The Pequod Review:
Hesse’s classic work is a short fable with a simple message: “Wisdom cannot be imparted. Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart always sounds like foolishness to someone else... Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. One can find it, live it, do wonders through it, but one cannot communicate and teach it.” It’s a useful and important message — a bit of a hybrid of Buddhism and Western individualism — but Hesse expresses it too crudely and in overly-mannered prose.