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Steppenwolf

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4.13  ·  Rating details ·  143,160 ratings  ·  5,278 reviews
Harry Haller is a sad and lonely figure, a reclusive intellectual for whom life holds no joy. He struggles to reconcile the wild primeval wolf and the rational man within himself without surrendering to the bourgeois values he despises. His life changes dramatically when he meets a woman who is his opposite, the carefree and elusive Hermine. The tale of the Steppenwolf cul ...more
Kindle Edition, 228 pages
Published January 22nd 2013 by Holt Paperbacks (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 t…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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adelaols Hi! I just finished the book and my level of german is approximately B2, a better B2 I'd say. What I found was that it varied, some parts were relativ…moreHi! I just finished the book and my level of german is approximately B2, a better B2 I'd say. What I found was that it varied, some parts were relatively easy to read and some were harder, but it is most definitely doable. Naturally you're going to need a dictionary, there were so many words I did not know but hey, it's all about learning. Still I wouldn't say that this is the easiest book to start with, throughout my reading of the book I had a peek at the version of the book written in my mother tongue (Czech) several times and found the language to be advanced even there, so that definitely says something. Maybe a more modern book would be easier to begin with too in terms of language but give this one a try for sure! :) (less)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
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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
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Sean Barrs
Hermann Hesse’s words are timeless. Here they represent an entire disaffected generation, a generation who is on the cusp of radical change but still partly exists in the old world. They are out of space and out of time: they are lost within themselves. However, such things can aptly be applied to a number of individuals across the ages. And, for me, this is what made the novel so great.

Through these pages Hesse evokes a character I have seen many times before across literature, but never befor
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Lyn
Jul 31, 2011 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
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Ahmad Sharabiani
(684 From 1001 Books) - Der Steppenwolf = Steppenwolf, Herman Hesse

Originally published in Germany in 1927, it was first translated into English in 1929.

Combining autobiographical and psychoanalytic elements, the novel was named after the German name for the steppe wolf. The story in large part reflects a profound crisis in Hesse's spiritual world during the 1920's while memorably portraying the protagonist's split between his humanity and his wolf-like aggression and homelessness.

عنوانها: «گرگ
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Paquita Maria Sanchez
May 09, 2010 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
Greta
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harry-Hermine-Hesse

On the surface Harry Haller seems like a respectable, educated man. But he feels like there is a second side to him. Internally he feels alienated from society, strange and wild - quiet like a Steppenwolf. As he is drawn into a series of hallucinatory and magical encounters - among others with the beautiful and young Hermine- Haller discovers a higher truth, and the possibility of happiness.

The Steppenwolf (Harry Haller)

Harry believes his character to be divided in two extr
...more
Glenn Russell
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books



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 completely different cast; a reader might find the story gripping, even riveting, but for much different reasons, for the action takes place not in
...more
J.L.   Sutton
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“What could I say to you that would be of value, except that perhaps you seek too much, that as a result of your seeking you cannot find.”

Having read several other novels by Hesse (Siddharta, Demian, Narcissus & Goldmund and Knulp), the theme of a protagonist intellectually or culturally isolated from the rest of society is familiar. However, in Steppenwolf, the depths of our protagonist’s (Harry’s) despair separates him from other of Hesse’s protagonists and from humanity. His life isn’t confir
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Darwin8u
Sep 16, 2011 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. A midpoint between birth and death where man is trapped alone. Unable to exist in the 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 i
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Dave Schaafsma
for madmen only

In league with Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet and Dostoevsky’s Raskolnikov, Hermann Hesse’s Steppenwolf is about a suicidal guy who never actually commits suicide, a tortured soul who struggles with the dualism of his nature, from the human to the wolf, from the classical to the romantic, to the spiritual to the sinful, from the life of the mind to the life of the body. I read this three times when I was 18-20, trying to understand it, trying to find elements that would help shape my p
...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
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Lisa
Rereading is tricky business!

