Sunday, November 13, 2016

Review: The Death of Ivan Ilych

The Death of Ivan IlychThe Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Death of Ivan Ilyich is a book of both economy and horror. It doesn't contain zombies or people getting their brains bashed in with spiked bats (too soon?), but its subject matter and frankness toward death are so raw and so bald that it's probably the most horrifying book I've ever read. I mean, seriously, what's scarier than questioning your own mortality? What's scarier than death? Tolstoy, a Christian, presents a rather happy ending amidst all the talk of black holes and falling into nothingness, but the rest of the book is stark and direct. It's a masterpiece, surely, but not the kind of book you want to have on your nightstand when you're lying in your own death bed. Talk about a downer. Yeesh.

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