The Death of Ivan Ilyich

So I went to Wales last week, and, divvy that I am, I decided to take the coach. So obviously I needed something to keep me occupied on the 10 hour journey (*groan*). I picked The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories, by Leo Tolstoy. And it just so happens that this is another of my 1001 books to read before I die. All of the stories in the book are quite short, and yet they all seem to make some very broad claims about the state of society and the like. I enjoyed it, despite all the melancholy. The Death of Ivan Ilyich was probably my least favourite of the stories, all of the characters were quite unsympathetic. As a reader, I really wanted to be able to feel for the man who was dying such a long, painful death, but he was such a sod, I really couldn’t muster up any feeling for him. There were a couple of others, such as The Raid, which didn’t really appeal to me as it seemed like a chapter of a book rather than a complete story in itself. And I’m not really a war girl. Having said this, even when the subject matter was not too great, Tolstoy has a way of making things very, very readable. My favourite of all the short stories was The Forged Coupon, which also happens to be the longest of the bunch. It is basically a story showing how committing one small crime, such as forging a coupon, can have grave consequences to those around you, causing a sort of snowball effect. In this case a forged coupon became horse stealing, and horse stealing became mass murder. This is most definitely the one I would recommend… it just so happens that this is also the least depressing story of the book…. As I’ve said before, I’m a girl who loves a happy ending!

So I’m keeping it short tonight, I have an early morning. I promise to try and be a much more faithful blogger in the future, so expect more soon!

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2 thoughts on “The Death of Ivan Ilyich

  1. Pingback: Whimsical Reading – Boy’s Names | Doing it the Open Way

  2. Pingback: 1,001 Books | Doing it the Open Way

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