The Dead Don't Dance
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The Dead Don't Dance

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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  1,980 ratings  ·  235 reviews
A sleepy rural town in South Carolina. The end of summer and a baby about to be born. But in the midst of hope and celebration comes unexpected tragedy, and Dylan Styles must come to terms with how much he's lost. Will the music of his heart be stilled forever--or will he choose to dance with life once more, in spite of sorrow and heartbreak?

"The Dead Don't Dance" is a bit...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by WestBow Press (first published 2004)
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Kathy McC
Jul 09, 2008 Kathy McC rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Kourtney
No surprise- this is Charles Martin and he is awesome!! I read this book in one sitting- getting up once to get tea and a piece of fruit. While this is listed as Christian fiction, the message is for everyone. The book has a life message rather than a Christian message.
I discovered Martin when I read Chasing Fireflies. This is his first novel. I didn't find the character development quite as perfect at Fireflies, but they are a realistic and heart-touching. The story is full of joy and heartbr...more
Jamie Stanley
Ok, so just because I gave this book only 3 stars, does not mean that this was not a good book. I liked it, and I enjoyed it. This was not my typical book. I'm not even sure how it came to be in my possession (I have several hundred books sitting on my shelves waiting to be read). I would recommend this book to teachers, professors, animal lovers, and someone that wants to read an uplifting and inspiring book.
Teachers and professors: This book reminds us why we do what we do. It reminds us how b...more
Mj
Sep 07, 2012 Mj rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mj by: Midge
Shelves: fiction
Charles Martin and The Dead Don’t Dance was recommended to me by a Goodreads friend some time ago. I finally got around to reading it and found it a good and pleasurable read. Thanks Midge.

It’s a complete love story – the love of two life partners, the love of a father for his son he had dreams for but never got to know, the love of a best friend, the love of neighbours and community, the love of teaching, the love of life and the love of a power higher than ourselves.

I really liked Dylan Styles...more
Lisa Lewis
The Dead don’t Dance is absolutely D-E-L-I-G-H-T-FU-L! Charles Martin simply has a wonderful way with words, and what “voice” he has. You’re instantly caught-up in the life of Dylan Styles and those who encompass him and help to make his life complete. Be it his wife, Maggie, his best friend, Amos, Bryce the bagpipe playing drunk, Pinky the pig, or his students in English 202: Research and Writing. They all contribute in making his life full and trust me, never dull. You’ll find yourself laughin...more
Christina
Where do I begin, this book was so good, it's practically beyond words! However, since we all know that I can ALWAYS find somehow to voice my opinion... I loved this book, it is probably one of my all time favorites. Don't let the title fool you, it's not what you think. It is a poignant and beautiful (and clean) love story that had me laughing and crying all at the same time. This author has a way of reaching out and squeezing your heart while at the same time writing about the most wonderful p...more
Laura
I think this might be my new favorite book. I was brought to tears several times during this book. Loved Dylan's authenticity, he was the man we can all relate to, questioning God and all. His loved for his wife was so moving...the way he rubbed her feet, told her about his day, fed her pig, and just got into the bed with her. To me it felt like love at it's best. Will highly recommend this read, and can't wait to start "Maggie" this afternoon.

P.S. Wish we all had an Amos and a Bryce in our life...more
L
How do you deal with life when the one you love lies in a coma, your have lost a child, and expenses of living are weighing heavily in your mind? Charles Martin does another great job of portraying a situation that could happen in any family, and how faith and friends can bring you past such horrors. I have read several of Martin's novels, and they always make me cry, laugh, and reflect on the gift of life, and how each moment with those I love should be valued.
Kathleen Anderson
Once again Charles Martin amazes me. There is a depth of character that he develops in the people he creates that is not common, in my opinion. This is the first of a two-part "series." If you want to read the sequel, Maggie, be sure to read The Dead Don't Dance first. You can tell the author is from the South because the setting he provides is so descriptive. Excellent book. Thanks for the recommendation Connie!
Megan
I'm still not sure after reading the book what I felt about it. The overall story was good, but the layout was weird... or maybe I'm spoiled. I generally read a novel as moving smoothly from one thought to another, based on where the story is and moving too. This author moves around a lot and my thought process had a hard time following at first.

