The Death of Ivan Ilyich [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Death of Ivan Ilyich was first published in 1886. It is a novella by Leo Tolstoy. It is one of Tolstoy's most celebrated pieces of late fiction. This work stems in part from Tolstoy's anguished intellectual and spiritual struggles which led to his conversion to Christianity. Central to the story is an examination on the nature of both life and death, and how man can come to terms with death's very inevitability. The novella was acclaimed by...
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The Death of Ivan Ilyich

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Overview

The Death of Ivan Ilyich was first published in 1886. It is a novella by Leo Tolstoy. It is one of Tolstoy's most celebrated pieces of late fiction. This work stems in part from Tolstoy's anguished intellectual and spiritual struggles which led to his conversion to Christianity. Central to the story is an examination on the nature of both life and death, and how man can come to terms with death's very inevitability. The novella was acclaimed by Vladimir Nabokov and Mahatma Gandhi as the greatest in the whole of Russian literature

Tolstoy’s classic novella has been formatted for optimal viewing on the Nook and is
equipped with an active Table of Contents for smooth and simple navigation!
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940014964203
  • Publisher: A & L eBooks
  • Publication date: 7/16/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 426,882
  • File size: 419 KB

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 17, 2012

    An Insight to A Life

    This book came to me a year before an event that changed my life. It gave insight & a ringing truth to a cultural history I have inherited. I didn't expect it, but the experience of Ivan Ilyich's very personal journey prepared me with a deeper understanding. I love this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2009

    Not as good as others

    This isn't his best work.It id very boring.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2015

    Mia

    Here?

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  • Posted October 30, 2014

    Takes some doing, but it's worth the ride. I can see how it may

    Takes some doing, but it's worth the ride. I can see how it may be considered boring for a modern-day reader, but I found it interesting despite the sometimes long passages. It is a good portrait of life back then and there and the characters are truthful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 25, 2014

    After spending his young life vacillating between responsibility

    After spending his young life vacillating between responsibility and whores Tolstoy found religion. (Found true religion more accurately. He was Russian Orthodox his entire life until renouncing it for his own version of true faith in Jesus.) The Death of Ivan Ilyich – a novella easily read in an afternoon – was his first published effort after his change in faith. It tells the story of a man who, with no real effort or drive, rises to a mid-level court position, learns to despise his once beloved wife, largely ignores his once adorable children, and spends his time showing his colleagues and neighbors that he is a man of culture and value just like they are.

    While hanging curtains in his new and ostentatious home, Ilyich falls. Over the next days he feels an ache in his side and develops a metallic taste in his mouth. He agrees to see a doctor, then doctors, and then specialists who fail to ever accurately diagnose his ailment. He knows but will not admit that he is in a downward spiral toward pain and death. Increasingly beset with anger and a feeling that death was never meant for him - not now! - he despises those around him. Doctors, friends, and family are all liars who feign concern but plot their escape to the card table. People avoid him, he thinks, because he reminds them of death, of wasting, of their own demise. His only comfort is his peasant servant, a theme seen through much of Tolstoy’s writing.

    The last three days of his life are excruciating. Not from pain only but from the nagging emotional ache that he has lived his life wrongly. He sees that he has lived a false life showcasing artifice and selfishness just as those he despises. An hour before dying he feels release realizing that a good life is an authentic life. The peasant life. A life of concern and compassion. His heart turns and he feels love and pity for his family and friends. He sees his death as their release from the burden of his care.

    But this revelation is largely implied and separates Ilych from pamphleteering. Maybe this is part of Tolstoy’s genius? To let each reader discern their own meaning? Can we live authentically as wealthy people? What good is it to ‘inherit the earth’ if you are poor, weak, and ill?

    Thirteen years later Tolstoy will publish Resurrection where the themes of Ilych are expanded. The Death of Ivan Ilyich rests comfortably on the same bookshelf with other great philosophical fiction (and isn’t all Russian lit philosophical?). Tolstoy presents the problem, hints at solutions, but raises as many questions as he answers.

    Modern readers can struggle with the prose and Tolstoy takes time to develop the story. But it is a wonderful and thought provoking read. Can be profitably read and re-read.

    Four stars.

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    Posted January 15, 2010

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