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The Glass Bead Game, for which Hesse won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1946, is the author’s last and crowning achievement, the most imaginative and prophetic of all his novels. Setting the story in the distant postapocalyptic future, Hesse tells of an elite cult of intellectuals who play an elaborate game that uses all the cultural and scientific knowledge of the Ages. The Glass Bead Game is a fascinating tale of the complexity of modern life as well as a classic of modern literature.

This edition features a Foreword by Theodore Ziolkowski that places the book in the full context of Hesse’s thought.

Book Reviews

The Glass Bead Game
Average rating
3.8 / 5
A masterpiece? Really?
August 19th, 2013
Now that I have finally read this book after intending to do so for over forty years, I am really disappointed. The Glass Bead Game is hailed as Hesse's masterpiece; indeed, the chief reason that he won the Nobel Prize. Really? I have to say that I found the novel pretentious in tone yet shallow in concept, overwrought yet vapid, and exhaustingly long yet artistically lazy.
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