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The Death of Ivan Ilych (Illustrated) + Free Audiobook

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[THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] The Death of Ivan Ilyich, first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s. "Usually classed among the best examples of the novella", The Death of Ivan Il [THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] The Death of Ivan Ilyich, first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s. "Usually classed among the best examples of the novella", The Death of Ivan Ilyich tells the story of the sufferings and death of a high-court judge from a terminal illness in 19th-century Russia. BONUS : • The Death of Ivan Ilych Audiobook. • The 19 Best Leo Tolstoy Quotes. • Biography of Leo Tolstoy ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Rutilus classics publishes great works of literature at an affordable price. Our books have been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.


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[THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] The Death of Ivan Ilyich, first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s. "Usually classed among the best examples of the novella", The Death of Ivan Il [THIS KINDLE BOOK QUALITY IS GUARANTEED: It has been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.] The Death of Ivan Ilyich, first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s. "Usually classed among the best examples of the novella", The Death of Ivan Ilyich tells the story of the sufferings and death of a high-court judge from a terminal illness in 19th-century Russia. BONUS : • The Death of Ivan Ilych Audiobook. • The 19 Best Leo Tolstoy Quotes. • Biography of Leo Tolstoy ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: Rutilus classics publishes great works of literature at an affordable price. Our books have been carefully edited with a fully interactive content.

30 review for The Death of Ivan Ilych (Illustrated) + Free Audiobook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenn(ifer)

    "“Death is over," he said to himself. "There is no more death.” When I picked this book up at a library book sale, I did so without expectation that I would actually enjoy reading it. See, I had mistakenly given up on the masters of Russian literature due to the struggles I had reading a particular novel (I’m looking at you Brothers Karamazov!), assuming they were all inaccessible and there was no point in expending anymore energy trying to make sense of books with characters that go by 3 differe "“Death is over," he said to himself. "There is no more death.” When I picked this book up at a library book sale, I did so without expectation that I would actually enjoy reading it. See, I had mistakenly given up on the masters of Russian literature due to the struggles I had reading a particular novel (I’m looking at you Brothers Karamazov!), assuming they were all inaccessible and there was no point in expending anymore energy trying to make sense of books with characters that go by 3 different names and waaaaaaah the end. THIS book! Not at all inaccessible. Masterful in its brevity. Concise and relevant and beautifully written. Pay close attention. Blink and you’ll miss it. I don’t have the words. Tolstoy sets up the story expertly. Ivan Ilyich is a decent man. He has all of the trappings of a “successful life”: respectable family, respectable job, respectable home. He is by all intents and purposes content with his position in life. But has he truly lived? Tolstoy describes Ivan Ilyich’s failing health in such a way that the reader can almost FEEL what it was like for him. The gnawing ache in his side, the pain… unrelenting, demoralizing… every simple facet of existence plagued by torturous, insufferable, incurable pain. It’s agonizing. He cannot escape it. And then there’s his wife! She becomes like the walking, breathing embodiment of this pain. He can’t stand the sight of her, the sound of her, the smell of her. We get the briefest of glimpses of what it must be like for a man on the brink of death. He feels he is a burden; he believes everyone is just waiting for him to die. He doesn’t want to have to rely on anyone to help alleviate his suffering. He struggles with existence, with god… “why me? why is this happening to me!” But then in the end, he finds what we all hope to find. He finds peace. He finds that this is not the end of life, but the end of death. Well, Leo, I think you've found yourself a new fan.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Muhtasin Fuad

    The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy Dealing with living might be difficult for many, but dealing with dying-how many of us think about that. This is a very compelling story about the point of life which represents, through an explanation of the life and death of the main character. A tear-jerking page-turner even though you already know how it ends. Death is finished, he said to himself. It is no more! Wonderful story. The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy Dealing with living might be difficult for many, but dealing with dying-how many of us think about that. This is a very compelling story about the point of life which represents, through an explanation of the life and death of the main character. A tear-jerking page-turner even though you already know how it ends. Death is finished, he said to himself. It is no more! Wonderful story.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    (Book 829 from 1001 books) - Смерть Ивана Ильича = ‎Smert Ivana Ilicha = The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Leo Tolstoy The Death of Ivan Ilyich, first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, considered one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870's. Usually classed among the best examples of the novella, The Death of Ivan Ilyich tells the story of a high-court judge and his sufferings and death from a terminal illness in 19th-century (Book 829 from 1001 books) - Смерть Ивана Ильича = ‎Smert Ivana Ilicha = The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Leo Tolstoy The Death of Ivan Ilyich, first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, considered one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870's. Usually classed among the best examples of the novella, The Death of Ivan Ilyich tells the story of a high-court judge and his sufferings and death from a terminal illness in 19th-century Russia. Characters: Ivan Ilyich (Ilyich is a patronymic, his surname is Golovin) is a highly regarded official of the Court of Justice, described by Tolstoy as, "neither as cold and formal as his elder brother nor as wild as the younger, but was a happy mean between them—an intelligent, polished, lively, and agreeable man." As the story progresses, he becomes more and more introspective and emotional as he ponders the reason for his agonizing illness and death. Praskovya Fëdorovna Golovin is Ivan's unsympathetic wife. She is characterized as self-absorbed and uninterested in her husband's struggles, unless they directly affect her. Gerasim is the Golovins' young butler. He takes on the role of sole comforter and caretaker during Ivan's illness. Peter Ivanovich is Ivan's longtime friend and colleague. He studied law with Ivan and is the first to recognize Ivan's impending death. Lisa Golovin is Ivan's daughter. Fëdor Petrishchev is Lisa's fiancé. عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «مرگ ایوان ایلیچ»؛ «چند داستان و حکایت»؛ نویسنده: لئو تولستوی؛ انتشاراتیها: (نیلوفر، دانا، رادوگا)؛ ادبیات روسیه - سده 19میلادی؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه نوامبر سال 2007میلادی عنوان: چند داستان و حکایت؛ نویسنده: لئو تولستوی؛ مترجم: گامایون؛ مسکو، رادوگا، 1364، در 312ص؛عنوان داستانها: «دو افسر هوسار»؛ «هامون نورد»؛ «مرگ ایوان ایلیچ»؛ «پس از مجلس رقص»؛ عنوان: مرگ ایوان ایلیچ؛ نویسنده: لئو تولستوی؛ مترجم: لاله بهنام؛ تهران، دانا، 1370، در 99ص؛ شابک 9646242685؛ عنوان: مرگ ایوان ایلیچ؛ نویسنده: لئو تولستوی؛ مترجم: صالح حسینی؛ تهران، نیلوفر، 1385، در 152ص؛ چاپ دوم: 1386؛ سوم 1390؛ شابک 9789644483073؛ مترجمهای این اثر خانمها و آقایان: «گامایون»، «صالح حسینی»؛ «هوشنگ اسماعیلیان»؛ «رضی خدادادی (هیرمندی)»؛ «لاله بهنام»؛ «سالومه مهوشان»؛ «یوسف قنبر»؛ «حسن زمانی»؛ «تیمور قادری»؛ «سروش حبیبی»؛ «حمیدرضا آتش بر آب»؛ «محمد دادگر»؛ «علی اصغر بهرامی»؛ «کاظم انصاری»؛ و ...؛ هستند ایوان ایلیچ، شخصیت اصلی داستان «تولستوی»، شخصی توانا در زندگی روزمره و کاری، ولی در زندگی شخصی دچار مشکلات؛ و البته مشکلات به نوعی متأثر از موفقیت‌های کاری وی نیز هستند؛ او بنا به دلایلی که در کتاب ذکر شده، دچار بیماری سخت‌ درمان می‌شود؛ «تولستوی» در این کتاب از توانایی خود، برای به تصویر کشیدن روحیات، و احساسات یک بیمار کم علاج، سود می‌برند؛ «تولستوی» روحیات چنین بیمارانی را از لحظه ی آگاه شدنشان به بیماری خویش، تا لحظه ی خاموشی، یا همان مرگ را، به پنج مرحله تقسیم می‌کنند؛ این مراحل پنج‌گانه عبارتند از: یک: «عدم پذیرش یا انکار»، دوم: «خشم»، سوم: «معامله»، چهارم: «افسردگی»، و پنجم: «پذیرش»؛ ایشان این مراحل را به طور دقیق، مورد بررسی قرار می‌دهند، از جمله توضیحات کوتاهی که در این پنج مرحله نگاشته شده، می‌توان به موارد زیر اشاره نمود مرحله انکار: «تنها به مراحل اولیه یا رویارویی با بیماری محدود نمی‌شود، این مرحله با حرف‌های پزشک معالج آغاز می‌شود؛ او از انکار، یا عدم پذیرش، به عنوان نوعی تسکین، یا درمان، استفاده می‌کند»؛ مرحله خشم: «در این مرحله بیمار، دیگران را مقصر بیماری خود می‌داند، در داستان، ایوان ایلیچ، ناراحتی خود را با آزار همسر، و دیگر اطرافیان، تسکین می‌دهد؛ او چنین می‌اندیشد که گویی او بیمار شده‌ است، تا دیگران سالم بمانند مرحله ی معامله: از بین مراحل پنج‌گانه، این مرحله کوتاه‌ترین مرحله‌ است؛ بیمار با خود صحبت‌هایی مانند: ای خدا اگر فقط یک سال به من مهلت بدهی، قول می‌دهم که مسیحی بشوم و...؛ سعی در به تأخیر انداختن زمان مرگ خویش دارد مرحله افسردگی: در این مرحله، بیمار به عزای فرصت‌های از دست رفته، می‌نشیند، در این مرحله بیمار نیاز به تاریکی تنهایی دارد، و در تاریکی و تنهایی، خیال همه چیز را در سر می‌پروراند مرحله پذیرش: مرحله پذیرش، آخرین مرحله ی یک بیمار است، که تهی از احساسات می‌شود؛ در این مرحله گویی درد از میان رفته‌ است؛ در این مرحله، سکوت، پرمعناترین شکل ارتباط است؛ در این مرحله، فشار دادن دست دوست، نگاهی سنگین و...؛ پرمعناترین معانی را از ژرفای یک بیمار در حال مرگ، به خوانشگر می‌رساند تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 27/06/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 15/05/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی

