The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

The Death of Ivan Ilyich, first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his conversion to Christianity. The novel tells the story of the life and death, at the age of 45, of a high court judge in 19th-century Russia — a miserable husband, proud father, and upwardly-mobile member of Russia's professional class, the object of Tolstoy's unremitting satire. Living what seems to be a good life, his dreadful relationship with his wife notwithstanding, Ivan Ilyich Golovin bangs his side while putting up curtains in a new apartment intended to reflect his family's superior status in society. Within weeks, he has developed a strange taste in his mouth and a pain that will not go away. Numerous expensive doctors, friends of friends of friends, are visited in their surgeries, or called to the judge's bedside, but beyond muttering about blind gut and floating kidneys, they can neither explain nor treat his condition, and it soon becomes clear that Ivan Ilyich is dying. The second half of the novel records his terror as he battles with the idea of his own death. "I have been here. Now I am going there. Where? ... No, I won't have it!" Oppressed by the length of the process, his wife, daughter, and colleagues—even the physicians—decide not to speak of it, but advise him to stay calm and follow doctor's orders, leaving him to wrestle with how this terrible thing could befall a man who has lived so well. He spends his last three days screaming. He realizes he is "done for, there was no way back, the end was here, the absolute end ..." One hour before his death, in a moment of clarity, he sees that, far from having lived a good life, he has lived only for himself. After months of dwelling on his own anguish, he suddenly feels pity for the people he's leaving behind, and hopes his death will set them free. With that thought, his pain disappears. He hears someone say, "He's gone." He whispers to himself, "Death has gone," and draws his last breath.

The 359th greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - 90th on The 100 Greatest Novels (greatbooksguide.com)
  2. - Top 100 Works in World Literature (Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute)
  3. - 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (The Book)

Buy This Book

Name Binding Sales Rank Lowest New Lowest Used Published
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Master and Man (Modern Library Classics) Paperback 247015 $7.04 $1.99 2004
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Bantam Classics) Mass Market Paperback 166955 $2.95 $2.16 1981
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories (Vintage Classics) Paperback 108700 $11.14 $1.99 2010
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories (Penguin Classics) Paperback 70298 $6.99 $3.00 2008
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Audible Audiobook 67374 $2.55 2020
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories (Wordsworth Classics) Paperback 511282 $2.87 $1.44 2004
The Death of Ivan Ilyich, the Kreutzer Sonata, and Other Stories Hardcover 12377402 $17.00 2010
The Death of Ivan Ilych and Other Stories Mass Market Paperback 1753350 $3.99 $0.01
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Vintage Classics) Paperback 43647 $5.98 $3.50 2012
The Death of Ivan Ilych and Other Stories (Family Happiness, The Kreutzer Sonata & Master and Man) Mass Market Paperback 1456234 $16.00 $0.25 1960
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Confession Hardcover 536419 $6.98 $1.50 2013
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories Paperback 6807114 $8.25 $9.69 2016
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Confession Paperback 2011174 $8.20 $9.47 2014
Death of Ivan Ilyich Audio CD 625596 $22.88
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Complete Classics) Audio CD 2145714 $20.86 $14.97 2008
The Death Of Ivan Ilych Kindle Edition 94307 $0.99 2010
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Confession Kindle Edition 69320 $11.99 2013
The Death of Ivan Ilych Kindle Edition 37959 $0.99 2010
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Hardcover 662955 $16.94 $33.03 2011
The Death of Ivan Ilych Kindle Edition 52215 $0.99 2010
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories (Vintage Classics) Kindle Edition 92455 $4.27 2009
Death of Ivan Ilych and Other Stories Paperback 319536 $2.50 $0.01 2005
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories Hardcover 802076 $24.25 $7.32 2009
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and other Stories, with eBook (Tantor Unabridged Classics) Audio CD 2685059 $17.43 $11.49 2009
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Master and Man Kindle Edition 732265 $5.99 2003
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Annotated) Kindle Edition 156278 $0.99 2013
The Death Of Ivan Ilych Paperback 233794 $1.86 $1.22 2009
The Death of Ivan Ilych Paperback 321874 $3.04 $4.84 2015
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Paperback 2042038 $3.79 $1.17 2010
The Death of Ivan Ilych (Illustrated) Kindle Edition 54077 $0.99 2013
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Kindle Edition 1079432 $0.99 2013
Leo Tolstoy Collection, Over 70 Works: Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Death of Ivan Ilyich, The Kingdom of God is Within You, The Cossacks, The Light Shines in Darkness, MORE Kindle Edition 222024 $1.99 2013
The Works of Leo Tolstoy: The Cossacks, War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, The Kreutzer Sonata, Resurrection, and More (28 Books With Active Table of Contents) Kindle Edition 316551 $1.99 2012
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories: "The Raid", "Woodfelling", "Three Deaths", "Poliku (Penguin Classics) Kindle Edition 110381 $4.27 2008
Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories Hardcover 1751358 $28.54 $19.99 2009
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and other Stories, with eBook Audio CD 4628326 $18.74 $12.99 2009
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories Kindle Edition 433108 $3.82 2009
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and other Stories, with eBook Audio CD 9798660 $41.47 2009
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Annotated) Paperback 247577 $2.61 $3.65 2016
Death of Ivan Ilyich (World's Classics) Hardcover 5359290 $7.36
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (World Classics) Kindle Edition 363873 $4.96 2004
The Death of Ivan Ilych Kindle Edition 216508 2009
The Death of Ivan Ilych Hardcover 3624591 $8.78
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Library Edition) Audio CD 4073136 $22.99 2011
The Death of Ivan Ilyich [Russian Edition] Audible Audio Edition 114774 $6.95 2013
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Master and Man Hardcover 953976 $18.48 $3.00 2003
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Paperback 1951855 $5.95 2015
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Audible Audio Edition 98591 $17.95 2008
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Paperback 1101070 $3.50 $1.73 2012
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Oneworld Classics) Kindle Edition 308313 2012
The Death of Ivan Ilych Hardcover 3872245 $20.24 $21.91 2010
The Death of Ivan Ilyich MP3 CD 3477772 $16.66 $40.30 2011
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Kindle Edition 363409 2011
The Death of Ivan Ilych Paperback 1268459 $6.00 $2.00 2006
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Paperback 13729 $5.10 $4.62 2013
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Paperback 1362026 $5.68 $4.84 2010
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Paperback 1041766 $4.95 $2.00 2013
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Broadview Anthology of British Literature Editions) Paperback 3170149 $15.95 2016
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Audible Audio Edition 89592 $13.08 2017
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Paperback 1193321 $6.00 $4.64 2011
The Death of Ivan Ilych (Annotated) Kindle Edition 96434 2015
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Audible Audio Edition 1 $5.95 2011
The Death of Ivan Ilyich [annotated] Kindle Edition 217612 2011
Death of Ivan ilyich Kindle Edition 208899 2014
The Death of Ivan Ilyich Audio CD 8166519 $11.50
The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories Paperback 3746033 $79.91 2009
Tolstoy: The Death of Ivan Ilyich & Master and Man Audio CD 1607487 $21.98 $94.71 2005
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Arabic Edition): Moot Ivan Ilyich Paperback 795650 $14.00 2016