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Dance On My Grave (The Dance Sequence)

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  759 ratings  ·  49 reviews
Life in his seaside town is uneventful for Hal Robinson, nothing unusual, exciting or odd ever happens to him - until now that is. Until the summer of his 16th birthday when he reaches a crossroads of choices in life. He foolishly takes a friend's boat for a day's sailing, gets into difficulty and is rescued by Barry Gorman. Their ensuing relationship results in a tumultuo ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published August 14th 1995 by Red Fox (first published 1982)
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Best Gay Fiction
415th out of 1,091 books — 1,337 voters
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Spectral Titles
76th out of 230 books — 39 voters

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Community Reviews

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Sixteen-year-old Hal is lazing on his friends sailboat when he capsizes. That's when Barry Gorman saves Hal's life, and the two boys start a friendship. Over the course of the summer, Hal and Barry have adventures throughout their British town of Southend, and their relationship slowly develops into something much more serious. In a moment of intensity, Barry makes Hal promise that if either of them dies, the other one will dance on his grave, giving no explanation. Then the unthinkable happens. ...more
"La sola cosa importante è che in qualche modo sfuggiamo tutti alla nostra storia."

Comincio a chiedermi perché sia così largamente condivisa una certa visione mortifera dell'adolescenza, come se per parlare bene di adolescenza, per capire gli adolescenti, fosse necessaria la morte di qualcuno.
Anche in questo caso, si comincia con una morte già annunciata, per poi procedere a ritroso. Per fortuna, il nefasto evento che detta la narrazione viene accompagnata da un evento molto più singolare e div
Originally published in 1982, this British gay teen coming-of-age story was way ahead of its time in its depiction of young queer characters who aren't in the least bit conflicted/ashamed/scared of their sexuality. In fact, it's still more matter of fact about the character's sexual identity than most queer teen books out there today -- rather than making that facet of their identities (and society's response to it) the focus of the novel, Chambers simply allows the story to unfold through the p ...more
Sean Kennedy
I remember reading this book when I was a teenager, and sought it out again. I wish in retrospect the GLBT YA fiction that is out now was around when I was younger, because it seems everything dealing with those issues that was released back then was depressing and didn't inspire much hope. This is another book that deals with the Tragic Dead Gay syndrome - not a spoiler, as you are told this on the very first page. And really, I am over Tragic Dead Gay syndrome. It doesn't help that this book d ...more
Allora, premesso che ora amo Chambers e che lo trovo uno degli scrittori di YA più talentuosi tra quelli che io abbia mai letto.
Danza sulla mia tomba è un capolavoro se non fosse per le, mhh, 40 pagine finali che mi hanno lasciato un po' freddino.
Ne parlerò meglio in video, ma comunque rimane bellissimo e VOI NON LO STATE LEGGENDO, LEGGETELO.
Secondo me Breaktime è superiore a livello tecnico, ma Danza sulla mia tomba mi ha colpito un sacco a livello emotivo. Ci son state pagine in cui ho pensato
Goldie Marie
Amazing this book is a true work of art, a Mona Lisa ina crowd of bring watercolours. First off I loved the format. Differnt but Famailiar in a mix of the old and the new. I must admit the whole hey maybee I'm gay maybee i sleep w/ a girl tonight kinda irks me; you either like him or you don't, don't play with his emotions. Otherwise it was one of the most fantastic pieces of lit I've read in a while. I recommend Pg:162 paragraph 7.
The full title of this book is: Dance on My Grave: A Life and Death in Four Parts One Hundred and Seventeen Bits Six Running Reports and Two Press Clippings with a Few Jokes a Puzzle or Three Some Footnotes and A Fiasco Now and Then to Help the Story Along. The full title is a much more accurate description of the novel than just the title.

Hal has realized for some time that he desires a "bosom buddy" and has failed to find one. When he meets Barry Gorman, someone he has seen in school but figur
Paige Horst
Sep 21, 2012 Paige Horst rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 16+
Recommended to Paige by: Goodreads
Shelves: yal, owned-by-me
After reading the first page of Dance on My Grave, I was hooked. The novels that resonate the most with me are ones with unreliable narrators and a non-traditional or non-linear narrative. The voice of Henry "Hal" Robinson shines through every word of this mid-sized novel.