  4. 5 out of 5

    Greta

    About living a life worth dying for We want to imagine that dying means to fall asleep one day, peacefully and without any pain, looking back at a satisfied and happy life. But what if the opposite is the case? Portrait Leo Tolstoy Ivan Ilyich is an ordinary but very successful man with social status. But then he injures himself and learns that his condition is terminal. Confronted with his diagnosis, Ivan tries to fight his worsening situation, until the pain grows so intense that he is forced t About living a life worth dying for We want to imagine that dying means to fall asleep one day, peacefully and without any pain, looking back at a satisfied and happy life. But what if the opposite is the case? Portrait Leo Tolstoy Ivan Ilyich is an ordinary but very successful man with social status. But then he injures himself and learns that his condition is terminal. Confronted with his diagnosis, Ivan tries to fight his worsening situation, until the pain grows so intense that he is forced to stop working and spend the remaining days in bed, dependent on others. During the long and painful process of dying, Ivan dwells on the idea that he doesn‘t deserve to suffer, because he has lived his life in the right way, which is why his pain and death must be senseless. He begins to question whether he has, in fact, lived a good life and makes a clear split between an artificial life, characterized by self-interest and an authentic life marked by compassion and sympathy, before he dies. Ivan Ilych Ivan lives his life by the dictates of others. Rather than relying on his own reason and good sense to direct his moral life, he adopts the beliefs and values of the aristocratic society and those with high social standing. He believes that if he imitates their lifestyle, his own life will adapt and he will find meaning and fulfillment. Ivan becomes obsessed with standards of the upper class and grows increasingly intolerant to everything that threatens his own comfort and materialism. He reduces his personal relationships to shallow encounters and only finds pain, isolation and dissatisfaction, instead of meaning and fulfillment. When he is confronted with the prospect of his death, he is forced to confront his isolation, which provokes serious existential reflections. Ivan's illness reveals to him the true nature of life and he realizes that one has to live with compassion and love. The Artificial Life Count Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy as young man The novel states, that there are two types of lives; the artificial life and the authentic life. The artificial life is marked by shallow relationships, egoism, and materialism and incapable of providing answers to the important questions in life. It is merely a deception that hides life's true meaning and leaves one terrified and alone at the moment of death. The authentic life, on the other hand, is marked by pity and compassion. It sees others as individual beings with unique thoughts, feelings, and desires and cultivates valuable relationships that overcome isolation and allow true contact. It creates bonds and prepares someone for the moment of death. Spirituality Tolstoy describes a conflict between the spiritual life and the physical life. Initially Ivan has no spirituality and experiences excruciating pain, deep unhappiness, and absolute terror. But when his coming death forces him to confront his isolation, and grows toward understanding, he replaces the physical with the spiritual and moves beyond his suffering. The Inevitability of Death Leo Tolstoy‘s death in 1910 When Ivan's attitude toward life and death changes, his emotions progress from fright and terror to joy. Ivan‘s social milieu is characterized by the avoidance of death that is based on a delusion, designed to protect people from unpleasant realities. Consequently it leads to emptiness, horror, and dissatisfaction. An acceptance of death, on the other hand, and the recognition of the unpredictability of life, allows peace, and even joy at the moment of death. More than anything, the novel can be seen as a lesson to make sense of death by living rightly. “Morning or night, Friday or Sunday, made no difference, everything was the same: the gnawing, excruciating, incessant pain; that awareness of life irrevocably passing but not yet gone; that dreadful, loathsome death, the only reality, relentlessly closing in on him; and that same endless lie." A someone who came very close to dying, this story touched me deep in my heart. Tolstoy shows again his enormous emotional intelligence, the weak spots of the human heart, the primacy and elision of death and the consequences of living without meaning.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Petra needs staff not addicted to their phones

    Socrates said that an unexamined life was not worth living. In Kafka's The Metamorphosis poor Gregor Samsa is transformed into a being that cannot take part in the daily round of society and becomes more and more sidelined and ignored by those around him. This book, the Death of Ivan Ilych, has both of these notions contained within it's theme. Ivan Ilyich is dying. As he grows sicker and fits in less with his fairweather friends and family and their preoccupations with their social lives, they l Socrates said that an unexamined life was not worth living. In Kafka's The Metamorphosis poor Gregor Samsa is transformed into a being that cannot take part in the daily round of society and becomes more and more sidelined and ignored by those around him. This book, the Death of Ivan Ilych, has both of these notions contained within it's theme. Ivan Ilyich is dying. As he grows sicker and fits in less with his fairweather friends and family and their preoccupations with their social lives, they leave him be, they cannot stand his sickness, they cannot stand him. All Ivan Ilyich has is the simple, unschooled manservant with the good heart who doesn't want his master to die alone and afraid. He is almost the Angel of Mercy, all good, his role is just to be there to help his master pass from this life with a good companion. Ivan Ilych progresses through the endless scream of 'Why me?" to where he is almost at the end. And then he sees his rather petty life of moderate success and a little excess as it really was He stops hating his selfish wife and self-centred daughter and ceasing to be afraid of death hopes his demise will bring them peace. And by this examination of his life and the letting go of his more shabby and trivial emotions, he elevates himself. And dies. Finished end of Dec. 2014.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Fabian

