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A Mad Desire to Dance

3.21  ·  Rating details ·  735 Ratings  ·  140 Reviews
Now in paperback, Wiesel’s newest novel “reminds us, with force, that his writing is alive and strong. The master has once again found a startling freshness.”—Le Monde des Livres
A European expatriate living in New York, Doriel suffers from a profound sense of desperation and loss. His mother, a member of the Resistance, survived World War II only to die soon after in Fra
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 13th 2010 by Schocken (first published February 17th 2006)
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Saleh MoonWalker
داستان در نل خوب بود. ابتدای کتاب واقعا سخت جلو میره و حوصله سر بر هست. اونقدر که دوست داری بزاریش کنار و دیگه سراغش نری. مخصوصا روند فوق خطی داستان و دیالوگ های بین دیمون ها و بقیه اشخاص داستان. نمیدونم چرا ولی انتظار داشتم بهتر بشه داستان در آخرش، واسه همین ادامه دادم تا آخرش، و درست حدس زده بودم. در آخر خیلی بهتر شد و به خوندنش می ارزید. انتهاش خوب بود و هیجان جالبی داشت.

Every human being is unique but his or her stories aren't.

uh-oh. SOC from a madman's therapy files? Not for me.
Mike Keirsbilck
Feb 10, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r-52-books
I made a drastic decision with this one: I stopped reading and tossed it aside.
Now, that's something I usually don't do. Even if I don't like a novel, I seem to find the stamina to push through.
I just couldn't go on with this one. There's nothing that appeals to me. At. All.

During my read I hit a wall, three times. I paused my reading, and read another book, just to get going again.
Today I returned to the book for a fourth time. Determined to push it to end.
After some 20 pages, every joy I find
Richard Derus
Rating: 3.5* of five

Like any other Wiesel book, this is well worth reading. Don't be put off by the philosophy-student-at-2am first 50pp. Chapter 3, starting on p51, begins a different phase of the book and it's a much less claustrophobic experience after that.

Wiesel is justly famous for the memoir "Night". He's not a novelist, frankly, and a less talented writer would have turned this same story into the literary equivalent of waterboarding. Things like, "At times, in an involuntary and unpredi
Nov 30, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
That was one weird book. The story of a self-proclaimed "madman", told mostly through his rambling stream-of-conscious therapy sessions, I had no idea what was going on for the first 100 pages or so, and even once I started to understand the plot, I found it hard to figure out the chronology as it skipped around so much. There was also way to much about his inner struggle with his Jewish faith, as I, as a non-Jew, had no idea what he was talking about. In the end, I found some chapters that were ...more
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened
Ok so I was expecting something different than what I got. What I got was yet ANOTHER going on and on about how a mother's avocation should have been been her vocation and how that screwed up her son. I know that is NOT what this book was about. I would be better off with a book written about Doriel's mother as that is subject matter, I am interested in. The women of the Resistance. And Dr. Thérèse Goldschmidt was slightly annoying in constantly thinking her patient was falling for her, really? ...more
Jul 01, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time with this book. I listened to the audio book while working on projects around the house. I feel that if I had started reading the book, I would never have finished it.

The story deals with some very deep and troubling issues. This fact together with a discontinuous time-line and a narrator who is a professed madman made this a difficult story. The story is based around the relationship that develops between the narrator (currently in his 60's)and his therapist. I found the relat
Camille McCarthy
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book follows the psychoanalysis of a Jewish survivor of World War II Poland whose family was killed in the war and who is convinced he is mad. While the analyst finds him a troubling patient because he resists letting her explore his memories, he also is so lucid that it's hard for him to seem really insane to the analyst despite his troubled mind. I found it an interesting journey through the main character's memory and the ending was very hopeful and shows that a lot of the time, one's pr ...more
Lydia Presley
Oct 27, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I've spent an hour or so trying to figure out how the review for this book should go.

My rating is not based on the literary quality of the book. It's based on how the book made me feel. While parts were thought-provoking, the majority of the book dragged my spirits down so low that just reading it put me in a perpetually bad mood.

The only redeeming parts of the book were from the therapist's point of view, but even then the feeling of helplessness and waste was overwhelming.

