This second volume in Solzhenitsyn’s narrative chronicles the appalling inhumanity of the Soviets' "Destructive-Labor Camps" and the fate of prisoners in them—felling timber, building canals and railroads, and mining gold without equipment or adequate food or clothing, and subject always to the caprices of the camp authorities. Most tragic of all is the life of the women prisoners and the luckless children they bear.
Once again, this chronicle of appalling inhumanity is made endurable by the vitality and emotional range of the writing. In one truly remarkable chapter, a parody of an anthropological treatise, Solzhenitsyn achieves new heights of sardonic wit. And in the final section, the music changes and he provides a magnificent coda on the possibilities of redemption and purification through suffering.
©1974 Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn (P)1989 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Frederick Davidson is the perfect narrator for Solzhenitzyn's ironic, wry authorial style. That authorial style is what makes this otherwise unbearable book manageable. It's a hard book to read/listen because the ugliness of mankind is on full display. It's made even more difficult by the fact that Solzhenitsyn makes sure we recognize this work not only as a window to see the evil of others, but also a mirror that reflects back the evil that dwells in each of our hearts. For this reason, everyone needs to read this book
Anti-communist, Anti-Tyranny, Pro-human being. "Today me, Tomorrow You." If this doesnt scare you, your already PWNED.
Again, in this volume, we see the depths to which a human being can sink to under a tyranical regime. We hear vivid tales, from actual interviews with camp detainees, about conditions, the mass murders, and what people were reduced to in order to either survive, or become one of the NKVD.
I strongly recommend this work.
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