    "Ivan Ilych's life had been most ordinary and therefore most terrible..." This arresting line is a synopsis of what all of this boils down to. More than likely, in my pre-Emo high school years, had I read all 52 grueling pages of "The Death of Ivan Ilych", and truly understood its exquisite prolonged lingering around the very morbid notion of death, it would have been a brick in my fo(und/rm)ation. Sadly, nowadays I am way more bubbly and optimistic than ever, so I had a healthy distance between "Ivan Ilych's life had been most ordinary and therefore most terrible..." This arresting line is a synopsis of what all of this boils down to. More than likely, in my pre-Emo high school years, had I read all 52 grueling pages of "The Death of Ivan Ilych", and truly understood its exquisite prolonged lingering around the very morbid notion of death, it would have been a brick in my fo(und/rm)ation. Sadly, nowadays I am way more bubbly and optimistic than ever, so I had a healthy distance between my idle thoughts and this powerful piece. No matter: this made me meditate on that occurrence that is shared by us all, the ultimate, final destination called death (doesn't matter where you lived, breathed, loved). The novella is incredibly vivid, simple...just very understandable... relatable. Yes, it seems that an illness so long gives the titular man the right to sum up quickly his days of before, his heights, his passions... it is so realistic that I vouch for this to become an official horror selection in any given anthology!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dolors

    Today I turned the last page of Banville’s Eclipse and was literally hit by the profundity of a book that surreptitiously echoes the mastery of the classic tragedies. My pupils dilated until they watered when I bumped into this paragraph: “As a boy I knew the stars, and loved to speak their names over to myself, in celestial litany, Venus, Betelgeuse, Aldebaran, the Bears, great and lesser. How I loved the coldness of those lights, their purity, their remoteness from us and all we do and all that Today I turned the last page of Banville’s Eclipse and was literally hit by the profundity of a book that surreptitiously echoes the mastery of the classic tragedies. My pupils dilated until they watered when I bumped into this paragraph: “As a boy I knew the stars, and loved to speak their names over to myself, in celestial litany, Venus, Betelgeuse, Aldebaran, the Bears, great and lesser. How I loved the coldness of those lights, their purity, their remoteness from us and all we do and all that befalls us. Where they are is where the dead live.” And you might be wondering what on earth Banville and Tolstoy have in common. My unscholarly response is that they are both masters of exploring the most recondite crevices of the human mind and the existential angst that is inherent in its nature; they describe the undescribable, recreate death and grief unflinchingly and make the reader be racked in pain by both. And so following the thread of my pensive mood I remembered the unfinished review of Tolstoy’s novella that I have been meaning to revise for months on end unsuccessfully, not finding the appropriate words, not feeling satisfied with what I had written, which I enclose below: ***** Do we really know what death entails? Is the life we lead worthy of being lived? Do we appreciate the gift of existence? Tolstoy stares back with blank countenance and pens a sobering story stripped of artifice in response to those unanswerable questions. “The Death of Ivan Ilych” confronts the reader with his own mortality. A civil servant in the high ranks of the Czarist Administration in the nineteenth-century Russia ponders about the arbitrary system of rules that have dictated his life when the threat of death puts an unwanted emphasis on how he should have lived. Dragged away by the currents of a set of conventions accepted without further enquiry and spurred by an eagerness to climb up the social ladder, Ivan’s soul has undergone the same process of bureaucratization than his professional career. A prominent citizen, he has married well, he has established contact with the influential members of his class and accumulated a vast list of superfluous achievements when death knocks on his door. Either in nemesis or in randomness, fated or chanced, nature is unveiled as capricious, unbridled and inscrutable, and man’s pursuit of transcendence clashes with the finitude of his banal existence. At first, Ivan faces his impending death with disbelief, then denial settles in only to be swamped with an overpowering disconsolation at his own disintegration while the world keeps on turning without him being part of it. His family and closest friends regard him with superficial sympathy and remain indifferent and detached from his suffering. As Ivan’s flesh withers with decay and stinks of sickness showing unmistakable signs of its transience, his mind is reignited and a reverse process takes place on his soul. Ivan looks death in the eye with more frustration than fear, dumbfounded that his life might be reduced to a trivial list of actions performed by an absurd sense of duty making of his time in this world even less than an anecdote. Tolstoy presents a magisterial reflection on mankind’s incapacity to plow a satisfactory path to a dignified death and throws back his own vulnerability at the reader in the form of an omniscient narrator that chronicles the mundane yet gruesome death of a man. The dilemma he contemplates goes beyond the realms of religion, philosophy or fiction, for the physical agony, the ruthless demise of body and mind is described in painful detail infusing the story with perturbing realism. Despite the heartfelt compassion that Ivan perceives in his son’s glance, as the young, untainted boy takes his lifeless hand, Death places her cold, blindfolded kiss and presses her finger upon the man’s lips, sealing them forever, and I, uninvited outsider, shaken and teary, get a sour taste of what dying feels like. ****** I had meant to polish the review; retrieve some sentences, rephrase others, perhaps add some quotes... It's highly probable that I would have never published it, but Banville’s masterpiece made me realize that there are some things that mere words can’t convey, the touch of a virtuous pen is needed, the sparkle of geniality is required. I am not the possessor of such talents, but Banville has both. And so did Tolstoy.

  8. 5 out of 5

    J.L. Sutton

    In Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilych, awareness of his impending death compels Ilych to think about whether his life had meaning. He reviews his career, family and the passions which guided his life, all the decisions which led him to where he found himself. Even as he knows death is closing in on him, Ilych rejects the possibility that he will die, and only slowly comes to accept his fate. I remember reading this many years ago and it had stuck with me. The story Ilych tells himself was ful In Leo Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilych, awareness of his impending death compels Ilych to think about whether his life had meaning. He reviews his career, family and the passions which guided his life, all the decisions which led him to where he found himself. Even as he knows death is closing in on him, Ilych rejects the possibility that he will die, and only slowly comes to accept his fate. I remember reading this many years ago and it had stuck with me. The story Ilych tells himself was fuller than I had remembered. The topic and the structure of the narrative makes this memorable; however, it is the meditative quality which Tolstoy brings to Ilych's last days which makes this story especially powerful.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    The Russians have got me by the throat this pandemical year, Dostoyevsky, Goncharev, Gogol, and now Tolstoy. This is short, sharp, straightforward and unforgettable. Ivan Ilyich is a modern man with a career, a wife, a family and a house and not quite enough money. Looks like he’s going to lose his job but then in 19th century Russia it’s not what you know it’s who you know so he wangles an even better job and although his wife has for no particular reason he can see become an unreasonable harri The Russians have got me by the throat this pandemical year, Dostoyevsky, Goncharev, Gogol, and now Tolstoy. This is short, sharp, straightforward and unforgettable. Ivan Ilyich is a modern man with a career, a wife, a family and a house and not quite enough money. Looks like he’s going to lose his job but then in 19th century Russia it’s not what you know it’s who you know so he wangles an even better job and although his wife has for no particular reason he can see become an unreasonable harridan who yells at him a lot everything is still rattling along tickety-boo when he gets ill. Then iller. Then even iller. Then illest. This unsentimental unreligious guy has his face shoved into the hardest of hard questions – you are going to die quite soon. Oh, also, it is going to be drawn-out and dreadfully painful. And you are going to notice all your family will become sick and tired of the time you are taking to die. And your friends will fade away. And the morphine will stop working. And you will be on your own, with no one sitting by your bed. This short novel is unflinching. Readers might come away shaken and with a revived fear of the fate that awaits us all. But I have a brief personal anecdote that shows things can turn out differently. My own father, in his late 70s, had a whole list of things wrong with him, he was in and out of hospitals, but this one evening he was back home watching tv with my mother, and the particular detective show they were watching ended, and he said “I didn’t really understand the story” and she said “I’ll make a cup of tea and explain it to you,” so she went in the kitchen, and when she came back he had died. No pain, no horror, just switched off, like a light.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Fabian {Councillor}

