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The Dead Don't Dance (Awakening #1)

4.18  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,000 Ratings  ·  296 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 bitter
Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 28th 2006 by Thomas Nelson (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kathy McC
Jul 09, 2008 Kathy McC rated it really liked it
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
Jamie Stanley
Apr 20, 2013 Jamie Stanley rated it liked it
Shelves: uplifting
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
Apr 22, 2009 Megan rated it it was ok
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.
Jan 25, 2015 Mj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mj by: Midge
Shelves: fiction, 2012
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
Lisa Lewis
Jul 07, 2011 Lisa Lewis rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 28, 2009 Christina rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 05, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 01, 2015 Kamilla rated it really liked it
I can't decide if I like Charles Martin's books. Not that they are not good, because they are. They are really good. Well written, well developed, the characters are well formulated, and the message is is there between the lines.
This book is just as we expect from Martin. My problem with it is this: while reading I feel like I'm in a puzzle, trying to decifer the real meaning, trying to work out what the book is really about. The book starts off with a base plot, we meet Dylan and his wife Magg
Oct 25, 2015 Joleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, coma, pregnancy
I have always thoroughly enjoyed Charles Martin's books... until this one. Oh.. that's not exactly fair. I still enjoyed this book... just not as much as the others. Wonderful, wonderful story, and Mr. Martin is a truly gifted writer. Just something about the way this one was put together was off for me. When the main character went into his head and was seeing things, like when he jumped in the river by himself, and let the water go over his head, and it was like a dying things-flashing-before- ...more
Sep 16, 2012 L rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 09, 2011 Kathleen Anderson rated it it was amazing
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!
Jul 31, 2014 Echo rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-recommend
Dylan Styles' whole world was ripped apart in just a few short minutes during the birth of his son. He walked out of the delivery room covered in his wife's blood with no family left. His son was dead and his wife was in a coma that the doctor's gave him little hope of her ever waking from. Now he must continue in a world that has stopped making sense to him while gifts from his wife just keep coming when he least expects him. The only help he has on this sad journey is that of his old friend, t ...more
Melissa Pollard
Apr 26, 2013 Melissa Pollard rated it it was amazing
Again Charles Martin takes you down to the pits of despair, and miraculously brings you back out. Reading this book alone, without the sequel "Maggie" is a mistake. So commit to both and you won't be sorry.
Jan 21, 2014 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Charles Martin does it again. I read this book in 2 days. I could not put it down. It was THAT good. Martin weaves words like a master. This book does not disappoint!
Mar 18, 2009 Heidi rated it really liked it
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.
Jul 12, 2009 booklady marked it as to-read
Jennifer speaks very highly of this one as well...
Rena Ackley
Feb 09, 2016 Rena Ackley rated it it was amazing
Heartbreakingly beautiful novel. I had no idea this was his first novel until I finished. I have enjoyed each of his books and his blog posts. The novel is filled with the honest, brutal feelings we have when a dream dies but also the reality that we can choose to live again or live each day like we are already dead. The need for being honest with others about our experiences and true feelings, anger at God and what we feel is unfair, and the freedom in reconciliation, quite the gamut of emotion ...more
Feb 22, 2014 Tanya rated it liked it
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
Sep 05, 2013 Nadine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this author.
Sep 19, 2015 Cayla rated it it was amazing
I read this book for the first time back in 2010 or 2011 on a trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. And I could NOT put it down! I re-read it this weekend (September 2015) for the first time in several years and my feelings for this book have only grown stronger! In fact, I managed to get my mother to read it this week and she's now hooked!

Dylan Styles loves his wife. Loves her from head to toe. When his wife, Maggie, slips into a coma after a nightmarish experience in the labor and delivery ward, h
Jul 12, 2009 Lisa rated it liked it
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
Emily Adams
Feb 10, 2012 Emily Adams rated it really liked it
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
Sep 04, 2007 Deb rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian, fiction
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
Megan Guy
Aug 17, 2014 Megan Guy rated it it was amazing
This was the first Charles Martin book I read.
I tell you I wasn't expecting such a sad book. But it was so beautifully written.
He made the characters so real, I love their love, i felt their pain and joy.
Charles makes me believe that not every story is going to have a happy ending and it might not be okay in that moment but it will eventually.

Thank you Charles Martin for being such an amazing author
May 19, 2016 Cheryl rated it it was amazing
How have I missed this author for so long? He is quickly becoming a favorite. The entwinement of the deepness of his love for his wife, his devotion to his friends, and his strength with his students, make Dylan Styles a character I will never forget. You can almost taste the tears of his grief, and still he holds on tightly to his faith, even through anger and despair. Every one of Mr. Martins characters literally come alive on the pages of The Dead Don't Dance. If you haven't read one of Charl ...more
Apr 06, 2015 Abigail rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grandmother just gave me pretty much every book ever written by Charles Martin, this being the second so far that I've read, and I have to say that I really am kinda in love with his writing style. It's so different, but in a good way that lifts up God indirectly. It's really awesome. Anyway, highly recommended to anyone looking for a good, heartwarming book to read this weekend :)
Linda Manley
Jan 12, 2015 Linda Manley rated it it was amazing
I loved this story. It held me attention and made me think about how tragic live can sometimes be. The characters were real. I could picture them in every scene. I wanted to be able to reach out and offer my assistance. This novel has put Charles Martin's books on my want to read list. I can hardly wait to begin the next book!
Jan 13, 2014 Lydia rated it really liked it
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
Jul 04, 2014 Teresa rated it it was amazing
Once again Charles Martin's book reaches in, grabs my heart, and squeezes it hard. What a beautiful story. Great characters that enhance others' lives, profound truths, and God's abundant love. The Dead Don't Dance will move you to tears, give you faith in humanity, and restore your belief in God's presence in your life.
Jun 02, 2014 SouthernAngel rated it it was amazing
I read this book a while ago, but I still like to suggest it to anyone and everyone. Charles Martin did an amazing job off keep me interested and on the edge of my seat. The title seems a little sad, course the book is sad in ways. But it is defiantly a book that everyone should read at least once.
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IGer's Book Club: The Dead Don't Dance book reviews 4 9 Jan 23, 2013 09:26AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: The Dead Don't Dance 1 3 Feb 17, 2012 01:08PM  
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Married to Christy. Father of three boys.
More about Charles Martin...

Other Books in the Series

Awakening (2 books)
  • Maggie (Awakening #2)

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