Siddhartha: A handsome and intelligent noble young man named Siddhartha has everything that people long for. But he gives up all and goes on a journey of self-discovery. He listens to Gotama’s lectures in Sāvatthi. In a big city, Siddhartha becomes a rich businessman; he meets the courtesan Kamala, and falls in love with her. However, the more he enjoys sensual pleasure, the more he despises himself. At last, he abandons all the secular things, goes to the river and attempts to end his life. At that moment, he hears the sound of River of Life… Siddhartha has looked for the truth all his life, and finally knows that everything is connected and unbreakable. He immerses himself in Eternity.
Actor Ansdell guides listeners in his firm and gentle voice through Hesse's lyrical prose depicting the self-discovery journey of his protagonist, Siddhartha. Ansdell's pacing and English accent give his reading for the audiobook an air of philosopher's wisdom. Ansdell is especially good at pauses and inflections that express Siddhartha's moods of exaltation and utter despair at various points in his life as a young Brahman, an ascetic, a lover, businessman, and then as a father and elderly recluse who sits by the river and finally experiences the peace and tranquility he has always sought. Published in German in 1922 and in English in 1951, the revival of Hesse's novel in this era of widespread interest in Eastern religions offers Ansdell a vehicle for his diverse narrative talents.