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Steppenwolf (originally Der Steppenwolf) is the tenth novel by German-Swiss author Hermann Hesse.
Originally published in Germany in 1927, it was first translated into English in 1929. The novel was named after the German name for the steppe wolf. The story in large part reflects a profound crisis in Hesse's spiritual world during the 1920s while memorably portraying the protagonist's split between his humanity and his wolf-like aggression and homelessness.
Steppenwolf was wildly popular and has been a perpetual success across the decades, but Hesse later asserted that the book was largely misunderstood.
While it's good for a titter to picture Peter Weller in full RoboCop gear reading Hesse's classic novel of intellectual absorption with the primeval, it is not entirely necessary for full appreciation of his reading. Weller, who has a Midwestern folksy personability, reads Hesse less as a work of great literature than a philosophical manual, meant to be studied for personal improvement. Hesse can be forbidding, even for the teenage readers who often discover literature through him, so Weller wisely renders his novel familiar, comfortable and friendly. Currently wrapping up a Ph.D. at UCLA in Italian Renaissance art history, Weller has clearly been taking lessons in sounding professorial entirely apropos here.