"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."