Leah's Reviews > In the First Circle

In the First Circle by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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's review
Sep 14, 10

bookshelves: library-book, fiction, foreign_in_translation
Read from August 30 to September 09, 2010, read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** This book is full of complete characters, each of whom has a detailed background and a complex mental landscape. Exploring the many different people is a fascinating joy.
I recalled from reading One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich ten years ago that Aleksander I. Solzhenitsyn had a particular gift for emphasizing every little detail in a way that is not overwhelming, but instead emphasizes how little was to be had and therefore how much importance was given to every object.
I only wish that the book would have continued further because I felt that it had just reached the apex of the plot when it abruptly stopped. I wanted to see how these individuals with whom I had formed a close bond dealt with the aftermath of their respective crises, however I can respect the artistic decision to stop right at that moment as if to say "this does not deserve more attention because it happens all the time" and simply close the window through which we've been spying. The effect of stopping the story at the point of arrest and relocation and before anyone is released leaves me, as the reader, in a state similar to that of the characters I just left; people I've come to love have disappeared and I am uncertain about their fates. Pointing out that horrific events are commonplace within the story's world emphasizes the tragedy that they have become so unremarkable.

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Reading Progress

08/31/2010 page 20
3.0% "I think our company's next dataset should be Finnish-Mongolian."
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