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Download Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair’s Youth Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair’s Youth, by Hermann Hesse Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (22,303 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Hermann Hesse Narrator: Jeff Woodman Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2008 ISBN: 9781482977936
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A brilliant psychological portrait of a troubled young man’s quest for self-awareness, this coming-of-age novel achieved instant critical and popular acclaim upon its 1919 publication. A landmark in the history of twentieth-century literature, it reflects Hermann Hesse’s preoccupation with the duality of human nature and the pursuit of spiritual fulfillment.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An Existentialist intensity and a depth of understanding rare in contemporary fiction.”

    Saturday Review

  • “Woodman delivers a brisk, bright, attractive reading of a book that, at times mysterious, even arcane, is here well rendered for modern listeners.”

    AudioFile

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angel Fernandez basagoitia | 2/20/2014

    " El primer libro que mi profesora Ericka me presto :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gerald | 2/18/2014

    " When I was about ten pages from the end, I fell asleep and had an Emilesque dream where I hated/loved/feared/desired Abraxus/Frau Eva/Demian. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lucy Monostone | 2/15/2014

    " Weird. Well, it's a book about searching yourself (and God). On the early chapters, I liked Sinclair's moral struggle and I was deeply intrigued by Demian's character. But personally, I prefer Demian to be an "illusion" rather than a real person like in this book. He was just.. too good to be true? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Will | 2/14/2014

    " Hermann Hesse reveals himself as the Horatio Alger of the soul. With a little pluck and determination, anyone touched with ambition toward self awareness can find it. Sinclair, the hero, is the Ragged Dick of the story who runs into Max Demian and finds himself on the journey to becoming not middle-class so much as a self realized man, as if there's a difference. The story follows the standard coming-of-age arc and is imbued with the paranormal, which makes it more or less like the Harry Potter series if that had any depth. In fact, that's a great way to sell it to literate teenagers: Harry Potter with an internal life. Good luck finding a literate teenager. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bonnie Bailey-Boone | 2/13/2014

    " Jesse Michaels recommended this book to me when i was 16 years old and at that point it changed my life, and i became an avid reader and collector of Hesse, and referred to my inward self as Emil Sinclair. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Thom | 2/8/2014

    " I pushed myself to read something high-brow with this book, although it was a birthday or Christmas gift to me. One mark against it - it uses 'prodigal' to mean going away and coming back. That's two books in a row. The main first-person character in this, Sinclair, lives a life of the mind - very mental. It was hard to get behind him as the book begins with him being bullied and he doesn't fight it - he just gives in and suffers. But instead of feeling low self-esteem, he goes the other way, and starts to feel superior to the rest of his family and most of humanity. And his friend Demian feeds his identity of being special ("the mark of Cain") with his alternate interpretations of what they learn in school together. And I can't see the average reader making much sense out of this book - and I didn't when I first read it in college. Now it's interesting historically as a rare book that uses references to the metaphysical writings of the day, dream interpretation, eastern philosophy, theosophy, White Magic, meditation, unconventional teacher/student relationships in a bare-bones story, set just before World War I. If you stay with it, Hesse does draw different elements of the story together in a "quickening" at the end, which is a relief, even though the book is fairly short. It just wasn't fun following such a self-absorbed character through an entire book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ella | 2/7/2014

    " I regard this book as my introduction to higher-level reading and analysis. In retrospect, I gained so much from Hesse's dense language, but the reading experience itself was thoroughly unenjoyable, and mentally exhausting. I struggled through the translated prose, much of the meaning over my head. This is not a book you read for pleasure; on the contrary, I hope you have a great teacher who is able to enlighten you with Hesse's convoluted message. Also, it might be helpful to do some research on Freud, Jung, and Hesse before you jump into this thick read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Danielle | 2/6/2014

    " I loved this when I started reading, because it really reminded me of my own childhood (which you may find troubling if you've read the book). But the narrative thrust totally unravels as the story becomes nothing more than a thinly veiled prop for an exploration of an idea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniel | 2/4/2014

    " One of my favorites. Hesse writes as a 10 year old boy who has deep experiances that define his life, and makes him born as an individual (apart from family and further influences) to this world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alyce | 1/29/2014

    " One of my favourite! It just ignites something within you! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tsering Tashi Yusea | 1/29/2014

    " Demian is one of Hesse's autobiographical fiction, a story about how a thoughtful young kid grow up, it's a journey of inner world, a process of realization through chains of inner struggle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hao | 1/26/2014

    " I think it was this book that delve into the duality theme that's in so much of Hesse's writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caitlin Rohrbacher | 1/25/2014

