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The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy
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The Death of Ivan Ilych (original 1884; edition 2006)

by Leo Tolstoy

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2,414552,551 (3.95)15
Member:jdtchicago
Title:The Death of Ivan Ilych
Authors:Leo Tolstoy
Info:Waking Lion Press (2006), Paperback, 86 pages
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The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy (Author) (1884)

1001 (17) 1001 books (20) 19th century (51) 19th century literature (12) classic (64) classics (55) death (67) dying (11) ebook (9) fiction (288) Kindle (8) Leo Tolstoy (8) literature (112) novel (38) novella (45) owned (8) paperback (9) philosophy (19) read (34) Roman (8) Russia (84) Russian (95) Russian fiction (13) Russian literature (130) short stories (29) short story (9) to-read (42) Tolstoy (18) translation (17) unread (17)
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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
3.5/5

I didn't like this book at first, but once I got past the first twenty pages or so it got a lot better. In the end I liked it, but marked it down simply because for such a short book, it did take me a while to get into it.

For my detailed review on what I liked and didn't, please check out my blog at http://www.thebooktower.webs.com ( )
  bookish92 | Mar 20, 2014 |
The story begins with three friends and colleagues of a man named Ivan Ilych learning of his death. No one seems deeply affected by this, but one of them, Peter Ivanovich, goes to the wake at Ivan's house that night out of a sense of obligation. From there Tolstoy allows us to view Ilych’s life and his subsequent death, a wasted and meaningless life. In addition we become witness to the hypocrisy and the pointlessness of the lives of those around him—except for his young butler—who has an understanding of life and death that Ilych does not. What is particular tragic about this novella is the loneliness and isolation and the feeling that the life that Ilych has lived was meaningless—worse than death. This book allows us to explore how we live our lives, what is important in that life—and what is a “good life.” 3 out of 5 stars. ( )
1 vote marsap | Jan 3, 2014 |
A great illustration of a man coming to terms with his death. ( )
  ptdilloway | Nov 21, 2013 |
The titular work is, of course, as brutal and candid a look at the human condition (maybe just the bourgeois condition?) as any a Russian author ever took. It's a hard read, but one worth undertaking if only to exercise your appreciation of the human condition via another (albeit Western[ish:]) culture. ( )
  50MinuteMermaid | Nov 14, 2013 |
Oh non-Gothic, gothic horror. Oh sweaty relief. (ew)

I wish I'd been a writing sort in high school--the books I read then were arguably more interesting than the ones I read now, brief Michael Crichton preoccupation excepted. ( )
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
The work has a twofold value - first as a commentary of a Russian upon the most noteworthy event of Russia's contemporary, and, secondly, as a soldier's account from personal observation of the most stirring scenes of a mighty war.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times (pay site)
 
The light ridicule with which it commences and the black horror in which it terminates... are alike suggestive of the Thackeray of Russia.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times (pay site)
 

» Add other authors (65 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tolstoy, LeoAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aplin, HughTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bremer, GeertAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Edmonds, RosemaryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eekman, T.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In the great building of the Law Courts, during an interval in the hearing of the Melvinsky affair, the members of the Court and the public prosecutor gathered together in Ivan Yegorovich Shebek's private room, and the conversation turned on the celebrated Krasovsky case.
(the Rosemary Edwards translation)
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Please note that this work is only for "The Death of Ivan Ilych" ONLY.

NOT for any work with any other stories or with commentaries.

Please note that "The Cossacks" and 'Hadji Murat" are NOT the same work and please do NOT recombine them. Thank you.

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Book description
This is a classic book discussing the difference between life and death and a substantial way of living versus a frivolous way of living. In the frivolous way of living, life is materialistic and self-centered. In the substantial way of living, life includes real emotion such as remorse and sympathy.
The climax of the story is when Ivan Ilyich asks God or empty space why he has been suffering. He actually stops and listens for an answer and gets one. It is simply, "becuase". And that is enough of an answer for Ivan Ilyich. Tolstoy is answering the question that most people ask about suffering with the simple answer of "because". He does not make excuses, does not try to reason it out. He simply states that there is suffering because. I think this is very profound.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553210351, Mass Market Paperback)

Hailed as one of the world's supreme masterpieces on the subject of death and dying, The Death of Ivan Ilyich is the story of a worldly careerist, a high court judge who has never given the inevitability of his death so much as a passing thought. But one day death announces itself to him, and to his shocked surprise he is brought face to face with his own mortality. How, Tolstoy asks, does an unreflective man confront his one and only moment of truth?

This short novel was the artistic culmination of a profound spiritual crisis in Tolstoy's life, a nine-year period following the publication of Anna Karenina during which he wrote not a word of fiction. A thoroughly absorbing and, at times, terrifying glimpse into the abyss of death, it is also a strong testament to the possibility of finding spiritual salvation.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:18 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Ivan Ilyich is wasting away. He lies alone, dosed up on opium and deceived by doctors, haunted by memories and regrets. His friends come to see him, their faces masks of concern. His faithful servant tends to his every need. But as he forces down false remedies and listens to empty promises, Ivan grows aware of one terrible truth. His wife and his children are not awaiting his recovery. They are waiting for him to die.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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Audible.com

Six editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141023600, 0140449612

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