20 Bad Books By Good Authors

Steppenwolf

Author: Hermann Hesse
Released: 1927

In 1922, Hermann Hesse published the novel Siddhartha, which, 90 years later, is still revered as a masterpiece. Its theme of self-discovery was written in simple sentences that conveyed many layers of color. But like most authors who publish a classic, Hesse was unable to duplicate that feat on his next try.

Five years later, he published Steppenwolf a confusing hodgepodge about a lonely guy with a dysfunctional spiritual compass. It was a stylistic about-face from Siddhartha with a nonsensical plot that was difficult to understand because the language was more dense than day-old oatmeal.

Hesse often said Steppenwolf was misunderstood. Perhaps that's because much of the plot can be read as happening...or not...a dream...or not.... Even the SNL character Debbie Downer had a more positive outlook on life. Yes, it's that bad. —Orlando Lima

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