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Steppenwolf

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4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  79,202 Ratings  ·  2,204 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
Paperback, 22nd Penguin printing, 248 pages
Published 1978 by Bantam Books (first published 1927)
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Annie not specifically that I know of, but she did say once that she "collected names." I've run across names from her books in books from Agatha Christie…morenot specifically that I know of, but she did say once that she "collected names." I've run across names from her books in books from Agatha Christie to Dickens. And it is obvious from her books that she is very well read and knowledgeable about literature. It wouldn't surprise me at all to find she had read Steppenwolfe.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
May 19, 2010 Paquita Maria Sanchez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
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
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Erin
May 25, 2010 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  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
May 28, 2012 sologdin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, literary
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
Sep 08, 2014 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
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 it was amazing  ·  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
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Ian Gabogovinanana
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
Afshar
Oct 18, 2015 Afshar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
آنچه برای شخص من جنبه لذت اشراق و تعالی دارد چیزی است که مردم دنیا حداکثر آنرا درعالم ادبیات می جویند و دوست دارند، ولی درصحنه زندگی آنرا چیزی دیوانه وار تلقی می کنند
و در واقع اگر حق با دنیا باشد، اگر حق با این موسیقی کافه ای، با این کِیف های دسته جمعی، با این مردم آمریکائی مآب کم ادعای قانع زود خرسند باشد، پس من دیوانه هستم، پس من واقعا همان گرگ بیابانی هستم که به خود لقب داده ام، حیوانی هستم که در دنیایی غریبه و نامفهوم راه گم کرده ام، حیوانی که به خانه و کاشانه، هوای مورد احتیاج وغذای خود دی
...more
Darwin8u
Nov 18, 2015 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“There are always a few such people who demand the utmost of life and yet cannot come to terms with its stupidity and crudeness.”
― Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

description

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 i
...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
Parthiban Sekar
“Life is not an epic poem with heroic roles”

But full of sheep and wolves, forming the human life. These wolves are not “Born to be wild”, but alienated for their hunger to find the meaning in everything. For the sake of argument, I am going to singularize the pack of wolves to a single, certain wolf - STEPPENWOLF. And you are allowed to assume any arbitrary number of sheep and if required, a mama sheep can be also brought in for contentment and coziness. Well, Isn’t this how the stories have be
...more
Andrei Tamaş
Jan 25, 2016 Andrei Tamaş rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Recomand acest roman tuturor celor care vor să descopere infernul dinlăuntrul lor.
Mi-am propus de foarte multe ori să scriu o recenzie asupra romanului "Lupul de stepă" de Hesse. Mă obseda însă ideea că nu aș fi capabil, că nu aș putea spune tot ce aș vrea să spun, că n-aș găsi cuvintele necesare pentru a descrie această carte. Ieșind din aura ei și scriind DESPRE ea, mi-e frică de faptul că o să-i ciopârțesc valoarea (nu sunt deloc un bun sculptor).
Poate cuvintele mele de mai sus nu înseamnă n
...more
Owlseyes
Jan 20, 2016 Owlseyes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german-lit, madness

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-book
...more
Lyn
Aug 18, 2015 Lyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kurt Vonnegut, one of my literary heroes, said of Hermann Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf that is was “the most profound book about homesickness ever written”. Vonnegut also went on to describe how Hesse speaks to young readers, how he speaks to the essence of youth and offers hope.

Like many readers, I first encountered Hesse as a young person, for me it was when I was in high school. Hesse’s illustration of isolation and being misunderstood spoke to me as a youth, as I imagine it has for many young p
...more
Kaya
May 08, 2015 Kaya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
C. DuBois
Jan 31, 2016 C. DuBois rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite-books
<3 <3 Review video to follow
Vasileios
http://dreamersandco.com/2015/09/%CE%...

