As I said earlier, I was not a huge fan of this book, but this is not going to be a hate review. I started reading this book, and at first it went fairly slow, but then I managed to read this book in twenty page clumps whenever I had free time. So I guess if I do the math, it makes for about six or seven sittings. As far as actual content goes, I liked the words used in this translation; they were descriptive yet for the most part fairly simple. This was my first time reading anything about Buddhism (the whole book focuses on Buddhist religion, teachings, and philosophy), so there were some terms that I was unfamiliar with. Most I was able to figure out in time, but there were others that I quite honestly still am uncertain of (for example, Brahman/Brahmin). I will have to work on that before I do my essays and projects on it.
The main story is following the book’s title character, Siddhartha. When we start the book, Siddhartha is a young boy or man, and is starting to get restless staying with his father, a Brahman (there comes that word again!), and so requests permission to leave and seek his way in the world. After some deliberation, the father lets Siddhartha go, and Siddhartha and his friend begin their journey, a journey of spiritual enlightenment, and a journey in search of ridding, releasing, or rediscovering one’s Self.
This book is from Siddhartha’s point of view, and Siddhartha is a big thinker. This book is full of philosophies, thoughts, and ideas about life. As we go from one time in Siddhartha’s life to another, we see his ideas shift and change and evolve into something more, something less, and something entirely different. There is tremendous character development from the beginning to the end, in part because I think the book takes place over about sixty or seventy years, but in a way this book displays the change in a person’s thought and ideologies quite clearly; how at one point in a person’s life, they may think one thing, and then twenty years think quite the opposite. This book is probably ninety-five percent Siddhartha thinking deeply, or talking about his ideas, and five percent about him doing things, and even that five percent is for the most part in relation to his evolving beliefs. If you do not want to read a book that is almost entirely thoughts, then I would not recommend you this book. However, if you would like a quick read that explores the change in a person’s life and the ways their beliefs can differ from one point in time to the next, then I would say to give this book a shot. It is not (in my opinion) worth buying, however if a friend or relative of yours, or a library nearby has this book, try it out.
To the haters, although I am not a fan: why? No, seriously, why? Please feel free to leave a comment about it, or if there has ever been a book that you were required to read and hated (or loved), please share with us!
I hope you are having a good week!