Andrew's Reviews > The Death of Ivan Ilych

The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy
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Mar 28, 09

bookshelves: book-club
Read in March, 2009

The characters in this story didn't have that Tolstoy/Dostoevsky hook in their motivation that slapped me in the face (hook...slapping in the face... perhaps I mixed my metaphors...). It probably wasn't the point. Ivan Ilych, the character and not the book, was almost too simple for me but perhaps it was Tolstoy's intent. He again attacks the hypocrisy and shallowness of the Russian Europeanized culture. Except in this case it is the major thrust of the book as opposed to one of his many elements to his tapestry. It seems his intention for this little ditty is more didactic in purpose than his greater works. And considering the stage of life he was in, and as he was busy getting himself excommunicated for his beliefs, I don't imagine a little preaching would bend him out of shape. I am not as opposed to didactic storytelling as it is commonly popular to be, but I do find they are better when they are shorter. Which in this case works as the story is quite short. It is a book for thought. Perhaps it is not veiled nor especially fresh. But it is important.
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