“Gertrude,” by Herman Hesse

Novel, 1910

A book about a young man and his pursuit of music and love. The universal themes, multi-faceted and gloomy characters, and the determination of the first-person narrator counteract the old-fashioned feel of this book. It’s a compelling read, too, really taking the reader in and building attachment to the story’s twists and turns. A strong example of traditional, engaging writing with much to say, and the type of book which arguably wouldn’t have stood much of a chance of literary or critical success after the First World War. Still, this is a really excellent character and love story which pulls a few punches here and there, and holds the reader to the end.

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