It's not an easy read
A Mad Desire to Dance by Elie Wiesel is one of those "I know I should really like this, but I don't" novels. You know the kind. It just hangs out on the book shelf, the great name of its author exuding an ethereal glow, biding its time until its dark powers of persuasion ensnare you. Wiesel had garnered my attention through his memior Night. While I had no misconceptions about A Mad Desire to Dance being a totally different work and fiction at that, I had no way of knowing that I had perhaps sel ...more
"...if surprises didn't exist, life would be nothing more than a bad novel about mediocrity." (p. 37)

Elie Wiesel does a great job taking you through the inter-workings of Doriel's (the main character) mind. Readers then have the pleasure of seeing Doriel through the eyes of his psychiatrist, Therese Goldschmidt, as she follows along on this journey in an effort to cure Doriel of his self proclaimed "madness." All the while, I, as the reader, found myself on a journey through my mind and past on
Jan 16, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had hoped for more, after all that soul searching. I did not find this book profound or uplifting, but tiring and discouraging- demoralizing. The first 100 pages were so hard to get through, afterward it became easier, but the author seemed to go in circles. Most of the time I had no idea what he was trying to say or where he was going. I had a hard time feeling any connection with the main character- despite all the tragedy he lived through, I never felt emotionally connected.
Dec 21, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
a little odd...have put it down for now but would like to finish it--will give it one more chance, since I love Elie Wiesel so much.
ok...had to put this book down. Way to depressing. I can understand how Doriel's life had led him tot his point, but real life has enough sadness, so I don't need to get this kind of depression from a novel. LOVE Wiesel but not this book.
Nov 07, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if I should actually give this a rating since I did not actually finish the book... I barely started it. But I just can NOT wade through it, and after I realized that I had skimmed 50 pages without absorbing much, I put the book down. I'm sure the book is very good for some people, but I am just not one of them.
Feb 26, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discarded-books
Sorry Wiesel, I just couldn't stick with it. I'm sure it's lovely...somehow, but the first 1/8th was a little painful. Get into it. Give me something! The jacket promises a surprising Dénouement, but I needed a little more sense in the exposition.
Absolutely horrible. On page 17 and I can't even continue. How is he a Nobel prize winning author?
Joy  Cagil
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first listened to this novel from a CD set; however, I had a difficult time understanding what happened when and who was talking. Then I read it from a borrowed paperback, and I liked it much, much better.

The story is a typical Elie Wiesel work, coming from his heart so distraught from having endured so much. Throughout the plot, until the end chapters, the main character Doriel Waldman looks back at his life as he relates them to his therapist, Dr. Thérèse Goldschmidt. The ending is happy, p
Mar 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I will always remember seeing Elie Wiesel speak in person when I was at university. For a Holocaust survivor, he was remarkably filled with the essence of hope in the human spirit. He had a sense of the world that was baffling from where I sat after what he had been through but there was a definite wholehearted wisdom there that I wanted to believe in.

The main character of this novel, Doriel, is not a Holocaust survivor himself but was a child and lived through being hid and then after having to
Review: A Mad Desire To Dance by Elie Wiesel.

This book was not what I expected but it turned out to be interesting with a lot of emotional insane desires written about Doriel Waldman, a holocaust survivor, in a desperate need for dramatizing everything he did and said with emphases of what he called madness within himself. His therapist, Therese Goldschmidt thought he was a complicated person and wanted to help him. The entire book is dedicated to just him and his therapist. Therese husband was
Nick Johnston

If you are a high level book reader I recommend this book for you. But if you are a reader looking for a good fun read, this book would not be the book for you. This book is not for those who are not serious readers, and who does not read on your free time.
This book is about a man named Doriel who is completely mad. His whole family, parents sister and one brother are all killed during World War. Because of this a dybbuk ends up overruling his body. This is why he goes mad. To try to cure this
I really didn't care for this book. In fact, I haven't cared for Wiesel's last two books. I loved Night and Dawn, but the others are paltry compared to these two.

I understand that a person who lives and suffers through something like the Holocaust probably never gets over it and spends his entire life trying to work through it. Writing Night was a cathartic experience for Wiesel, but this book is a repeat of all he has written of in the past. And Wiesel comes across angry and bitter in this book
Glen Moss
I was pleasantly surprised by this book considering the abysmal failure of the book I read before this one. This book, like the one I read before it, looks at the life of the main character. It was originally written in French so the narrative style is a little different than some readers might expect but it does not take long to adjust.