    It is a widespread stereotype that Russian classics are mostly long, tedious, boring, a burden to get through, but one only needs to read a short book like The Death of Ivan Ilych in order to be proven wrong. A philosophical, in its beautiful writing almost lyrical account of a dying man's life, Tolstoy will make you think about your own mortality, about happiness, sorrow and most likely your own life as well. “They had supper and went away, and Ivan Ilych was left alone with the consciousnes It is a widespread stereotype that Russian classics are mostly long, tedious, boring, a burden to get through, but one only needs to read a short book like The Death of Ivan Ilych in order to be proven wrong. A philosophical, in its beautiful writing almost lyrical account of a dying man's life, Tolstoy will make you think about your own mortality, about happiness, sorrow and most likely your own life as well. “They had supper and went away, and Ivan Ilych was left alone with the consciousness that his life was poisoned and was poisoning the lives of others, and that this poison did not weaken but penetrated more and more deeply into his whole being. With this consciousness, and with physical pain besides the terror, he must go to bed, often to lie awake the greater part of the night. Next morning he had to get up again, dress, go to the law courts, speak, and write; or if he did not go out, spend at home those twenty-four hours a day each of which was a torture. And he had to live thus all alone on the brink of an abyss, with no one who understood or pitied him.” During the course of the story, Tolstoy introduces us to the life of the unhappy Ivan Ilych, who might have expected too much from his life and had to discover the disappointing truth after his marriage failed to induce happiness and death tore its way through his soul way too early. Tolstoy uses his protagonist to help us realize how we all have to die one day, and there will surely be readers who, just like Ivan Ilych, always thought of death as something foreign they wouldn't have to worry about until a long time later. The author's prose is highly readable and might just as well have originated from someone who wrote the book five or ten years ago; besides, Tolstoy knows how to captivate his reader, thus The Death of Ivan Ilych can only be called a book which can't be recommended highly enough for readers interested in Russian literature or, on a more general note, classics. “There remained only those rare periods of amorousness, which still came to them at times but did not last long. These were islets at which they anchored for a while and then again set out upon that ocean of veiled hostility which showed itself in their aloofness from one another.” Tolstoy defines the marriage between Ivan Ilych and Praskovya Fedorovna as an engagement of mutual aversion, founded in their hopes to find concealment and secureness which were shattered only months after their wedding. The sadness behind the realizations of those two characters that their marriage has never been destined to bring happiness into their lives will cloud their sorrowful lives, until the slow, but torturous demise of Ivan Ilych turns into the ultimate factor driving them apart from each other. If you are intimidated by the length of classics like Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Crime and Punishment and the like, then I can almost assure you that reading some shorter novellas like The Death of Ivan Ilych or Dostoyevksy's White Nights will help you with finding a way into Russian literature, coming to terms with the rather uncommon names and growing an interest in the huge Russian classics which will surpass the simple feeling of pressure to read them just because others said those are books everyone has to read. And they probably are. But it's always easier to anticipate rather than dread them, so novellas like these will be extremely helpful.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brina

    Last year the group catching up on classics chose The Death of Ivan Ilyich as one of their monthly short story selections. At the time, I did not have the time to read it; however, a play I recently read had reading Anna Karenina as a major plot line. Wanting an introduction to Tolstoy prior to reading this epic, I decided upon Ivan Ilyich as my gateway to his more celebrated work. Ivan Ilyich enjoyed an upper middle class life in pre revolutionary Russia. He graduated from a jurisprudence cours Last year the group catching up on classics chose The Death of Ivan Ilyich as one of their monthly short story selections. At the time, I did not have the time to read it; however, a play I recently read had reading Anna Karenina as a major plot line. Wanting an introduction to Tolstoy prior to reading this epic, I decided upon Ivan Ilyich as my gateway to his more celebrated work. Ivan Ilyich enjoyed an upper middle class life in pre revolutionary Russia. He graduated from a jurisprudence course and eventually became a lawyer in an out of the way province. He married Praskovya Fyodorovna and the two lived a married life that was neither happy nor sad for over twenty years. Each person became set in their own ways and the two lived as separate islands in their home, made possible by Ivan Ilyich's income. I was not completely captivated by the story of Ivan Ilyich. He lived a relatively normal existence and experienced many things that an average upper middle class citizen might have experienced in Russia at the time of publication, hence the rating. I found Tolstoy's writing style accessible, which should ease the way for me to read his longer works. The part I found the most interesting was how Tolstoy through Ivan Ilyich discussed his views on death and dying, which is the premise of this story. Ivan Ilyich grappled with the alternatives of dying and being mired in a marriage where he was not appreciated or loved. Even though I only gave this story three stars, I am glad I read it as an introduction to Tolstoy. The premise is an interesting one and I enjoy the time period, although, it is not a story that I am not drawn to. I would recommend this to those who might not read classics due to their long length and want to begin to read an author's works. I look forward to endeavoring through Tolstoy's epic novels after discovering that his writing style is easy to read for the masses.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kenny

    “Can it be that I have not lived as one ought?" The Death of Ivan Ilyich Leo Tolstoy The Death of Ivan Ilyich is one of the greatest tales of redemption and forgiveness I have ever read. What Tolstoy accomplished in the last 10 pages of this novella was amazing. Tolstoy is at his best writing about the social interactions of human beings. He has such an amazing feel for the things that go on between people; the hypocrisy, the pretending, the way people lie to each other on a daily basis. And he d “Can it be that I have not lived as one ought?" The Death of Ivan Ilyich Leo Tolstoy The Death of Ivan Ilyich is one of the greatest tales of redemption and forgiveness I have ever read. What Tolstoy accomplished in the last 10 pages of this novella was amazing. Tolstoy is at his best writing about the social interactions of human beings. He has such an amazing feel for the things that go on between people; the hypocrisy, the pretending, the way people lie to each other on a daily basis. And he does it so subtly. Here, nobody knows what to say in the face of death. Everyone talks around death ~~ around Ivan. This is another of Tolstoy’s amazingly insightful looks into the way people react to life and death, the way we lose control of our lives, and how we hide from our emotions rather than embracing them. I read The Death of Ivan Ilyich with my friend, Ali. When we were discussing our takes on Ivan, Ali remarked that “I think maybe it would have been more spiritual if he added God and Afterlife.” I understand Ali’s point, but I disagree. Tolstoy was writing of Ivan Ilyich’s journey to enlightenment, not his journey to God. Becoming enlightened is a spiritual journey, not a religious journey. Also, Tolstoy was writing of Ivan Ilyich’s death, not his journey thru the tunnel to the light. The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a wonderful read. Tolstoy brilliantly demonstrates his understanding of humanity, and portrays that understanding brilliantly in his writing.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ines

