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What the community says about Narcissus and Goldmund
- "When it comes to inspirational novels, it is hard to classify a Herman Hesse book as just this. While Narcissus and Goldmund is inspirational at its core, it is not as cut and dried as many inspirational novels, nor as easy to understand. But it is an excellent book and of superior quality like any Hesse book, so if you're willing to dig deep, this is a good option."
- "Coming eight years after Siddartha, there are striking similarities between the two works: a young man intent on following a spiritual path embarks instead on a life of hedonism. Despite the highly charged attraction between Brother Narcissus and his student Goldmund, the former leads an austere life, while the latter’s life is one of rampant sexuality. As with most of Hesse, this is a tale of self-discovery. Brother Narcissus eventually takes his vows and becomes abbot of the cloister. Goldmund is revealed to be a skilled artist, but his talent is overwhelmed by his need to explore the ways of the flesh. In fact, he beds so many women, one could reasonably envision this as an outline for a modern porn movie. The picaresque nature of the novel is balanced by chapters of philosophical discussion, occurring, as with Siddartha, as the two men meet again late in life. Hesse gives us two memorable characters. As with Demian, the prose is dense. Myself, I prefer the spare prose style of Siddartha. "
- "Narcissus and Goldmund is one of the most inspiring books that I have read in a long time. Written by Hermann Hesse, it is a historical novel about Goldmund's search for the meaning of life with his teacher. It is heart warming and also suspenseful. I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. Excellent read. "
- "I loved this book. It is intellectually challenging, but not overly so. I have read this book three times and each time I got something different from it. I could visualize medieval life within the pages of this book and I got to explore the duality of human nature in the relationship of these two friends. I would recommend this book to everyone. A timeless classic read. "
- "Any story that involves seduction by a young Gypsy girl should be riveting. This is not. It fails to capture one's attention, and reads more like an old time slash fiction than a classic novel. Still, it works in a pinch when there's not something with pictures handy."