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The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories

The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories

Written by Leo Tolstoy

Narrated by George K. Wilson


The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories

Written by Leo Tolstoy

Narrated by George K. Wilson

ratings:
3/5 (357 ratings)
Length:
7 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Feb 9, 2009
ISBN:
9781400180776
Format:
Audiobook

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Description

Hailed as one of the world's supreme masterpieces on the subject of death and dying, Leo Tolstoy's "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 novella 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.



Also included in this volume are "The Forged Coupon," "After the Dance," "My Dream," "There Are No Guilty People," and "The Young Tsar."
Publisher:
Released:
Feb 9, 2009
ISBN:
9781400180776
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

Leo Tolstoy was born in 1828 in Tula, near Moscow. His parents, who both died when he was young, belonged to the Russian nobility, and to the end of his life Tolstoy remained conscious of his aristocratic status. His novels, ‘War and Peace’ and ‘Anna Karenina’ are literary classics and he is revered as one of the greatest writers of the nineteenth century. He died in 1910 at the age of 82.



Reviews

What people think about The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories

3.1
357 ratings / 14 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    The chronology of this is wonderful. It begins with the end, making the reader question why we should care, and then builds up, creating this flawed but sympathetic character going through life crises most of us can empathize with, before...A phenomenal ending that couldn't have gone any other way.
  • (4/5)
    This one was recommended to me by a friend who has since passed away. He reminisced on this as the book that changed the way he looked at life. I read it shortly after he passed away, to feel a bit closer and to help me through the grieving process. It was a good one but definitely quite depressing.
  • (5/5)
    Wow... This is such an unpleasant and disturbing read. In the Keutzer Sonata we've come lightyears, it would seem, from the Tolstoy I thought I knew. The Death of Ivan Ilych is as brilliant as anything else, but the Keutzer Sonata is the taint of Tolstoy's entire career in my opinion. Brilliant, in purely aesthetical terms, as always with Tolstoy, but the beliefs espoused in this novella (obviously Tolstoy's own) is so far removed from todays and seem so harsh and unrelenting that it becomes almost unbearable. I don't know what to think of it all. I loved Ivan Ilych so much that I would like to give it something beyond perfection, but felt so repulsed by the sonata that it rocked the entire pedestal upon which I had placed Tolstoy. It might just keel over...
  • (5/5)
    Exquisitely crafted short stories. One of a small list of books i'll re-read. Ivan Ilych doesn't waste a word in illuminating the soul's contents. Brilliant flashes of humor throughout lighten the agony.
  • (5/5)
    A very good collection of short stories, worthy as an introduction to Tolstoy for those who aren't ready to tackle War and Peace or Anna Karenina. They have much to say about the human condition, the nature of love and desire, marriage, family relationships and death, and as such have relevance for readers in many countries and cultures. Family Happiness is probably the least good of the quartet, lacking the passion and drama of the other three stories. It is a study of the changing nature of love in the marriage between a young girl and an older man (though he is only in his late 30s!). The Death of Ivan Ilyich is one I have just read separately, so I did not re-read it in this collection. For the sake of completeness here though: this concerns the thoughts and feelings of a man towards his family and those around him as he gets progressively more ill and is then dying from a wasting disease that sounds like cancer. The opening chapters are quite light-hearted with some ruefully amusing reflections on marriage and attitudes towards ones career, but then the mood becomes much darker and he ends being cynical about his family, seeing them as wishing his death to come sooner so they can be free of the burden of caring for him. The Kreutzer Sonata is a very powerful story about the breakdown of a marriage, with some very advanced for the time (1889) views on how marriages evolve and how couples can grow to take each other for granted and eventually become actively hostile without wanting to grow apart. Tolstoy's postscript, published following the banning of the story in Russia and elsewhere, and concerning the moral superiority of celibacy, somewhat detracts from the dramatic impact of the ending, though. The Devil is a powerful tale about how a nobleman's passion for the object of a former fling with a peasant wife destroys his seemingly happy marriage through obsession. There are two endings, the published one where he kills himself and the alternative one where he kills the object of his obsession. An excellent collection, some of the best Russian literature of its type.
  • (5/5)
    A great collection from a master prose stylist. These stories are part of why I love to read.