    This work is entirely focused on the meaning of life and death, on appearances and on the investment of love that we give in our lives. The story begins with Ivan’s presentation, a man who has achieved everything he wanted in life, a high-level job, respect and power as a district "magistrate", a family of good standard and a house rearranged as he wished.... but here comes the pain, or just called by Ivan, "IT" ; it’s just so called initially a strange discomfort in the abdomen, and then it turns This work is entirely focused on the meaning of life and death, on appearances and on the investment of love that we give in our lives. The story begins with Ivan’s presentation, a man who has achieved everything he wanted in life, a high-level job, respect and power as a district "magistrate", a family of good standard and a house rearranged as he wished.... but here comes the pain, or just called by Ivan, "IT" ; it’s just so called initially a strange discomfort in the abdomen, and then it turns into a real chronic pain most likely caused by a tumor at a time impossible to diagnose. From this moment a theatre "of the ignominy" is opened where the colleagues in front of the imminent death of Ivan, think to the snap of position in the Court, where the wife sees everything except the nuisance and worry of having her social and economic tenor lowered in the event of her husband’s death. Everything is camouflaged and hidden without seeing reality as it unfolds... death , the illness, the impossibility of healing is never taken into account by the many doctors that Ivan and his wife will call, because nothing is called as it really appears. The old and even the young children, who in front of the dying father, will never be able to have a word of love and tenderness towards him; the colleagues at work, only annoyed by its weakness and confusion often present during Court sessions and never happened in the past when health was in force. A world of fiction, of fictitious values, of lies, where people seek to draw only benefits and well-being. Even his wife and children live miserably and ignorantly of love and tenderness towards him, because Ivan, too, has been in the past the architect and promoter of this dry life of goodness and freedom. The only one who will succeed in opening a breach in Ivan’s heart will be the servant, Gerasim, who will not bother to hide the factors that create the real "reality"... the agony, so will be called, the death that approaches, the pain, the inability to heal... He is the only faithful witness of a truth of facts and events that are called and brought to Ivan’s eyes with their names. With Gerasim, Ivan, rediscovers a care that will open in his heart a whole series of questions, about what he had lived... life of wickedness and fiction.... During the agony and now close to death among excruciating pains, Ivan let himself go to a new conscience, to realize that he had lived a life of full happiness only and only during childhood, When the looks towards his parents and the looks he received from them were made of endless tenderness, this is the authenticity of life; unconditional love, without traps and lies. Everything was a gift because only, he as child, existed ... In these brief moments, close to death, IVAN LIVES, he lives what free life most responds to the good of the human heart. The present, this new consciousness , becomes the clear truth of a life that, although very short, for few minutes, will give to him a taste of complete and total freedom. Opera incentrata tutta sul significato della vita e della morte, delle apparenze e dell' investimento dell' amore che diamo nella nostra vita. La storia si apre con la presentazione di Ivan, un uomo che ha raggiunto tutto quello che piu' desiderava nella vita, un lavoro di alto livello, rispetto e potere come magistrato distrettuale, una famiglia di buon livello e una casa risistemata come piu' desiderava.... ma ecco che arriva LEI, si proprio così viene chiamato inizialmente uno strano fastidio all'addome, per poi tramutarsi in un vero dolore cronico molto probabilmente causato da un tumore ai tempi impossibile da diagnosticare. Da questo momento si apre un teatro "dell'ignominia" dove i colleghi di fronte alla morte imminente di Ivan pensano allo scatto di posizione in Tribunale, dove la moglie tutto vede se non il fastidio e la preoccupazione di vedersi abbassare il suo tenore sociale ed economico in caso della morte del marito. Ogni cosa viene camuffata e nascosta senza che si possa vedere la realtà così come si svela.... la morte , la malattia, l'impossibilità di guarigione non viene mai presa in considerazione dai tantissimi medici che Ivan e la moglie chiameranno, perchè niente viene chiamato come veramente appare. I figli, che di fronte al padre morente, non riusciranno mai ad avere una parola di amore e tenerezza nei suoi confronti; i colleghi di lavoro, unicamente infastiditi dalla sua debolezza e confusione spesso presente durane i processi e mai accaduto in passato quando la salute era in vigore. Un mondo di finzione, di valori fittizi,di menzogne, dove al prossimo si cerca si spillare unicamente vantaggi e benessere. Anche la moglie e i figli vivono avari e ignoranti di amore e tenerezza nei suoi confronti, perchè anche Ivan artefice e promotore di questa vita arida di bontà e libertà. Unico che riuscirà ad aprire una breccia nel cuore di Ivan sarà il servo, Gerasim, che non si preoccuperà di nascondere i fattori che creano la realtà vera... quini l'agonia, così verrà chiamata, la morte che si avvicina, il dolore, l'impossibilità di guarire.... egli è l'unico testimone fedele di una verità di fatti e accadimenti che vengono chiamati e portati agli occhi di Ivan con i loro nomi. Con Gerasim, Ivan, riscopre un accudimento che aprirà nel suo cuore tutta una serie di domande, su ciò che aveva vissuto... vita di malvagità e finzione.... Durante l'agonia e ormai prossimo alla morte tra dolori lancinanti, Ivan si lascia andare a una coscienza nuova, a rendersi conto di aver vissuto una vita di piena felicità solo ed unicamente durante l'infanzia, quando gli sguardi verso i genitori e gli sguardi che lui riceveva da loro, erano fatti di tenerezza senza fine, questa è l'autenticità della vita... l'amore incondizionato, senza trappole e finzione. Tutto era dono perchè unicamente lui, bambino, esisteva.... In questi brevi momenti, a ridosso della morte IVAN VIVE, vive ciò che la vita libera piu' risponde al bene al cuore dell'uomo. Il presente, questa nuova coscienza , diventa la limpida verità di una vita che se pur brevissima, di pochi minuti, donerà a Ivan un gusto di libertà completa e totale.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Audiobook....read by Simon Prebble.... ....a short 2 hour novella - Thanks to Audible, this was a freebie with my membership....and .... ‘wow’....I was left feeling very sad at the end....somewhat scared too..... A little share: Once in a book group discussion-around 20 of us —-sitting at our large table Saturday morning in Barnes and Noble-we were discussing another book .... .....the topic about death and dying was quite heated. There were those who shared working in hospice...( many sad stor Audiobook....read by Simon Prebble.... ....a short 2 hour novella - Thanks to Audible, this was a freebie with my membership....and .... ‘wow’....I was left feeling very sad at the end....somewhat scared too..... A little share: Once in a book group discussion-around 20 of us —-sitting at our large table Saturday morning in Barnes and Noble-we were discussing another book .... .....the topic about death and dying was quite heated. There were those who shared working in hospice...( many sad stories)... One woman shared that she and her siblings were with her mother when she took her last breath....( this sounded the most peaceful death)... ....But the story I most remembered and haunts me - much as this story did to me .... was a woman in our book group sharing — “death is painful” ....”there is nothing easy and beautiful about death....it’s torture to watch the suffering of the one sick — in pain”. This woman was adamant and animated in her conviction..... sharing the piercing truth of watching her mother die. I knew she was still angry — years later. I went in blind reading “The Death of Ivan Ilyich”. It was free—and the sample-listening was immediately interesting—so I continued. ( aware I’m green when it comes to reading classics- often, insecure if I’m up for the task).... but I ‘think’ I did okay with my comprehension of this short introspective story—— I was left feeling very bleak.....sad....and even (I admit), am frightened of the reality of facing death - or of my husband’s. It’s only as I age - after 42 years of marriage- a blessed marriage- do I begin to - only occasionally- wonder about mine or my husband’s death. Coming face to face with one’s mortality has got to be one of the scariest things a person faces. I’m still thinking about the characters in this book — I hope it’s okay for me to add my thoughts - [greenie-classic-reader]- to say....”damn this story was written well”!!!! I’m not a scholastic on Leo Tolstoy....but it’s not the first time I’ve enjoyed him. Last year I read Anna Karenina and loved it. Tolstoy WAS a brilliant writer —- wasn’t he?/!!!! I’m inspired - to read more.....( thinking out loud here) > more short stories might be the way to go. Ivan IIyich was born son #2....he was not as uptight as his older brother or as wild as his younger. We meet his sister also. But I enjoy reading about the placement of a middle child. He had a sister, too.....but Ivan was the middle child of three sons. We learn about Ivan’s marriage and his career, ( an official Court of Justice). Ivan’s pragmatic theology about both marriage and work were fascinating enough to me — he seemed to know how to most effectively manage both without getting bogged downed by things he couldn’t control —anyway. I had mixed emotions about his aloofness. It was sad to learn early on that a couple of kids died— yet no details This part of the story - alone - drove me to begin a discussion with my husband. Why did Tolstoy even mention the loss if he never planned to elaborate more? I actually think it was a brilliant choice. Paul and I talked about intentional choices authors make in their storytelling. Since Ivan and his wife, (Praskovya), lost a couple of children early in their marriage.....I never forgot this fact. I felt sure the loss to some degree explained the reason for such crankiness Praskovya showed toward Ivan. Yet....it didn’t seem the only reason. We will meet Ivan’s son, ( Vasia), and his daughter, ( Lisa).... ......who are an important part of Ivan’s last dying days -reckoning history?.....I think about this aspect of death myself, too.....( reckoning history).... .....will I have forgiveness to make?....and will I be forgiven? And don’t all of us wish we won’t be excruciating pain? This is a very sad -realistic - a sort of meditation on life and death —a look into the thoughts of a very sick man dying. Powerful ...... I now - seriously- would like to read more of his work — beginning with more of his short stories. 5 strong stars

