- Paperback: 576 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (1 May 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099575515
- ISBN-13: 978-0099575511
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.6 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,811 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Cancer Ward Paperback – 1 May 2003
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"Perhaps the most famous work of fiction dealing directly with the disease" (Guardian)
"And what does Solzhenitsyn say about cancer? How does he reach me, in Australia, with his Russian book? He shows me something valuable that I discovered during my own medical treatment. The people who are involved in cancer -- the sufferer, the doctors, the nurses, the orderlies -- are often occupied less with the cancer than with each other. There are small societies of patients and medical workers in a hospital ward, and in those societies people share what they have: their love and resentment, their stories and observations." (Brenda Walker The Australian)
"Solzhenitsyn was a great writer as the result of the collision of a particular personality and an awesome subject matter" (Henry Porter Observer)
"Solzhenitsyn is a man of genius…it is a privilege to be Solzhenitsyn’s contemporary" (Observer)
"There has been no such analysis of the corrupting power of the police state in Soviet literature" (Listener)
'Without a doubt the greatest Russian novelist' Sunday TimesSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It is set in a clinic in Soviet ruled Uzbekistan for cancer patients ,in the mid 1950's ,shortly after the death of Joseph Stalin.
It deals with the personal stories and lives of many different characters
There are parallels between the cancer that ravages the bodies of the dying patients and the cancer of Communism that ravaged the once proud Russia.
The hero of the novel is Oleg Kostolgotov who has gone from being a soldier on the frontline of Russia's fight against the invading Nazi armies during world War II to a political prisoner doomed to destruction for falling foul of Stalin's psychopathic system to a cancer patient lingering in a rundown hospital
He lives life to the full however , even in this seemingly gloomy clinic.
His foil is the Communist Party hack Pavel Rusanov , a man who has no heart and soul at all other than the Communist Party itself , in whose name he has cold-bloodedly ruined countless lives.
Now he lies in the cancer ward layed low by a disease that even the mighty Party cannot save him from .
Kostoglotov lives life to the full in the ward and has an interesting relationship with two remarkable women -the dedicated and beautiful Dr Vera Gangart and the vibrant and attractive young nurse Zoya.
Through the stories of the many people in this book we learn of the type of society they lived in ,and there are profound observations on so many subjects in life that are extremely memorable.
Always in the classic Russian combination between hope and depression where neither completely triumph over the other , but rather vie in a dependant type of antagonism .
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fascinating read. Could not put it down. Gives insight into the way the USSR worked at that time as well as a commentary on the management of cancer, many parallels with the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by htay
For someone that knows very little about the history of the Soviet Union and what life was like under Stalin, I'm glad I picked up this book. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Janine Holmes
One of my favourite books and always a great read. Intriguing characters and a story full of hope and chutzpah in trying circumstances. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Louise Stanley
I was always tempted to read ‘Cancer Ward’ but was hesitant because of the ‘heavy’ themes of serious illness and Soviet totalitarianism. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Stevie
Boring in places but I really cared about the strong well written characters. Unfortunately for me I didn't like the endingPublished 16 months ago by Melissa
Solzhenitsyn is a favourite author of mine. He writes in a straight forward manner which seems to translate easily from the Russian. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Herr Holz Paul