I had not heard of, nor found interest in reading Herman Hesse, until I had heard of Siddhartha (having now decided Buddha is enough when it comes to the subject of Siddhartha), but then I found Steppenwolf and thought this would be an interesting read as well, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a mysterious story of an old man who we learn is dead, while his story is being told in his own words by a manuscript found by a family he was staying with. We learn, he believes he’s a werewolf; which is probably why the preface covers how he came to the house and how the young man who met him discovers his strange behavior or lack thereof, due to his Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, werewolf-type personality.
After my initial interest, it started to wane due to all of the long-winded conversations, sometimes idle, other times introspective ideas of what it’s like to live with two opposite kinds of personalities coexisting. It may sound interesting, but it’s a bit dry in description and since there aren’t any chapters it’s harder to soldier through it, but breaks between this book helps greatly. It also has bouts of easy to read spots and then I immediately realize I’m slogging through more mundane description; but after, Harry goes to a party and starts opening his eyes to his innocent sexual experiences, only not awkwardly.
From there on it’s still a struggle between wolf and man, but it’s also about his romances with multiple women without getting attached except for Hermine; but, there are also a social hallucinogenic dream and which is when the rabbit hole is reached. Harry completely loses himself in this hallucination and the consequences are obvious. I can’t deny it’s “emo” before it was fashionable, but it’s much better after his dream took him and how it ended in a way I didn’t expect; I don’t regret the effort.