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Steppenwolf | [Hermann Hesse]

Steppenwolf

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

With its blend of Eastern mysticism and Western culture, Steppenwolf, Hesse' best-known and most autobiographical work, originally published in English in 1929, continues to speak to our souls as a classic of modern literature.

©1927 S. Fischer Verlag A. G., Berlin. Renewal copyright ©1955 Hermann Hesse. English translation copyright B© 1929 Henry Holt and Company. Renewal copyright ©1957 Hermann Hesse. Revised translation copyright © 1963 Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc. Author's note copyright ©1961 Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt Am Main; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (591 )
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3.9 (405 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Steven Auckland, New Zealand 12-05-10
    Steven Auckland, New Zealand 12-05-10
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    "Masterpiece"

    This is one of those books that need not really have a plot. The writing is so superb, so rich, even in translation, that the concept of a storyline is almost superfluous. That said one has to admit that the story is less than riveting, however the intellectual richness of the writing requires little else to support it. This is one of the classics, brilliantly narrated and a true masterpiece. I won't spoil it for you by giving a summary of the content, just read it and lose yourself in the (now sadly uncommon) luxury of superb writing.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben 07-03-15
    Ben 07-03-15 Member Since 2009
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    "the spell is never broken..."

    ...not to say that the spell mightn't push its luck once or twice (like the infrequent flirtations with silliness don't provide much needed relief). As it is with Finnegan's Wake, this would be a good one to save up for a while, seeing as how it leaves a lot of other very worthwhile novels reading like so much fan fiction. Also as it is with Finnegan's Wake, you're more or less guaranteed at least one moment where some long-forgotten-dream memory will burst its banks.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick Parkison 05-20-15
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    "If you like Nietzsche, you'll love Der Steppenwolf"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this to intelligent introspective friends who may have read some Nietzsche. Those would get the most out of it. I saw on the wiki page for the book that Jack Kerouac "dismissed" this book in Big Sur. While I've only read one of Kerouac's books, I can say the two aren't remotely on the same level. I think Hesse's work was just beyond him.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Der Steppenwolf of course.


    What does Peter Weller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Peter was an interesting choice. I can understand why he was offered the job, he often represents the lone wolf in movies.His pronunciation was decent but don't forget about the speed function on your audible player. I found 1.25x normal a very comfortable listening speed.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A new life is yours to take.


    Any additional comments?

    Psychologic, philosophic, and existential

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 02-04-15
    John 02-04-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Need to listen to this book one more time"

    Since english is not my mother-language I found it difficult to follow the story 100%. The story itself is also difficult, so I will listen to the book one more time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David M. Gregg 07-17-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Book excellent, narration notably disappointing"

    There were a few moments of good narration, but as a whole, this beautifully-written character-rich book was represented flatly and lifelessly. I understand that the main character is in the deep despair of an existential crisis -- I am there myself -- but that doesn't equate to malaise, nor does it justify very nearly interpreting all other characters in precisely the same way. There are several occurrences of awkwardness, as well as oddly too-slow or (more rarely) too-quick readings.

    I am certainly not a fan of this narrative performance, and I have little qualm in stopping an otherwise good book for this very reason. But I persisted in this case for two reasons: 1) the text is just that good and I have the imagination to re-interpret the narrative on-the-fly; and, 2) the narrator, though uninterested or incapable of putting humanity and pathos into his narration of this work, does succeed in providing just enough for my attention-span to grip (almost paradoxically). Perhaps again it is the superb writing of Hesse and the book's resonance with a similar struggle in my own life, but I refer you to a few other reviewers who were more than pleased with this narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catfish CLAYTON, Australia 09-10-12
    Catfish CLAYTON, Australia 09-10-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Very interesting book for its time"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Steppenwolf to be better than the print version?

    Probably, it seemed a bit disjointed and expect is easier to follow as an audio book than a text.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Steppenwolf?

    Some very nice language in parts. Very elegant description of how unsatisfied the SteppenWolf is with day to day consumerism. Never heard anybody express the idea that "this is all largely crap" in such learned and literary terms.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The lesbian scene with his 2 girlfriends. Probably one of the original porno stories of all time but still an oldy but a goody.


    Any additional comments?

    Can see why the rock band Steppenwolf took this as their name. Sex and Drugs was all there and they just put it together with Rock and Roll.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy 08-07-12
    Cindy 08-07-12 Member Since 2012
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    "No thrill of discovery"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    yes, the book. Not the audio.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Steppenwolf?

    When it was discovered that Steppenwolf was meeting a beautiful lady, and who she was.


    How could the performance have been better?

    The mysterious parts could have sounded more mysterious and intriguing.


    Could you see Steppenwolf being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    Not for Americans. It is too heavy for the general public. Maybe on PBS< though.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben 05-05-12
    Ben 05-05-12 Member Since 2012

    En Dieu Ma Foy

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    "Good, but...."

    Steppenwolf is a classic and Hermann Hesse and his writings are very well known. I personally am not a fan of Hesse, not because I dislike anything about his writing but because I do not believe it translates smoothly to english. Steppenwolf has always been my favorite of all Hesse's works and because of this was the one I wanted on audio as well as hard copy. Hesse's quest after individuality and attempts to understand the lone wolf persona that makes up the core of this book is well preserved in it's audio form. Overall this is a good book.

    That being said, I must preface the remainder of this review with the fact that I am a huge fan of Peter Weller. I love the documentaries that he narrates for PBS, History Channel, and Discovery. However, audiobooks are not the best use of his talents. I seriously had a hard time staying awake while listening to Steppenwolf even when I started out wide awake. It finally came to the point where I had to listen in pieces just to get through it without drifting off and missing large chunks of the book. Weller's voice becomes hypnotic at times and really makes it difficult to focus on what he is reading. As much as I enjoy Weller's TV work I must decline recommending him as an audiobook reader.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Toronto, ON, Canada 04-05-12
    Peter Toronto, ON, Canada 04-05-12

    Listener

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    "Not meant for audiobook"
    Any additional comments?

    This book is very much a work of philosophy. Many of the sentences are meandering philosphical statements that most accessible when read more than once. The performance is monotone (which I suppose is fitting for the story) and tends to be boring. Buy this as a real book to truly access this classic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim NAMPA, ID, United States 04-02-12
    Kim NAMPA, ID, United States 04-02-12 Member Since 2011

    Ok, yes, I confess. I'm another paranormal geek.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "*Yawn* Beware the monotone narrator"

    The story "Steppenwolf" is interesting to me but I could not get deep into the story because of the narrator's extremely monotone and utterly boring voice. Not one I'll be recommending. If you can handle monotone, give it a try. But if you prefer the narrator's to give in to a little drama and help bring the story to life, I suggest you try something else.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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