Probably not one I'll read again- not even sure I'd recommend it.
Heidi
Another great read by Charles Martin. I love how he describes marraige as a beautiful thing instead of the ball and chain the rest of the world makes it into. Very good story.
Tanya
I read this because it was a library reader's choice winner from several years back, and it sounded interesting, but it was a bit too sacchariney for me. The dialogue was especially annoying, with all these redneck under-educated characters laying on the "gosh-darn-it, crap" routine when they obviously would be using stronger language. I'm certainly not an advocate for profanity, but Martin's constant substitution of watered down expletives sounded so silly, particularly on the audio version wit...more
Nadine
I loved this author.
Lisa
I enjoyed reading this book. It's well written (the author uses words well to draw you into the story), and the author does a good job exploring the feelings of the main character and how he deals with very painful events in his life. By following the main character through his pain, it helped me think more about how I deal with the painful events in my own life.

I also really liked the fact that while the main character is experiencing so much pain in his personal life, he still reaches out and...more
Emily Adams
My sister-in-law gave me this book for my birthday two years ago and now that I am done with school, I enlisted Burke in reading it with me. Being new parents, this story hit close to home with the preparation, excitement and anticipation of a new baby. I had to pass the book to Burke to read numerous times as I found myself in tears over the death of the baby and the heartache Dillan experiences as Maggie's fate is left uncertain. Being an English teacher, I of course related with and loved Dil...more
Deb
Plot Summary: What happens, When & Where, Central Characters, Major Conflicts[return]Dylan Styles was looking forward to the birth of his first child, to sharing time with him and his wife Maggie. But his son dies in childbirth and his wife loses a lot of blood and goes into a coma. The reader watches and feels with Dylan as he stumbles through the days after this horrific event, making it only with the help of his best friend Amos. Amos, the local deputy, finds Dylan passed out in his cornf...more
Lydia
Definitely enjoyed this book but more so the second half...the ramblings began to make more sense to me. I love the author's writing style. Very descriptive and pulls you in. And I love the title "The Dead don't Dance" and it's use/reference in the book. (I always think it's interesting why a title was picked.) The front cover says "A Novel of Awakening" and I think that's a good description. Dylan's wife falls into a coma while giving birth to their son. Watching Dylan daily life (good/bad/etc....more
kim
Oct 25, 2010 kim rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to kim by: Diane Graslie
Shelves: christian, fiction
This was a pretty good book. It didn't draw me in as much as others. It basically starts with a man sitting next to his wife's bedside while she lies in a coma. Their son has just died during birth. He sits with his memories and tries to move on, supported by his best friend, the sheriff. He is also supported by one of his students (he teaches at the local community college). The story tells of his interaction with his students, and his coping with his wife's condition and his attempt to move o...more
Amber
I read this book by chance, my boyfriend at the time picked it up on our way to spend a week at the beach. He inadvertinately left it at my house after the trip. I was filled with so many different types of emotion as I read this book. It leaves you longing for the same type of deep and soul loving connection that Dylan and his wife Maggie have. It allows you to view the emotional termoil of loss of this connection through the eyes of a man rather then a woman. Then at the end when you think tha...more
Andrea
This was Charles Martin's first book--he's gotten better! I enjoyed the story, but he has developed a much better voice as he has continued to write. I intend to read the sequel, Maggie.
Martha D
I've only recently been exposed to Charles Martin's work and I am loving it. This book is a spiritually heart-wrenching journey that one man makes in the span of a year and a half, from the conception to birth of his son and the turmoil that follows for his son and wife Maggie. Dylan Styles is part-time teacher, sometimes farmer and doctoral degree holder whose life has fallen apart when his wife ends up in a coma after delivering their son. With help from his high school friend Amos, who is now...more
Jessica
I enjoyed this book. Although, to be honest, in parts it was overwhelmingly evident that it was written by a man, and in this context, that was a negative thing. I found the chapter about hunting absolutely disguisting. I understand that Martin was trying to make the reader understand the lifestyle of the characters, and it did accomplish this, but I feel he could have done so with much less graphic-ness. Ick. Keep in mind, it really wasn't *that* graphic, but I am sensitive to these things. Oth...more
Veronica
Conveniently this is the first book I've read by Charles Martin, since it was his first published novel. What an awesome read! I felt every emotion of this book. There was humor and plenty of escaped laughter as I read in the silence, there may or may not have been tears (of joy and sadness) and there was plenty of hope as I continued to turn the pages of this book. The last 10 or so chapters of the book I found myself frustrated whenever I needed to pause in reading because I didn't want to put...more
Metra Weaver
Great story about finding oneself and the motivation to keep living and loving in the midst of tragedy.
Mahdis
This was the 2006 Readers Choice runners up. It is a delightful G rated book. Quick read and entertaining. So hard to find those in adult fiction. I believe Charles Martin is a christian author and this book is full of christian themes. It is a lovely book about family, friendship, unconditional love, trials and perseverance. I love the naked bag pipe playing zillionaire. THere are so many people in life we write off or assume they are a certain way-if only we would take the time to get to know...more
Eric
Charles Martin books always seem to bring me to tears. This one had a particularly good scene in a church, and also in a frozen river.

