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Steppenwolf: Popular Penguins
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About the Author

Hermann Hesse ws born in southern Germany in 1877. His most famous works are Siddhartha (1922), Journey to the East (1932), Demian (1919), Steppenwolf (1927), and Narziss and Goldmund (1930). Hesse died at his home in Switzerland in 1962.

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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. (Apr.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

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