Book Review: The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy

“Death is finished,” he said to himself.  “It is no more!”

18386My Rating: *4 Stars*

I read this book few days back before going to sleep and I must say that this book made me think a lot.

The only reason I don’t pick up Russian books is because they are fully loaded with Russian names and in the end, I end up calling people whatever name I want to. So, the only name I remember is Ivan Ilych.(I know you don’t have to know this, but it literally sucks.)

So as the title suggests and you can totally make this out that it’s about death of a person named Ivan Ilych.

The theme of this book is Death and just so you know I love reading books that deals with death.

This book makes you think inward and ponder upon the subject of life and death, sure it does. When I started reading it, the tone of the writing was really cold and it does suit the setting that was of a funeral with some slap on the face humor which I wonder was there or it was just an effort made my Tolstoy to bring the readers out of the depressive setting that he created in his book.

Tolstoy did talk about morality and there were few situation where even I gave out a chuckle or two and then I thought how inappropriate it was. He starts with how when someone dies people for a very brief time show their sympathy, they feel a bit sad for the person who died, but they feel more happy for they didn’t, for they are alive and it’s not their time, yet.

I want to quote few lines from the funeral part of the story…

His acquaintance…

“Schwartz was waiting for him in the adjoining room with legs spread wide apart and both hands toying with his top-hat behind his back.  The mere sight of that playful, well-groomed, and elegant figure refreshed Peter Ivanovich.  He felt that Schwartz was above all these happenings and would not surrender to any depressing influences.”

Schwartz didn’t give a hoot. He was there just to mark his presence.


His wife…

“Oh, terribly!  He screamed unceasingly, not for minutes but for hours.  for the last three days he screamed incessantly.  It was unendurable.  I cannot understand how I bore it; you could hear him three rooms off.  Oh, what I have suffered!”

And then his wife said that she suffered. I ask from what? The screams of her husband that she couldn’t tolerate? OH MY GOD! Reading those lines made me feel worse.


His friend…

“The service began:  candles, groans, incense, tears, and sobs.  Peter Ivanovich stood looking gloomily down at his feet. He did not look once at the dead man, did not yield to any depressing influence, and was one of the first to leave the room…

…Peter Ivanovich found the fresh air particularly pleasant after the smell of incense, the dead body, and carbolic acid.”

He just wanted to get out of the awkward situation that he was in, the funeral. So, that at least he can feel happy about his life and that he was alive.


I suffered from all insensitivity these characters showed, made me think for once that how people really do that kind of shit all the time. Some of them feel sad when other people suffer but they feel more happy for themselves because they are all well and fine, then there are few people who don’t give a hoot about anyone, they only think about what they can get out of others suffering, how others suffering can benefit them. And some of them feel relieved that at least it’s all over so that they can move on in life.

Ivan was a nice man, he lived a well to do life, he owned a good house, had a good career, money, a good position in the society and a family. If you look at the surface he had it all. But one day when death announced itself to him, everything came crashing down.

“Ivan Ilych’s life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.”

When pain and agony made him question his life, when he looked back in time, he realized he lost all the joy with time and he started questioning life. All that he had was what the society was expecting from him, not necessarily what he wanted out of life.

“False. Everything by which you have lived and live now is all a deception, a lie, concealing both life and death from you.”

“And in imagination he began to recall the best moments of his pleasant life.  But strange to say none of those best moments of his pleasant life now seemed at all what they had then seemed—none of them except the first recollections of childhood.  There, in childhood, there had been something really pleasant with which it would be possible to live if it could return.  But the child who had experienced that happiness existed no longer, it was like a reminiscence of somebody else.

 As soon as the period began which had produced the present Ivan Ilych, all that had then seemed joys now melted before his sight and turned into something trivial and often nasty.”

Alone while suffering and waiting for his death he questioned himself and his soul. He saw his life in a different light. He suffered his destruction all alone and died everyday a little thinking that no one really cared to understand his sufferings.

“It can’t be that life is so senseless and horrible. But if it really has been so horrible and senseless, why must I die and die in agony? There is something wrong!”