And if the author's name is Hermann Hesse, rereading is a hit or miss experience, all depending on whether you happen to be in that time-space-continuum where Hesse makes sense or not. I devoured his works in my twenties, only to drop them like hot potatoes in my thirties, anachronistically blaming Hesse for being out of touch with the modern perception of the world as I knew it right then. So, now in my early forties, I seem to have swung back on that eternally movi
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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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Ian "Marvin" Graye
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
Steven Godin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Perry
The Best Novel on the Intellectual Male's Midlife Crisis

I might well have ridiculed this novel at 20, when I was unconquerable, infinite, the world my oyster. Thirty years on, having been through the process of disenchantment called life, and survived the tragic ends (de facto and de jure) of each chapter of my personal myth--the perfect job, a huge house, insane wealth, and adoration of both my looks and smarts--I find this novel profound.

Hermann Hesse wrote this in his late 40s and I can see p
...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
Florencia
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.

I wrote a review a couple of weeks ago and I am still not sure about sharing it. It is too personal. This book is so close to my heart and my first review reflects that; a little too much. I mean, I didn't know what to expect and it blew me away. It is a fascinating work
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Algernon (Darth Anyan)

A stray wolf of the steppes, now part of the herd of city-dwellers – there could be no more compelling way of picturing him, his wary isolation, his wildness, his restlessness, his homelessness and his yearning for home.

Herr Harry Haller has transcended his own timeframe and cultural space to become an universal symbol of the misunderstood intellectual, of the sensitive mind cast adrift on an ocean of mediocrity, of the voice of reason drowned by the howls of the dogs of war. Like Holden Caulf
...more
Jan-Maat
Goodness what a delightfully interior novel this is, I had quite forgotten or more possibly never noticed. It was some years ago when I last read it, rather as Mark Twain allegedly said of his father, I find it much improved in the interim.

Before I reread The Glass Bead Game I was weighing up which to return to first. I think this was the better way round at least for me, I had a feeling that Harry was in want of Castalia, or that the Castalian life was developed to avoid the development of Step
...more
Junta
Mar 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who regret, those who have shied away from life
Recommended to Junta by: The Glass Bead Game, Florencia's review
Part 1: A relevant tabletop game (December 27, 2015): (view spoiler) ...more
Owlseyes
May 20, 2014 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-
...more
Amalia Gkavea
“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.”
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
Kirstie
Dec 25, 2007 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
...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
Ivana Books Are Magic
Possibly, my main issue with this book is that it was too similar to other Hesse's work I've read. Had this been the first Hesse's novel I've read, I'm sure that I would have been head over heels with it, but so it happens that it wasn't. It was my third novel by Hesse and for me personally, Steppenwolf and its theme of an isolated intellectual/misantropist didn't move me greatly, perhaps because I felt like I had heard it all before. While I was reading Steppenwolf, I had this deja vu sensation ...more
Χαρά Ζ.
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
_Steppenwolf_

This is a great book. It really is. It is philosophical and spiritual and deep and it demands your attention while reading it. It is the kind of book that i would love and cherish and adore. But i could not connect with it. It seemed distant and i felt frustrated most of the time. I didn't have problems with it, it's just, I couldn't feel along with it. And on top of that, by the times i thought me and book started to communicate it started slipping away again. And again. And again.
...more
William2
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
Matthew
81st book of 2020.

Steppenwolf: Hesse’s most misunderstood book, as he claims himself. I have no doubt that he is right; this beautiful book cannot be one single thing, like Harry Haller, it is Cubist-like, multifaceted: with every turn, there is another side, with every corner you find yourself on a new face, a new value. The book is a maze, but a maze that does not spiral inwards on itself, towards the centre goal, but spiral down, like a corkscrew, that goes deeper and deeper. Deeper still.

description

“A
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Reading 1001: Steppenwolf 1 21 Apr 06, 2020 06:32PM  
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Around the Year i...: Steppenwolf, by Hermann Hesse 1 13 Feb 07, 2019 11:33PM  
PopSugar Reading ...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Lectura de Junio: Lobo estepario, de Herman Hesse 5 52 Jun 29, 2018 09:07AM  
Around the World ...: Discussion for Steppenwolf 3 32 May 19, 2018 01:46PM  
Boxall's 1001 Bo...: March {2018} Discussion -- STEPPENWOLF by Hermann Hesse 15 132 Apr 28, 2018 05:00AM  

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13,278 followers
Hermann Hesse was a German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. In 1946, he received the Nobel Prize for 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 c
...more

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