I read this book in a day (an unheard of speed for me, where books typically languish for years on the shelf). I couldn't put it down.

The author writes characters that are interesting and that I grow to love and want to know better. But the very best thing about his books is that he always ends with hope. Life should always be like that.
Tawni Williams
I really love Charles Martin's writing style. It was entertaining after reading other novels I loved, to read his first, The Dead Don't Dance. This was had some strong religious overtones, which I personally appreciated, but I know would turn some people. Overall, good story. His books are difficult to write reviews for, because I don't want to include any spoilers!

I've enjoyed some of his others much better, but I guess that would be expected since writing usually improves overtime. Now I'm mo...more
Jannie
LOVED IT! I really liked the main character, Dylan Styles, and couldn't help but empathize with the tragic circumstances he faced during the course of the book. His spiritual struggles as a result of the situation were handled well, I thought. It was inspiring to see him trying to cope with such a tragedy and learn that God can handle our questions and our anger and our doubts.. I also really liked Dylan's best friend, Amos, and his student, Amanda-- especially Amanda's simple faith in the midst...more
Renée
I see all the rave reviews and I feel like I'm coming from a different planet or something, because I can't relate. While some parts were good, I feel the storyline was too jumbled. I kept trudging thru, but my thoughts kept going back to "what about Maggie and the baby"? There was alot of peripheral story telling and not at all what I expected. The ending was wierd too! I now see there is a sequel so perhaps that may be more of what I was hoping for, however, I'm not sure I will read another fr...more
Jo Oehrlein
I really enjoyed this story, although it made me cry several times. If troubled births or infant deaths are triggering for you, then avoid this like the plague.

An interesting story about a man looking for God in the midst of trouble, a best friend who won't let him give up, and the English class that gives him a reason to live.

It's set in South Carolina and really feels like a true southern story with characters and "locations" (buildings, restaurants) that I "recognize" as being true, even if t...more
Michele
I really liked this book, but I didn't love it. It started out great and sucked me in.... then I felt like it slowed way down..... then it got good again..... and then it just ended. I adored the relationship between Dylan and Maggie. And I loved the descriptions of the farm and the little peek we got of when his grandparents were alive and lived there.
I just felt like there were a lot of unanswered questions and loose ends. I do plan to read the sequel, Maggie, and hopefully I will get some of...more
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IGer's Book Club: The Dead Don't Dance book reviews 4 9 Jan 23, 2013 06:26PM  
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I grew up in Jacksonville, FL, on the St. John’s river. Somewhat of a Huck Finn childhood. Most afternoons were spent mullet fishing, canoeing, pegging cars with overripe tangerines—it really got fun when the red tail lights lit and the reverse gears ground metal on metal, or the backyard Superbowl which we replayed most everyday. Through high school, football was my life. School was the avenue th...more
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