Told in the form of diary entries, after-the-fact-journaling, newspaper clippings, and official reports from a social worker, the novel plunges us straight into one summer in the life of a boy trembling on the edge of a cliff
"If I die first you dance on my grave".
I read Dance On My Grave in one sitting. It might be one of my favourite Aidan Chambers novels. The full title reflects more on the content: Dance on My Grave: A Life and Death in Four Parts One Hundred and Seventeen Bits Six Running Reports and Two Press Clippings with a Few Jokes a Puzzle or Three Some Footnotes and A Fiasco Now and Then to Help the Story Along.

Hal Robinson is a sixteen-year-old living in Southend, England. He's waiting for the results o
David Rain
I picked up this book when it first came out, started reading it idly, then couldn’t put it down. This is a teenage novel, or young adult novel, of considerable and unusual accomplishment. It’s also a gay novel, a comic novel, and an experimental novel, too. The story is about Hal Robinson, a sixteen-year old schoolboy, and his dramatic and obsessive love affair with the richer, handsomer, older Barry Gorman. On the first page, we learn that Barry is dead, and that Hal has been arrested for dese ...more
The only reason I gave this book a 4 instead of a 5 was because it got slow in places, and I lost interest for a while about 3/4 of the way through. However, the ending is perfect and redeems any slow parts. The author, Aidan Chambers, says it perfectly himself in an afterword to the book: "Dance on My Grave has sometimes been called a novel about being gay. That is not how I think of it. To me it is as much about obsessive emotion as anything else. Hal is obsessed with Barry -- or rather, what ...more
Ik heb nu twee boeken van Aidan Chambers gelezen. Van beide boeken wist ik niet zeker wat ik nu van de stijl vond. Beide boeken hebben eigenlijk precies dezelfde stijl. Ze hebben ook precies hetzelfde personage. Alleen is het in 'Dit is alles' een meisje en in 'Je moet dansen op mijn graf' een jongen. Maar het is wel een jongensachtig meisje in 'Dit is alles' en een meisjesachtige jongen in 'Je moet dansen op mijn graf'. Beide personages zijn nogal melodramatisch. Beide personages zijn slim op e ...more
It's interesting to see how books we loved in high school hold up in adulthood. In this YA novel, Aidan Chambers wonderfully captures Hal's precocious adolescent voice and the cynical and unthinking arrogance that naturally accompanies that precociousness. He also captures first love and first loss.

I first read this novel at 17 in between the stacks in my high school library, rendered a weepy mess at the part you'd expect. What got me emotionally then got me intellectually this time around: the
It took me awhile to remember and find this book. I think the only reason I remembered it was because of the title.

When I was in tenth grade Advanced English, we were hauled down to the library one morning and forced to pick a novel from a small pile that was already waiting for us on a table. I stood near the back with headphones on and waited for everyone else to slowly disperse. By the time I finally got to the table, there were only four ratty old books left, and Dance on My Grave was the on
Nov 12, 2011 Nicole rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who see more clearly than I
Shelves: lgbt-etc, ya, gave-ups
I want so much to like Aidan Chambers! What am I missing??

I made it exactly halfway through the book before I couldn't take it anymore. Parts were so good, but most of it felt like I was trying to see through opaque glass. I got the plot points, I got the basic character outlines, but the details were frustratingly fuzzy. Like I was listening to my friends speak in code with the assumption that I understood, but I didn't really and so I had to pretend I understood and keep muddling though the co
Geert Renders
The book stands out with it's unique way of bringing the story, as if it was written by the main character to a person. The book has time jumps, beginning with the ending, but then slowly showing us more details of the events. The storyline and the characters didn't really captivate me, but it was an enjoyable read overall.
This five-star rating has something of nostalgia in it. Don't get me wrong: it's a good book, and if I were reading it for the first time today I would probably give it four stars. But instead it is the beloved book of my fifteen-year-old self, lost to me for many years, and finally returned through the magic of a new edition. The prodigal book returned! So I can overlook the fact that the book loses urgency in its final third, and the fact that it contains two long, semi-comic set pieces that f ...more
Läste denna som tonåring. Har alltid fastnat för manliga snararevän kvinnliga författare. Vet inte om det beror på att det bor en liten bög i mig, eller om det beror på att jag tyckte kvinnliga författare skrev så himla självnedgrottande och gnälligt och bara i relation till män. Eller så hittade jag inte rätt helt enkelt.

