We Never Make Mistakes...
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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We Never Make Mistakes: Two Short Novels,

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  251 ratings  ·  24 reviews
In "An Incident at Krechetovka Station," a Red Army lieutenant is confronted by a disturbing straggler soldier and must decide what to do with him. "Matryona's House" is the tale of an old peasant woman, whose tenacious struggle against cold, hunger, and greedy relatives is described by a young man who only understands her after her death.
Hardcover, 110 pages
Published December 31st 1971 by University of South Carolina Press (first published January 1st 1971)
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Juan Hidalgo
Soy un fan incondicional de solzhenitsyn, aunque este no es uno de sus mejores libros sí está muy en su línea habitual.
Becca Loo
first of all, one of the most bad ass titles everrr. the first story, "an incident at kerchetovka station" follows lieutenant zotov. the short novel is only 60 pages and not very eventful. we meet zotov in october performing his rather mundane task of overseeing certain trains through the station. it's obvious we're in russia during wartimes against germany. as a lieutenant he's not supposed to know too much about which trains go where and which echelons do what. late one night 4 soldiers are se...more
A gem of a book that I found in a second hand bookstore. These were early stories before Solzhenitsyn became (in)famous with his later publications that landed him in jail. He captures the cold, greed, gridlock of Soviet-era bureacracy and the struggle for survival amidst deminished resources with dexterity. I had difficulty with some of his dialogue, as he refused to identify who was speaking (even when there were more than two people in the scene) and one had to make some intelligent guesses -...more
Contrary to what one might expect, I actually read "Matryona's House" for a History course, rather than a literature one. As a fan of Russian Literature, I've been meaning to read Solzhenitsyn for quite a long time now ("A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch" is sitting in my to-read pile, waiting for summer when I have free time). Overall, I found "Matryona's House" a worthwhile read, which manages to say a lot in its few pages. Though I usually prefer writers who employ a bit more description...more
Kit Masters
Enjoyed this book no end.
Would recommend it to anyone who enjoys Russian literature or has enjoyed "A day in the life ...".
As these are nice and short they may be a good taster of Solzhenitsyn before tackling "June 1914" "Cancer Ward," or "the Gulag Archipelago."

Joseph Sverker
First of all I must be honest and say that I absolutely adore Solzhenitsyn. If I had to make a list I would probably have to put him among the absolute greatest authors of the 20th century, the likes of Proust and Joyce. What I find impressive with S. is that he manages the very large formate as well as the shorter one, something which I find Dostojevski lacking in a little bit. Dostojevski is not quite able to master the short stories to my mind. However, these to long short stories, or novella...more
This book contains two stories.

The first, "An Incident at Krechetovka Station," is a story (or vignette, really) concerning an apparatchik-type lieutenant, Zotov, whose paranoid fear of non-Communists leads him to almost certainly doom a man to a terrible fate. The action takes place in the space of one night, though it is frequently punctuated by the memories of Zotov, which serve to fill in the backstory and give context. He is an overzealous Party man, but not entirely unsympathetic; just mis...more
Bleak, dismal and colorless - war torn or forlorn and abandoned. The world so many left wing Americans yearn for is actually hell. Great little stories that should scare the living crap for the US - virtues in so-called utopia revolve around what you can scrounge from relatives - there is no compassion and no ability to overcome the system to bring some humanity to the world. Indeed, humanity has disappeared and all that is left is animals - poorly fed and tended to animals.
I purchased this book on August 3, 2008. When I came home from the book store I learned that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn had died a few hours earlier in Moscow. He was an amazing author who's work has had a profound effect on my way of thinking and viewing the world. I will continue to read and re-read Solzhenitsyn for the rest of my life I'm sure.
Hmm.. maybe something was lost in translation.. I had a really hard time staying focused, particularly on the first story. My brain seemed to prefer to think about anything else. I'm sure there was a good story in there, but I missed it. The second one was easier to follow but also didn't impact me much.
Heidi Petterson
This was the first Solzhenitsyn I ever read. I checked it out of the library on a "whim" (haha) and enjoyed it thoroughly. It is the reason I kept reading his books and therefore, helped me discover one of my favourite authors. He is just so readable yet relevant at the same time.
A Keri
Matryona's House is fantastic, beautiful depiction of rural East European culture.
Loved it for its simpleness in its depiction of the "everyday" common life. The honesty of the emotions, reactions and thoughts of the characters make it a realistic portrayal of people we encounter on a daily basis.
Amy Wolf
Solzhenitsyn's short works are just as brilliant as his longer ones. He really captures the feel of a Russian village & the misery of life under Stalin.
This book is a classic... along the lines of "Red Badge of Courage"...a simple story with a profound message, well worth the read.
I liked Mr. Solzhenitsyn's novel, A Day in the Life of Alex Whatshisname, a lot better. I only read the first of the two short novels.
Read it over one weekend. It's the second book of his that I've read and they are both quite good.
Quietly desperate and darkly amusing. Solzhenitsyn has such a light touch when he needs to.
not really as good as some of his other works
Outstanding details of life in the gulag.
Liked it, especially the second story.
Carly Johnson
Classic Russian literature.
Dino Karlis
so bleak. so very bleak...
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Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn was a Soviet and Russian novelist, dramatist, and historian. Through his writings he helped to make the world aware of the Gulag, the Soviet Union's forced labor camp system – particularly The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, two of his best-known works.

Solzhenitsyn was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970. He was exiled from...more
More about Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn...
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956 Cancer Ward The First Circle The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation, Books I-II

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