The main character is a child of Jewish rebels fighting the Nazis during World War II. The story itself is narrated though a series of therapy sessions with a ps
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jsem nadšená! Jedna z nejlepších knih, co jsem četla. Ze začátku jsem si chtěla zatrhávat všechny zajímavé "hlášky". Po pár stránkách jsem zjistila, že bych si musela zatrhávat každý odstavec!
Prolínání osudů a neštěstí židů - příbuzných Doriela, ty jeho obludné představy, které ho pronásledují a snaha o terapii ... Četla jsem ji jedním dechem. Úžasná kniha, tak nějak jiná od těch ostatních. Jsem ráda, že ji mám :)

...Jenomže kdo říká, že vina a šílenství jsou, nebo nejsou slučitelné? A kdo si můž
I was incredibly touched by Mr. Wiesel's book, Night. It really taught me about the almost unbelievable ability of humans to be unbearably cruel to one another and the importance of kindness and compassion in this world.

I listened to the audio CD narrated by Mark Bramhall and Kirsten Potter. It was a bit difficult to get into the story at first - the dialogue was very disjointed and the discussion of demons and mythical judaism was hard to follow.

Despite my initial reluctance to continue, I pus
Susan Emmet
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enter the mind of a self-professed "madman" seeking the help of a Freudian psychiatrist.
Be confused in the beginning and then find the threads in character and plot that link the jagged pieces.
Persevere. It's worth it for those who want to navigate the complex and mind-numbing thoughts of Doriel Waldman - and his doctor, Therese Goldschmidt. It's both of their stories at many moments in time.
Doriel's attempt over decades to travel, meet people, plumb the depths of Jewish belief and mysticism, ed
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wiesel, with his masterful writing skills, has done it again, with a book that is extremely complex, dealing with the primary theme of “madness”, otherwise termed as insanity, depression, melancholia, mania, schizophrenia, and illness.

It is not an easy read, and often seems disjointed. That is due to the fact that Doriel Waldman, the primary character, is suffering from what he defines as “madness”, and is jumping back and forth, from one scenario to another in almost manic fashion, while relay
Tammy Chiang
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bookmarks Magazine

"Wiesel's is among the truly great lives of the 20th century, his very presence an inspiration to many and a reminder of the enormous power of the word to combat injustice and evil," notes the San Francisco Chronicle. But in the eyes of this critic and others, Wiesel's latest novel doesn't measure up to his stature. About half praised Wiesel's portrayal of Doriel's deep angst and impressive knowledge of philosophy and ethics, Judaism, and politics; others commended the memorable characters and i

Alicia Coast
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book starts off slow and sporadic, with the narrator quickly switching between topics. It doesn't take long to get used to the writing style and I quickly became engrossed in the story. Doriel, an elderly Jewish man, has sought out the help of a psychoanalyst in order to learn the source of his self proclaimed "madness". He discusses his childhood during the Holocaust, the deaths of his family members, and the his relationships both platonic and romantic.

The main idea behind his so called "m
Lauren Dostal
Apparently a lot of people didn't like this book, which is mind boggling to me. I picked it up and couldn't put it down. It is the most underlined book in my collection, and I often pick it back up just to read through some of the quotes.

The style is sporadic, ala The Sound and the Fury, and there isn't much plot. It is definitely a book you read for character and ideas, not for story, but as long as you start with that expectation, this read is a beautiful experience.

I have just finished readin
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Eliezer Wiesel was a Romania-born American novelist, political activist, and Holocaust survivor of Hungarian Jewish descent. He was the author of over 40 books, the best known of which is Night, a memoir that describes his experiences during the Holocaust and his imprisonment in several concentration camps.

Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. The Norwegian Nobel Committee called him a
More about Elie Wiesel...
“Musíme se vzbouřit proti bohům a říkat: "Chcete mi odepřít štěstí? Tak dobře, ukousnu si ho pořádné sousto!" To je tváří v tvář utrpení jediná platná odpověď.” 2 likes
“Was it she who saved me from the silent death that characterizes resignation to solitude?” 0 likes
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