Siddhartha is a novel by Hermann Hesse that deals with the spiritual journey of a boy known as Siddhartha from the Indian subcontinent during the time of the Buddha.
The story begins as Siddhartha, the son of a Brahmin, leaves his home to join the ascetics with his companion Govinda. The two set out in the search of enlightenment.
Siddhartha goes from asceticism, to a very worldly life as a trader with a lover, and back to asceticism as he attempts to achieve this goal.
The story takes place in ancient India around the time of Gautama Buddha (likely between the fourth and seventh centuries BC).
Experience is the aggregate of conscious events experienced by a human in life – it connotes participation, learning and knowledge. Understanding is comprehension and internalization. In Hesse’s novel Siddhartha, experience is shown as the best way to approach understanding of reality and attain enlightenment – Hesse’s crafting of Siddhartha’s journey shows that understanding is attained not through scholastic, mind-dependent methods, nor through immersing oneself in the carnal pleasures of the world and the accompanying pain of samsara; however, it is the totality of these experiences that allow Siddhartha to attain understanding.
Thus, the individual events are meaningless when considered by themselves—Siddhartha’s stay with the samanas and his immersion in the worlds of love and business do not lead to nirvana, yet they cannot be considered distractions, for every action and event that is undertaken and happens to Siddhartha helps him to achieve understanding. The sum of these events is thus experience.
Siddhartha (novel) - info on wiki
also an online book and there was also a movie
Steppenwolf (orig. German Der Steppenwolf) is the tenth novel by German-Swiss author Hermann Hesse. Originally published in Germany in 1927, it was first translated into English in 1929. Combining autobiographical and fantastic elements, the novel was named after the lonesome wolf of the steppes. The story in large part reflects a profound crisis in Hesse's spiritual world in the 1920s while memorably portraying the protagonist's split between his humanity, and his wolf-like aggression and homelessness. The novel became an international success, although Hesse would later claim that the book was largely misunderstood.
Steppenwolf - info on wiki
there was also a movie, didn't saw it. Here a trailer: the magic theatre - for mad man only and a illustrated screenplay on american-buddha.com