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  • Published: 3 April 2008
  • ISBN: 9780140449617
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $19.99

The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories




Magnificent new translation of Tolstoy's fiction by the acclaimed duo behind War and Peace.

At the age of forty-one, Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) underwent a profound spiritual crisis, from which he emerged believing that he had encountered death itself. These seven compelling stories explore, in very different ways, his subsequent preoccupation with mortality. 'The Death of Ivan Ilyich' is a devastating account of a man fighting his inevitable end, and asks the existential question: why must a good person be taken before his time? In 'Polikushka', a light-fingered drunk's chance to prove himself has tragic repercussions, while 'Three Deaths' depicts the last moments of an aristocrat, a peasant and a tree, and 'The Forged Coupon' shows a seemingly minor offence that leads inexorably to ever more horrific crimes. And in three tales about soldiers, 'After the Ball', 'The Wood-felling' and 'The Raid', Tolstoy portrays the brutality that all too often accompanies military life.

  • Published: 3 April 2008
  • ISBN: 9780140449617
  • Imprint: Penguin Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy was born in central Russia in 1828. He studied Oriental languages and law (although failed to earn a degree in the latter) at the University of Kazan, and after a dissolute youth eventually joined an artillery regiment in the Caucasus in 1851. He took part in the Crimean War, and the Sebastopol Sketches that emerged from it established his reputation. After living for some time in St Petersburg and abroad, he married Sophie Behrs in 1862 and they had thirteen children. The happiness this brought him gave him the creative impulse for his two greatest novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877). Later in life his views became increasingly radical as he gave up his possessions to live a simple peasant life. After a quarrel with his wife he fled home secretly one night to seek refuge in a monastery. He became ill during this dramatic flight and died at the small railway station of Astapovo in 1910.

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