The end of an unclouded day. Almost a happy one. Just one of the 3,653 days of his sentence, from bell to bell. The extra three were for leap years.
—Closing lines of the book
Ivan Denisovich Shukhov is a prisoner ("zek") in the Soviet Gulag system, imprisoned on charges of being a spy after being captured by the Germans and escaping, and sentenced to 10 years. At the time of the story, during winter, sometime during The Korean War
, Shukhov is serving out his sentence in a special camp in Siberia. His number is Щ-854note
and he is part of squad 104. This book details one day in his life
, as he struggles to live through another day.
This book, written in 1962 by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
and based on his own experiences in the camps, was the first widely distributed account of Stalinist repression, and helped raise awareness globally of the conditions in the system.
You can read it in its entirety here.
This book contains the following tropes: