Hesse is a genius -- go read his stuff! His writing is by no means light reading. Very deep and mysterious. This book, in particular -- magical and supernatural and profound. It was slow getting through the first third of the book, but after that I flew right threw it. The first part is a little boring -- but that's because the protagonist is boring at the beginning, and that's part of the point. (Don't give up!) The book then blossoms into a beautiful, vivid exploration of the senses and a visit to the strange and mysterious "magical theater" -- which contains some of the most beautiful and poignant scenes i've read in all of literature. Hesse has incredible insight into the complexity of mankind and has an amazing, profound wisdom of life and truth.
The book is basically about a man who is trapped in the personality he has created for himself, in the small, confined, grey world he has created, and how he learns to break free from those, to free himself from the restriction of the illusion of a singular soul, as each person is comprised of many souls. ("Man is an onion made up of a hundred integuments, a texture made up of many threads").
Harry experiences many strange encounters, including his visit to the "magial theater" in which he relives all the possibilities of love, engages in war, and meets Mozart, who, laughing ridiculously (I wouldn't have him depicted any other way), shares with Harry some of his Immortal wisdom, teaches him to laugh instead of taking himself so seriously.
Anyhow... go read this. You will never see the life the same way again.