Siddhartha's life takes him on a journey toward enlightenment. Afire
with youthful idealism, the Brahmin joins a group of ascetics, fasting
and living without possessions. Meeting Gotama the Buddha, he comes to
feel this is not the right path, though he also declines joining the
Buddha's followers. He reenters the world, hoping to learn of his own
nature, but instead slips gradually into hedonism and materialism.
Surfeited and disgusted, he flees from his possessions to become a
ferryman's apprentice, learning what lessons he can from the river
itself. Herman Hesse's 1922 Bildungsroman parallels the life of Buddha
and seems to argue that lessons of this sort cannot be taught but come
from one's own struggle to find truth. Noted actor Derek Jacobi
interprets this material wonderfully, and the package, despite
abridging a Nobel prize winner's prose, can be highly recommended.AJohn
Hiett, Iowa City P.L.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.