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One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich: Popular Penguins

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich: Popular Penguins 2

by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 29/06/2009

3/5 Rating 2 Reviews
RRP  $12.99 $11.75
This brutal glimpse of Russia under Stalin shocked the world when it first appeared. Discover the importance of a piece of bread or an extra bowl of soup, the incredible luxury of a book, the ingenious possibilities of a nail, a piece of string or a single match in a time where survival is all. Enter a world of incarceration - and participate in the struggle of men to survive both the terrible rigours of nature and the inhumanity of the system that defines their conditions of life.
Contemporary fiction
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
Penguin Books Ltd
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm):
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn was born in Kislovodsk, Russia, in 1918. He was brought up in Rostov, where he graduated in mathematics and physics in 1941. After distinguished service with the Red Army in the Second World War, he was imprisoned from 1945 to 1953 for making unfavourable remarks about Josef Stalin.

He was rehabilitated in 1956, but in 1969 he was expelled from the Soviet Writers' Union for denouncing official censorship of his work. He was forcibly exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974 and deported to West Germany.

Later he settled in America, but after Soviet officials finally dropped charges against him in 1991, he returned to his homeland in 1994. He has written many books, of which One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Cancer Ward and The Gulag Archipelago are his best known.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

3 / 5 (2 Ratings)
5 stars (1)
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1 stars (1)
  • Amazing to think that this really did happen

    by on

    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.

    by on

    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.