Book It: Siddhartha

Are you looking for a unique and little-known book for your next read? If so, pick up a copy of Siddhartha.

Nina Nguyen, Staff Writer

Edited by Julia Stanski

9780141189574This novel was written in 1922 by an amazing German writer named Hermann Hesse, also a poet and painter. It introduces a theme less evident in the books of today, that of the unique spiritual journey awaiting every single person. The title character is a young man who has a sudden epiphany and decides to seek out another path. This determined man hears tales about living with Samanas (monks) in the forest, and decides to leave his family and sacrifice all his possessions. He hopes that by being homeless and fasting, he will sate his personal hunger for completeness in his life. Through this journey, he meets Buddha, who plays an important part in the spiritual life of those around him, and realizes that his soul will not be satisfied by following the teachings and philosophy of Buddha. Siddhartha strives for something to complete his life, to make him feel whole, and he thinks that letting go of his earthly possessions will help him find it. As the plot evolves the reader, as well as the protagonist, sees that this path will not lead him to enlightenment.

This is an enriching and enlightening book for those who want something new and relaxing to read. It explores the topics of religion and the difficulty of trying to find a philosophy that one can relate to and apply to one’s life. The author uses a complicated and diverse syntax and vocabulary that will not be found in many contemporary books. The text poetically reveals the life of a character and the soulfulness of his actions. Siddhartha is also not a very lengthy book, which allows for captivation at all times. As I read this book, it opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking and a different side of life I was missing. From someone who was always reading dystopian fiction, this novel really incited a change of heart as to what kind of books I’d always preferred and grabbed at the book store. If you’re looking for a unique sense of writing and a poetic view on philosophy, Siddhartha is definitely the book for you!

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