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Extended Audio Sample Narcissus and Goldmund Audiobook, 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 (15,731 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Hermann Hesse Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2009 ISBN: 9781482978544
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Narcissus and Goldmund is the story of a passionate yet uneasy friendship between two men of opposite character. Narcissus, an ascetic instructor at a cloister school, has devoted himself solely to scholarly and spiritual pursuits. One of his students is the sensual, restless Goldmund, who is immediately drawn to his teacher’s fierce intellect and sense of discipline. When Narcissus persuades the young student that he is not meant for a life of self-denial, Goldmund sets off in pursuit of aesthetic and physical pleasures, a path that leads him to a final, unexpected reunion with Narcissus.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A poetic novel unique in its fascination.”

    Thomas Mann, author and Nobel Laureate

  • Narcissus and Goldmund is [Hesse’s] very best...What makes this short book so limitlessly vast is the body-and-soul-shaking debate that runs through it, which it has the honesty and courage not to resolve: between the flesh and spirit, art and scientific or religious speculation, action and contemplation, between the wayfaring and the sedentary in us.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Hesse’s style is lively and engaging, rich in human sympathy, imagination, and ironic humor.”

    The Reader’s Encyclopedia

  • Narcissus and Goldmund is a surrealistic work set in the Middle Ages.”

    The Oxford Companion to English Literature

  • “One of the most profound and magical novels published in our age.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Awet Moges | 2/14/2014

    " Great novel about two young men who have nothing in common (one is an intellectual who deals in the abstract and the other is a sensuous & sensitive charmer who deals in pleasure) except a strong friendship after living in a monastery. Story follows the sensuous character, naturally, the more interesting and fun one as he encounters trials and tribulations as a wander. However, it seems less about the duality of man, which I was looking forwards to, and more of a coming of age story. Well done nonetheless, but I would rank it behind Hesse's other books (Siddhartha & Steppenwolf) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Akash | 1/30/2014

    " This is one of my all time favorite novels. The major theme presented by Hesse is the duality of man and the constant struggle for self realization that man undergoes. The plot is engaging and moves swiftly through the lives of its two protagonists, the names of whom I am forgetting. An artist roaming wildly through the world, loves passionately, makes mistakes and abscond's only to find his faithful friends from youth, who had chosen a quiet cloister life which was not free from its own hazards. "

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

    " Fantastic and important for me to read. I hope to return to this book again and again in the future and gain new insights on each visit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katherine | 1/28/2014

    " i'm not afraid to admit that i hated the first two-thirds of this book. the ending had me tearing up on the beach. and yes, i was reading hesse on the beach. "

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

    " One of the more rarified comparisons I've ever heard between myself and a fictional character was when a friend compared me to Narcissus. Usually, I hear Walter from The Big Lebowski. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Scott Cooperstein | 1/20/2014

    " I would give so much to have one conversation with Hermann Hesse. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tia | 1/3/2014

    " Ugh. A repulsively boring novel. A lot of sturm und drang over nothing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alison | 1/2/2014

    " i got this book from a table on the streets partly because of the inscription. it wished the compatriot a journey on which they find their own balance between naricssus and goldmund. may everyone else find the same. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 12/8/2013

    " While it is no 'Steppenwolf' filled with magical breaks, this books is a good story of self-realization and enlightenment without being too overdone. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Siobhan | 12/7/2013

    " it just goes to show that two sides of the coin are not opposite at all, simply complimentary. you like that? i just came up with it this afternoon. you can borrow it if you like, no credit necessary. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Augustine George | 12/1/2013

    " Hesse's magic woven into this wonderful book.. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Yznn | 10/8/2013

    " Quite simply one of the best novels ever written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darren | 9/23/2013

    " epitome of Hesse-ian obviousness. 3 stars "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathy Scholtens | 8/20/2013

    " This book touched me, two men so different, sharing a platonic love that hurts and heals them both. I re-read it every few years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aleem | 6/11/2013

    " A simple book about two very different men who are friends - that's all it's about - and it's great. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jocelyne Couturier | 6/11/2013

    " Hesse chose to portrait two characters at the extreme poles of philosophical characteristics......Only in chapter 18 does he redeem himself in his dissertation. There are also some very misogynistic undertones throughout the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 -=zachary=- | 6/3/2013

    " I loved this. Some seriously profound commentary on art and living. Lots of discussion of classic dichotomies (thinking/feeling in particular, one I've always been fascinated with). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Earl Jane Grey | 2/24/2013

    " Loved every moment of this novel, classic Hesse! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicolas | 10/15/2012

    " My favorite of all of Hesse's book. If you haven't read it, please do! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andy Manjuck | 6/1/2012

    " I learned the importance of the journey. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aram Lee | 5/5/2012

    " I read this book in my first grade of high school. I felt a little bit hard. However, Hermann Hesse, his writing just came to me. This two type of people made me think about many things....I want to read it again! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tania | 2/8/2012

    " Probably my all time favorite book, probably because of Goldmund's hedonistic ways- which were fun to read about. It's not 'til recently that I realize he truly found peace at the end and didn't "give up". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kurt | 8/4/2011

    " The storyline doesn't turn the pages, but Hesse once again philosophies as a poet, even in translation. This is an excellent read for anyone caught in debate between the humanities and sciences, physical and spiritual. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie | 5/16/2011

    " Mr. Mims introduced me to this as a junior in high school. It's very sensual. I reread it a couple of times in my 20's and 30's. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heleni | 5/8/2011

    " Hesse is just not my cup of tea. "

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

    " Hermann Hesse, as always, speaks directly to the soul with minimal effort. He understands the characters in depth and he is not afraid to share his findings with the readers. Once you start this book, you won't be able to put it down, so make sure you have enough free time. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kara | 4/18/2011

    " God, it's the best one! Also probably his most accessible. It actually reminded me of something Paulo Coelho might have written. Do it up people, do it up. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diana | 4/4/2011

    " Koncala po tistem, ko je ubil Viktorja. Res všec mi je bil samo odnos Narcis-Zlatoust, obrobne zgodbe zelo odvecne.
    Bored my brains out with this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joao | 3/8/2011

    " Provavelmente o melhor romance de H. Hess "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hollygolightly | 2/25/2011

    " Letto al liceo, nel periodo dell'esaltazione hessiana.
    Mi era piaciuto da matti, ma probabilmente se lo rileggessi oggi non avrei la stessa reazione. "

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About the Author
Author Hermann Hesse

Hermann Hesse (1877–1962) was born in Germany and later became a citizen of Switzerland. As a Western man profoundly affected by the mysticism of Eastern thought, he wrote many novels, stories, and essays that bear a vital spiritual force that has captured many generations of readers. In 1946 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.