Book Review: When Nietzsche Wept by Irvin Yalom

Book When Nietzsche Wept

What is “When Nietzsche wept” about?

“When Nietzsche wept” is about one of the fathers of psychiatry, Josef Breuer, and his patient, Nietzsche. I want to admit that this novel is clear fiction. These two people never met in real life. But the author decided to imagine what would happen if they met.

The beginning of the story is about a woman who asked Josef to help her friend and a fascinating new philosopher. He wrote that he would commit suicide in a letter to her, and she is frightened that he can do this. None of the doctors could help him before; therefore, she thinks that only Breuer has enough knowledge and courage to help him.

This novel is full of speeches and dialogs between Josef and Nietzsche. In the book, there was also Freud and the story of Anna O, which is a real story from the biography of Josef Breuer. If I were to briefly describe this book, I would say, “This is a book with many dialogues and dialogues and dialogues”.

My thought about “When Nietzsche wept”

I can really admit that this book is adorable. I have enjoyed this philosophical and psychological plot. At the beginning, it was difficult to read; I had some problems with reading, but the more I read, the more I was drawn into this aesthetic atmosphere of the 19th century. This is a deep psychological novel that helps us discover our fear of death, despair, and obsession. 

The main questions and answers, as I heard from the writer in this book, is:

  • What is obsession? Why do we have obsessions about lovely subject and object?
  • Are we truly be loved or be love?
  • What is real love?
  • What makes us make decisions about our lives?
  • Why are we not happy?
  • What is freedom? Is freedom the same as permissiveness?

Do I recommend this book?

Yes, I recommend “When Nietzsche Wept”. Now, this is one of my favorite books, where you can find a lot of different answers to your question. I know that maybe the beginning of the book can sound boring, but after the middle of the story, you will understand what the main topic of this novel is. I have a massive impression of the twist, main character, and idea. If you like to dig deep and search your way out of the trivial world, then this book will be good for you.

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