About the book (from Wikipedia):
Strange Life of Ivan Osokin is a 1915 novel by P. D. Ouspensky. It follows the unsuccessful struggle of Ivan Osokin to correct his mistakes when given a chance to relive his past. The novel serves as a narrative platform for Nietzsche’s theory of eternal recurrence. The conclusion fully anticipates the Fourth Way Philosophy which typified Ouspensky’s later works. In particular the final chapter’s description of the shocking realization of the mechanical nature of existence, its consequences, and the possibility/responsibility of working in an esoteric school.
From dust jacket:
The action takes place in Moscow, on a country estate, and in Paris, during the years 1890-1902 – after Ivan Osokin, by the agency of a magician, has been sent back 12 years to his stormy schooldays, early manhood, early loves. Everything will depend on his meeting with Zinaida…The extraordinary form and conception allows Osokin both to live, and at the same time to see his life unfolding as if in a film which, in his heart of hearts, he already knows.