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Publisher's Summary

From Elie Wiesel, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and one of our fiercest moral voices, a provocative and deeply thoughtful new novel about a life shaped by the worst horrors of the 20th century and one man's attempt to reclaim happiness.Doriel, a European expatriate living in New York, suffers from a profound sense of desperation and loss. His mother, a member of the Resistance, survived World War II only to die in an accident, together with his father, soon after. Doriel was a child during the war, and his knowledge of the Holocaust is largely limited to what he finds in movies, newsreels, and books - but it is enough. Doriel's parents and their secrets haunt him, leaving him filled with longing but unable to experience the most basic joys in life. He plunges into an intense study of Judaism, but instead of finding solace, he comes to believe that he is possessed by a dybbuk.Surrounded by ghosts, spurred on by demons, Doriel finally turns to Dr. Therese Goldschmidt, a psychoanalyst who finds herself particularly intrigued by her patient. The two enter into an uneasy relationship based on exchange of dreams, histories, and secrets. Despite Doriel's initial resistance, Dr. Goldschmidt helps to bring him to a crossroads - and to a shocking denouement.In Doriel's journey into the darkest regions of the soul, Elie Wiesel has written one of his most profoundly moving works of fiction, grounded always by his unparalleled moral compass.
©2008 Elie Wiesel; (P)2009 Random House
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Critic Reviews

"The novel . . . ends on an affirmative note, a triumph of life's dance of desire over the madness that is a living death. Philosophy meets psychology in this profound, often poetic novel." (Kirkus)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Roy on 12-14-09

Disturbing

Elie Wiessel once again passes to us remembrance of the Nazi concentration camps. Here, in a fictional work, Wiessel tells the story of Doriel Waldman a Jewish New Yorker and Holocaust survivor who seeks help from a psychoanlyst who is also a surviver. Doriel is wonderfully articulate, introspective and self aware. Wiesel allows the reader to enter his mind and understand to some limited degree his experience.

The narrative is easily followed. The prose takes more effort because of the Judaic images and wordplay. Elie Wiesel is troubling, but essential to our understanding of this dark period in human history.

A Mad Desire to Dance is well worth every listener's time. The narration of Mark Bramhal and Kirsten Potter is excellent.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 06-15-11

Different

The books starts a little slow--I had my doubts at the beginning--but slowly Wiesel paints a capturing psychological portrait. After listening to the first quarter of the book, I couldn't stop listening. The writing is so...different. So Wiesel. Mystical and dramatic, yet cynical and direct; theological and grotesque, yet academic and insightful. I found myself connecting with the main character a lot.

Oh, and Mark Bramhall's narration is--well--it's one of the few times I would say a book is improved by the narrator. Bramhall is remarkably talented. And Kirsten Potter does an excellent job too.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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