  15. 4 out of 5

    Duane

    If you are bothered by your own mortality then consider yourself forewarned. It's not just the thought of dying much too young, just when you have gained a level of accomplishment, but also to die in agony, slowly. I've seen it much to close in my life, and to read such a vivid account was difficult. The power of writing, of good writing, can take you many places, even places you don't want to go. If you are bothered by your own mortality then consider yourself forewarned. It's not just the thought of dying much too young, just when you have gained a level of accomplishment, but also to die in agony, slowly. I've seen it much to close in my life, and to read such a vivid account was difficult. The power of writing, of good writing, can take you many places, even places you don't want to go.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Just as David Allen Coe sang the perfect Country and Western song, so might this be the perfect Russian short story / novella. Tolstoy has all the pertinent Russian elements: death, misery, estrangement, corrupt aristocracy, worthless professional class, strong and noble peasantry metaphorically and actually carrying the rich on their backs, guilt and a moment of clarity before the end. Just as David Allen Coe sang the perfect Country and Western song, so might this be the perfect Russian short story / novella. Tolstoy has all the pertinent Russian elements: death, misery, estrangement, corrupt aristocracy, worthless professional class, strong and noble peasantry metaphorically and actually carrying the rich on their backs, guilt and a moment of clarity before the end.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amalia Gkavea

    “False. Everything by which you have lived and live now is all a deception, a lie, concealing both life and death from you.” “It occurred to him that he had not spent his life as he should have done. It occurred to him that his scarcely perceptible attempts to struggle against what was considered good by the most highly placed people, those scarcely noticeable impulses which he had immediately suppressed, might have been the real thing, and all the rest false. And his professional duties a “False. Everything by which you have lived and live now is all a deception, a lie, concealing both life and death from you.” “It occurred to him that he had not spent his life as he should have done. It occurred to him that his scarcely perceptible attempts to struggle against what was considered good by the most highly placed people, those scarcely noticeable impulses which he had immediately suppressed, might have been the real thing, and all the rest false. And his professional duties and the whole arrangement of his life and of his family, and all his social and official interests, might all have been false.”

  18. 5 out of 5

    Piyangie

    The story of The Death of Ivan Ilych profoundly touches on the concepts of life and death. Although I have come across books that talks deeply of life, I cannot say the same about death. And this book quite compensated for that omission. Tolstoy, through the fictitious character of Ivan Ilych, exposes the concept of death and human feelings when they are confronted with death. Ivan Ilych, a judge, leads an active professional life, and performs his social duty well. He is also a husband and a The story of The Death of Ivan Ilych profoundly touches on the concepts of life and death. Although I have come across books that talks deeply of life, I cannot say the same about death. And this book quite compensated for that omission. Tolstoy, through the fictitious character of Ivan Ilych, exposes the concept of death and human feelings when they are confronted with death. Ivan Ilych, a judge, leads an active professional life, and performs his social duty well. He is also a husband and a father and performs his family duties well too. Despite all this, when he finally faces death, Ivan Ilych is in doubt whether he really lived a meaningful life. “Can it be that I have not lived as one ought?" he thinks. "But how not so, when I've done everything as it should be done?” he argues. Tolstoy was a constant seeker of the true meaning of life beyond the "accepted bourgeois standard of living", beyond the social and domestic duties performed by men/women. Written after his religious conversion, Tolstoy's new thoughts on life are reflected through the story of Ivan Ilych. Living the life in bourgeois standard and the mere performance of social and domestic duties do not alone make the living meaningful. This is clearly shown through the fear and mental suffering of Ivan Ilych at his deathbed. There is life beyond that; a life of truth, call it spirituality, or path to enlightenment according to your own religious convictions. And the true meaning of life is veiled by an illusion, by what we call life - the materialistic living, the performance of social and domestic duties in that materialistic world. In this illusory way of living we abandon the duty to ourselves; we abandon our quest to realize the true meaning of life. But when we see the truth in life and live the life meaningfully according to that truth, we see the "light" beyond death and "death disappears". This is what Tolstoy was driving at. This is a meaningful book with a powerful message. And I heartily agree that this is a supreme masterpiece on the subject of death and dying. It is one of the most thought provoking books from one of the best masters of literature. Though written in the late 19th century, this is a timeless and a universal classic, timeless and universal as life and death. I enjoyed it very much.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ladan