And then he died and we came to an end.

“Death is finished, he said to himself. It is no more!”

And there it was “The Death of Ivan Ilych”.

It’s a short book but I believe one should read this book, it can be a heavy read for some people but worth reading. Once you’ll start reading it, I’m sure you won’t be able to put it down.

Book Review: In the Eye of the Storm(Storm and Silence #2) by Robert Thier

28483931Add to Goodreads

Review: Storm and Silence(Storm and Silence #1)

Book: In the Eye of the Storm

Author: Robert Thier

Genre: Historical Romance

Format: ebook

Synopsis:

In the desert, an instant turns life into death and hate into love. In the desert, everything is different. Boundaries break down, and you find yourself doing things that you would never, ever have imagined.

Lilly Linton finds this out the hard way: in the shadow of the pyramids, she and her boss, cold, calculating Mr Ambrose, must face death and danger together. Is the desert’s heat enough to melt the cold heart of Britain’s richest financier?

Review:

*This copy is provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.*

My Rating: *5 Stars*

Yes! Giving it 5 Stars.

Okay I don’t know if you read my review of Storm and Silence #1 or not. But let me tell you, I loved that book. I couldn’t put that book down, it kept me hooked up till the end. And yes the end did make me sad. Because I wanted to know, “What happens next?”.

Ya, that book left me wanting more. I’m totally in love with these two characters, Mr Ambrose and Lillian. Oh how much I adore them.

So when I started reading this book and continued with their story, it happened again. I fell in love with this book as well. Yes, I got the answer to my first question, “What happens next?”. But again this book left me wanting more. I’m kinda addicted. I seriously can’t wait to read more of this series.

I really liked the writing. The writing was very well done and the details were taken care of.

I just want more out of this story with a really good conclusion, and I’m eagerly waiting for the next installment!

Characters were real good, story was just amazing, writing was awesome and the book was full humor and sarcasm. Now what else do we need?

What is it in this book? Well, I would say, a whole lot of action, a little bit of romance and some really good adventure.

I loved “In the Eye of the Storm”.

I don’t know what else other people need. But I surely need another installment. There I said it!

Book Review : Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde

“In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.”

122649

My Rating : *4 Stars*

Reading Oscar Wilde book means life is perfect. He’s my favorite  and guess what he never disappoint, I mean never!

I enjoyed this play, Oscar Wilde’s plays are worth reading, they are thought provoking , witty and have well crafted characters and wonderfully written dialogues, which I think everyone can enjoy.

Oscar Wilde is a genius and his wit’s never bore me and every time I read his books I enjoy them very profoundly. My favorite being “The Importance of Being Earnest ” and “The Picture of Dorian Grey “. However every book that I read written by him becomes my favorite. I’m not kidding!

Reading Oscar Wilde is always amazing. That being said, I suggest you to read his books, if you haven’t and let me tell you’re missing something brilliant here.

This play is about a good woman(ya) and is a social comedy. This play pokes fun of the social expectations. Hypocrisy in this play is an important component and lies an important tool to avoid conflicts. It’s a moral play about immoral people.

4 stars because I could not connect to all the characters, as they were so many and I don’t like too many characters in a book, but that is my problem.

LWF_1

Some quotes from the book:

“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.”

“It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is absolutely fatal.”

“I talk so trivially about life because I think that life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about it.”

“What is a cynic?…A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.”

“Ideals are dangerous things. Realities are better. They wound, but they’re better.”

And I loved this one:

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

By the way you can watch the play here:

Blog Tour : Storm and Silence by Robert Thier

24035804Title: Storm and Silence

Author: Robert Thier

Publication Date: March 19th 2016

Add on Goodreads.

Freedom – that is what Lilly Linton wants most in life. Not marriage, not a brood of squalling brats, and certainly not love, thank you very much!
But freedom is a rare commodity in 19th-century London, where girls are expected to spend their lives sitting at home, fully occupied with looking pretty. Lilly is at her wits’ end – until a chance encounter with a dark, dangerous and powerful stranger changes her life forever…Enter the world of Mr Rikkard Ambrose, where the only rule is: Knowledge is power is time is money!

