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)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Masterly reading

The reader captures the humor and irony of the suffocating social norms that defeat and eventually enlighten Ivan. His voice has lots of twists and turns. The musical interludes were lovely too. A great audiobook.
Read full review

- Spinozist


This book is an incredible story dealing with life and death. It really shines light on the matter of death. Tolstoy's writing is truly a piece of art and the narration is on point with the tone of the writing. Would listen to again!
Read full review

- Sumanpreet

Book Details

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