The Journey to the East: A Novel

The Journey to the East: A Novel

Paperback(First Edition)

$15.76 $17.00 Save 7% Current price is $15.76, Original price is $17. You Save 7%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, October 24


"A great writer . . . complex, subtle, allusive." - New York Times Book Review

In simple, mesmerizing prose, Hermann Hesse's Journey to the East tells of a journey both geographic and spiritual. H.H., a German choirmaster, is invited on an expedition with the League, a secret society whose members include Paul Klee, Mozart, and Albertus Magnus. The participants traverse both space and time, encountering Noah's Ark in Zurich and Don Quixote at Bremgarten. The pilgrims' ultimate destination is the East, the "Home of the Light," where they expect to find spiritual renewal.

Yet the harmony that ruled at the outset of the trip soon degenerates into open conflict. Each traveler finds the rest of the group intolerable and heads off in his own direction, with H.H. bitterly blaming the others for the failure of the journey. It is only long after the trip, while poring over records in the League archives, that H.H. discovers his own role in the dissolution of the group, and the ominous significance of the journey itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312421687
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 02/01/2003
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 249,938
Product dimensions: 5.52(w) x 8.22(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Hermann Hesse was born in Germany in 1877 and later became a citizen of Switzerland. As a Western man profoundly affected by the mysticism of Eastern thought, he wrote novels, stories, and essays bearing a vital spiritual force that has captured the imagination and loyalty of many generations of readers. His works include Steppenwolf, Narcissus and Goldmund, and The Glass Bead Game. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. Hermann Hesse died in 1962.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

The Journey To The East 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sirilakcarter on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Comes to understand that it was he who failed the Journey rather than the Journey which failed him"
autumnc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued reading other member reviews of Journey to the East, and that the average rating is 3-1/2.Like all of Hesse's novels, HH is reflecting on his interaction with religious philosophies, his experiences within different dogmas, and how this interaction and experience creates and re-creates his world. Journey is no different, however I think that a reader needs to have knowledge of HH's other writings and perhaps a little bit about the man himself to find meaning in Journey.It doesn't hurt to also have some self-directed philosophical or dogmatic questing or questioning.So I must preface my review with this information: my partner is a theological philosopher, well-versed in world religions and philosophies, and spending most of his reflection time (inadvertently) educating me on different religious principles. I, on the other hand, could be less interested. I feel that spirituality is a personal question and a personal endeavour, one that does not require the input or direction of others, but rather is not separate from my individual identity or daily values and practices. In fact, when someone presses me with any "god question" I generally say "this is not a question for me; it does not interest me. I know my belief system and that is enough."Journey was a harsh lesson in egoism for me. HH discovers for himself that just because he does not feel connected to the spiritual group that he ascribed to as a younger man does not mean that the group does not exist. In fact, the group has more cohesiveness and more meaning without him, if anything it is stronger. In the face of this knowledge, he truly finds his Journey completed..."I regarded myself as the chronicler...but it was weak and foolish of me to believe that the League could not exist if I was not a part of it."The lesson here, for me particularly, is that for one to think that a religious philosophy or belief system is not important cimply because I do not believe in it or care to discuss it does not make it less important or believable for the thousands of others who build their lives around it. This is not my universe to guide or "chronicle," rather it is my duty to share this space with others and recognize the wisdom of everyone rather than judge my own wisdom to be the end-all.A difficult lesson, true, as it requires of me that I take note of my own egotistical tendencies, my own "shadow side," and facing something about me that is not exactly what I wish it to be.Therefore I give this novel a high rating, because I learned a strong and poignant lesson from it, as I have from many of HH's novels. However I would suggest this novel to those who are themselves interested in spirituality, or perhaps entrenched in their own Journey to the East.
librisissimo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Substance: Almost non-existent. A man on a mysterious journey with a secret League fails to recognize that a popular servant of his group is actually the President (more like the High King). Possibly a Christian allegory, but just as easily Pagan.Style: Sophomoric philosophical rambling with a supposed core of wisdom, but basically a boring monologue of pretentious simplicity. Akin to the sort of New Age mysticism of the Seventies. CSM blurb says it "resembles Kafka", which is true.
BooksForDinner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Found the original receipt from when I bought this in the book when I took it off the shelf for something to read on a long plane ride. Bought it back in the summer of 2000! 8 years between purchase and read.What a beautiful book. A short metaphor for youth and idealism turning to disillusion turning to wisdom. Just beautiful. Hesse has always been one of my favorites, and now it is cemented. Will re-read this again soon.
eduscapes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
After reading The Glass Bead Game, I decided to dive into the other works of Hesse. Like The Glass Bead Game, I thought The Journey to the East was a little slow in the middle. However once I began to enter Hesse's "world" the deeper issues in the book became clear. If you like "books that make you think," you'll like this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was ok. Some of it was hard to understand, because Herman Hesse spoke in riddles and in similes. But another confusing thing were the Latin words. I could never translate them! But it was a very nice plot!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So they after me it's not available in nook After I just paid for it. I would give zero stars if I could.
jamie3 More than 1 year ago
This is my all-time favorite book! I wish it was available on nook, as I lent out my hard copy and never got it back!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reading this book is like taking a journey yourself. It seems to become predictable at one point, but hang on, the ending will blow you away.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book, it kept me transfixed and it stimulated my mind. It also gave me hope for our human culture. It says we are not only about industry and making money. There are actually life missons by peaceful souls aching for the human experience that the natural,with out the frills, with out the technology; An urge to discover the spiritual, the mystical. But I have to say, maybe I am not spiritually in tune with the message that the ending reveals, because I did not understand it at all. What is the deal with the statue??
Guest More than 1 year ago
A short marvolous book to be read in one night. Hesse continually keeps you thiking. Some mystical elements are present... the book should be titled 'reflections on a journey to the east' because no journey takes place, only a reflection of a youthful journey by secret societies; I will not spoil the stunning ending for you. a delight for the religous tempermante.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Journey to the East probably isn't within the canon of required reading at most schools and universities. However, it is an excellent story for discussion, especially for comparitive interpretation with works like Kafka's 'The Trial' and some of Borges' Ficciones.