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Steppenwolf
 
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Hermann Hesse
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Steppenwolf

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  72,254 ratings  ·  1,984 reviews
"Steppenwolf" is a poetical self-portrait of a man who felt himself to be half-human & half-wolf. This Faust-like & magical story is evidence of Hesse's searching philosophy & extraordinary sense of humanity as he tells of the humanization of a middle-aged misanthrope. Yet this novel can also be seen as a plea for rigorous self-examination & an indictment o ...more
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Published 1969 by Bantam (first published 1927)
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Rajat Ubhaykar
I read this book on a twenty four hour train journey surrounded by the bourgeois. It was a terrifying experience. The book didn't change my life and was not meant to, but it gave me hope and hope is always a good thing.

The influence of Indian spirituality on this book is apparent, but Hesse chooses to dissect it using the prism of Western pessimism. He talks about the multiplicity of the self and the infinite potential associated with it, how we often choose to attach fanciful restrictions to t
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
This novel:

1. Initially reminded me very much of my own mental imbalances.

2. Started to make me feel like I'd been had, and that it was, in fact, just pretentious, overly self-aware "me me me" wackoff shite.

3. Redeemed itself (AND THE NARRATOR!) in the end with its exploration of drug-induced Jungian dreamscapes and subconscious mental states.

4. Successfully summoned that strange emotion that I like to call "happysad."

5. Did not change my life forever, but did act like aloe on a sunburn for my
...more
Jenn(ifer)
Um. What the? What?

What the hell did I just read?

First third, BRILLIANT -- one of the most interesting bits of philosophical fiction I've ever read. Seriously. I was completely enthralled. Second third -- hard to believe that two people would ever actually have conversations such as these, but still engaging. Third third -- what the F*CK? No, really, what the f*ck? It was some sort of crazy funhouse reality blurring, whacked out Kubrick film. I don't know if I liked it or I hated it. My brain i
...more
Erin
May 25, 2010 Erin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erin by: self
Who am I?
Am I a hedonistic, drug using, sex-obsessed creature of the night, or am I a polite bourgeoise academic who does nothing but sit in my study-with clean floors-and read all day?
Can one be both?
I've been something of both, like the main character in this book.
The final message is that nothing matters, so we should all stop worrying about trying to find meaning or integrating the different parts of our personalities. Instead, we should just laugh our asses off! There's also a theme of lon
...more
sologdin
Likely the dumbest Important Book that I've read.

Yeah, it's cool that the narrator thinks he's a werewolf, but is really just a recluse pseudo-academic--and then reads a manuscript that describes fake werewolves and outs them as poseurs.

Cool, also, that the preface, by the manuscript's fictional finder and publisher, records the impression that the horrors of the middle ages were non-existent: "A man of the Middle Ages would detest the whole mode of our present day life as something far more th
...more
Glenn Russell
Magic is usually not the subject of literary novels, even less so when magic involves hallucinogens, visions, dreams, and phantasmagoria. Many literary novels are page-turners, filled with a compelling, straightforward storyline and lots of action; think of Our Mutual Friend and Crime and Punishment, think of Heart of Darkness and No Country for Old Men, or novels like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Hermann Hesse's novel Steppenwolf is a work of a completel ...more
Dan Schwent
Harry Haller fights a battle ever day against his animalistic nature, the Steppenwolf, the thing keeping him from fitting in with society. Will he conquer the Steppenwolf before it drives him to suicide?

I'd toyed with the idea of paraphrasing the opening of the 1970's Incredible Hulk TV show but it felt disrespectful to a book of this power. Steppenwolf is one of the more thought-provoking books I've ever read. I lost count of the number of times I stopped and pondered my own Steppenwolfishness.
...more
Kirstie
Dec 25, 2007 Kirstie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in the complexity of life
I've read a few of Hesse's novels and I keep coming back to Steppenwolf time and time again. It's not as if books like Demian and Beneath the Wheel aren't worthwhile, either. It's just that there is something so grabbing and memorable about Steppenwolf. I was truly changed after I read this and I can't really say that for the majority of the books I've read.

