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Publisher's Summary

Set in the 23rd century, The Glass Bead Game is the story of Joseph Knecht, who has been raised in Castalia, which has provided for the intellectual elite to grow and flourish. Since childhood, Knecht has been consumed with mastering the Glass Bead Game, which requires a synthesis of aesthetics and scientific arts, such as mathematics, music, logic, and philosophy, which he achieves in adulthood, becoming a Magister Ludi (Master of the Game).
©1990 Hermann Hesse (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By D. Raynal on 10-30-12

One of Mankind's Best Books

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It is not enough to say that this is a GREAT story for it's depth, wisdom and beauty are so evident that each word of Hesse's award winning novel moved me into places that only a true master could so magically conjure. I loved the reader as well and felt that the entire production was perfect. Thanks audible for providing such a service.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Glass Bead Game?

The masterful way in which Hermann Hesse concluded his story. It was pure genius.

Have you listened to any of David Colacci’s other performances before? How does this one compare?


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Too many to mention. But the story of how Knecht sacrificed himself was brilliantly conceived.

Any additional comments?

To me this book has been a favorite of mine for years and each time I read (and in this case listen) I am moved to new levels of just how vulnerable we are as humans and just how beautiful each of us plays out our unique role.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Michael on 01-02-13

Great – but be warned

This is an excellently written book but is much more an exploration of the ideas around the life of the mind than it is a novel. The first part of the book is written as a future history of an individual player of the glass bead game and (like most histories) has rather weak characterization and story. Instead this history is used to explore philosophical ideas around thought and knowledge, belief and religiosity, and education and learning. If you are looking for a light science fiction story, this is not the book for you! If you have read Jung, Nietzsche & Mann you will likely appreciate the allusions to their ideas. If you love German histories and philosophers, you will likely love this book. The last chapter of the book leaves the historical narrative format and is touching. This is followed by the inclusion of three fictional stories written by the fictional protagonist. These are very nice and have the spirit of parables or religious teaching stories. The stories are only linked by their common exploration of the life of the mind. This is a great book, but many a reader may likely wonder what the heck is going on.

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33 of 36 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 11-03-13

An Important Book

Would you consider the audio edition of The Glass Bead Game to be better than the print version?

No, but that's mainly due to the narrator.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Glass Bead Game?

Of course the ending, but I won't spoil it for other listeners. In fact, it's the whole setting of a future where entire provinces are set up with the express purpose of exploring the maximum capabilities of the mind. Makes you wonder what that would bring.

Did David Colacci do a good job differentiating each of the characters? How?

Unfortunately not, his characters all sounded very similar and each was as bombastic and condescending as the other. It's my main complaint about this reading of the book, actually. I believe that it was not the intention at all of Hermann Hesse that his message be delivered in such a tone.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Province of the Mind

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Emma Furr on 05-25-17

stay in the forest

The start was hard going (acedemic and cerebral) but I stuck with it and it was worth it contains deep and clear insights into the human condition in extremely well thought through language. Last story - a coup de grace. A German F Scott Fitzgerald

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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