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Although this is a fiction novel it is based on Solzhenitsyn’s experiences in the Gulag. In this account he just doesn’t record what Ivan Denisovich does but why he does it, his thought processes and feelings. How even though his every move is controlled he still tries to stay true to his ideals. He also writes about why Denisovich was arrested, an account taken from other convicts experiences.
When I saw the length of the this book and knowing it covers just one day I though it would be tedious or drag, however I was completely engaged and felt it did not drag at all. The story was helped along by the consideration of Ivan’s thought processes the comments of what he had learned through the years, and the planning that went into making sure he had enough to eat and keep from freezing or getting frost bite.