Random House Audio Listening Library
A Mad Desire to Dance Cover

A Mad Desire to Dance

Written by Elie Wiesel
Read by Mark Bramhall and Kirsten Potter

Work ID: 190331

ISBN: 9780739382073

Format: Unabridged Audiobook Download

List Price: $20.00

On Sale Date: Feb 17, 2009



A searing exploration of a man haunted by the horrors of the twentieth century, a man who feels he must be going mad but who finds a way out of the darkness.
    
Doriel is a European transplanted to New York who carries with him a profound sense of desperation and loss. His mother, a resistance leader, survives the war but dies in a car crash with her husband soon afterward. Doriel's longing for his parents, and a longing to know his family's secrets, haunts him and denies him the chance for happiness or intimacy with women. The intense study of Judaism offers him no solace; to the contrary, he comes to believe he is haunted by a dybbuk. His visits to Israel land him in anti-Zionist enclaves where only the coming of the Messiah is important.

A child during the war, all he knows of the Holocaust comes from movies, newsreels, and books. But it is enough. Five years of psychoanalysis brings him to a crossroads. Finally he comes to grips with his mother's secret -- a wartime affair -- and the process triggers in him a new understanding that only love can heal the most intimate of wounds.

Praise for A Mad Desire to Dance

“A soaring explanation of a soul devastated by horrorism in a world off its rocker, A Mad Desire to Dance cannot be called comfy, not by a long shot. But in its own highstepping yet paradoxically heart-wracking way, it can most assuredly be considered beautiful (almost beyond belief).”
-Judith Fitzgerald, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Tales in A Mad Desire to Dance just pour out of the author like the Talmudic ma’ayan hamitgaber, the wellspring that never runs dry . . . Wiesel proves again that he is a master storyteller who can weave a complex tapestry of plots into an intricately poignant human portrait.”
-Ari L. Goldman, Moment magazine

A Mad Desire to Dance is the novel Elie Wiesel was born–or more accurately, survived–to write . . . There are many truths buried in this book; that you have to work a little harder, dig a little deeper, to find them makes the experience all the more meaningful.”
-Curt Schleier, Milwaulkee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

“Elie Wiesel once more confirms his influence as a master storyteller who can weave an intricate narrative into a complex portrait of a man at once obliterated and remade.”
-M.E. Collins, Chicago Sun-Times

“Austerely written and . . . thought-provoking.”
-Mike Peed, The New York Times Book Review

“Elie Wiesel continues to be the ultimate witness to history’s worst enormity, and its fiercest moral voice for remembrance . . . [A Mad Desire to Dance] takes patience and close reading, but those who stay with it will derive a significant level of satisfaction . . . from the seemingly simple yet stirring reminder that love can soothe, even if it cannot completely heal, the most horrendous wounds.”
-Gerald Sorin, Haaretz

“Artfully developed . . . Wiesel is a master storyteller.”
-Alvin H. Rosenfeld, The New Leader

“Alternately rough and tender . . . A Mad Desire to Dance begins ominously and ends beautifully . . . No matter if your faith lies with science, religion, or both, A Mad Desire to Dance offers a tantalizing conversion experience for the philosopher in you.”
-Andrew Burstein, The Baton Rouge Advocate

“Vivid . . . This novel is filled with gorgeous prose.”
-Kevin O’Kelly, The Boston Globe

A Mad Desire to Dance shows the sensibility of a literary wanderer who has not finished searching for answers to his original anguished questions . . . A reader willing to navigate the thickets will find rewards. The novel’s . . . satisfactions lie in a sense of shared responsibility between teller and listener, a confidential yet far-reaching partnership that began four decades ago with Night.”
-Donna Rifkind, The Washington Post

“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.”
-Starred review, Kirkus

“It is once again a survivor’s memories . . . that will rivet readers . . . The terse personal vignettes are gripping . . . The secrets surprise you to the end.”
-Booklist

“Difficult but powerful . . . Wiesel handles the situation expertly, and . . . a multilayered narrative emerges: the journey through sadness and toward redemption; a meditation on the hand dealt to Holocaust survivors; and a valuable parable on the wages of human trauma. While the novel is not always easy sledding, there are ample rewards–intellectual and visceral–for the willing reader.”
-Publishers Weekly

And praise from France for A Mad Desire to Dance

A Mad Desire to Dance reminds us, with force, that Wiesel’s writing is alive and strong. The master has once again found here a startling freshness.”
-Le Monde des Livres

“A genuine adventure that enriches the reader.”
-L’Eclaireur

A Mad Desire to Dance [is] an interior adventure driven by the need to know–and the certitude–that only love can heal our most intimate wounds.”
-France Culture




From the Hardcover edition.