When Nietzsche Wept

A provocative exploration of the unusual relationships three therapists form with their patients.


From the bestselling author of Love's Executioner comes a riveting blend of fact and fiction, a drama of love, fate, and will, played out against the intellectual ferment of nineteenth century Vienna on the eve of the birth of psychoanalysis.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Europe's greatest philosopher...Josef Breuer, one of the founding fathers of psychoanalysis...a secret pact...a young medical intern named Sigmund Freud: these are the elements that combine to create the unforgettable saga of an imagined relationship between an extraordinary patient and a gifted healer.

As this compelling novel opens, the unattainable Lou Salome begs Breuer to help treat Nietzsche's suicidal despair using his experimental “talking cure.” As the eminent physician reluctantly accepts the task, he makes a powerful discovery. Only through facing up to his own inner demons can he begin to help his patient. In this compelling novel, two brilliant and enigmatic men plumb the depths of their own romantic obsessions and discover the redemptive power of friendship.


Rollo May

"In this admirable novel, Irvin Yalom fulfills his promise as a powerful storyteller and a brilliant diviner of the human psyche."

The Boston Sunday Globe

“...a carefully-researched richly-imagined novel, [in which] Friedrich Nietzsche and the Viennese physician Joseph Breuer... ‘bring forth the infant psychotherapy’”

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