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Siddhartha | The Great American Read

Siddhartha cover


by Hermann Hesse

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.

Discover a discussion guide for this and other books on the list from the Great Books Foundation.

Hermann Hesse

Herman Hesse is the author of Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, and The Glass Bead Game. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946.