In the novel, Siddhartha, a young man, leaves his family for a contemplative life, then, restless, discards it for one of the flesh. He conceives a son, but bored and sickened by lust and greed, moves on again. Near despair, Siddhartha comes to a river where he hears a unique sound. This sound signals the true beginning of his life -- the beginning of suffering, rejection, peace, and, finally, wisdom.
From the Paperback edition.
Herman Hesse is the author of Siddhartha, Steppenwolf, and The Glass Bead Game. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946.