Book Review – Death of Ivan Ilyich (Leo Tolstoy)

Tolstoy’s genius percolates through every word. The pain of Ivan is in fact Tolstoy’s own excruciating suffering while going through a particular phase in his life. A phase when he was groping for answers, trying to make sense of life and justify his own. And to understand death, or at least think over the most undeniable fact of life. A difficult book, obviously, but it provides a much needed instance of clarity to glance over your own life and to see and recognize the true nature of happiness. To tell apart genuine moments of joy from surrogates. To recognize what was really happiness in a collage of images from the distant islands of your memory. The faces stand clear, true joy shines and radiates through the murky mess of make believe achievements. We know it all, our denials are knocked out for a second and this confrontation is brutal. But all for good, all to calibrate our compasses right again.

Roz-o-shab ke mailay mein
Ghaflaton ke maarey ham
Bus yehi samajhtey hain
Ham ne jis ko dafnaya
Bus usi ko marna tha…!!!


My Rating: 5 Stars (5 / 5)

Death of Ivan Ilyich – Leo Tolstoy

 Memorable Quotes

  • He in his madness prays for storms, and dreams that storms will bring him peace.
  • Morning or night, Friday or Sunday, made no difference, everything was the same: the gnawing, excruciating, incessant pain; that awareness of life irrevocably passing but not yet gone; that dreadful, loathsome death, the only reality, relentlessly closing in on him; and that same endless lie. What did days, weeks, or hours matter?
  • Can it be that I have not lived as one ought?” suddenly came into his head. “But how not so, when I’ve done everything as it should be done?
  • Death is finished, he said to himself. It is no more!



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