©1975 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn; (P)1989 by Blackstone Audiobooks
The book is very interesting and contains Solzhenitsyn's typical humour. It is an impressive story of courage in the face of a totalitarian system. The narrator does a good job. The only problem is that the audio quality is not quite as high as other recordings.
I was initially put off by the claims of poor audio quality but am glad that I persisted and purchased the audio book. It is excellent and greatly assists in understanding Solzhenitsyn the man, his purposes and the way that he succeeded in getting the message out about Russia's appalling state "security" system. I think that it is best read after "Gulag Archipelago" since this is essentially the sequel. I also found it helpful to read "One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich" before "The Oak..." since that book plays such an important role in the narrative.
I think that I will likely re-read this book at some stage since it contains so many valuable insights into systems that are founded upon lies and become intolerant of truth in any form. It also provided invaluable insight into the ways that people deal with massive lie webs, either by animalizing internalization or humanizing resistance. In a world where lies are becoming increasingly prevalent, Solzhenitsyn's books are important lens cleaners for the soul and an encouragement to those who seek the truth to set them free.
Aleksandr's first day in internal exile.
Probably would not be possible.
Book blogger at Bookwi.se
Make sure you listen to a sample. The audio is not very good quality. The narrator is not bad (although not great) but the audio sounds like you are listening to a recording of a recording of a recording. Just plain muddy.
Solzhenytsin's story is something that anyone interested in Soviet history should become familiar with. The narrator did an excellent job. However, the technical production of this reading was execrable. There was a constant drone of other voices in the background. I suspect this is the result of the studio not being properly sound-proofed. The producer releasing such a shoddy production is inexcusable.
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