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One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by…

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (original 1942; edition 2009)

by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (Author), Yevgeny Yevtushenko (Introduction), Eric Bogosian (Afterword)

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9,013135332 (4.03)395
Title:One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
Authors:Alexander Solzhenitsyn (Author)
Other authors:Yevgeny Yevtushenko (Introduction), Eric Bogosian (Afterword)
Info:NAL Trade (2009), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Monthly Focus, Read but unowned
Tags:Stalinism, communism, prison camps, political prisoners, Russian fiction, 20th century fiction, Soviet Union, gulag

Work details

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1942)

  1. 70
    The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956 : an experiment in literary investigation {Volume One, Parts I-II} by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (editfish)
    editfish: A novella exploring a typical day in the life of a 'slogger' in one of Stalin's prison (Destructive Labor) camps.
  2. 50
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    Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler (BGP, chrisharpe)
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    Kolyma Tales by Varlam Shalamov (Eustrabirbeonne)
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    Survival In Auschwitz by Primo Levi (Eustrabirbeonne)
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    Forest of the Gods by Balys Sruoga (satanburger)
    satanburger: the account of a man from the lithuanian intelligentsia who was imprisoned in a concentration camp by the nazis and kept there by the soviets. very dark humour.
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1960s (108)
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English (130)  Swedish (1)  Hungarian (1)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All (135)
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
A reminder that attitude is king, Ivan makes the best he has in the worst of circumstances. ( )
  siok | Jan 31, 2017 |
  publiusdb | Jan 10, 2017 |
The most striking aspect of this novel is its ability to extract humanity from the minutiae of what would otherwise be an expectedly harrowing experience of the Soviet Gulag. Make no mistake, it is still a recount of the latter, but Solzhenitsyn manages to highlight this by the very act of juxtaposing it with what a "great" day Ivan Denisovich manages to have despite his circumstances.

Every day is torturously the same but some days, instead of one bowl of unfilling gruel, you might get two; instead of being sent to work outdoors exposed to -27 degrees, you get to build a wall - and a good job of it too! - inside an uninsulated, windowless, doorless house; instead of receiving a care package from your family whom you haven't seen for eight years because you'd rather they benefit than the officials you'd have to bribe to receive the package, you might get a bit of a sausage from someone else's for doing them a favour.

And it's days like these that allow you to stash a little bit of what passes for bread inside your mattress. And it's days like these that allow your hidden bread to be overlooked in the daily checks by the guards. And it's days like these that makes Solzhenitsyn's message even more powerful than it'd be if he went the worst or even the most average day of Ivan Denisovich's sentence. And what a great day it is. ( )
1 vote kitzyl | Oct 31, 2016 |
Nedidelė apysaka, bet kiek daug savyje talpina!
Jei kas tingite skaityti "Archipelagą", perskaitykite bent jau šią knygelę.

Beje, yra audio versija, įgarsinta paties autoriaus. Rekomenduoju. ( )
  mantvius | Aug 29, 2016 |
"Here lads we live by the law of the taiga. But even here people manage to live.", 29 April 2013
sally tarbox

This review is from: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Penguin Modern Classics) (Paperback)
Bleak and horrific expose of Stalin's gulags of the 1950s, this follows one inmate from waking in a barrack hut, with its 'window panes on which the frost lay two fingers thick.' After a grim breakfast, the work parties are sent out into temperatures of up to -40 C:
'It was still dark, though in the east the sky was beginning to glow with a greenish tint. A light but piercing breeze came to meet them from the rising sun.
There is nothing as bitter as this moment when you go out to the morning muster - in the dark, in the cold, with a hungry belly, to face a whole day of work. You lose your tongue. You lose all desire to speak to anyone.'
Our protagonist, Shukhov, is totally focussed on not 'going under'; a few minutes near a fire, helping another inmate in the hope he'll share his parcel from home, swiping a bit of metal to make a knife, getting an extra bowl of soup. Shukhov knows how to play the system, lifting his hat to his superiors, careful to avoid the cells ('Ten days "hard" in the cells - if you sat them out to the end your health would be ruined for the rest of your life. TB and nothing but hospital for you till you croaked.') but able to stand up for himself among his peers.
Probably the most horrifying aspect of this animal-like existence, where inmates can only think of survival, is its sameness for huge chunks of time. Shukhov is in for 10 years but some face sentences of 25 years. As Solzhenitsyn so movingly concludes:
'There were three thousand six hundred and fifty-three days like that in his stretch. From the first clang of the rail to the last clang of the rail.
The three extra days were for leap years.' ( )
  starbox | Jul 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
This quiet tale has struck a powerful blow against the return of the horrors of the Stalin system. For Solzhenitsyn's words burn like acid.

» Add other authors (265 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Solzhenitsyn, Alexanderprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parker, RalphTranslatormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kalb, Marvin L.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lahtela, MarkkuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tvardosky, AlexanderForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valiulina, SanaAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, Theun deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willetts, H. T.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Willetts, Harry T.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zelma, GeorgiCover photographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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[Translator's Dedication] To my grandson, Dmitri Ivanovich, with thoughts of the future
First words
As usual, at five o'clock that morning reveille was sounded by the blows of a hammer on a length of rail hanging up near the staff quarters.
Apart from sleep, the only time a prisoner lives for himself is ten minutes in the morning at breakfast, five minutes over dinner, and five at supper.
There was truth in that. Better to growl and submit. If you were stubborn they broke you.
You should rejoice that you're in prison. Here you have time to think about your soul.
When you’re cold, don’t expect sympathy from someone who’s warm.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine editions that include other works, or critical companions and study guides (such as Monarch Notes Study Guides) with this original 1962 novel. Thank you.
Publisher's editors
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0374529523, Paperback)

Solzhenitsyn's first book, this economical, relentless novel is one of the most forceful artistic indictments of political oppression in the Stalin-era Soviet Union. The simply told story of a typical, grueling day of the titular character's life in a labor camp in Siberia, is a modern classic of Russian literature and quickly cemented Solzhenitsyn's international reputation upon publication in 1962. It is painfully apparent that Solzhenitsyn himself spent time in the gulags--he was imprisoned for nearly a decade as punishment for making derogatory statements about Stalin in a letter to a friend.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:04 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Ivan Denisovich is a prisoner in a Soviet labor camp who faces daily hardships and struggles to maintain his humanity.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141184744, 0141045353

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