HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Have you checked out SantaThing, LibraryThing's gift-giving tradition?
dismiss
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Dancer (2003)

by Colum McCann

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7722320,854 (3.77)47
This novel opens with a scene of war which is destined to become a classic: trudging back from the front through a ravaged and icy wasteland, their horses dying around them, their own hunger rendering them almost savage, the Russian soldiers are exhausted as they reach the city of Ufa, desperate for food and shelter. They find both, and then music and dance. And there, spinning unafraid among them, dancing for the soldiers and anyone else who¿ll watch him, is one small pale boy, Rudolf. This is Colum McCann¿s dancer. Rudolf, a prodigy at six years old, became the greatest dancer of the century, redefined dance, rewrote his own life, and died of AIDS before anyone knew he had it. This is an extraordinary life transformed into extraordinary fiction by one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. One kind of masculine grace is perfectly matched to another in Colum McCann¿s beautiful and daring novel.… (more)
Recently added byprivate library, djannarone, kickthebeat, rachelreading, mlanz
  1. 00
    Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: If you liked the parts about Victor, you'll find the same kind of people with more depth in Dancer from the Dance
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 47 mentions

English (19)  German (1)  French (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  All languages (22)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
This is a fictionalized life of the famous Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev. Read this simply because it is written by Colm McCann but must admit this is my least favorite of his. Told in much the same fashion as his other books, the reader gradually gets to know the background, the character, and the friends of Nureyev.

Born in a peasant village of Tarter parents, Nureyev exhibited talent at a very young age and was fortunate to come in contact with a exiled Russian ballerina who taught him the basics. From there he went to Kiev where he made a name for himself. It was to a trip of the Russian Ballet to Paris that he defected. This caused his family a huge amount of trouble and disgrace.

He went on to become perhaps the most outstanding dancer of his time seemingly being able to hold himself in the air during his leaps. He found a soul-partner in Margot Fontaine even though she was 20 years older. His personal life, however, was a total mess involving many who surrounded him only for his fame.

There were parts of this story that I truly enjoyed; other parts that I almost skipped. A long "stream of consciousness" chapter with Victor, his lover as the main focus left me totally cold. The book was interesting enough that I read and watched several videos of Nureyev. There are parts of the books that are beautifully written especially the final chapters when he is allowed to visit for 48 hours back to his home town to see his mother and sister. ( )
  maryreinert | Jun 16, 2020 |
The Victor chapter was the slog for me, though I loved the similar one-long-sentence effect when it was applied in the Tom Ashcroft chapter earlier about making ballet shoes. The final paragraph was a knife to the gut. ( )
  jostie13 | May 14, 2020 |
This book was so good! I loved every minute of it. It tells the story of the man who is arguably the best male classical ballet dancer in history - Rudolf Nureyev. Rudolf was born in 1938 in Ula, Russia. The Second World War was just beginning, and Rudolf's father who was a Communist party member, was instructing soldiers to fight on the Russian front. Rudolf was born on a train near Irktisk, Siberia. His mother Farida fleeing to Ula when he arrived in the world. He lived his early life in poverty, but his mother instilled in the young Rudyk a love of ballet and dance. In spite of all the odds against him, Rudyk received training from a retired prima ballerina who lived in the town. Rudolf lived for dancing and read and practiced every-time he could. Against all odds, he was accepted into the Kurov school of classical ballet and trained under the great Pushkin. He made his way up quickly in the corp until he was soon dancing solos and main parts. His ballet took him around the world until 1961, when he defected to France. From there we see Nureyev's career as he packs halls all around the world. These are the bones of his life, but this book, with its unique narrative changes, describes so much more about his life. We see Rudolf through the eyes of his family, Through the eyes of his many different mentors, as well as through his many friends, partners and staff. This form of building narrative gives different viewpoints of the Rudolf's rise to fame and fortune. Mr. McCann's narrative style is immersive and unyielding We see Rudolf through the many highs and lows of his life, and the price he paid with the loss of his family and home in his pursuit of the dance. I waited to watch him dance until I had finished the book, and I was totally impressed with his skill and dedication to his art. To Rudolf, dance was everything, and his only reason for living. The book takes us to 1987 and in that year Rudolf has come full circle. He has been a fugitive from Russian justice for over 20 years, but a 48 hour leave is granted for him to enter Russia to see his dying mother. He comes back full circle to his childhood life, and manages to see his family and the family of his early mentor before he has to go back to England. He is already under the influence of the disease that eventually kills him. He dies in Paris, France in 1993 of complications from Aids. This is a book to fall down into and to wallow in once you're reading it. McCann is an incredible writer and I need to read more of his fabulous work. ( )
  Romonko | May 14, 2019 |
This is certainly one of the very best biographical novels I've ever read. Truly unforgettable portrait of Nureyev and his passion and artistic drive. ( )
  MichaelBarsa | Dec 17, 2017 |
This was an impulse grab at the library, and turned into a really fascinating fictionalized account of the life of dancer Rudolf Nuryev. Along with his star-touched life, it gave insight into the harsh world of Soviet Russia in the 20th century, which was equally intriguing. Outside of my normal "box", but I'm very glad I gave this one a chance. ( )
  NeedMoreShelves | May 22, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Four winters.
Quotations
Perhaps, then, you should forget everything I have said to you and remember only this: The real beauty in life is that beauty can sometimes occur.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

This novel opens with a scene of war which is destined to become a classic: trudging back from the front through a ravaged and icy wasteland, their horses dying around them, their own hunger rendering them almost savage, the Russian soldiers are exhausted as they reach the city of Ufa, desperate for food and shelter. They find both, and then music and dance. And there, spinning unafraid among them, dancing for the soldiers and anyone else who¿ll watch him, is one small pale boy, Rudolf. This is Colum McCann¿s dancer. Rudolf, a prodigy at six years old, became the greatest dancer of the century, redefined dance, rewrote his own life, and died of AIDS before anyone knew he had it. This is an extraordinary life transformed into extraordinary fiction by one of the most acclaimed writers of his generation. One kind of masculine grace is perfectly matched to another in Colum McCann¿s beautiful and daring novel.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

LibraryThing Author

Colum McCann is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Author Chat

Colum McCann chatted with LibraryThing members from Mar 1, 2010 to Mar 14, 2010. Read the chat.

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.77)
0.5
1 1
1.5 1
2 11
2.5 3
3 36
3.5 13
4 59
4.5 5
5 35

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 152,446,450 books! | Top bar: Always visible