NY, USA
  • 08-09-07

a shame ...

To cut to the chase:

The narrator of this version of Siddhartha isn't one whose other work I'll be chasing down. I had hoped to be swept back to the place I landed when I first read the book (decades ago), but with this reader and a translation that struck me as anything-but-lyrical, I finished the recording hugely unsatisfied.

It's a shame that Audible offers only an abridgement of Sherab Chodzin Kohn's translation -- widely considered sensitive and poetic.

24 of 31 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

The Buddhist 'Life of Brian'.

I initially thought this was a version of the life story of the Buddha (one of whose names was "Siddartha"). But it's the story of a contemporary who crosses paths with the Buddha in the story, but who carves his own path to enlightenment. It's like "The Life of Brian", but with philosophy and poetic wording rather than that great Monty Python humour.

I found the story of Siddharta compelling, poetic at times, and well-narrated. I was not completely convinced by Sid's philosophy ultimately, but I still really enjoyed the story. I would have docked the story one star for it's philosophical conclusions, but that that didn't seem justified.

So, I highly recommend the book for its twisty-turny story, the lyrical writing, and the interestng ideas it sets out. Don't worry about it if you're exactly not on all fours with Sid's conclusions by the end. The narration is really excellent as well.

PS: You will need some basic info about Buddhism though. I'm no expert, but here goes. The most important thing is that the goal of the religion is to meditate long and hard until you finally achieve the ultimate truth of the universe at which point you're on your way to Nirvana. If you fail, you are reincarnated and get another chance. And know that Brahmans are the the priest/upper class of that society.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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I don't get it.

What did you like best about Siddhartha? What did you like least?

In short, I don't understand why this is a classic and so loved by others. It's a about 3 hours too long and it didn't tell me anything new or even anything old in a new way. I guess at the time this book was written it may have been unique and thought provoking . Given the amount of information available today about spirituality of all kinds, this made me wonder when it was going to give me that I've-never-thought-of-it-that-way moment. It never happened.<br/><br/>I normally like mystery/thrillers but I have enjoyed other books in this and other genres and wasn't expecting action and adventure - but this book, particularly the first part, was a little too much pontification by a man who comes across as a little arrogant. Perhaps it was the narrators tone and not the words giving me this impression so reading may be different than listening. Having said that, the narrator was expressive and I did like him overall.<br/><br/>

Would you ever listen to anything by Hermann Hesse again?

Probably not.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

no

14 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Beautiful short listen

If you've just discovered or would like to rediscover how beautiful this book is, you won't be disappointed. The translation is excellent as is the narrator's pace and feeling. It's Hesse's most popular for a reason and you shouldn't be disappointed.

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Great listen and extras

This was a fantastic book that really makes you think. The addition of the essay at the end was a welcomed treat as well.

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SO GOOD

I love this book. It’s inspiring and gave me a lot to ponder. Definitely good things to think about as I pursue life on my terms and the good life

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Wow!

Wow! Just wow.

I have to say that at the end of this audiobook is included the introduction to this particular translation of Siddhartha. In it, the author of the introduction gives both a biography of
Hermann Hesse and an analysis of Siddhartha. One thing he said in it particularly struck me; the book includes two Buddha figures. One of my college English teachers was hung up on the idea of Christ figures in literature (specifically disproving Christ figures), but this is the first fiction book I can remember reading that has Buddha figures.

However, he is exactly right. One of the Buddha figures is the actual historical Buddha, Gautama, who makes sort of a cameo appearance near the beginning of the story but is a constant presence offstage, as it were, during the whole story. The other is the main character, Siddhartha. Siddhartha, of course, is another of the Buddha’s real names, but this is a different Siddhartha. He is the son of a Brahmin whereas the Buddha was a king’s son, but both of them left home during their youth to study asceticism, and then having decided that asceticism has taken them as far as it can move on to other paths. Siddhartha and his friend Govinda then go to seek the Buddha, and Govinda becomes a disciple of the Buddha, but Siddhartha decides that what he wants to know cannot be taught. He must experience it for himself.

Here taking the opposite path from the Buddha, Siddhartha becomes a man of the world, learning the ways of business and the ways of love, and forgetting all the spiritual things he had learned in his youth. In his old age, however, he decides that this too is not really what he set out to learn and leaves his life in the city to return to the ferryman at a river he had crossed earlier on his way to the city to learn about life from him.

This book explains nicely why so much of Buddhism appears to consist of contradictions and paradoxes.