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The Dead Don't Dance

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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  2,267 ratings  ·  256 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
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Paperback, 314 pages
Published May 30th 2006 by WestBow Press (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 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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
Echo
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
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.
Rachel
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!
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
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
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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
Megan
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
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
Teresa
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.
SouthernAngel
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.
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 (Still here...I think)
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
Lydia Lewis
Such a heartbreaking premise, and yet, the love of family and community is so strong and passionate, I just really enjoyed it.
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.
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IGer's Book Club: The Dead Don't Dance book reviews 4 9 Jan 23, 2013 09:26AM  
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67487
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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