One thing I think Hesse was obsessed with a little is the duality of life-the light and the dark side. Steppenwolf takes you to some dark ca
...more
Peter McEllhenney
Now that I’ve reached middle age, I thought it was time to revisit that classic of earnest adolescent angst (despite the fact the novel’s hero is nearly 50 years old), Hermann Hesse’ Steppenwolf.

I found the early sections of the book dull, flat, pretentious, and swimming in its own vanity. But the later sections corrected some of these faults, and made the book interesting and worth reading overall.

My main problem with the early parts of Steppenwolf is that the novel is constantly tells us how f
...more
Ian Klappenskoff
Half Bourgeois/Half Wolf

"Steppenwolf" starts with a fascinating 20 page preface that places a more conventional perspective on the rest of the novel (which is quite radical, if not exactly nihilist).

The unnamed first person narrator could be one of us. He purports to be "a middle class man, living a regular life, fond of work and punctuality, [as well as] an abstainer and non-smoker."

He gets to know the Steppenwolf, Harry Haller, while they both rent furnished rooms in his aunt's apartment.

He fi
...more
Kaya
It's 3.5 stars, actually. Ugh, will Goodreads ever add half star rating?

“You are willing to die, you coward, but not to live.”

It's good book, but I don't think it could have the same influence as it had 50 years ago. The first half is better than the second one, which is quite messy and confusing. I'm not sure what message Hesse was trying to send to us. He was extremely contradicted at times.

Harry is 47 years old, has few friends and those bonds are mostly platonic. Even with Hermine. He i
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Owlseyes

Personality should be integral, some psychoanalysts suggest.



Here we have an old, solitary and independent man ruminating upon his self, or his selves; a part human, and another one wolf-like.


-Is he alienated? Is it a midlife crisis? An existential one? Do those parts cooperate with each other? Or, are they set apart, conflicting?



He just had a normal, gently-killing-time day. This is how the book introduces us to this character. One hot bath, some breathing exercises, some meditation,…old-boo
...more
David
Harry Haller believes he is a wolf inside, a wolf of the Steppes. Unable to reconcile his human half with his wolf nature, he stumbles around town searching for meaning and his own identity. He meets a beautiful siren who demands his obedience and introduces him to a counterculture full of musicians and mistresses and other social outsiders, leading eventually to a Magic Theater where he enters a hallucinatory dreamworld and confronts himself.

What a lot of highbrow wangsting. Okay, Hermann Hesse
...more
Tim
So I think if this book captures you in the first few pages it's for you. Otherwise it's a 100 page slog until something, anything happens. There were some vignettes in the last 10 pages that were especially good. I realize that the truths this book espouses are not obvious to some people, but it was not particularly profound for me. It was like spending an evening with an especially irritating hipster as he gradually realizes that life isn't as crap as he thought.
But there is much discussion of
...more
Darwin8u
There is this bourgeoisie period in every man's life. This midpoint between birth and death where man is trapped alone. Unable to exist in hot or cold of the absolutes he tries to find his way between the extremes in the comfortable center. Fearing life and death, he just exists ... barely. This is not a novel for the young. Just like it is better to save King Lear for late in one's life, it is better to save Steppenwolf for those crisis years of the midlife.

Hesse's novels seem to flirt between
...more
MJ Nicholls
COMING SOON: THE STEPPENWOLF CARD RANGE.

