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I believed from the prologue that I was probably the sort of person that Hesse had intended for an audience to this book. When you enter a writer's world... that is to say, the world of a good writer, you are taken away from your own world to experience joys and sorrows of the author's creation. Hesse's world quickly became my own, but Hesse took me a step further. When I was reading the Steppenwolf, I believed that I was the Steppenwolf. Harry Haller was me and I was him.
Haller begins as a sick and sorrowful man, a brilliant man and I became him as I found myself trudging through his life. When Holler, and thus myself, came out the other side of the story, we were healed, healthier and a better people for having made the journey. For me, reading this was less of an accomplishment and more of an apotheosis... a transcendence. I wish I could thank Hesse myself for creating this wonderful little masterpiece.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
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 is better to save King Lear for late in one's life, it is better to save Steppenwolf for those crisis years of the midlife.
Hesse's novels seem to flirt between the edge of memoir, scripture, prose poem and Eastern philosophy tract. This isn't a book you want to read in a hot bath with scotch in one hand and a razor blade in the other. You will either spill your drink or spill your blood or lose every printed word, the hot water erasing pages and pickling your fingers, toes and time.
There are parts of me that get super irritated by Hesse and parts of me that absolutely love him. It depends, I guess, on what part of me is dominating at the time, which of my selves is dislocated and which is demanding the most.
Somedays, I wonder if I had my druthers I'd be a shepherd and write poetry on rocks. Unfortunately, I am a bourgeoisie bitch cloaking myself in cashmere and not a mangy wolf from the steppes.
34 of 38 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes I have a list of friends I will tell about it and to get a copy to.
What did you like best about this story?
the descriptions and the nature of Harry
What does Peter Weller bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
it was easy to submerge instantly. his voice is perfect for this work this book.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
no neither I smiled one maybe but it enriched me and I feel more solid in the world and more expanded and safer somehow.
Any additional comments?
I wish it was written by a woman and spoke of women and used non gender language when talking about people but it is very gender bias and actually it is misogynistic but that is the blindness of the times it was written the limitation of the logos of the age and I forgive it for that I just need to remember to reinstate myself back into the world when I finished it. I will follow up a lot on the mention of the other works Harry was studying too. I will submit this but I hate speaking out Im sure I have spelt very badly and not expressed myself well or even close to what I would like to do, but this work make me want to be courageous . I hope I will find lists of the other books mentioned in Steppenwolf.
I'd love to know who was the lecturer in the first chapter.. I was thinking it could be Rudolf Steiner. But I hope not.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A fantastic, moving book. A timeless tale and the best I've listened to so far. Great narration too. A+
2 of 3 people found this review helpful