Celeste's Reviews > Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
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Jun 25, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: all-time-favorites
Read in October, 2009

I read the Steppenwolf at a very important time in my life: I was just discovering psychology (which I've since chosen as my career) and was dealing with a lot of personal issues (read: individuating). That being said, I'm pretty ambivalent about this book.
The writing, language usage, and metaphor is absolutely fantastic. There are some beautiful allegories that grow throughout the book until the lines are blurred between reality and fiction and magical realism blooms into fruition. I've heard people call The Steppenwolf the "grown-up Catcher in the Rye" and as much as I hate that book I can't dispute that description. The book is pretty melodramatic and when the main character gets himself kicked out of a nice party for condemning people about their bust of Goethe (it doesn't look like how he imagined Goethe - what a dick) you'll have a hard time liking him.
But ultimately, that's the point of the book. The characters - including one that could be described as one of the first depictions of the Manic Pixie Dream Girl archetype - are flawed and each offers their own a richly-worded understanding to the book's situations that have to be taken within the context of each character. As such, The Steppenwolf is a great depiction into an overactive (+ majorly depressed and borderline delusional) mind and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in/currently studying psychology.
Also, I recommend reading this book and then The Fairytales of Herman Hesse.
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10/07/2016 marked as: read

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