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Publisher's Summary

In 19th-century Vienna, a drama of love, fate, and will is played out amid the intellectual ferment that defined the era.

Josef Breuer, one of the founding fathers of psychoanalysis, is at the height of his career. Friedrich Nietzsche, Europe's greatest philosopher, is on the brink of suicidal despair, unable to find a cure for the headaches and other ailments that plague him. When he agrees to treat Nietzsche with his experimental "talking cure", Breuer never expects that he, too, will find solace in their sessions. Only through facing his own inner demons can the gifted healer begin to help his patient.

In When Nietzsche Wept, Irvin Yalom blends fact and fiction, atmosphere and suspense to unfold an unforgettable story about the redemptive power of friendship.

©1992, 2003 Irvin D. Yalom (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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An immortal book !

A book which relieves oneself from memories of love betrayals, past memories and fears of death. A novel combining Philosophy, Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis. A compelling read.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Philip
  • Kapelle, Netherlands
  • 09-14-16

Become who you are!

I have thoroughly enjoyed the "When Nietzsche Wept" audiobook, and found both the story as well as the performance excellent! A great "teaching novel" by Irvin Yalom, addressing big life questions that are very recognizable. Nice blend of philosophy and psychotherapy, and an engaging plot where the lines between therapist and patient get very blurry. I got a much better insight into the works of Nietzsche through this book, he truly seems to be one of the founding fathers of "self-actualization". Hats off to Yalom, who manages to make a book that is 80% dialogue and 10% monologue (diary entries, patient reports) fascinating!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Humanism and Humanity Come Together

Would you consider the audio edition of When Nietzsche Wept to be better than the print version?

I have had the printed version for some time, as I am a therapist, but after several failed starts at reading it, I could not keep my attention on it. When I discovered it was an audiobook, I wanted to give it another try, as I have always preferred storytelling to reading the story myself. It was definitely worth the retry!

What other book might you compare When Nietzsche Wept to and why?

I don't recall any books from my past readings that I would find comparable to this one.

What does Paul Michael Garcia bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Paul's voice and narrating style just drew me in to where I found myself not wanting to turn it off when I had to get out of my car to go to my office. I have heard Irvin Yalom speak on many occasions, and Paul's voice sounded like Dr. Yalom was reading the story to me. Paul's voice was smooth, clear, and very in tune with the emotions and meanings of the story parts.

If you could take any character from When Nietzsche Wept out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I would probably want to spend time with Dr. Brauer. I would want to talk with him more about how he kept hope alive in himself to endure the roller coaster ride of Nietzsche's tragic struggles. I would ask Dr. Brauer to share with me some techniques and tips for working with someone who is that profoundly depressed and spiritually lost without going crazy myself. I have had some difficult patients in my own career, and could relate to several of Dr. Brauer's head-banging moments! I would be taking copious notes listening to him.

Any additional comments?

I have been a long time student of Irvin Yalom's works on individual and group therapy in the existential and humanistic way of doing therapy. This book was always one on my shelf that was in the "I'll read it someday" list. Something just got into my head one day to listen to the book when I found it was available in audio format, so I thought it might be an interesting story to hear, knowing Dr. Yalom's story telling skills and topics. LIstening to the story really filled my mind with such images and ideas that fell right into line beside my own experiences as a therapist working with difficult patients, and I felt validated in how I have been practicing, and I took a lot of notes from the story to use in my own practice. I have since discovered other books of his on Audible, and intend to listen to all of them as well. I'll have to thank Dr. Yalom the next time I see him for putting his books on Audible!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I loved it!

it was a really an awesome book. i didnt expect to like it that much!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Nietzsche in narrative format

WOW! fantastic book! This book helps connect a lot of ideas between psychoanalysis and its philosophical foundation. I enjoyed the creativity that Yalom used to join many of Nietzsches big ideas and share them in the easier to adapt narrative format.

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More philosophy than psychology

More philosophy than psychology and yet an extraordinary explanation of Nietzsche and his philosophical relation to Self. Worth reading and rereading and giving it to friends. Best of the Yalom books by far...makes the others seem either self indulgent, self aggrandizing, or just gossip.

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Profound

The sophisticated bromance of humanities great thinkers from the 1800s and the influence woman they loved had on them.

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brilliant historical fiction and story-telling

seamlessly authentic story of wounded healer healing by being healed- impossible to put down without letting it heal the reader

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Historical fiction of world shifting perspectives.

This was both engaging and an interesting read. Yalom's novel storyline brings the historical founders of modern psychoanalysis together in one place and time. Simply brilliant! Within a dialogue of discovery, the reader is introduced to each man's struggle to face themselves and their sexually charged obsessions.

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what a book!

easily, the best fiction/nonfiction book I've read so far. highly recommend it. and great performance by the narrator.

