Author: Herman Hesse
Page Count: 256
I joked to my other half that this book is basically the INTJ Myers Briggs personality type in book form. It’s philosophical and inward-looking, a book about a man who’s trying to come to terms with the quandary of generally disliking people but also being an inherently social animal.
In some ways, it reminds me of John Williams’ Stoner, mostly because they both get their plots from character studies as opposed to from fast-paced stories with loads of stuff going on. For some people, that would be a turn-off, and I’ll admit that I always used to be the kind of reader who had no patience with that kind of story. Stoner started out as a bedtime read until I found myself so hooked that I wasn’t going to sleep.
When I picked this bad boy up, I was coming off a bit of a roll. I’d been blazing through Shakespeare plays and old sci-fi novels like there was no tomorrow, partly because of my FOMO and my crippling death anxiety, and then Steppenwolf forced me to slow down and to start thinking.
It’s like The Catcher in the Rye, but for disillusioned people in their thirties and forties instead of for teenagers. I found that I had a surprising amount in common with the Steppenwolf, at least in the way that he looked at the world, and I’m not too sure whether that’s good or not. I’m still thinking.