Saturday of Book Reviewing – Siddhartha

This week I figured I’d cover another classic everyone but me seems to have read: Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha.  Written in 1922, this novel follows its titular character through his wacky life from theology student to selfish heathen to terrible father to enlightened boatman. 

This book is solidly four stars. It conjured some of those deep thoughts I like so much, and gave the world a positive spin for awhile such as: maybe things seem awful and apocalyptic nowwwww, but as long as you keep it movin’, surely you’ll get through it to the good stuff. Like someone, perhaps Churchill, perhaps not, once said:

If you’re going through Hell, keep going.

On goodreads, where my reviews live, I wrote:

Sometimes we all need to be reminded that we’re getting somewhere better. Siddhartha’s journey is a slow march forward, from study to action to enlightenment. Every step is important in its own right; I love the visual given different perspectives. From within it, life, progress, the present may seem only an endless loop, a futile circle, but it can be the rising spiral if only we let it and strive for it. If only we have the clarify of hindsight or insight to look back on how far we have come. It’s all about mindset and introspection.
This is a simply written little book capable of calling forth complex, great thoughts. It’s a fast read that will have you thinking about its message quite a while after you’ve finished the last page.’

I also would like to jot down for you folks Siddhartha’s concise mantra of his prized skill set. He says a few times, “I can think. I can wait. I can fast.” 

It’s a good reminder of what’s important:
introspection, patience, and temperance
contemplation, caution, and control

It reminded me a fair bit, at least in regards to its casual teaching of useful morals, of one of my favorite books, Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations. Honestly, the main difference to my mind is that Siddhartha isn’t nearly as noble or likeable as Aurelius. Maybe someday soonish, I’ll reread and review that one too…

Eventually. But okie dokie, enjoy your weekend folks! Wolfy out!

Jessie Gutierrez

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