One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich: Popular Penguins 2
Paperback / softback Publication Date: 29/06/2009
- Contemporary fiction
- Paperback / softback
- Publication Date:
- Penguin Books Ltd
- Country of origin:
- United Kingdom
- Dimensions (mm):
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Amazing to think that this really did happen
I discovered this book after being recommended it by a bookseller, and so I’m paying it forward (hopefully) to somebody else. Said to be written based upon the experiences of the author in a Soviet gulag after WW2, the drudgery and the hopelessness of the existence is conveyed very well in this story of one day in the life of a prison, Ivan.
The Book Will Never Be Put Down.
Solzhenitsyn is one of the most highly acclaimed and greatest writers of Russian literature which led him to gain the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature. Solzhenitsyn is a very honest writer and in "One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich" this is shown profoundly. The author leaves nothing to the imagination and all of the dirt and grit is revealed with complete honesty based on the life of the title character and his fellow 'zeks' (Russian prisoners of war). A prisoner to his own country, we learn the absurd happenings of within these 'zek' camps, the corruption, the turmoil and we, as readers are left unsure of how to feel - these are the events in only one day.
It is somewhat difficult to get one's head around the fact that these former Soviet army men are kept in these camps and forced through hardship not by the enemy - the Nazi Germans - but instead by their own.
By the end of the book, we feel unsatisfied, until we remember later in the day, week or month the strong effect that the novel has had on us. A very powerful story, especially in knowing that this one dreadful day was actually a good day for Ivan Denisovich.
I strongly recommend this read to anyone and everyone. Being someone of my very young age (still a young teenager), this story gripped me, shook me and provoked me to honour it.
As mentioned before, Solzhenitsyn is an honest writer, no stone is left unturned in this brilliant masterpiece. Although, what should one expect from an author who experienced such struggle first hand?
A definite must read that is to be read multitudinous times over.