Herman Hesse wrote Siddartha. The central message that Siddhartha learns is that experience, rather than avoiding certain things in the “real world”, leads to understanding;
rather than desires and belongings being a distraction, they are as important to our perception of the world as all other actions and thought.
Siddartha fulfilled his desires en-route to spiritual nirvana, proving that there is more than one way to skin Buddha's cat.
I've read a couple of books by Herman Hesse, Steppenwolf and The Glass Bead Game, and got a sense of his idea of Buddhism, but he was a novelist.
This is from the Dhammapada:
And yet it is not good conduct
That helps you upon the way
Nor ritual, nor book learning,
Nor withdrawal into the self,
Nor deep meditations.
None of these things confers mastery or joy.
Rely on nothing
Until you want nothing.