Unlike Stoppards Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Ivan has the decency to die up front. We do, however, get to retrograde through his brief biography and witness his frustration and agony through the progress of his terminal illness. In the course of its progress, he encounters in his physicians his own arrogance in the courts. His disease is personifiedhe sees it as having a life of its own. He gets to die again at the end.
This story holds a lot of meaning; however, it's a tough read despite a few flashes of brilliance. Tolstoy has a way of drawing me into the darkness (which I like), but this one was a very slow starter.
A short work of Tolstoy - if you've ever wanted to read his work, this is a great one to start with.
This was short and a quick read but a meaningful one as well. Ivan Ilyich is a dying man who looks back on his life and realizes that, while he did everything right in the eyes of society, he never lived a life that was truly his own. I found the story moving and instructive, a reminder that only we can decide the best way to live our lives and that life is only temporary and should be lived well. The message and the story are still as applicable today and they were over a hundred years ago.
This book is about the profound spiritual crisis in Tolstoys life following the publication of Anna Karennia. It is about finding spiritual salvation. Fantastic book! A must read!