The brilliance of this story is in how a normal bureaucrat, a judge in this case, has a small accident that winds up gradually taking his life. As he deals with this incident, with hope at first and then despair, he comes to terms with his family, his life, and the mediocrities that we all suffer with, except for the exceptional few. This story rings a particularly poignant note for those in early middle age facing the next part of their lives. This story is considered Tolstoy's best.
Public Domain (P)2011 Christina Brown
Floral Design Instructor
I've listened to the “Death of Ivan Illyich” several times and every listen gives me a new prospective in the process of dying and death. Not just the dying of an individual, but the accurate feelings, needs and self protecting aspects of those around the dying. It’s marvelous how Leo Tolstoy taps into the truth of the human heart.
This short story is a great wake-up call to all of us who are preparing to retire instead of preparing to die. I want to be ready when my time comes. Ivan Illyich gives me a glimpse of what it might look like to approach the reality of my mortality without a clue. I've listened to this book many times already and hear something insightfully new each time I re-listen.
Clear. Intelligible. Engaging. He sounds like he could be one of the charcters in this story.
Gerasim. While I know much about Ivan because he's the main character, I'd like to know more about this kind, guileless young man.
I'm open to any book as long as it is true to itself.
A story with a powerful message. Quite depressing, but well-written. Narration was good, very much in the style of Tolstoy.
So this was a Tolstoy...... Hmph, the story doesn't say much except to reiterate how difficult and painful death can be, both physically and emotionally. The story is way too short to establish empathy for Ivan Ilyich! He was a judge. A game of bridge was his favorite amusement. All his life he conformed to proper decorum, becoming with age aloof and irascible. What was the point of life - both he and the readers may ask?!
The narration by Walter Zimmerman was certainly not bad, but it didn't add anything.
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