The Death of Ivan Ilyich

  • by Leo Tolstoy
  • Narrated by Oliver Ford Davies
  • 2 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The subject of this well-known Tolstoy novella is a high court judge in St. Petersburg who lives a carefree life. One day, without warning, he is beset by pains and soon has to come to terms with the fact that he is going to die. The judge has to learn to face death without fear and yet feel compassion for the family he is leaving behind.


Audible Editor Reviews

Tolstoy's novella offers a penetrating examination of the Christian faith and the nature of life and death. Listeners will also be sure to delight in Tolstoy's sharp and sometimes satirical eye for the very modern-sounding details of the life of a nineteenth-century Russian bureaucrat. With masterful ease, a warm tone, and conversational pacing, British actor Oliver Davies captures Ivan Ilyich's preoccupation with interior decorating and debt and his avoidance of family weddings and home remedies. Then the shadow of death wipes away all trivialities and pretense. This work's prose and performance are so vivid, so human, and so listenable that there's no doubt why Tolstoy stands as one of the giants of world literature.


What the Critics Say

"Davies' skill with inflection, even within words, heightens the social satire of the early section and shifts with Ilyich's slide into ever increasing pain and irritability." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Interesting and kept me curious

I don't like to read but this book I was actually able to finish. Audible made it more interesting with the narration and expressions in each characters voice.

The story about living, why we live? Are we living for the right reasons? What are the stages of death? It seems so painful after reading this. I'm so afraid of dying!
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- Martz

Excellent voice

The reader was excellent. It helped to get through the heaviness of the text. Recommended reading.
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- O.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-29-2008
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks