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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Last week it was Fleming, this week I have Solzhenitsyn. ‘One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich’ is a brief but startingly glimpse of daily survival in a Soviet Gulag. The striking thing about this novel is how Solzhenitsyn finds ways to describe the bitter cold the prisoners had to face during their back-breaking labour. This teaser comes from page 65:

“Two buckets of water were carried in, but they had frozen on the way. Pavlo decided that there was no sense in doing it like this. Quicker to melt snow. They stood the buckets on the stove.”

What attracted me to the book was the fact that Solzhenitsyn actually spent time in a Gulagin 1945 after making derogatory remarks about Stalin in a letter. In the book, Ivan has already done eight of his ten year sentence, but in reality Solzhenitsyn spent a total of eight years, followed by internal exile. I never cease to be amazed by what people will endure for freedom of speech.