    Almost all of us have come up with the tight situation of facing death, be it an accident, or diagnosis of a fatal disease even a wrong one, or natural hazards, and so on. If not one has at least pondered death, knowing it is one of those experiences that one would go through alone may make it seem more exclusive. I encountered a situation recently, which made me think deeply about death, so I picked this book after watching one of my favourite movies, which is somehow an adaption of the death o Almost all of us have come up with the tight situation of facing death, be it an accident, or diagnosis of a fatal disease even a wrong one, or natural hazards, and so on. If not one has at least pondered death, knowing it is one of those experiences that one would go through alone may make it seem more exclusive. I encountered a situation recently, which made me think deeply about death, so I picked this book after watching one of my favourite movies, which is somehow an adaption of the death of Ivan Ilych. Tolstoy depicts the fear, the denial, the pain, the pity, the inevitability, and the death so tangible. He draws one’s attention to that very moment when one is certain about death and doubtful about the way one has lived. Did I live the right way? As if life comes with a manual and each individual is obliged to follow the codes accordingly to reach salvation! There were moments, I wanted to punch Ivan right in the face and tell him to stop living like a finger at least for the last days of his life, and all he did was blaming the others. His wife, his kid’s upbringing, his colleagues, his job, the way he spent his life, they were all his choices, he was responsible for them. These so-called “successful” people lack living skills. They have devoted the time for learning those essential skills to improve in their jobs, to be admired in society, live up to society standards. At last, when he observes Gerasim’s receptiveness to illness, to death, and to the life the way it is, he figures out that he should better leave everything the way it is and accept his pain, his loss, and his death. I hope at that very moment of death I just would be at peace with myself and my last words could resemble Raymond Carver’s late fragment: And did you get what you wanted from this life, even so? I did. And what did you want? To call myself beloved, to feel myself beloved on the earth.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Swaroop

    Death is nothing but joy and a light. It is not the cusp or a kind of pain, but a beginning and a start. Many ways, it is the actually the end of fear and pain... "In place of death, there was light." "So that's what it is!" he suddenly exclaimed aloud. "What joy!" "Death is finished," he said to himself. "It is no more!". The Death of Ivan Ilych is a beautiful (yes, Death is beautiful) book written by Leo Tolstoy. It is indeed, as quoted in the blurb, a supreme masterpiece on the subject of death a Death is nothing but joy and a light. It is not the cusp or a kind of pain, but a beginning and a start. Many ways, it is the actually the end of fear and pain... "In place of death, there was light." "So that's what it is!" he suddenly exclaimed aloud. "What joy!" "Death is finished," he said to himself. "It is no more!". The Death of Ivan Ilych is a beautiful (yes, Death is beautiful) book written by Leo Tolstoy. It is indeed, as quoted in the blurb, a supreme masterpiece on the subject of death and dying, and also all the life we have lived so far. The whole book feels so simple and like some self-rambling account of Ivan Ilych, and then slowly somewhere in the middle of the book it hits you... the realization, the meaningfulness, the purpose, the joy, the happiness, the LIGHT... If you are living a life now, and you are aware that there will an end to this life years later, then there is no reason for you to, not read this book. Once that final question is answered to self, you can live a life of peace and joy, because you know it is nothing but joy and light on the other side too... `Tolstoy`

  21. 5 out of 5

    Rowena

    The more Tolstoy I read, the more I appreciate his literary genius and his philosophic thoughts. This was a relatively short book dealing with Ivan Ilyich's realization of his impending death. His life had been mediocre at best and he realizes he hadn't really been happy and had been trying to live an "ideal" life. What awful thoughts to realize when one is so close to death! The more Tolstoy I read, the more I appreciate his literary genius and his philosophic thoughts. This was a relatively short book dealing with Ivan Ilyich's realization of his impending death. His life had been mediocre at best and he realizes he hadn't really been happy and had been trying to live an "ideal" life. What awful thoughts to realize when one is so close to death!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Florencia

    I read this novella a couple of weeks ago and I did not write a review right away; I had to put my thoughts in order (they rarely are but, oh well). That only happens after reading an amazing book, brilliantly written, that deals with the human condition like Dostoyevsky's keen eye can deal. This book is about life itself, life in its most virtuous and degrading glory. This masterpiece has no more than 120 pages, but it manages to show many perspectives on different issues concerning the human n I read this novella a couple of weeks ago and I did not write a review right away; I had to put my thoughts in order (they rarely are but, oh well). That only happens after reading an amazing book, brilliantly written, that deals with the human condition like Dostoyevsky's keen eye can deal. This book is about life itself, life in its most virtuous and degrading glory. This masterpiece has no more than 120 pages, but it manages to show many perspectives on different issues concerning the human nature; it is insane. Life without meaning. A hollow, immoral life that, from a certain perspective, seems even worse than death. A first sign of that meaning appears, ironically, when life is about to end. So human. This book starts with Ivan's death. Every human reaction described by Tolstoy is too damn real. Every passage has a different idea, a different way of describing real human behavior. A person just died and his allegedly best friend is thinking about getting out of his room so he can play cards with another fella. And don't get me started on the widow... A life vanished and this shallow people can't stop thinking about themselves. Ivan Ilyich achieved an important social status after years of work, pushing his family aside. A man that thought he had lived well, was now suffering a painful death. However, is this death more painful than the way he actually lived? Did he live, at all? The eternal questions remain unanswered: what is exactly “to live”? What's the meaning of all that? Why are we here? Why can't you tickle yourself? What's a number? Can we really be objective? Will airplane food get any better? Will celebrities ever stop naming their kids after inanimate objects? OK, moving on. There are many things I would like to say about this book but I just can't. I don't want to spoil this anymore. And I know you can read a lot about it in any other place, but not in here. I never ask anyone to read anything. However, I urge you, and you, and the other one next to you... to read this book. Mar 05, 14 * Also on my blog.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mark André

    Well written, but grim. Not fun. 3-stars.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tan Markovic

    My first dabble in classic Russian literature since A Level Philosophy.... It's not as daunting when you don't have to analyse every sentence! A short classic listened to via Scribd. Very much enjoyed this story; easy to follow and I think everyone could take something from this. My first dabble in classic Russian literature since A Level Philosophy.... It's not as daunting when you don't have to analyse every sentence! A short classic listened to via Scribd. Very much enjoyed this story; easy to follow and I think everyone could take something from this.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    My very first Tolstoy. Oh, of course I know of this titan of literature and of course I know one of his most important works, Anna Karenina. However, I had actually considered reading his work(s) in their original language so I started learning Russian back when I had a bit more spare time ... only I got derailed and still am not on a level that would allow me to read such works in Russian. However, a friend persuaded me to at least read a short story of his, even if it is a translated version a My very first Tolstoy. Oh, of course I know of this titan of literature and of course I know one of his most important works, Anna Karenina. However, I had actually considered reading his work(s) in their original language so I started learning Russian back when I had a bit more spare time ... only I got derailed and still am not on a level that would allow me to read such works in Russian. However, a friend persuaded me to at least read a short story of his, even if it is a translated version and I agreed. Incidentally, this story was penned by Tolstoy years after Anna Karenina that had plunged him into either writer's block or even depression. Tolstoy himself was considering life and death which led him to pick up the pen again eventually and write this. The titular Ivan Ilych has died and we're looking back on his life. He was a judge, rising through the ranks, only caring about a good life, money, a match respected by society, having a good name and reputation etc. However, one day, he discovers that even he must die - and soon since he has fallen ill - and he's unable to cope with it. The story is a contemplation on what people do with their lives, what we consider "a good life" and worth spending our precious time with. Thus, we also encounter Ivan's vain and cold wife, the spoilt children (mostly the daughter) and superficial friends who, upon learning of Ivan's death, can't wait to find out what promotion they shall gain from it. Naturally, this topic also invites musings on God and the purpose of life, why people often have to suffer, why we have to die in the first place. I myself am an Atheist and therefore can hardly understand why some people need to continuously ask "why" as there simply is no answer. It's the natural cause of things. You are born, you age, you die. Yes, your loved ones (unless you are unlucky and have a family like Ivan) mourn you but it's not as if death was a form of punishment, it just IS. Therefore, I find it despicable how some "representatives" of certain religious groups positively wait for you to be in a weak state, like vultures waiting for a sick animal to give up, just so they can convert you when you're scared of dying. Tolstoy's musings on life, suffering, pain, death and things of value were quite interesting. Especially since Russian tales, traditionally, are darker and more melancholy than Western tales. Here, however, I found myself surprised by the conclusion. The Death of Ivan Ilych might be a short story, but it is impeccably written in lyrical but not bloated prose, with sharp observations of society interwoven with the examination of deep and important matters that shape humanity. Death is the common denominator after all.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Shepherd

