One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich gives any reader a reachable introduction to Solzhenitsyn. By dwelling on the concrete and living within Ivan's thoughts about his practical problems, Solzhenitsyn soulfully paints a lifescape of the goulag and the effects of Communism on regular people.
Here, in the authors nascent novel, he recounts the daily existence in the Siberian gulags of the 1940s-50s. Life is harsh for the prisoners and soldiers alike. Each face severe penalty for infraction of the rules. This short novel (only 140 pages) is a good introduction to the authors work.
A great look at another time and culture. Probably one of the most depressing books I have read. These men have no hope, no life. Even some extra bread is enough to bring some joy. If you think you have it bad then you need to read this.
Excellent read. You really feel the desperation and emotion that these poor people experienced under such extreme circumstances in the gulags. Some of the book was difficult to get through. It was time well spent and really made me a thankful for where I live and for the blessings I have. I recommend it highly.