Men Chambers hittade jag. Minns knappt handlingen, baa personerna och intrycket den gjorde. En rätt normal kille hamnar i nån slags livskris och katalysatorn är en ng man med k
I'm pretty sure this falls under "young adult" reading, but it has relatable subject matter. I'm also pretty sure you can't get this book in the States anymore unless you happen upon a used copy. I read this on a 5-hour train ride from Edinburgh to London, in a car all by myself with a broken iPod, a very easy read but that's not an insult. And of course I like it because it's more than a LITTLE gay. No spoilers here, but the obsession of the main character with his friend is almost frightening. ...more
Why didn't I read this book earlier? It was sitting on my shelf for probably almost a year, but I put other books ahead of it. I am sorry. I still crave another ending even after having spent an hour finishing the book, not even getting up to turn on my light until the sun set completely. Fin, did we even realize the revolution of this book when you read it in 2011? Never once do they drop words to describe the love between any of the characters! It just is. No classification or explanation. Jus ...more
Un bel romanzo, non c’è che dire. Aidan Chambers mi convince di più a ogni nuova lettura; già Muoio dalla voglia di conoscerti mi era piaciuto molto.
In realtà l’aspetto omosessuale non è così importante come si potrebbe pensare dalla sinossi. Come in tutti i romanzi di formazione, ciò che conta è l’evoluzione del protagonista. L’elaborazione del dolore, il disincanto della crescita, il rinnovarsi rimanendo fedeli a se stessi.
Libro per giovani adulti che in realtà mi sento di consigliare chiunque
Una gioia dopo l'altra.
The first time I read this book, I was 15 years old and I adored it. For years, I named it as my favourite book. In my memory, it must have taken on epic proportions because the second time I read it, I was very disappointed. Four years had passed and when reading this book again, I couldn't understand what had appealed to me so much. I didn't like the characters at all and thought the main character to be a bit of a whiny bore.
Catherine Austen
I loved this book, and love this author. He's fantastic - creative and intelligent and funny and full of soul, and such a fine writer. (I liked this book much more than his Breaktime, which was well-written and intriguing but it just didn't grab me. This one I just loved.) This is a book worth rereading. It's a very honest love story (a gay one). They don't give away that Hans Christian Andersen medal for nothing.
Marine Sander
I read this book when I was fourteen, I didn't speak english really well at that time but I know somehow I got the feelings the author put in the book. I didn't get all those words but I could understand the characters and their thoughts about what it's like to be a teenager and all the questions you can ask yourself. I loved it. It has always been one of my favourite books.
Karen Healey
I thought the writing was beautiful and the characterisation wonderful, but the story didn't appeal. Which is purely a matter of taste - I like books where things happen, and when you can't tell what's going to happen next. Not ones when you know the entire plot from page 30 and are only waiting for it to be told, beautifully, but without any surprises.
'Maar ik denk dat een van de rare dingen van het leven is dat je nooit van de ene ervaring leert hoe je de volgende moet aanpakken. Omdat twee ervaringen nooit helemaal gelijk zijn. Je verandert door wat er met je gebeurt; maar elke nieuwe ervaring is weer even moeilijk te verwerken als de voorgaande.'
oh I loved this book,
Emotional turmoil, unexpected turns and an unusual way of starting and ending a books.
The characters were so human too..

I won't give you a summary; just read it, I loved it and couldn't tear my eyes away from the pages.
A stirring, realistic portrait of obsessive first love, only this one ends (and the book begins) with the death of one of the boys. Interesting style, told in choppy bits of present tense, memories, adult social worker's reports. Very strong.
Rambling and uninspired. Chambers' prose simply wasn't evocative enough to tie together the novel's diffuse themes. As a result, the main character's fascination with death didn't come across as poignant, it just seemed a bit weird.
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Born near Chester-le-Street, County Durham in 1934, Chambers was an only child, and a poor scholar; considered "slow" by his teachers, he did not learn to read fluently until the age of nine. After two years in the Royal Navy as part of his National Service, Chambers trained as a teacher and taught for three years at Westcliff High School in Southend on Sea before joining an Anglican monastery in ...more
More about Aidan Chambers...

Other Books in the Series

The Dance Sequence (6 books)
  • Breaktime
  • Nik: Now I Know
  • The Toll Bridge
  • Postcards from No Man's Land
  • This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn
This is All: The Pillow Book of Cordelia Kenn Postcards from No Man's Land Dying to Know You The Kissing Game The Toll Bridge

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