This book came into my hands some 20 years ago when I was around 20 and I tried reading it for at least 10 times. The first 100 pages kept me away from the book for a long time and once I was ready for it, once I was a bit more mature, I went into this Hesse's most amazing journey. This was the first book about meditation and spirituality that came into my hands. It had such a profound influence on me that I stayed awake night after night trying to meditate :). Hesse does not use the word 'meditation' and yet he writes about it beautifully. I still come back to it whenever I need inspiration and wisdom.
It is the best reading of our times. I love Hesse and this one is his best.
Try it for yourself and don't get discouraged by the first 50 pages.