Ο λύκος της στέπας του Έρμαν Έσσε (εκδόσεις Μίνωας, 2014) είναι ένα από τα πιο ιδιαίτερα και σπουδαία μυθιστορήματα που έχουν γραφτεί ποτέ. Μια κριτική στον δυτικό τρόπο ζωής που στιγμάτισε τη σύγχρονη λογοτεχνία και έδωσε στον συγγραφέα παγκόσμια αναγνώριση. Ο Χάρρυ, κεντρικός χαρακτήρας του βιβλίου ζει ακροβατώντας στις δύο φύσεις του, να είναι από τη μία στοργικός και ευαίσθητος, και θέλει να απολαύσει τη ζωή, ενώ από την άλλη να είναι ο «λύκος» Χάρρυ·α
...more
Tim
Oct 21, 2008 Tim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Junta
Feb 10, 2016 Junta is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Junta by: The Glass Bead Game, Florencia's review
Shelves: german, translated, swiss

One of the tabletop (board/card) games I've played the most over the last couple of years (probably over 100 times) is One Night Ultimate Werewolf, which is in the category of social deduction games. Some of you may be familiar with Mafia, the pioneer game in the field conceived in the 80's. In the Werewolf versions that are popular nowadays, each person is dealt one character card at the beginning, which assigns them a role as either one of the Werewolves, or a character on the Villagers side.
...more
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
MJ Nicholls
COMING SOON: THE STEPPENWOLF CARD RANGE.

MEANTIME PLEASE PERUSE OUR CATALOGUE:

#1 VENICE RANGE

description

#2 BEE RANGE

description

#3 DANNY BAKER RANGE

description

#4 POPE RANGE

description
Jeremy
Jul 31, 2015 Jeremy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
TREATISE ON THE STEPPENWOLF


Every age, every culture, every custom and tradition has its own character, its own weakness and its own strength, its beauties and cruelties; it accepts certain sufferings as matters of course, puts up patiently with certain evils.


There were times, my friends, that I thought I was the Steppenwolf. Then there were times I did not. But that is perfectly within the character of the thing. Hesse gives you multiplicity in spades, and keeps stepping off into further steppes
...more
حسين إسماعيل
سأعود لها حتمًا حين أقارب الخمسين؛ قراءة واحدة لعمل حول فلسفة الحياة (وفي هذا العمر) لا تكفي. وعلى الرغم من كلّ ما أبهرني فيها إلا أنني متيقّن أنني لم أبلغ نصف ما أراده هيسه.

صراع الهويّة شدّني أكثر من اللازم، وتعلقت بكل صفحة كان هاري (البطل الرئيسي) يناضل فيها محاولًا فهم ذاته على الرغم من أنني شعرتُ أنّ الكاتب أعاد ذكر العديد من الأبعاد بلا داعٍ. كان هناك كثيرٌ من الأمور التي لم تكن واضحة بالنسبة لي، خصوصًا حين يتمازج الواقع مع خيال هاري، ولا أعلمُ إن كان ما يراه أحيانًا طيف ذكرى حقيقية أم مجرد
...more
MissSugarTown
Sep 04, 2015 MissSugarTown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Une œuvre de réflexion sur l'existence et son contraire, sur la personnalité et l'humour... Difficile à résumer en quelques mots, c'est sûr. Pourquoi pas un 5/5 ? Parce que j'ai décroché pendant quelques pages avec Mozart.
Víctor Galán
Nov 21, 2015 Víctor Galán rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Muy probablemente, la obra maestra de su autor y una de las novelas filosóficas más importantes del siglo veinte, donde se muestra la incapacidad que sufrieron algunos ciudadanos europeos para adaptarse a la gran cantidad de cambios acaecidos en occidente (casi todos ellos de carácter tecnológico, social y económico) durante los llamados "felices años veinte", empezando por la poca cabida que tenía la espiritualidad en un mundo que empezaba a ser gobernado por el consumismo, el hedonismo y la su ...more
Seth
Dec 29, 2014 Seth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Caris
May 24, 2009 Caris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
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
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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
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“You are willing to die, you coward, but not to live.” 461 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.” 453 likes
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