Freud in Love: A Biographical Novel By Gerald Schoenewolf

If I could give this zero stars, I would. Freud in Love: A Biographical Novel

When Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis, was 55 years old, he became involved in a romantic triangle with Lou Andreas Salomé, a noted 42-year-old femme fatale, and Victor Tausk, a young and temperamental psychoanalyst-in-training. This novel is about that triangle and the world of psychoanalysis in which it unfolded. It is a biographical novel because, while it is based on actual historical accounts, including the Minutes of the Viennese Psychoanalytic Society and the correspondence of Freud and Salome, it is fictionalized. It is fairly accurate and true in its basic plot, but it also uses literary license in order to flesh out the personalities of the characters in the book and dramatize the relationships and dialogues they might have had. The timeline of events has been slightly changed in the hope of bringing to life not only this romantic triangle, but also the whole world of psychoanalysis in Vienna in the early days in which Freud was forging his theories while dealing with a number of intrigues and rifts connected with his rise to fame. It includes a panorama of intriguing psychoanalytic characters, such as Carl Jung, Alfred Adler Melanie Klein, Wilhelm Stekel, Helene Deutsch and Anna Freud. The end result is a volume that makes Freud and psychoanalysis come to life like never before, written by a psychoanalyst who understands that world and gives the novel a stamp of authority. Freud in Love: A Biographical Novel

A must read for Freud fans

Any historian of the period, Freud, Vienna, psychoanalysis or any of the early founders of psychoanalysis (Adler, Trausk, Salome etc) will find this fictionalized account of
Freud and his very tame 'affair' with Salome to be enlightening and entertaining. Certainly Vienna and the early meetings of the Psychoanalytic Society come to life. The book ends without revealing the end of their relationship so I felt a little cheated not to know the rest of their story. Freud in Love: A Biographical Novel I'm sorry! I just can't finish this book. I received a free copy from the publishers for my honest review of the book. It takes a lot, and I mean a lot for me to not finish a book. I've finished many books that I didn't care for just for the sake of finishing them. The dialog is so cringy, the characters act like toddlers with their arguments and hurt feelings, and the editing is just terrible....take for instance...

I can tell him that when he awakes, I will pull my right ear, and he will have the sudden urge to jump up and say, ‘Hooray!’ And so, in this way I have made a suggestion to his unconscious mind. “Then, when I bring him back to an awakened state, I pull on my left ear and observe his response. He will suddenly obey the posthypnotic suggestion and will jump up and yell, “Hooray!”

He says it will be his right ear and then it changes to the left. How was that not caught? There are also many examples of extra words being added to sentences. I do appreciate the added pictures that I assume are of people in the story, however, they are not labeled (at least in the kindle edition) so we have no idea of knowing who they are. Freud in Love: A Biographical Novel 3.5

Thank you very much to the publishers for a free Kindle copy in exchange for my honest review.

Interesting book!….hmm. Even as I write this, I am wavering between a four star rating for absorbing subject matter relayed in a compelling way, versus three stars for the very simple, even unsophisticated type of writing, which didn’t pull me into the story enough to really “feel” the characters.

But honestly, as I read the book, I found it very engaging and it kept my attention completely. So even though it has its faults, it’s a provocative look at the great doctor and his protégés, as well as that little slice of society at that time. I didn’t know about his relationship with Salome, which is different in character than might be assumed by the publisher’s notes. The other relationships are interesting as well.

I really enjoyed the photographs from the time showing the various characters. That was a treat to see such photographs could be found and made available.

The hardest thing for me about this book was knowing which parts were true, and which parts were conjecture. I especially had a very hard time with the one chapter called the The Water Closet. I found it a little disturbing and out of character. Perhaps the author was trying to delve into a side of Freud that he believes existed. I see that the author has written much about these subjects, and so clearly feels capable of taking that literary license, as well as some other ones in the book, to make his points.

Overall, I recommend this book if you’re interested in the subject and not too critical in your expectations regarding literary merits. It’s a simple quick read, that uses the foundation of the various relationships close to Freud to give a rather fascinating picture of that time and place. Freud in Love: A Biographical Novel Interesting read. Freud in Love: A Biographical Novel I am a fan of good historical novels and I like psychology. This novel was satisfactory on both fronts. Loved it! I thought the author did a great job bringing the characters to life, each with their own distinct voice and showed Freud's circle with their petty jealousies and rivalries in a really interesting and entertaining way. It's also rather profound and emotionally powerful at times, as when Lou Andreas-Salome, the femme fatale with whom Freud becomes involved, recalls being raped by her tutor when she was seventeen, or when Victor Tausk, the young psychoanalytic candidate who romances her, descends into a madness that culminates in tragedy. Salome foreshadowed today's emancipated women and Tausk is a modern anti-hero who would make an interesting subject for a book in his own right. This is an old-fashioned psychological novel about psychoanalysis and Freud in the early 20th Century. I couldn't lay it down! Freud in Love: A Biographical Novel


Gerald Schoenewolf ¾ 9 Read