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on 21 March 2015
The book that is truly worth reading. It is a great testimony of times gone by and it should teach contemporary people to appreciate their freedom and what they have. Unlike many other historical books this one is very easy to read and even though it has about 600 pages does not seem so long. The delivery reasonably fast (within the estimation) and the general state of the book (as I bought used one) was meeting the description as well - good means good and not perfect. This book will be a part of my library among many other writings that hit me like a hammer and changed many things for me...
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on 29 September 2009
This is a Monumental work by a Monumental Writer. With a Surgeons meticulousness of dissection, Solzhenitsyn lays bare the entire anatomy of the Oppressive apparatus, laying bare the workings at an Ideological, state and individual level. He uses hundreds of examples of individuals and groups of individuals experiences of the Soviet oppressive 'Organs' to create a vast network of suffering interlinked by time, place and person.
It is an unrelenting and heavy read. It demands by the nature of its grave subject deliberation and slow digestion.
The Soviet process of arrest, interrogation charge and sentencing are each painstakingly laid out. The Politicohistorical background of the (in)justice system is similarly dissected apart with reference to historical events.
It is dry writing, blisteringly sarcastic with an understanding sympathy for the forces of oppression that is unrelentingly ironic.
It is an extraordinary piece of work, immense in scope, rich in ironic understatement that can leave the reader exhausted. Stunningly detailed, and essential reading for any serious student of the Soviet era.
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on 9 February 2017
This is one of the most important books of the 20th century and rightly won a Nobel Prize there's no real criticism I could give of Solzhenitsyn's work that would be fair. However, the only problem I had with this product was with this particular edition. The paper is extremely thin, as is the cover, making the whole book feel rather fragile. One or two of the pages have been torn by my reading despite the book being treated well and never having been taken outside the house. It arrived with slight damage to the edges of the cover despite being well packaged. I would suggest looking for an alternative edition since at nearly £18 this is rather an expensive and unimpressive paperback.
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on 28 October 2009
I can't really do this book justice, I'd love to spend hours pouring over it, but I think I'd be serving myself more than Alexander's. So I'll approach this brief review from my key motivator for picking up the book, morbid fasination, and explain how it gave we so much more.

The observant probably noticed I refered to the author by first name, this isn't casual but instead meant as the highest show of respect. Quite ignorantly I hadn't really appreciated that a foreign author would have so much to offer, that he could speak to me so directly. I'd expected a flat tome sprinkled with the odd insight to life at that time in Russia. Instead I found a friend who spoke to me with passion and humor in an unguarded manor, about the attrocious treatment he and others recieved from paranoid communism and the evil of justified cruelty. The fact that this outstanding work was produced after experiences that would leave the typical anglo-american as a psychological wreck is awe inspiring.

This book will teach you how to torture a stranger (in great detail, or, a working knowledge!) even someone from your life, it will show you how to improve methods by highlighting the benefits of bouncing ideas off your colleagues. You will learn how a man can commit such acts, how he can justify himself and sleep with a mind as clear as someone who's spent their work day planting flowers. You will learn that politics and ideology mean very little. Your holding an apple from the tree of truth, and with another bite, Alexander has provided the tools to realise and question yourself. I too could suffer his fate, but also, I too could be mobalized as a blue cap.

If you read with an open mind and a strong stomach, this book has so much to offer, many times you'll share a laugh with tears in your eyes. This should be expected reading for all citizens and especially our military services.

Of course fewer people will read this review, as it comes under 'hard-cover', both this work and you deserve it to be a hard-back version.
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on 25 February 2017
Book as descrbed - good service.
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on 13 January 2017
tough reed
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on 12 July 2015
Just another despicable history kept behind the evil veil of deception around us.
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on 18 May 2016
lives up to its hype
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on 13 May 2016
excellent book
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on 24 December 2015
Book in condition expected
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