Perhaps Hermann Hesse's most influential and acclaimed work, Siddhartha is a Nobel Prize-winning work originally published in 1922. The protagonist for whom the book is named lives with his father in ancient India and by all accounts is a faithful and devout son. However, he finds himself "going through the motions" so to speak and longs for a deeper meaning and purpose. One day, as he is traveling, Samanas passes through town preaching the enlightenment of asceticism, a rejection of physical desire. Siddhartha and his best friend, Govinda, against Siddhartha's father's wishes, join the Samanas to see what they can learn from them. Siddhartha struggles to make peace with his new lifestyle and eventually leaves Govinda in search of true spiritual enlightenment. A tale of friendship and self-understanding, Siddhartha is considered one of the most thought-provoking works of all time.