It expresses Herling's convictions that the Gulag environment does not belong to the normal, human world, but is a type of sick and distinctive civilisation which is contrary to all previous human experience. In addition, a number of elements of the plot are associated with the House of the Dead. The book A World Apart contains the author's recollections beginning from his time spent incarcerated in the former USSR Gulag labour camp in Yertsevo in Arkhangelsk Oblast , and a description of the journey he took to join the Polish divisions forming in Persia. Written 10 years before Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn 's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich , it brought him international acclaim but also criticism from Soviet sympathizers.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published by Czytelnik first published More Details Original Title.
Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. A masterpiece! It should and might deserve to be more widely known. The first account of "Russian labour camps" I read so far in which the author not only writes about what he survived to, but tries to put it in a larger historical context.
Of course Herling was helped in this task by the fact that his isolation was awful but not as endless as the one of Salamov and Solzenicyn, but still he did an extraordinary job. At the same time he had the humility of reckoning that the Hell he was put into by fate was a bet It should and might deserve to be more widely known. At the same time he had the humility of reckoning that the Hell he was put into by fate was a better one compared to the atrocities of the Kolyma.
The passage in which Herling says that he later understood how being sent to the Kolyma for the people "working" in his camp sounded like being sent to Auschwitz for the prisoners of Nazi lagers is astonishing.
One of the many unforgettable lines I already found: "We can say that the Revolution really overthrew the former order of things. Once slaves were thrown to lions. Now lions are thrown to slaves". Judging by the paucity of English-language reviews of this book, "A World Apart" seems better known to Poles naturally and other Europeans than to Americans and Brits. Everyone needs to be more deeply exposed to the lies of Communism and the inhuman character of the Soviet society.
So call this an extended "Ivan" -- 18 months of misery instead of one day. It's baffling how anyone survived Gulag conditions, even for only 18 months, as the author did. Perhaps some of it in his case was because he had hope.
Still, he was one of the last to be released, and he'd almost given up. One strength of Herling's character was his capacity for reflection, and this helps make "A World Apart"more than just a litany of suffering. He draws word portraits of many different prisoners, some of whom are examples of various "types" -- the true believers in Communism, sure that "if only Stalin knew" all prisoners would go free; the criminals who lord over the "politicals" and prosper in the camps; the humble who accept their fate with resignation; the informers, some of whom are surprising betrayers; the hunger-demented, etc.
Accounts of Soviet prison camps, both novels and non-fiction, differ from the stories of Nazi camps for many reasons, not the least of which is the reasons for their existence. In the Nazi case, they tossed people on the garbage heap "just because" -- "because you're a Gypsy or a homosexual or a Jew or a Communist" -- little or no regard for making it look "legal.
Then off to the camps if you weren't shot for the job of building the Soviet economy on the cheap. Interesting feature at the end of the book. Chalk up one for our side! Zdecydowanie warta przeczytania lektura i warta nadrobienia pozycja. A book that makes a very difficult read. A compulsory one in the last year of high school in Poland - the earliest age at which you probably can read it. I believe that everyone should read it, so nothing like that can happen ever again, so we will never forget about those who survived it and those who lost their lives there.
This is a book that many would wish it was a pure fiction, that it has never happend - as it's really hard to believe it all First hand account of atrocities, struggle fo A book that makes a very difficult read. First hand account of atrocities, struggle for survival and everyday inhumane existence in soviet gulag. Not many were able to survive it, those who did so, told their story.
Many movies and books were created in regard to Nazis camps and that's what most people especially those living outside of Europe associate with IIWW, history about Soviet ones isn't that widely known. Definitely too long, but still one of the most haunting and harrowing books I have ever read.
There is something about the coldness, precision and distance of the narration that makes it even scarier. It lends a completely different perspective on work camps in Russia. The line between a victim and torturer is so vague This down to earth book is filled with gripping and eye opening events and living conditions that were the norm of the Soviet prison camps.
After reading this book the reader will come to a new realization as to just how far evil can be taken in the name of loyalty to the Fatherland. Being Polish was not really a plus in the 's. You could end up in a mass grave in Katyn or in a ghetto, a concentration camp, forced labour camp or a crematory.
Herling ended up in a Gulag, which is equally fun but unlike in German concentration camps, in a Gulag mass murder and extermination is not the aim but a pleasant side effect of the harsh conditions over there. Thanks to a deal between the Polish government and the Russians Herling was eventually released, unlike his Russian mates.
Thi Being Polish was not really a plus in the 's. This gave him the opportunity to write about his time in the work camps. It's a grim tale that is totally devoid of hope. It shows us the worst side of communism and it should be a mandatory read for all those upper class commies with their fucked up ideals. Their loyalty to their faith was admirable, but when the Polish cut a deal with Stalin, the Polish Jews were excluded from that, which only proves once again that religion sucks.
Herling is a talented writer. This book is not a dry account but a compelling read. Comes with the highest recommendations. A World Apart is an informative, descriptive and often harrowing account of life inside a Soviet prison camp during the early s.
The author has done an excellent job of writing about his - and his fellow inmates - experiences as objectively as possible. A lot of the book details how the camps worked, treatment of different racial groups, nationalities the author is Polish and genders by both the Soviet guards and also the prisoners and stories about how he and his fellow prisoners came to A World Apart is an informative, descriptive and often harrowing account of life inside a Soviet prison camp during the early s.
A lot of the book details how the camps worked, treatment of different racial groups, nationalities the author is Polish and genders by both the Soviet guards and also the prisoners and stories about how he and his fellow prisoners came to be in the situation that they found themselves in.
He also discusses the human spirit and how people react differently to such horrible conditions and treatment. View 1 comment. The story itself was very important, but the writing style wasn't something that I liked and I struggled with this book more than I expected.
I understand that this is author's diary written from his own experience, but it doesn't change the fact that it is not the most enjoyable book to read. That's a shame, because I was really looking forward to it. Un libro necesario. Hard to believe this actually happened. The most difficult must read in my life. Must read. Feb 17, A. It is a must read, considering its themes. A horrifying tale yet honest. It left me speechless, it left me furious, it left me with tears in my eyes There are no discussion topics on this book yet.
Readers also enjoyed. He is best known for writing a personal account of life in the Soviet gulag - A World Apart. He was born in Kielce. Imprisoned in Vitsebsk and a gulag in Arkhangelsk region for 2 years, he was released in under the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement.
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