Monday, 21 October 2013

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Published in 1963 this book hardly needs reviewing as it‘s been part of the modern classic canon for a long time.  It is the story of Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, who is serving an eight year prison sentence in a Soviet labour camp after being accused of being a spy during WWII.  The novel is set during a single day of his internment and demonstrates to us what an ordinary day was like for Soviet prisoners.

Reading this book made me think a lot about the subjectivity of book reviewing.  After all, any review is only the opinion of the person writing it.  I might love a book which you might hate and vice versa.

I took a little stroll down memory lane when reading this.  I remember when I was a teenager I dated a sweet boy from Kent who loved this book.  He read it several times and raved about it endlessly.  We lost touch several decades ago but I’ve always had it in the back on my mind to read this book.

More recently, my son read this book.  His reaction was pretty much the same as the boy I dated.  He enthused about this book and insisted I read it.  So, approximately four decades after originally being encouraged to read it I finally did.

I so wanted to like it, I really did but it just did nothing for me.  I think I only persevered because it was only 143 pages and my son may never have forgiven me if I didn’t.

Clearly, many people love this book and therefore have merit but it just didn’t work for me.  However, don’t take my word for it.  Read it for yourself and do let me know what you thought.  Or if you’ve already read this I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

My son has gone on to read other works by Solzhenitsyn.  I think when he offers to loan me those I might just decline.

ISBN:  978-0-141-18474-6

Published by:  Penguin Books

Book Price:  £7.99
This was loaned to me by my son.

Total saving so far:  £24.97

No comments:

Post a Comment