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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: Cancer Ward

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn : Main Page | Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, R.I.P., Dec. 11, 1918 - Aug. 3, 2008 | the Essential Solzhenitsyn | Thought Provoking Quotes by Solzhenitsyn | Early Life: Solzhenitsyn an Instant Celebrity | Solzhenitsyn : Opponent of Repressive Government Policies | Solzhenitsyn Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature | Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Charged with Treason | Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn : Books and Reviews | Fyodor Dostoyevsky | Aleksandr Pushkin | Isaac Asimov

Cancer Ward

"A literary event of the first magnitude."--Time

"The most moving of Solzhenitsyn's novels."--Clifton Fadiman

"Solzhenitsyn's characteristic strategy for subduing space is to temporize it--to transform it into time . . . This transformation of space into time allows Solzhenitsyn to present a variegated group of people who are caught in a collective situation of relative isolation by following the through their daily routine . . . These forcibly restricted milieus provide a natural and persuasive metaphor for life itself . . . How or why Solzhenitsyn is able to succeed . . . I do not know . . . It is probably finally a matter of genius--which is to say, mystery. But the novels rise above the questions they propound and serve--as great literature always has done--to be both a challenge to and a triumph for the free spirit of man wherever it allows itself to exist."--Earl Rovit, American Scholar

I re-read "Cancer Ward" about every two years and every time I fall in love with the main character--Kostoglotov--all over again. This book tell of the lives of patients and staff in a cancer ward in Russia.

Kostoglotov, the main character, is a man unfairly exiled under Stalin. He is a normal person like you or me who is living a life of perpetual exile. And then he gets cancer and comes to the ward barely clinging to life.

The book chronicles the lives of several people in the Cancer Ward. The book follows the lives of a couple of nurses that Kostoglotov flirts with and the life of a nurse he doesn't flirt with. There is the young student, the government official, and other cancer patients. Each one deals with cancer in their own way.

It is a sad, yet uplifting book about cancer and about Stalin, who really was a big dose of cancer for Russia. More people need to know about how cruel Stalin was. How he exiled people in his purges for no reason other than his own paranoia. Good people like Kostoglotov had their lives stolen from them.

In the end all Kostoglotov wants to do is get out of the cancer ward and back to his friends in his town of perpetual exile. Before he goes home he visits a zoo. I don't want to ruin the ending for you, but every time I read the ending I cry.

Thanks Mr. Solzhenitsyn for exposing Stalin for what he was and giving me the opportunity to read about everyday Russian people. --Reviewer: Becky (Michigan, USA)

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Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Nobel Prize winner, is described by many a mind as a literary genius whose extraordinary talent matches that of Dostoyevsky, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Pushkin and Gorky. Biography, quotes, photos, news articles, books and reviews.

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