Customer Reviews for

Demian

Average Rating 4.5
( 52 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted February 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Hermann Hesse is without a doubt one of the most intriguing writers I have ever read.

    Hermann Hesse is without a doubt one of the most intriguing writers I have ever read.<BR/><BR/>This story considers the evolving, somewhat troubled psyche of a German youth, Sinclair, as he matures during the decade prior to WWI.<BR/><BR/>As a prepubescent boy, Sinclair recognizes the realm of good and light, symbolized by his God fearing parents and innocent younger sisters, as separate from the realm of evil and dark, symbolized by Franz Kromer, an older, opportunist who extorts Sinclair into fibbing and petty thievery. Another older boy, Demian, rescues Sinclair from Kromer's clutches, and then sows a new perception of the light and dark realms with an inverted interpretation of the parable of Cain and Abel. Demian perceives the mark on Cain's forehead not as a curse, but as a badge of courage, character and power.<BR/><BR/>Tainted by his experience with Kromer, Sinclair cannot entirely reject Demian's heroic characterization of Cain, and Demian nurtures this upset of clarity, muddling Sinclair's once clear distinction between the realms of good and evil. Demian then plants the alternative perception that the individual must delve into the self to discover his peculiar fate and destiny, a unique purpose apart from the mundane consensus, the mores of the hoard. Hesse then projects Sinclair's turmoil into a characterization of, or perhaps a reflection of, the mass psyche of prewar Europe.<BR/><BR/>I first read "Demian" forty two years ago, during my high scgool years. At the time I was struggling with my sexuality and was attracted to the homosexual undertones between Demian and Sinclair.<BR/><BR/>For some reason I saved "Demian," I forgot, long ago, why I saved "Demian," why I did not shuck it off along with my other old skins. Now that I am an outed homosexual, I believe that Sinclair, the main character, is not entering the normal world on any level. In fact he is leaving it. The first time he meets Demian, both know there is something different about him. As their friendship/relationship grows, it become smore and more clear that they should not be part of the normal world, where people to choose to be part of a group, to share a religion, to accept the truth as it is told to them. Demian shows sinclair a new world, where people of a higher intelligence, and by that I am referring to more than simply an academic intelligence, will find each other.¿

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2005

    Literature that reveals our inner self

    Demian enables the reader to see inside of himself. If you read only one book this year, please, let it be this masterpiece by Hesse. It will penetrate in ways that will astound you. For anyone who has felt the lonliness of being this is a must read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2005

    Great!

    I am 14 years old and I read Demian for the first time in 5th grade. Since then it has been my favorite book. It teaches you about being yourself and finding your inner self. It is beautifully written and is a great read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2004

    The Mark of Cain Shines Bright.

    This book came to me at a time when I really needed it. It features a young boy named Emil Sinclair who is drowning in life. His encounters with Max Demian are touching and beautiful, and the ideas that are brought about are heartwarming. This book is a perfect blend of the light and dark sides of life, something thats very rare in literature. The principles and moral of this story are something that everyone should strive for, but few achieve. This book did not let me down, where other books of its genre, Catcher in the Rye comes to mind, did. The ending is something out of a dream, yet so simple and practical. I recomend this book to anyone and everyone, it really is a timless adventure. Love it or hate it, Herman Hesse paints a vivid picture of the definition of a 'self', and it is magnificient.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2004

    The Best Novel from the Best Novelist of the 20th Century

    Demain is probably the best novel i have ever read. Herman Hesse is someone Art Bell should interview, if only Hesse were still alive. Read all his novels. They will change your life for the better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2003

    Astonishing

    Truly a great book. Hesse really nails teenage anghst. I particularly enjoyed the book because i really connected with the main character. This book really makes you think.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2003

    Changed my life

    This great book and Hesse's Siddhartha were part of a great process ( along with the Beatles, science fiction and other influences) that helped lead me to trying meditation and studying Buddhism and other enlightening teachings that have helped make my life so much more fufilling. I read it as a teenager and it really stirred up my life and raised many questions that I felt a burning need to answer. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2002

    WOW!!!!!

    This is such an amazing book. When I picked it up I had never heard of it before, but Hermann Hesse is one of my favorite authors. I am so glad that I bought it because it really amazed me. All of the things about the conscious, unconscious, and dreams really amazed me. I actually cried at the end because it was so awesome when Max gave Emil a..... well if you have read this you know what I am talking about, it is so beautiful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2002

    an amazing read

    i found that through every stage of this novel, i could relate it somehow to my own life. the self discovery as well as the philosophy is very thought provoking and enjoyable. a great blend of ideas and plot which in the end forms a book of true quality.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2001

    You have to buy this book!

    This has to be one of the best and most intriguing novels i have ever read. I highly recomend that you read this novel. but don't take my word for it. 'Hesse's novels from demian on represent the search for timeless values' Theodore Ziolkowski, in his The Novels of Hermann Hesse(copyright 1965 by Princeton University Press; Princeton Paperback 1967; reprinted by permission of Princeton University Press), Princeton University Press), Princeton University Press, 1965. 'Hesse is an origonal inventor of unique fictional divices,' Ralph Freedman, 'Hermann Hesse,' in Contemporary Literature, Vol. 10, No. 3, 1969 (copyright 1969 by the Regents of the University of Wisconsin) 'Of Hesse's permanent place in twentieth-century literature there can be little doubt. ... All his major works of fiction from Demian to Das Glasperlen will remain literary landmarks.' George Wallis Field, in his Hermann Hesse, Twayne, 1970. I have already read the book but i am buying just so i can read it whenever i want. This book has so many ideas about fate and god that had never even entered into my mind. They might not be right but they are diffinatly interesting. BUY THIS BOOK!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2001

    read this at UCDAvis for the first time years ago in a Hesse class. I was a Econ. major. Hesse was way more fun. One of the very best novels ever written. Along with Steppenwolf, this is a book one enjoys over and over again.

    I think i would have to say that if you're creative, when reading this book, all your ideas, your feelings of wanting to paint, write, explore a small town, design a house, build a Cobra kit car, etc., they all become augmented when reading Demian. An author, or friend, who inspires one in this way is one you must read, and if you've a friend like that, you're very very lucky.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2001

    You don't have to agree with Hesse to be intrigued by him.

    This book is one of the most well written books I have ever read. It has some very intelligent and original thoughts. It¿s not a matter of agreeing with Hesse¿s thoughts, but considering them. The book is about Emil Sinclair who looks for his own path and struggles greatly along the way. His path is different from others of the world for a very specific reason, but if I tell you that I might ruin the book. In his search he looks for his own god. He firmly believes in fate. This book has some very different ideas about fate and god, which are conveyed through Sinclair¿s life. I do not agree with most of these thoughts particularly, but the originality and the strong way in which they are conveyed is what makes this book so great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2000

    About Demian

    This novel emphasizes on the nature of lonely men. It's a great one for those who feel alone in this world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2000

    Very Profound

    This story was incredibly precise in revealing the human mind. It expresses many of life's typical concerns and how it'll guarantee us changes. I think it was beautifully narrated. I loved the depthness of this story. However, I was pretty baffled by the end because I wasn't quite sure what became of Demian and Sinclair. This book is basically about how one special person can influence your life tremendously.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2000

    Absolutely creative and thought provoking!

    Hesse is extremely perplex in this novel of a young journey to self-discovery.

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    Posted May 19, 2009

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    Posted February 21, 2010

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    Posted February 5, 2009

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    Posted January 26, 2010

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    Posted June 11, 2009

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