The Gulag Archipelago, Volume II

  • by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  • Narrated by Frederick Davidson
  • 27 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This second volume in Solzhenitsyn’s narrative chronicles the appalling inhumanity of the Soviets' "Destructive-Labor Camps" and the fate of prisoners in them—felling timber, building canals and railroads, and mining gold without equipment or adequate food or clothing, and subject always to the caprices of the camp authorities. Most tragic of all is the life of the women prisoners and the luckless children they bear.
Once again, this chronicle of appalling inhumanity is made endurable by the vitality and emotional range of the writing. In one truly remarkable chapter, a parody of an anthropological treatise, Solzhenitsyn achieves new heights of sardonic wit. And in the final section, the music changes and he provides a magnificent coda on the possibilities of redemption and purification through suffering.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An epic of horror, history, & philosophy

A profound reflection on life in adversity. It's long, yes, but I never found it boring. Reading through the 3 volumes, I suffer a faint shadow of Gulag horror through the fellow feeling that Solzhenitsun's evokes. He is an inspired master story-teller and has an amazing ability to view all characters with charity. He convinces even the most sensitive and peace-loving reader that you may very well be capable of unspeakable evil if pushed to extremes. Everyone in camp faces the choice: turn right and sacrifice your life or turn left and sacrifice your conscience (at about 15:40). The irony is not lost on the careful reader that Solzhenitsyn himself preserved his own life. Did he lose his conscience? There are such thinly-veiled Christian overtones here and elsewhere. Regardless of your faith choice or knowledge of Chriatianity, the human experience that hits home over and over will win you over to a new appreciation of freedom and reflection on the relative merits of limited government, human rights, and the rule of law.
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- Thucydides


A superb work and a superb performance! Solzhenitsyn's storytelling and intimate writing style is mesmerizing. Davidson's reading makes you feel like you're listening to the author himself.
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- Big Bob Daddy

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-30-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.