    " Not bad, considering it's part of IB curriculum. Got a little too weird for me at the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pouri | 1/17/2014

    " one of my favorites of all time "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gina | 1/11/2014

    " It's definitely a must-read classic for any adolescent reader who has his own defiance and struggles of growing-up. Hermann Hesse brilliantly interrogates the intrapersonal crisis of Emil Sinclair (Hesse's adolescent persona) who encounters a totally antithetic realm to the comfort, wealth and protection of his childhood ever since interacting with a cold-hearted bully, Kromer. Demian is a amazing book for high school students because it depicts the relationships and emotions that closely resemble their own personal experiences (bullying, friendship, embarrassment, sexual awakening, etc) but they are told and reflected by an adult to add its incredible depth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Em | 1/4/2014

    " I am tattooed, that is all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Bentley-Baker | 12/31/2013

    " Best read in conjunction with Jungian therapy, or at least with a knowledge of Hesse's sessions with CGJ. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chauncey Secrist | 12/30/2013

    " At first, I didn't care for this book as much as Hesse's other books. But by the end of it, it really spoke to me, and Hesse's way of merging eastern and western philosophy, his way of relating truths that feel universal (though no truth is universal), came through beautifully. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 p | 12/29/2013

    " So far a little slow but interesting "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 12/29/2013

    " The beginning of my self deconstruction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daphne | 12/23/2013

    " My all time favorite book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pouriya Parsa | 12/20/2013

    " A thoughtfull descriptionn of a catastrophic situation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lefora Williams | 12/19/2013

    " That book is so amazing. You should definetlly go for it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan Hahn | 12/16/2013

    " I read this book while I was on vacation in MI. It was an excellent and sometimes creepy coming of age book that stresses the importance of not following the herd and being true to yourself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aaron Goodier | 12/14/2013

    " I bet you thought Abraxas was just Santana's second album (with the hit song "Oye Como Va") but it turns out it was actually named after something in this book, which I just found out from Wikipedia. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beverly J. | 12/11/2013

    " This was a strange, nonsencial diatribe interspersed with blindly jolts of awareness. I had a really hard time getting through this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shawn | 12/11/2013

    " An interesting book. I read it at the insistence of one of my students at Tufts. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jorge | 12/8/2013

    " it was kinda creepy, but it makes you a better person "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Richard Houchin | 12/4/2013

    " An excellent work for any interested in conceptualizing how ethical views and Nietzschean 'will-to-power' philosophy might look in the real world... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aden Dohn | 12/2/2013

    " Pretty good Hesse, thanks for the copy Jeff :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 11/23/2013

    " The beginning of my self deconstruction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 aida | 10/31/2013

    " what does a teenage suffers from? he doesnt want to be an image of his parents ...but who cares? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniela | 10/21/2013

    " De esos libros que te cambian la vida en la adolescencia :3 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 April | 10/18/2013

    " Interesting, but doesn't really hold a candle to Siddhartha, which is also spiritually themed, but is stunning. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Real Supergirl | 10/7/2013

    " this book changed my life and the way i view people, the world, and spirituality. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 KellyWells | 9/27/2013

    " Hesse tells a wonderful story while questioning our normal thought process. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Perla Martínez | 9/10/2013

    " Good reflection about the human being, the child becoming an adult... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 8/29/2013

    " This is some good shit! Tried to read Steppenwolf and couldnt get thru it, but this one I breezed through on a cross-country train trip... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sheree | 8/16/2013

    " Remains my favorite book of all time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abigail | 8/14/2013

    " Forever one of my favorites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Martindale | 5/24/2013

    " A well written philosophical novel. The philosophy that Hesse expresses in his novels by no means resonates with me, but still I love that he captures so well his deep thought in the form of stories. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ira | 5/13/2013

    " Provocative and strange, this book presents a pretty out-of-the-ordinary way of looking at things. But it's just my second-favorite book based on the Cain and Abel myth (East of Eden), and just my second-favorite Hesse (Siddhartha). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy Looker | 4/9/2013

    " Ok, so I don't think I quite understood the complicated insinuations of this book, or even the book itself really, but I finished it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mark | 3/21/2013

    " This was an interesting books and touches on mysticism, but got dang if it isn't depressing. Beneath the Wheel was the same way. Cheer up, Hermann! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vincent | 3/14/2013

    " Elegant on the surface but roils underneath with Dionysiac passion and madness. This is to become my cynosure, my lodestone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maurice | 3/6/2013