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  • Mateusz Sobiesiak
  • 12-19-17

Wow

This book is beautiful. It help me to find cause of my depression and made me happy again. Incredible psychological experience!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Cat
  • 12-06-16

The best fiction book I read in a long time

The story is so compelling and so touching. It is about several aspects oh human behaviour, friendship,love betrail, loss and search for the understanding of the shelf.
Beautifully written and narrated.
Part of my top ten of all times

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Ian Murray
  • 05-31-17

Fantastic

One of my top 10 books ever. Amazing. Engrossing and a real page turner. Buy it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Georgios P.
  • 02-06-16

Captivating and erudite

Loved it! A clear presentation of the different character personalities and powerful dialogues providing insight in basic principles of psychoanalysis. The narration was also very good. Highly recommended.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Terry Miles
  • 11-29-18

The original lobster man?

I am not someone with any academic background in philosophy or psychology. It turns out this makes me vulnerable to a story well told.

I have no direct experience of Freudian or Jungian psychotherapy but I have always distrusted it. People seem to spend years in it, spend buckets of money and just keep going back and back and back because - I do believe - one's capacity for self-delusion on the basis of a 19th Century mid-European franchise run by a venerable academic discipline is boundless. Lately I have been more impressed by evolutionary psychology with seems far more grounded in neuroscience and modern research. There is also the recent assessment that the subconscious doesn't actually exist and that the analysis of dreams is largely a task of imagination So I started with a certain cynicism towards Yalom. But...

The book is pretty well written - the audio beautifully performed - and is very seductive. It's a fiction that draws out both the claimed benefits of psychotherapy and selective insights from Nietzche's work, ultimately to suggest a plausible link between the thought of Nietzche and Freud. As a relative innocent coming to philosophy I was seduced (as you may be). There are some great quotes and challenging aphorisms that bear thinking about in there.

I've even ordered a couple of books by Nietzsche and in the meantime gone back to the audiobook of A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell to listen to his chapter on Nietzsche. And there I came to a sudden screeching halt.

I know that some will protest that his life's work was hijacked by his anti-semitic sister and the Nazis, that Russell wrote in the aftermath of WW2 and that we are only now coming to make a neutral reassessment and rediscovery of his thoughts BUT do listen to Russell's assessment. And the quotations from Nietzsche HE provides. I'm no longer certain that any modern reassessment is worthwhile.

His thought seems to lead directly to that of Jordan Petersen, fear and loathing of women, male power, fascism, a disregard for the humanity of the masses and much else besides.

Like Petersen's, this book might be dangerous in the hands of relative innocents like me who might make radical changes to our lives, adopt doubtful politics and impact the lives of others after reading it. It has an internal coherence but please take care to step back read around both Nietzsche and Freud and history before giving it 5 stars or recommending it to friends. Life is more complicated. It has got me exploring philosophy again but do take care.

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  • Valtýr Aron Thorrason
  • 06-19-18

An excellent book from the beginning to the end

As a medical doctor starting a residency in psychiatry this book has been a major developmental aid for me. Strengthen yourself before you strengthen others. Take the leap. Buy this book. It is highly unlikely you will be disappointed.

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  • Ronny Seven
  • 05-05-18

Great Book

Great book for any interested in psychotherapy, philosophy or the meaning of life in general.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-08-18

Irwin Yalom at his best

Loved it. Left me wanting to know more about Nietzsche and Breuer. Excellent narration.

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  • Roberto Miguel
  • 01-04-18

What a gift Irwin...are a gift my friend.

“He who does not obey himself is ruled by others” Nietzsche

Fantastic, will listen to it again and again, enough wisdon for a life time.

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  • Dorota Kotowicz
  • 06-26-17

a great thought provoking book

a very good thought provoking book read in an engaging way. Looking forward to read other positions by the same author

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-06-18

Simply Beautiful

As a training Psychotherapist, this book has been invaluable. I wanted to specialise in Existentialism anyway however this is now cemented for me.

The reading and story were simply wonderful and I will be recommending it to my entire class.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-17-18

Remarkable psycho fiction!

It was the second time that I was reading/ listening to this magnificent book. The first time I read a copy which had been translated into Persian. I was curious to read the original version, so I did and I cannot say how much I enjoyed and learned again.
Thank Audible and the narrator. Highly recommended.

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  • Jennykching
  • 08-13-18

Wonderful

Brilliantly conceived, this is a great “teaching novel “ by the extraordinarily accomplished therapist Irvin Yalom. If you want to learn about existential philosophy, psychotherapy and navigating the human condition in order to create a more meaningful life, read this highly enjoyable book.

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  • Carolyn
  • 02-09-18

Excellent read

I became increasingly engrossed in the plot. Great read with much to dwell on.