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Comment: 100% guaranteed delivery with Fulfillment By Amazon. This paperback book shows standard shelf wear associated with limited use. The spine of this book shows some wear. This cover has a visible crease or bend. There is a tear less than an 1" on this cover. This cover has light scratches and/or indentations on its surface. Some pages have bent or rounded corners; however, the content of the pages is crisp and clean. Outside page edges show slight discoloration.
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Beneath the Wheel Paperback – July 1, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A remarkable mixture of affection, gentle humor, compassion, light irony, bitterness, and cold, angry indignation. (The Sacramento Bee)

Can be read for sheer pleasure. Hesse's peculiarly supple lyricism, his brittle irony, and his stunning descriptions of nature are marvelously carried over into the English. (The Saturday Review)

[A] Black Forest Catcher in the Rye, a work infused with that sense of homesickness that Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., quite rightly said was so prominent in Hesse's novels. (The National Observer)

About the Author

Hermann Hesse was born in Germany in 1877 and later became a citizen of Switzerland. As a Western man profoundly affected by the mysticism of Eastern thought, he wrote novels, stories, and essays bearing a vital spiritual force that has captured the imagination and loyalty of many generations of readers. His works include Steppenwolf, Narcissus and Goldmund, and The Glass Bead Game. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946. Hermann Hesse died in 1962.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Reprint edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780312422301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312422301
  • ASIN: 031242230X
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,695 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hermann Hesse (1877-1962) was born in Germany and later became a citizen of Switzerland. As a Western man profoundly affected by the mysticism of Eastern thought, he wrote many novels, stories, and essays that bear a vital spiritual force that has captured the imagination and loyalty of many generations of readers. In 1946, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature for The Glass Bead Game.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

198 of 204 people found the following review helpful By Guillermo Maynez on February 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
This novel is supposedly the writings of Harry Haller, a lonely intellectual who feels isolated from the rest of the world. The story is the account of his existential transformation. Beyond the plot, it is an exploration, a painful one, on the hollowness, emptiness and meaninglessness of life. It talks about how lonely we really are, in the confusing and unexplainable world in which we live. It also talks about the desperation routine brings on, the fakeness of love, the necessity of death. But, in the final analysis, it also shows a probably undeserved love for life. This is not a simple "grunge" book: it's thoughtful philosophy expressed in a fine literary piece of work, which shows vividly some concepts that sometimes formal philosophy renders in abstract and obscure ways.
Harry Haller, the steppenwolf, will meet a simple woman who takes him into the life of the flesh and the simplicity of people. This is very important: Haller comes to realize, in an intuitive more than analytical way, how we all humans feel the same loneliness and confusion, but how most of us manage to live and somehow enjoy many aspects of being alive.
This is an intelligent, deep and moving novel. It is not always pleasant, but then again life is not always pleasant either. Steppenwolf is perhaps the novel in which Hesse best sums up many of the points made in his other novels, previous or subsequent. It is the round-up of a clear and interesting philosophy of life. No wonder people, especially young people, keep finding inspiration, advice and healing in his works. Maybe I shouldn't give it five stars, for it can't be compared with top-level literary masterpieces; but I think literature's importance is not only and not always stylistical. The content is important too, and at least for me, this is one of the most inspiring and memorable novels I've ever read.
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Format: Paperback
....because it meant so very much to me during a dark time in my life. I never realized how much of what we learn to see in ourselves as odd, strange, unacceptable, mentally ill, or whatnot makes perfect poetic-daimonic sense to an underground but vital chunk of fellow human beings like Hermann Hesse.
What's the book about? About one man's journey into the hell of his own being, paralleled only by the hell of a world he finds no home in; words from Hesse's DEMIAN come to mind: "My story is not a pleasant one....It is a story of nonsense and chaos, madness and dreams--like the lives of all men who stop deceiving themselves."
It's been years since I first came across this remarkable novel of the archetypally lonely man aptly named the Steppenwolf, and yet I still recall so much of it, especially the Author's Note which Hesse wrote when he felt the book was being misunderstood: pointing out that Harry Haller's (Hermann Hesse's) sufferings were opposed by a "positive, serene, superpersonal and timeless world of faith," Hesse adds, "May everyone find in it what strikes a chord in him and is of some use to him! But I would be happy if many of them were to realize that the story of the Steppenwolf pictures a disease and crisis--but not one leading to death and destruction, on the contrary: to healing."
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Andrew M. Schirmer on May 19, 2000
Format: Paperback
I couldn't have read this book at a better time. Like a lot of American high-schoolers in the "fast track" to college, I was feeling way overworked. I never had time anymore to enjoy nature, good books or anything else. It seemed that my life was school, and nothing else.
On a whim, I picked this up. "Beneath the Wheel," or "Unterm Rad" (auf Deutsch) is the story of a brilliant young man (in the prodigy sense) who is worked to death by those who unconsciously care nothing for him, but to see his advancement.
While I never experienced anything as extreme as Hans, this book really made me question why I was doing what I was doing. Why was I working myself to death in high school? Was I learning anything? Was I growing as a person?
This book is wonderful because Hesse tells the story is such a simple and poetic way; and it is translated marvelously. Simply a joy to read. I can read it over and over again. So, take heed, reader. Enjoy this book and spend many an afternoon questioning the merits of forced education; and different systems of learning. A good technical follow-up is "Teaching As A Subersive Activity." Check it out.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Craig Chalquist, PhD, author of TERRAPSYCHOLOGY and DEEP CALIFORNIA on July 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
I love this book, and I'm forever grateful to its author.
Hesse has said about Nietzsche that he was a man caught between two ages, suffering in deep aloneness a hundred years ago what thousands go through today. Hesse was such a man, of course. As the book's fictional bourgeois narrator says about Harry Haller:
...He called himself the Steppenwolf, and this too estranged and disturbed me a little. What an expression! However, custom did not only reconcile me to it, but soon I never thought of him by any other name; nor could I today hit on a better description of him. A wolf of the steppes that had lost its way and strayed into the towns and the life of the herd, a more striking image could not be found for his shy loneliness, his savagery, his restlessness, his homesickness, his homelessness....
He also has this to say, and for me this beautifully sums up the novel's impact:
And now we come to these records of Haller's, these partly diseased, partly beautiful, and thoughtful fantasies...I see them as a document of the times, for Haller's sickness of the soul, as I now know, is not the eccentricity of a single individual, but the sickness of the times themselves, the neurosis of that generation to which Haller belongs, a sickness, it seems, that by no means attacks the weak and worthless only but, rather, precisely those who are strongest in spirit and richest in gifts. These records...are an attempt to present the sickness itself in its actual manifestation. They mean, literally, a journey through hell, a sometimes fearful, sometimes courageous journey through the chaos of a world whose souls dwell in darkness, a journey undertaken with the determination to go through hell from one end to the other, to give battle to chaos, and to suffer torture to the full.
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