    " This is the book that started me on the path to self improvement, reading it at the age of fifteen changed my life, Demian, and Sinclair a true tale of mystery and evolution, My Favorite Book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mashehu | 2/10/2013

    " Soundtrack: Yppah - Never Mess With Sunday "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Audrey | 2/7/2013

    " Who cares about Demian. What a retard. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fran | 1/16/2013

    " My least favorite of the Hesse installments, but still a wonderful summer read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dusan Milenkovic | 1/7/2013

    " Interesting thoughts and dialogues on religion and life, but didn't really understood the essence of this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim Mallek | 12/30/2012

    " I love this book! I don't know how many times I've read it because I've lost count. Evey time I learn and experience something new with Herman Hesse's ability to dive into existentialism. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrew | 12/5/2012

    " maybe as good as Siddharta, but others are way better "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 10/23/2012

    " the described relationships in this book got me more than the philosophy behind them. hesse has an interesting sense of humans. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ava | 9/16/2012

    " favorite book , favorite auther "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 cras culture | 8/8/2012

    " most of this book is great but i found the ending somewhat crappy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 dead letter office | 8/2/2012

    " i remember a scene that involved the literal beating of a dead horse, but that might have been superimposed by my subconscious after the fact. i half think the horseflogging scene was lifted by my unreliable memory from something dostoevksy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gharonk | 4/28/2012

    " difference from siddharta, hesse's demian is more than just simple journey to the the core of life. he has been searching for a new journey style that have a solid case of beauty - a part of alchemist, a part of y tu mama tambien. he did a great job to bring me down to the whole of the story "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rlschack Schack | 3/12/2012

    " This is my most recent obsession. It is number one on my book list. Describing it will do this brilliant literary piece of work no justice at all. You have to read it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 11/3/2011

    " Un libro que me dejó bastante fría. No lograba conectar con la historia en ningún momento. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jena | 11/2/2011

    " Wow...a TRUE coming of age story. At least it hit very close to home with me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 10/21/2011

    " In my opinion, it is one of the best books of Hesse.

    I have read it in Italian in the 90s. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caitrin | 10/19/2011

    " One of my favorite books of all time. Though it's small, it is not a light read. Hermann Hesse writes beautifully about coming of age and choosing your own life and forming your own ideas, specifically spiritually. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 9/16/2011

    " Hesse always twangs the heart strings..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jazz | 9/2/2011

    " What I learned... to always reflect inward and understand myself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shivanee | 8/31/2011

    " Essential Hesse reading, akin to 'Siddhartha'. This was my fiery 16 year old self's impassioned Bible. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marcos | 8/29/2011

    " Me gustó, pero me falta comprender algunas cosas. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 8/21/2011

    " Introspective, emotional and personal account of a young man growing up from boyhood to a man. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Isis | 8/12/2011

    " One of my favorite books of all time. Just read it again for about the 5th or 6th time and remains powerful. It literally changed my way of thinking when I found it but perhaps I just really needed it at that moment in my life. Maybe it is that moment for you? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 8/11/2011

    " This is still the most influential book in my life, although it is a bit cheesy at times. I have read it at multiple times throughout my life, including once in the original. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 6/16/2011

    " A personal favorite, probably not to everyone's taste. A story of a young man's individuation from a Jungian perspective. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monika | 6/11/2011

    " Incredible - I read Demian sophomore year and loved it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 He-who-must-not-be-named | 5/18/2011

    " You'll hate it for a while but in the end you'll love it. This book sort of reminded me of The Catcher in the Rye even though they are completely different. From beginning to end it is very interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Darla | 5/12/2011

    " ...best book I've ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ivor | 5/9/2011

    " I have been wanting to read this book for awhile now, and it was well worth the wait. Hesse has never failed to impress and inspire me, and Demain was no exception. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 4/23/2011

    " A well written philosophical novel. The philosophy that Hesse expresses in his novels by no means resonates with me, but still I love that he captures so well his deep thought in the form of stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elida | 4/21/2011

    " dark psychology of a young man, deep and intense! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sorousha | 4/19/2011

    " favorite book , favorite auther "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 4/6/2011

    " Alive with the same existential jazz as the prologue to Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man and full of self-discovery, though a bit bogged down by allegorical surrealism. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ivana | 4/2/2011

    " People loved this one when I was in the high school. I just shrugged. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Koonu | 3/29/2011

    " The cult of self. This book is an ode to celebrate individuality and follow one's own voice. Even if the main character does it through others... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 3/28/2011

    " I love this book! I don't know how many times I've read it because I've lost count. Evey time I learn and experience something new with Herman Hesse's ability to dive into existentialism. "

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