MEANTIME PLEASE PERUSE OUR CATALOGUE:

#1 VENICE RANGE

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#2 BEE RANGE

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#3 DANNY BAKER RANGE

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#4 POPE RANGE

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William1
The novel starts well with a preface by the young man of the house where the Steppenwolf (Harry Haller) is lodging, but then bogs down in a long disquisition on Harry's suffering called "The Treatise on the Steppenwolf." I found these pages turgid and thought they might easily be skipped. It's not until Harry enters a dance hall around page 95 that we meet Hermine, who becomes a matriarchal-figure for him; Maria, who becomes his lover; and Pablo, the impresario who leads the band and become's Ha ...more
Caris
My best friend left this book at my house just before he left for the Peace Corps. That was almost two years ago. He'll be coming back from Mali at the end of the summer. I'd been thinking about him a lot, so I decided to read something he's read, to get into his head for a few hours. Before he left, we almost got the cover of this book tattooed on ourselves. Each of us would've gotten half, sort of like one of those friendship pendants little girls used to wear, only with blood and needles.

I do
...more
Мая
Искам първо да кажа няколко думи за езика. Езикът в тази книга е нещото, което ме прикова към страниците й като към спасителен пояс. Спасителният пояс в морето от чудовищните истини, които са описани в нея.
Преводът е убийствено добър. Думите се леят в един неспирен поток от красота, която обаче леко нагарча.

Излишно е да казвам, че се асоциирам донякъде с главния герой в тази книга. Иначе нямаше да ми подейства по начина, по който го направи. Отрази ми се така, че дори не знам защо изобщо пиша
...more
Teresa

"Só para alienados"

Não consigo...
Esta é a segunda vez que tento ler um livro de Hermann Hesse, e desisto a menos de metade.
Que me perdoem os apreciadores do autor, mas tenho a sensação de estar a ler um livro de auto ajuda, os quais me aborrecem mortalmente...
Estou um pouco aborrecida comigo mesma, por esta incapacidade de me interessar pelo que Hermann Hesse pretende transmitir, mas, logo, logo me perdoarei...
Seth
An English translation of my bilingual review appears below.

Ich habe Hermann Hesses Meisterwerk endlich gelesen. In den sechziger Jahren war gerade dieser anti-Kriegsroman sehr beliebt in den USA, als viele gegen den Krieg in Vietnam protestierten. Hesse nimmt klar Stellung gegen die Vorbereitungen auf einen zweiten Weltkrieg. Er verdammt die deutschen Politiker, Generäle, und Industriellen, die einen neuen, alles zerstörenden Krieg heraufbeschwören. Der Steppenwolf ist das Ergebnis von Hesses m
...more
Carlo
***WARNING*** for those looking for a serious review, please ignore the writings inside the parentheses (and visit us again)


