The First Circle

The First Circle

Unknown - 1968
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Publisher: New York, Harper & Row [1968]
Edition: 1st ed.
Characteristics: xiii, 580 p. 25 cm.


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Mar 12, 2016

In this novel Solzhenitsyn continues his investigation into what he called “the timeless essence of humanity” as well as the “fixed universal concepts called good and justice.” He examines the moral order of the Soviet system and the individuals within it, from Stalin down to a prison janitor. What does it take to defy the evil of such a regime, and what is the cost? What are the failings of the West in understanding the malevolence that lies behind the Soviet mask? While a historical novel, Solzhenitsyn’s quest transcends the time and the setting, looking at basic human questions such as the potential conflict between being a good person and a good citizen. Fortunately we have the uncensored version of the novel available now, which investigates in more detail the transformation within Volodin, leading to the opening phone call and the action of the book.

Nov 25, 2010

Lots of awesome characters through whom you get a good picture of the time and the victims of the late Stalin era. No central character.


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