Eric's Reviews > One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
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Oct 01, 07

bookshelves: modern
Recommended for: those who like Russian Literature.
Read in October, 2007

I hadn't noticed how much this book had affected me until I sat down to dinner. Bear with me. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch is a fascinating story in light of its historical context. While reading the book I had a hard time reminding myself that this story didn't take place in some nineteenth century prison, but in the nineteen fifties. The life that these men live is hard, grueling, and for that Ivan describes his day as a good one. One in three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of his sentence. And that's the rub. You can imagine making it through one day, even a month of horrible days. But year in year out, knowing the years won't be full of good days... That makes it sink in. And that is why I found myself sitting there, in my seat in a nice restaurant at dinnertime, nibbling every last scrap of meat off of the ribs that I had ordered. In my minds eye I can still see Ivan, sucking the marrow out of the few fish bones he got in his watered down soup, and I the desperate nature of his situation hits me like a ton of bricks.
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