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Disturbing and unforgettable,
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This review is from: Kolyma Tales (Paperback)
Until I read this book, my only acquaintance with life in Soviet labour camps was through Solzhenitsyn's One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich.
I'd always assumed that that work represented a totally unflinching view of life in these hellish places. How wrong I was: compared to Kolyma Tales, 'One Day' seems almost sentimental. These are stories from Hell itself. And the clinical detachment with which they are told only makes them more chilling. The author describes a world where getting to the end of every single day is a matter of endurance and luck, and where even the most minor of misfortunes means the end of the road for you. A world where you cannot hope for even the faintest glimmer of humanity from those around you.
It is almost impossible to believe that such places existed in great numbers within living memory, and this reason alone would make the book priceless.