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Steppenwolf (Twentieth Century Classics) [Paperback]

Hermann Hesse , B. Creighton
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 29 Mar 1990 --  


Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (29 Mar 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140181024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140181029
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 649,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Old translation 28 July 2012
By Paul Bowes TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
According to the copyright page, this Penguin edition uses the original 1929 translation, revised in 1963, which has long been showing its age and does Hesse no favours with the English-speaking reader. In particular, there are many anachronisms that make the book read more like a product of the late Victorian period than of the Jazz Age.

There is another, 2010 translation of Steppenwolf from Algora that claims to be more literal and more complete. However, it is also significantly more expensive. In response(?) Penguin have finally released (2012) their own new translation of Steppenwolf (Penguin Translated Texts)by David Horrocks that addresses all the faults of the older version, and the interested reader is directed to that version. Unfortunately, both versions use the same cover illustration, though they have different ISBNs.

Update: Penguin have now changed the cover illustration for this edition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as I remember it... 21 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this a long time ago. The late 60s. I liked it so much, and it influenced my thinking so much, that I read pretty well all the other Hesse books I could find. So, I was surprised by how much less radical it seems these days. Anyway, a good book and worth reading.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are only two books. 30 Dec 2000
Format:Paperback
Hamsun's "Mysteries" and this one.
Yes, there are great books, staggering works of literature, phenomenal story-telling and revealing pieces of art.
But, for me, no matter how many other great books I read I always come back to these two.
Both are an attempt to capture in ink, the impossible imbalance of emotion and blood.
Every reading is different and causes you to react differently depending upon the baggage you bring to the book.
You won't come across anything better than this. And there's only one other that is AS good.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So you think you're lonely 31 Mar 2010
By Room For A View VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Based on the preface Harry Haller is a bookish man (not a wolf) who lives in a quiet bourgeois district, keeping himself to himself. According to Harry Haller's records he is something else: half man half wolf. The author's note (written 34 years later) describes the story of the Steppenwolf as "a disease." My view blends these three distinct elements so that my Harry Haller is a self-obsessed, narcissistic loner ("primitive and withdrawn way of life") who thinks he lives in the shadow of conventional bourgeois society. But he does not and his mask of misanthropy is unconvincing and unsustainable. And Harry knows this. Cue "For Madmen Only": man/wolf psychotic existential crisis, suicidal thoughts and profound isolation. At the start of the record Harry is clearly a lonely man and I felt sad for him. However once the "Treatise on the Steppenwolf" explains to Harry what his problem is "to find contentment in himself and his own life" followed by Harry's fantasy voyage of earthly pleasures (a quite surreal, often funny part of the story involving supernatural and magical events), ultimately leads to redemption or as Hesse said "to healing". I enjoyed this novel, even though I found sections a bit challenging, my best bits were Harry partying with the bohemian jazz club set and Harry's visits to the secret rooms.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By deadbeat VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Indeed, Steppenwolf is a book of horrifying truths. Upon finishing the book, I could not help but question everything I held dear. It forces the reader to look around, and recognise the hypocrisy inherent in, not just society, but every action we do. The book does not necessarily do this by undermining, it merely praises certain attributes as isolation, revulsion and rejection.
I would advise you strongly to read this book. It is one of Hesse's best, and like his others, takes the individual as its focus. For all its pessimism, it is an incredibly uplifting book, simpy because it will open your eyes.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hesse's darkest story 31 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback
This is the story of a lone cultured but at the same time bestial man (the steppenwolf) who roves the provincial city where he lodges. Hesse tries to find the light through the darkness and a way out for this unhappy and unnatural creature. This he finds through immersion in the sensual life and a fantasy landscape where anything happens. An attempt to unite the animal and the spiritual in man.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars sacred scripture of the 70's underground
Back in the great days of middle-class youth resistence to bourgeois consumerism , this novel was required reading for anyone wishing to hang with Andreas Baader and the incredibly... Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2011 by Mr. M. E. Igoe
2.0 out of 5 stars The Immortals are laughing at us
"Steppenwolf" is a near-incomprehensible, surrealist novel by the German writer Hermann Hesse. It was first published in 1927, and has been both widely read and widely criticized... Read more
Published on 24 Dec 2010 by Ashtar Command
5.0 out of 5 stars Steppenwolf
The translation is excellent, and the novel sublime. It was very good to have the author's comment at the start on how people have interpreted his work, since it made me try to... Read more
Published on 26 Mar 2010 by Wanderer
3.0 out of 5 stars The life of the lone Steppenwolf, Harry Haller.
After seeing the positive reviews, I decided to give this book a read. I had high expectations and was somewhat let down. Read more
Published on 2 Dec 2000 by Uncle Stiltskin
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of genius
This is probably the most extraordinary book I've ever read, unconventional in form and content and dealing with that most difficult of questions: what is life? Read more
Published on 22 Aug 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars A most haunting tome
What can I say? The truth of all things is hidden in this book. Read it, and agree or disagree with my assertion I still defy you to find this work of 'fiction' to be anything... Read more
Published on 26 July 1999
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