Tuesday 18 December 2018

Book Review: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (Modern Classics)

Title: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Author: Alexander Solzhenitsyn
Signet Classics

Publication Date: 2008 (1962)
Modern Classics
Birthday Gift

In the madness of World War II, a dutiful Russian soldier is wrongfully convicted of treason and sentenced to ten years in a Siberian labor camp. So begins this masterpiece of modern Russian fiction, a harrowing account of a man who has conceded to all things evil with dignity and strength. First published in 1962, it is considered one of the most significant works ever to emerge from Soviet Russia. Illuminating a dark chapter in Russian history, Ivan Denisovich is at once a graphic picture of work camp life and a moving tribute to man’s will to prevail over relentless dehumanization.

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is a wonderful work that gripped me from start to finish. I came to really care for Ivan and wanted things to work out for him as the duel drama and monotony of the day played out. It is a book at once both stark and beautiful, and I'm glad I came across it in a list of Books to Read Before You Die recently, as otherwise I might never have heard about it. Yes, it is a political commentary, but it is also an engaging tale filled with wonderful characters.

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