AmazonB&NKoboSmashwords

BOOK REVIEW

divider“His blue-green eyes were dark pools of immeasurable depth, pools you could drown yourself in and never again come up for air.”

 -Robert Thier, Storm and Silence

divider

 

An unpolished version of this books is posted on Wattpad. You can check that out before making up your mind about purchasing the book, but know that the published version has extra material that you want to read. Trust me. 😉

Make sure to check out the other posts in this blog tour!

Name Date Blog Link
Jinan 19th of March LINK
Henz 20th of March LINK
Aira 21st of March LINK
Raven 22nd of March LINK
Nina 23rd of March LINK
Eti 24th of March LINK

About Robert Thier

bQ54pT6p

Robert Thier is a German Historian and writer of Historical Fiction. His particular mix of history, romance and adventure, always with a good deal of humor thrown in, has gained him a diverse readership ranging from teenagers to retired grandmothers. For the way he manages to make history come alive, as if he himself had lived as a medieval knight, his fans all over the world have given him the nickname “Sir Rob”.

For him, Robert says, becoming a writer has followed naturally from his interest in history. “In Germany,” he says, “we use the same word for story and history. And I’ve always loved the one as much as the other. Becoming a storyteller, a writer, is what I’ve always wanted.”

Besides writing and researching in dusty old archives, on the lookout for a mystery to put into his next story, Robert enjoys classical music and long walks in the country. The helmet you see on the picture he does not wear because he is a cycling enthusiast, but to protect his literary skull in which a bone has been missing from birth. Robert lives in the south of Germany in a small village between the three Emperor’s Mountains.

Book Review : Storm and Silence(Storm and Silence #1) by Robert Thier

“Life is not about living the safer option. Life is about living a life worth living.”

24035804

My Rating : *5 Stars*(yes!)

Writer : Robert Thier

Page Count : 580 pages

Format : ebook

This copy is provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Wow! What did I read?

Let me tell you something. This book was absolutely brilliant. I haven’t read much of historical fiction and had no idea what to expect. However, I’m glad that I did read it.

The story was unique and beautifully written. A complete package with a dose of humor, sarcasm, a portion of wittiness, history, feminism(I’m not a feminist, but I adored Lilly), mysterious men, crime and what not.

Not some typical romance novel(even though I was expecting it to be, but no no. I was wrong). There were so many twists and turns, which I didn’t expect. However, at times things were quiet predictable and I knew where things were going. The writer put a lot of efforts on even small details, I really liked that.

There was this particular scene when Lilly and Mr. Ambrose went to east end of London and the description of people and crime around that area made me remember Jack The Ripper case from 1888. That was weird for me because I started thinking about that.

I liked the characters, I loved the writing and the story turned out to be really good. Now what else you need?

I can only say Lilly and that son of a bachelor, Mr. Ambrose, made this story so so much better. I loved their arguments, all the time they spent together and their adventures.

I adored Lilly and I loved Mr. Ambrose.

It was very hard for me to put this book down, and I’m eagerly waiting for next installment.

So did I love this book?

10423210

Book Review : Weird Things Customers Say In Bookshops by Jen Campbell

12640991

My Rating : *3.5 Stars*

If you want to read something funny and want to entertain yourself read this.

This book is a quick and light read and it made me laugh from page one.

It is a collection of the actual conversations between the booksellers and customers in bookshops.And what all weird and funny things people say in bookshops.

Few of them were really good I laughed out loud, few of them I thought were just made up to show the stupidity of people(people are often stupid but not that stupid,I believe).

There are few of my favorites:

Customer: Hi, I just wanted to ask: did Anne Frank ever write a sequel?

Bookseller: …..

Customer: I really enjoyed her first book.

Bookseller: Her diary?

Customer: Yes,the diary.

Bookseller: Her diary wasn’t fictional.

Customer: Really?

Bookseller: Yes…She really dies at the end- that’s why the diary finishes. She was taken to a concentration camp.

