I gave it a second chance. I recently tried to reread Herman Hesse's novel, Steppenwolf.
I saw it on my shelf and realized that I remembered almost nothing of the story. Of course, I did read it 40 years ago. I recall liking it.
In the preface that Hesse wrote to the 1960s edition, he said that it was his most often misunderstood book - perhaps because he wrote it at 50 about being that age, but it was read by many young people. Now, I am age-ready for it, so let's see how it goes this second time around.
I could not get into the story this time. It was just depressing. It gets less depressing if I could have made it that far. Eventually, the protagonsit would find Hermine and she would introduce Harry to the indulgences of what he calls the "bourgeois" - teaching him to dance, introducing him to the casual use of drugs, finding him a lover and forcing him to accept these as legitimate and worthy aspects of a full life.
I didn't make it with Harry to the Magic Theater.
I did make it back to the bookshelves and found amongst my albums those by Steppenwolf, the band. Their music goes back before I read the Hesse book. In fact, I think I got the novel because of their first album.
They disbanded in 1972. You probably know a few songs by them - at least "Born to Be Wild," "Magic Carpet Ride," and maybe "The Pusher."
Steppenwolf's biker anthem, "Born to Be Wild," hit hard in the summer of 1968.
The song made it onto the soundtrack of Dennis Hopper's film Easy Rider.
The song's reference to "heavy metal thunder" ended up getting attached to a new genre of music.
Their next hit was the sort of psychedelic "Magic Carpet Ride," and then came "Rock Me," and "Move Over."
When I was older, I was supposed to be a better candidate for the novel, and probably supposed to lose interest in the music.
It's not happening.