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Summary

A groundbreaking and hypnotic biography of philosophy's greatest iconoclast.  

Friedrich Nietzsche's work blasted the foundation of Western thinking. The death of God, the Übermensch and the slave morality permeate our culture, high and low, and yet he is one of history's most misunderstood philosophers.  

Nietzsche himself thought that all philosophy was autobiographical, and in this myth-shattering book Sue Prideaux brings listeners into the world of a brilliant, eccentric and deeply troubled man, illuminating the events and people that shaped his life and work. 

From his placid, devoutly Christian upbringing, overshadowed by the mysterious death of his father, through his lonely philosophising on high mountains, to the horror and pathos of his final descent into madness, Prideaux explores Nietzsche's intellectual, emotional and spiritual life with insight and sensitivity. 

The audiobook is studded with unforgettable portraits of the people who were most important to him, including Richard and Cosima Wagner, Lou Salomé - the femme fatale who broke his heart - and his rabidly nationalist and anti-Semitic sister Elizabeth, who betrayed him by manipulating his texts and putting them to infinite misuse at the hands of the Nazis. Today, Nietzsche's ideas continue to be adopted by both the left and the right. I Am Dynamite! is the essential biography for anyone seeking to understand the philosopher who foresaw - and sought solutions to - our own troubled times.

©2018 Sue Prideaux (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about I Am Dynamite!

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Spoiled by the narration

Would have been useful if someone, who can pronounce German, read this book. It is impossible to understand the German words sprinkled through the text, as the narrator pronounces it in some sort of forced English. Completely unintelligible, certainly not German. Not even the names of people and places make much sense.

4 people found this helpful

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Absolutely wonderful. Dynamite, in fact

Beautifully written, insightful, helpful in contextualising Nietzsche’s philosophy, exploding of myths, and ultimately a tragic human story of an afflicted genius who worked in obscurity and, by the time his work found international recognition, was beyond the capacity to know it. Excellent for those new to Nietzsche, and those who are thoroughly familiar.

Narration is excellent - don't be put off by the excitable start - it quickly settles down.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic journey with an amazing cast of unforgettable characters

A 19th century story if there ever was one. Brilliantly written and researched with a passion for Nietzsche. A valiant attempt to rescue him from the shadows without deifying him (that’d be futile anyway as god is dead as we know all too well).

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant biography with prose to match Nietzsche

A good place to start with Nietzsche. Brilliantly performed, I enjoyed this as a human story, as historical record, and as development of a philosophy. It is full of psychological insights and illuminating prose. Life really is stranger than fiction.

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Brilliant

By far the best biography of Nietzsche I’ve read and very well read with English accent.

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Interesting

Very good on his life and relationships; however one doesn't really get that much sense of his philosophical contribution and why it was so important. Unfortunately the narrator doesn't appear to be able to speak German and this really detracted form the narration for me as there are frequent German words in the text.

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Human All Too Human Nietzsche as vulnerable man

Highly accessible introduction to Nietzsche 's writing, both sympathetic and insightful. Really enjoyed listening, the narration warm and at times poetic. Can be enjoyed either as a straightforward biography or as an introduction to Nietzsche's philosophy.

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Nietzsche, excellent biography

I only know Nietzsche from rudimentary philosophy. This is an excellent introduction. It demistifies long held misconceptions. I learned for example how Nietzsche and Wagner met and broke up. Highly recommended!

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This book is Dynamite

A moving and respectful biography of one of the greatest thinkers ever to have drawn breath.

Expertly read. I could not have asked for more.

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Entertaining and interesting

Not usually a fan of biography but I loved this booked and thought the performance suited the tone very well.