    “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” ~Dylan Thomas Ivan Ilych is slipping away and he knows it. His progression (regression?) into darkness is one of introspection and regret. Interspersed amid the episodes of physical pain, brought about by injury and illness, are Ilych’s contemplations on the meaning of life. Being led inside the head of a dying man isn’t my idea of a good time, but Tolstoy, being Tolsto “Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” ~Dylan Thomas Ivan Ilych is slipping away and he knows it. His progression (regression?) into darkness is one of introspection and regret. Interspersed amid the episodes of physical pain, brought about by injury and illness, are Ilych’s contemplations on the meaning of life. Being led inside the head of a dying man isn’t my idea of a good time, but Tolstoy, being Tolstoy, does it masterfully. Let’s face it, we are all going to be there someday. We know it’s coming. Some of us (most of us?) deal with this inevitability by ignoring it. We either pretend it isn’t there or we embrace the myth that if we do this or that we can somehow circumvent the unavoidable and plant our ass in an eternity of perpetual bliss. Tolstoy’s Ilych isn’t above all that, but his situation forces him to examine not the ‘what’ of it all, but rather the ‘why’ of it all. Tolstoy was a genius. I read that some critics believe that this, ‘The Death of Ivan Ilych,’ is the best short fiction he ever wrote. They will get no argument from me.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Profound and masterly. A short glimpse into Tolstoy's genius, on that age old problem we all face up to, death. Uncomplicated with a clear prose, the story is of Ivan Ilyich, a married judge with two children, who dies before his time (mid 40's) after much suffering, reflection, and self-recrimination, and after considerable indictment by Tolstoy. Ilyich is self-satisfied, shallow, dull, and cold hearted, in short, unlikable, and Tolstoy presents him with no stylistic flourishes. In stern, spare Profound and masterly. A short glimpse into Tolstoy's genius, on that age old problem we all face up to, death. Uncomplicated with a clear prose, the story is of Ivan Ilyich, a married judge with two children, who dies before his time (mid 40's) after much suffering, reflection, and self-recrimination, and after considerable indictment by Tolstoy. Ilyich is self-satisfied, shallow, dull, and cold hearted, in short, unlikable, and Tolstoy presents him with no stylistic flourishes. In stern, spare, ironic tones, he prompts us to look closely and in condemnation at this man, and then, gradually and with gathering force, he induces not just our sympathy but our identification with him. The irony is set in stone, Ilyich's colleagues, on hearing of his death, start to ponder over of the effect it would have on their own lives, in terms of transfers and promotions at work. As Ilyich falls from grace and death takes over, for the reader it's an awakening. It's a life that although not as it should have been, could still be rectified at death It becomes clear to Ilyich that "what had been oppressing him and would not leave him was all dropping away at once from all sides, "What joy!'", he exclaims. Piercing and moving this novella is a great way to read Tolstoy without picking up one of his brick side novels. In a nutshell, Brilliant!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Phoenix2

    I've always liked Tolstoy's writing style, as he can describe something simply and clearly. Even the heavy topic of death, he managed to narrate it from the point of view of the actual dead, Ivan Ilych, who experianced it through it's multiple stages. It's wonderful, simple, sad and eye opening. Recommended. I've always liked Tolstoy's writing style, as he can describe something simply and clearly. Even the heavy topic of death, he managed to narrate it from the point of view of the actual dead, Ivan Ilych, who experianced it through it's multiple stages. It's wonderful, simple, sad and eye opening. Recommended.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lou

    You are transported to the world of Ivan and walk with him to his last moments at deaths door. A story of the terror of death and Ivan's fear of dying, his concern and sorrow for his families witnessing of his howling and decline. Suffering realizes joy of youth and memories of the best of days, while he is in this process of death the solitude brings him to doors of gone memories of happiness. How our daily trappings take us away from finer and truer happier moments of life, a time lost so valu You are transported to the world of Ivan and walk with him to his last moments at deaths door. A story of the terror of death and Ivan's fear of dying, his concern and sorrow for his families witnessing of his howling and decline. Suffering realizes joy of youth and memories of the best of days, while he is in this process of death the solitude brings him to doors of gone memories of happiness. How our daily trappings take us away from finer and truer happier moments of life, a time lost so valuable, we are a generational lost by media consumption, mobiles, internet and tv fine examples of vehicles of joyous hours but are also guilty of stealing our treasured hours that could be spent in much so joyous moments, i myself am guilty of these behaviours but i find the much joy in the solitude and private thought of words and reading. A short story but the magnitude of the message conveyed great to me I am now thinking of my past and age of innocence, ignorance is bliss words uttered by oh so many. This is the first reading of any of Tolstoy's works for me and I wait in anticipation to descent upon the treasure trove of his works of literature, Bon voyage alas I must hasten to read more and more. "From the very beginning of his illness, from the time when Ivan Ilyvich first went to the doctor, his life had divided into two opposite states of mind, which alternated each other: now there was despair and the expectation of the incomprehensible and terrible death, now there was hope and the interest-filled process of observing the functioning of his body. Now there hung before his eyes a kidney or an intestine that shirked it's duty for a time; now there was only incomprehensible, terrible death, from which there was no escape." "In the recent time of that solitude in which he found himself, lying face to the back f the sofa, that solitude in the midst of the populous town and his numerous acquaintances and family- a solitude than which there could be none more total anywhere; not at the bottom of the sea, not under the earth-in the recent time of that dreadful solitude, Ivan Ilyvich had lived only on imaginings of the past. One after another, pictures of the past appeared to him. They always began with the nearest time and went back to the most remote, to childhood, and there they stayed." "And again right there, along with this course of recollection, another course of recollection was going o his soul-of how his illness had grown and worsened. The further back he went, the more life there was. There was a goodness in life, and more of life itself. The two merged together."As my torment kept on getting worse and worse, so the whole of life got worse and worse," he thought. There was one bright spot back there, at the beginning of life, and then it became darker and darker, ever quicker and quicker. "In inverse proportion to the square of the distance from death," thought Ivan Ilyvich. And this image of a stone plunging down with increasing speed sank into his soul. Life, a series of ever-increasing sufferings, races faster and faster towards it's end, the most dreadful suffering." http://more2read.com/?review=the-death-of-ivan-ilych-by-leo-tolstoy

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    When it comes to a simple theme, it can't get much better than this. Death? Meet Ivan Ilych. But what Tolstoy brings to the table is an outline of his life, his propriety, his career, and his failings as a husband and father (though he would never call it such) and the realization that he, perforce, must die. Enter pain, existential horror, and bafflement. Very Russian. Very universal. And extremely well-written. And for the man who wrote War and Peace? SO SHORT! :) When it comes to a simple theme, it can't get much better than this. Death? Meet Ivan Ilych. But what Tolstoy brings to the table is an outline of his life, his propriety, his career, and his failings as a husband and father (though he would never call it such) and the realization that he, perforce, must die. Enter pain, existential horror, and bafflement. Very Russian. Very universal. And extremely well-written. And for the man who wrote War and Peace? SO SHORT! :)

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