One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

  • by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Narrated by Richard Brown
  • 5 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One of the most extraordinary literary documents to have emerged from the Soviet Union, this is the story of labor camp inmate Ivan Denisovich Shukhov and his struggle to maintain his dignity in the face of Communist oppression. Based on the author’s own experience in the gulags, where he spent nearly a decade as punishment for making derogatory remarks against Stalin, the novel is an unforgettable portrait of the entire world of Stalin’s forced work camps. An instant classic upon publication in 1962, it confirmed Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s international stature as “a literary genius whose talent matches that of Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy” (Harrison Salisbury).


What the Critics Say

“Richard Brown’s razor-sharp narration perfectly suits this fine translation.”– (Library Journal)
"One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich yields, more than anything else, a beautiful sense of its author as a Chekhovian figure: simple, free of literary affectation, wholly serious.” (New Republic)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Most engaging book I have heard/read in months

I was a little reluctant to listen to this book as I was aware of the subject matter, a detailing of life in the Soviet gulag post- World War II, which sounds rather depressing. The reality of the experience was quite the opposite - a detailed description of a day in the life of an inmate of a forced labour camp, Ivan Denisovich, was engaging, and completely absorbing. Listening how the men were able to survive the seemingly endless series of days without hope of release or improvement in their gray, difficult tormented lives was in a strange way, very uplifting. Their endless sense of resourcefulness was touching, and despite the vast unjustness of their situation, the book paints a wonderful picture of human resilience, and leaves one with the sense that no matter how bad things get, one can always find meaning in the minutae of daily existence.
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- Mike McGuire

I wanted way more than one day -

I agree with one reviewer that the first 10 minutes are painful and I did consider turning it off. So glad I didn't though. This snapshot "day" opens the world of Stalin's forced labor camps. There is magic in the details, the thoughts, the motives... the bite of sausage, the bread in the mattress. I am so glad it was a good day he chose to share, since I felt almost as if with him. A classic I should have read years ago and will read again.
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- Jan "Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-17-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.