My Little Pocketbooks: Review: Siddhartha   

Monday, March 24, 2014

Review: Siddhartha

 
Siddhartha
Author: Herman Hesse
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: White Crow Productions Ltd.
Release Date:  February 2, 2010
Audiobook: 5h 26m
Narrator: Arthur Brown

Source: Free from E-Library
http://amzn.to/1fq7iS1

Book Description

In the novel, Siddhartha, a young man, leaves his family for a contemplative life, then, restless, discards it for one of the flesh. He conceives a son, but bored and sickened by lust and greed, moves on again. Near despair, Siddhartha comes to a river where he hears a unique sound. This sound signals the true beginning of his life -- the beginning of suffering, rejection, peace, and, finally, wisdom.

Review

There are so many reviews, publications and editions of this book out right now, but I will be talking only about the above mentioned edition published by White Crow Productions Ltd.  
I have had a the blue cover copy of this book in my bedroom since I was in junior high school.  I have picked up this book and after the first chapter I would put it down and go onto something else.  Decades later after this book has moved with me to every single house, dorm, and apartment I have finally finished it.
The story centers around Siddhartha, the son of a Brahim in ancient Indian in his quest to acquire more wisdom and reach enlightment.  Siddhartha leaves his peaceful family to travel and study with the Samana, a group of traveling holly men who live without clothing and very little food.  With his best friend Govinda in his shadow, the two of them experience hunger, pain, and loneliness so that they might ascend their wisdom to reach enlightenment.  Siddhartha begins to understand his teachings from the Brahim will help him master the teachings of the Samana and lets go of his physical desires.
I have studied a little Buddhism and meditation years ago.  If I had not learned some of the language and vocabulary of the Buddhist teachings then I think this book would be difficult to understand.  The overall story is easy but what the story is telling the reader, the path to reach enlightenment might not be easy to grasp.  The characters are very well thought out and have a clear unique quality about them.  Some of them resemble the 7 deadly sins in Christian religion.  The simple nature of Siddhartha is very attractive.  He is patient, thoughtful and kind and has the best quality of a fictional character...he learns from his past and uses it.  I love reading about characters growing in some way.  I have to say that after reading this book I NEED to get back into a daily meditation again.
As for the narrator, I think Arthur Brown did an ok job.  I was not overly impressed with him but I was kinda shocked to hear he didn't have any Indian accent at all.  

Reviews by Other Bloggers

Recommendations

I  recommend this book to teens and older readers due to some sexual reference.

Challenges

This book is number 4 in my Dusty Bookshelf Reading Challenge
This book is number 5 in my Off the Shelf Reading Challenge
This book is number 5 in my Diversity on the Shelf Reading Challenge
This book is number 4 in my Historical Fiction Reading Challenge
This book is number 10 in my New to Me Author Reading Challenge
This book is number 7 in my Audiobook Reading Challenge
This book is number 2 in my Banned Book Reading Challenge
This book is number 5 in my Quick Fix Reading Challenge
This book is number 3 in my Rewind Reading Challenge
This book is number 11 in my Goodreads Reading Challenge
This book is letter S in my Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge  

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