The Death of Ivan Ilyich – Leo Tolstoy

Feb 12

Would you like to read a super depressing book about impending death?  Then might I suggest this classic by Leo Tolstoy.  The main character sort of plods through life; pleasing his parents, marrying the gal who seemed like a good fit, moving up in his career to keep up with the Joneses.  (Or the Tchaikovskys.)  He finds himself saddled with a woman he mostly fights with and a less than fulfilling home life.  Enter the dreaded disease.  Ivan finds himself to be a burdensome force around his own home.  He discovers that he has lived his life trying to be what he thinks he ought to be, not who he is inherently.  This has a decidedly sobering effect; he realizes he has lived a life filled with very few moments of actual contentment and has arrived on death’s doorstep surrounded by people who want him to just go ahead and die already….but please leave us some cash.  I gleaned two things from this book:  Be true to yourself & stop taking book suggestions from handsome intellectuals.

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