Customer: Oh…that’s terrible.

Bookseller: Yes it was awful.

Customer: I mean, it’s such a shame you know? She was such a good writer.


Customer: Would you mind if I photocopied this recipe?


Customer: Do you have books signed by Margaret Atwood?

Bookseller: We have many Margaret Atwood books, but I’m afraid we don’t have any signed by Margaret Atwood,no.

Customer: I’m looking for a birthday present for my wife. I know she’d really love a signed copy. You couldn’t fake a signature could you?


 

Customer(Drops an old, expensive book on the floor by accident): Great Shot!

Bookseller: (glares)

Customer: I mean…sorry.


Customer: I’m always on night shift at work.

Booksellers(jokingly): Is that why you’re buying so many vampire novels?

Customer(seriously): You can never be too prepared.


Customer: I don’t know why she wants it, but my wife asked for a copy of The Dinosaur Cookbook.

Bookseller: The Dinah Shore Cookbook?

Customer: That must be it; I wondered what she was up to.


 

I have heard people saying weird things. However not as weird as they are in this book.

Sometimes few conversations were annoying but other times I laughed out loud. So I can recommend this book to everyone who needs a good laugh.

On a very different note there is this one situation which I guess we all come across when we go for shopping and there are shop assistants who do everything to annoy customers by asking questions like

Can I help you?

Are you looking for anything?

Or just stand right next to you while you shop.

A similar situation is quoted here in this book…


 

(An old lady approaches the till)

Customer: Yes? What do you want?

Bookseller: Erm, I rather thought that I might be able to help you.

Customer: Don’t be ridiculous. Do I look like as if I need your help…?


 

 

Book Review : The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Review: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

My ratings: *5 Stars*

Holy Mother! I must say that this play is hilarious.

This is one of that book that I can read over and over again and still can enjoy every bit of it.And I want more books like this,really.

To be true I never expected this to be so damn funny, like funny from the beginning to the end.This play has it all,humor, fun, good dialogues( good :/ no,best dialogues), witty characters and people full of amusement. I loved everything.

And now I can say, I’m in love with this man’s writing, Oscar Wilde, he really is wild(that makes no sense,I know). This is my second book written by him and now I can actually say that he is one of my favorite writer, I enjoyed the play and he entertained me well throughout the book.

I must say everyone should read this play and I assure you that you won’t regret it and that you won’t stop laughing.

Though every line in this book is perfect, but I want to quote few line from the book that I really liked.

 “I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”


 “If I am occasionally a little over-dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over-educated.”

“JACK:How you can sit there, calmly eating muffins when we are in this horrible trouble, I can’t make out. You seem to me to be perfectly heartless.

ALGERNON: Well, I can’t eat muffins in an agitated manner. The butter would probably get on my cuffs. One should always eat muffins quite calmly. It is the only way to eat them.”

1a693-tumblr_lxriklurt61qc3d93o1_500

“I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them.”


 “I really don’t see anything romantic in proposing. It is very romantic to be in love. But there is nothing romantic about a definite proposal. Why, one may be accepted. One usually is, I believe. Then the excitement is all over. The very essence of romance is uncertainty. If ever I get married, I’ll certainly try to forget the fact.”


 “Indeed, no woman should ever be quite accurate about her age. It looks so calculating.”


 “I am sick to death of cleverness. Everybody is clever nowadays. You can’t go anywhere without meeting clever people. The thing has become an absolute public nuisance. I wish to goodness we had a few fools left.

ALGERNON: We have.

JACK: I should extremely like to meet them. What do they talk about?

ALGERNON: The fools? Oh! about the clever people of course.

JACK: What fools.”

“The only way to behave to a woman is to make love to her if she is pretty, and to someone else if she is plain.”


 “Every woman becomes their mother. That’s their tragedy. And no man becomes his. That’s his tragedy.”


 “To lose one parent, Mr Worthing, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”


 And there are more…..

b40aa-millard-importance-earnest

To sum this book up,

 “It is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth”

So,basically, I loved this and I Earnestly recommend it 🙂