5 Existential Fiction Books like Steppenwolf

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Have you complete Steppenwolf and come here for finding some books like Steppenwolf? I want to assure you that you’ve come to the right place. 😉

I think you love existential fiction books. Existential Books are about an individual’s life, who live a chaotic lifestyle and have a mysterious purpose in life. ‘Steppenwolf’ is one of the best existential fiction books where you can find Herman Hesse’s lonely life that makes him horrible.

In the article, I will share some existential fiction books like Steppenwolf that show some individual’s point of view and purposes of existence. 

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Steppenwolf Book Summary

‘Steppenwolf’ by Hermann Hesse was first published in 1927 in German and then translated into English in 1929. By Combining autobiographical and psychoanalytic elements, the novel is named after the lonesome wolf of the steppes.

Steppenwolf book is about ‘Harry Haller’, who thinks he is half human and half wolf. He is a middle-aged man and has an existential crisis and reaches a level of despair when eventually he meets a couple of androgynous characters who take him on a self-awareness journey. He also meets the spirit of Mozart and has a complete change in consciousness. 

In my opinion, this is a life-type book as Harry Haller struggles with the duality of his existence. One side of him is free-spirited, spontaneous, pressure seeking, which would be the Steppenwolf of him, and the human side of him is intellectual and struggles for the ideals of humanity.

Steppenwolf is attached to the middle class, and Harry could not easily break through these obligations that he had in middle-class life. If you’re an existential fiction lover, Read the Nobel Prize winner Hermann Hesse’s book Steppenwolf. 

5 similar Existential Fiction Books like Steppenwolf

Here are the five books that I find similar to Steppenwolf. These books are either written in the “existential fiction” genre or written by authors like Hermann Hesse.

Book NameAuthor/Authors NameGenre
The Unbearable Lightness of BeingMilan KunderaPhilosophical Fiction Romance
The PlagueAlbert CamusPhilosophical Fiction
The Master and MargaritaMikhail BulgakovFantasy Fiction Modern Literature
1984George OrwellDystopian Fiction
Crime and PunishmentFyodor DostoyevskyPsychological Thriller Philosophical Fiction

1. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, By Milan Kundera

The Unbearable Lightness of Being’ tells a particular story about the contrast of four individuals’ lives against this huge political movement’s backdrop.

Most of the stories take place in Prague in late 1960 with the communist era and then after the Soviet Union invaded. ‘Kundera’ expresses the story of four major protagonist characters who are tied together in some respect though not all of them know each other. ‘Tereza’ and ‘Tomas’ are married to each other, and ‘Sabina’ is Tomas’s mistress, and then Sabina meets a man named ‘Franz’. 

The story moves back and forth into the lives and situations of all significant characters. This Novel is not about a specific thing. It deals with philosophical ideas, art, politics, and you will also get love in it.

I put this book on the first because you like this book as Milan Kundera is one of the similar authors like Hermann Hesse.

2. The Plague, By Albert Camus

In The Plague, you, the reader, followed the life of ‘Dr. Bernard Rieux’ in the French Algerian city overall in the 1940s. This setting is based on the author’s birthplace of french Algeria, although not the same city overall.

Rieux is a local doctor who is very rational and realistic, contrasting with many of his close friends are guided by emotion or religion.

Early on in the story, you learn that Rieux’s wife is diagnosed with tuberculosis and sent out of town to a sanatorium to be treated. Soon after, hundreds to thousands of rats began crawling out of their holes into the city and dying heaps for some inexplicable reason. If you like Steppenwolf, this book will insight you till the end.

3. The Master and Margarita, By Mikhail Bulgakov

Mikhail Bulgakov one of the writers like Hermann Hesse. This is the kind of book that you probably have heard a lot about it.

The Master and Margarita contained a Faustian pact. A Faustian pact is a pact between the devil and a human being. Normally the devil offers human beings something in exchange for his or their soul. Faustin packs here is the devil who needs a favor from the human.

The Master and Margarita it’s a political satire. One day the devil lands in Moscow. He’s there on the invitation of the variety theatre. He goes by the name of Woland. Woland looks and sounds like everybody else except that he has a slight foreign accent and he works like a magician. So, he’s been hired by the variety theater to do magic shows. But in Moscow, the devil Woland also throws a grand ball and the Margarita of the title hosts the ball.

‘Margarita’ becomes a major character in the second part of the book. She accepts to host the grand ball in exchange for something, but you will have to read the book to find out.

4. 1984, By George Orwell

1984 book is set in a dystopian world where you only watch. You can’t say or do anything without Big Brother, who is in the ruling power. Big Brother is the fictional character who rules over everything. He has a telly screen in everyone’s homes which he uses to watch people and to pick up any sounds that they make. He wants to look out of people’s faces to see if they have a nervous twitch or sweating, proving that they are having bad thoughts. Undoubtedly, this is one of the books like Steppenwolf on this list.

5. Crime and Punishment, By Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crime and Punishment is considered the first great novel of his “mature” period of writing. The novel is often cited as one of the supreme achievements in literature.

Crime and Punishment focuses on the mental anguish and moral dilemmas of Rodion Raskolnikov, an impoverished ex-student in Saint Petersburg who formulates a plan to kill an unscrupulous pawnbroker for her money. Before the killing, Raskolnikov believes that with the money he could liberate himself from poverty and go on to perform great deeds. However, once it is done he finds himself racked with confusion, paranoia, and disgust for his actions. His justifications disintegrate completely as he struggles with guilt and horror and confronts the real-world consequences of his deed.

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Bonus Books of interest

One Hundred Years of Solitude, By Gabriel García Márquez

‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ is a landmark 1967 Novel by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez. It is a story of seven generations of the ‘Buendia family’ in the town of Macondo. Different characters in the story will help you understand the story better. Gabriel García Márquez’s masterpiece is widely acclaimed and will not fail to amaze you with its literary brilliance.

The Old Man and the Sea, By Ernest Hemingway

‘Santiago’, A 85-year-old experienced fisherman, waiting for 84 days to catch a fish but can’t even find one. During this time period, ‘Manolin’, a young boy takes care of Santiago. On the 85th day, 18 feet long, The Marlin was hooked by Santiago.

However, he is not the only one who wants to get the Marlin. Read the book The Old Man and the Sea to know the rest of the story.

Please share your review of Steppenwolf. If you have read any similar books like Steppenwolf, feel free to comment below. I always love to hear from you.

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