I was told about this book in a course on Existentialism. I recently became more and more interested in that school of thought, especially with its emphasis on personal experience and what I as a human am experiencing in first person (can anybody experience ANYTHING in second person?), as opposed to what I should experience or what I’m experiencing from an ‘objective’ point
...more
Jasmine
4.5 stars. Ich besuchte vor vielen Jahren Hesses Grab in Montagnola, las einen Teil seiner Tessiner Geschichten und ein paar Gedichte – doch bis jetzt habe ich nie einen Roman von ihm gelesen. Und das ist wahrscheinlich gut so. Denn hätte ich Hesses “Der Steppenwolf” in meinen Zwanzigern gelesen, mein Urteil über dieses Buch wäre wohl um einiges schlechter ausgefallen. Die Zeitlosigkeit dieser Erzählung ermöglicht es, mich rund 90 Jahre später als Frau mittleren Alters in die Gefühlswelt des Har ...more
Nikki
I don't know if anyone else has this, but when I graduated with my English lit degree I thought, right. I've done it. I have in my hands the key to any text, anywhere, and damn it I will appreciate every text for something about it, whether it be the brilliance of the writing or the social context or just having fun ripping it apart. And then I got onto my MA and discovered I was wrong, of course, that I could still find any given book stultifyingly boring regardless of any merit I tried to find ...more
Erik Graff
Jun 20, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: persons planning to be middle-aged men
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
I read Steppenwolf after beginning the study of C.G. Jung, the fellow Swiss who had been Hesse's friend since the psychotic break experienced by his wife in the teens. Consequently, it was apparent that Hermine represented more an aspect of Harry Haller's psyche than an actual person. In Jung's terms, she's the anima, the feminine side of his soul and her death represents more the integration of that side than it does a real murder. To take the analogy further, the Steppenwolf is what Jung would ...more
Quân Khuê
Nhân vật chính gần 50 tuổi, nhưng sách có lẽ phù hợp với những người tầm 20 tuổi hơn. Mình thì qua cái thời dằn vặt đi tìm bản ngã rồi nên thấy đọc hơi boring. Hesse là một ví dụ rõ của loại nhà văn mà Pamuk dán nhãn là "vẫn yêu mến nhưng không còn có ích cho tôi". Pamuk gán cái nhãn ấy cho Camus và vài người nữa. Hesse, đến giai đoạn này, đối với mình là thế.
Ali Almatrood
روايةٌ عميقةٌ جدًا..
ذئب البوادي هي عبارة عن رؤية نفسيّة عميقة جدًا، حيث يقوم هيرمان هيسه بتحليلٍ نفسيّ للمثقّف المكتئب، والسوداوي في تلك المرحلة..
حيث أنّه يحلّل تحليلًا عميقًا، أقرب لكونِه تحليل عالم نفسٍ متخصّص، إلّا أنّ ذلك بقالبٍ روائيّ جميلٍ، ليس من السهل أن يصفه أيّ روائي..
ذئب البوادي تتحدّث عن الإنسان المثقّف الذي ينتمي إلى الإنسانيّة فقط، والذي يقف ضدّ التيّار في ذلك العالم الذي كان يحبّذ القوة، ويحبّذ الانتصارات على الأعداء، كانت هنالك حروب أم لم تكن، حيث أنّ "ذئب البوادي" كان هو ذلك ا
...more
Liam
Sep 02, 2011 Liam rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: David Lynch fans
Recommended to Liam by: "What, like 'Born To Be Wild'"?
This is book with complex qualities. The narrative tricks you into sympathising with feelings that it later tears down as navel-gazing pomposity, and once it's built a feeling of optimism in you it continues to makes you feel deluded for your credulity.

It's a carefully structured story, claiming to be a manuscript left unpublished by an unemployed lodger; the retired, divorced scholar, Henry Haller. It is prefaced by the account of the son of the houseowner, who presents a vague picture of a ma
...more
Aubrey
4.5/5

It's fitting that I read The Razor's Edge right before this one. Both books are concerned with the innate unhappiness many suffer, trapped between thoughts of life and simply living. Steppenwolf focuses on a single person rather than many, and blows up this one man's psyche to an enormous extent, in order to fully illustrate the battle taking place within him.

I have to say, I sympathized enormously with this character, although I think one has to if they hope to like the book. Otherwise yo
...more
Leila Ismail
This book really spoke to me - it examines the two sides of human nature - uninhibited primal urges and intellectual human endeavour... Hesse himself was torn between the two (and also examines this in Narziss and Goldmund) - at once loathing himself for succumbing to lust and hedonism, and at the same time deriding himself and others for intellectual snobbery and emotional aloofness. It is a novel about not belonging - feeling alone even whilst in a crowd - which is something we have all experi ...more
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Hermann Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize in Literature. His best known works include Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game (also known as Magister Ludi) which explore an individual's search for spirituality outside society.

In his time, Hesse was a popular and influential author in the German-speaking world; worldwide fame only ca
...more
More about Hermann Hesse...
Siddhartha Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend Narcissus and Goldmund The Glass Bead Game Beneath the Wheel

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“You are willing to die, you coward, but not to live.” 416 likes
“Solitude is independence. It had been my wish and with the years I had attained it. It was cold. Oh, cold enough! But it was also still, wonderfully still and vast like the cold stillness of space in which the stars revolve.” 391 likes
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