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One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich | [Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn]

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

One of the most extraordinary literary documents to have emerged from the Soviet Union, this is the story of labor camp inmate Ivan Denisovich Shukhov and his struggle to maintain his dignity in the face of Communist oppression. Based on the author’s own experience in the gulags, where he spent nearly a decade as punishment for making derogatory remarks against Stalin, the novel is an unforgettable portrait of the entire world of Stalin’s forced work camps.
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Publisher's Summary

One of the most extraordinary literary documents to have emerged from the Soviet Union, this is the story of labor camp inmate Ivan Denisovich Shukhov and his struggle to maintain his dignity in the face of Communist oppression. Based on the author’s own experience in the gulags, where he spent nearly a decade as punishment for making derogatory remarks against Stalin, the novel is an unforgettable portrait of the entire world of Stalin’s forced work camps. An instant classic upon publication in 1962, it confirmed Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s international stature as “a literary genius whose talent matches that of Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy” (Harrison Salisbury).

©1978 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (P)1992 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Richard Brown’s razor-sharp narration perfectly suits this fine translation.”– (Library Journal)

"One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich yields, more than anything else, a beautiful sense of its author as a Chekhovian figure: simple, free of literary affectation, wholly serious.” (New Republic)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (87 )
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3.9 (74 )
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  •  
    Mike McGuire 11-03-11 Member Since 2011
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    "Most engaging book I have heard/read in months"

    I was a little reluctant to listen to this book as I was aware of the subject matter, a detailing of life in the Soviet gulag post- World War II, which sounds rather depressing. The reality of the experience was quite the opposite - a detailed description of a day in the life of an inmate of a forced labour camp, Ivan Denisovich, was engaging, and completely absorbing. Listening how the men were able to survive the seemingly endless series of days without hope of release or improvement in their gray, difficult tormented lives was in a strange way, very uplifting. Their endless sense of resourcefulness was touching, and despite the vast unjustness of their situation, the book paints a wonderful picture of human resilience, and leaves one with the sense that no matter how bad things get, one can always find meaning in the minutae of daily existence.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 03-25-13
    Jan Rochester, NY, United States 03-25-13 Member Since 2011

    Eclectic, avid listener, favorite book is the one currently in ear.

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    "I wanted way more than one day -"

    I agree with one reviewer that the first 10 minutes are painful and I did consider turning it off. So glad I didn't though. This snapshot "day" opens the world of Stalin's forced labor camps. There is magic in the details, the thoughts, the motives... the bite of sausage, the bread in the mattress. I am so glad it was a good day he chose to share, since I felt almost as if with him. A classic I should have read years ago and will read again.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary SAINT LOUIS, MO, United States 11-19-12
    Gary SAINT LOUIS, MO, United States 11-19-12
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    "Will haunt you the rest of your life"
    What made the experience of listening to One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich the most enjoyable?

    Actually, this is not an "enjoyable" book. It is, on the other hand, one of the most important books ever written about the 20th century. The story of Russia under Stalinst rule would be completely unbelievable if it weren't completely true.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How understated it is. By not overdoing it the auther made the story more powerful.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I did not have a favorite scene. The book is so short it reads like a one-act play


    Who was the most memorable character of One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich and why?

    The narrator because his is the only mind tha author explores.


    Any additional comments?

    The reader for this book was a perfect choice. His almost machine like delivery might annoy some people but it suits the material.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul ANACORTES, WA, United States 02-04-12
    Paul ANACORTES, WA, United States 02-04-12 Member Since 2012
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    "use a little expression please"
    What did you like best about One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich? What did you like least?

    I remember my elementary teachers would always coach us to


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story it's self. The description of the gulag life is overwhelming. That humans can adjust and live under those circumstances..... amazing


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    no expression.... very boring


    Was One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich worth the listening time?

    I've read this book 4-5 times, it never looses its impact.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle SAN PEDRO, CA, United States 07-23-12
    Michelle SAN PEDRO, CA, United States 07-23-12
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    "Should have listened to the preview first..."

    I simply could not get past the first 10 minutes without hastily turning it off and swearing to never skip listening to a preview before making my audible book purchase. The money I have wasted!! UGH

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
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