Growing up, this was one of my favorite books. People always think it's weird once I say that, and I agree, it is weird. But I grew up in a unusual household that appreciated all forms of Soviet literary dissonance. My father was a big fan of any text that criticized Communism down to the very last detail, and no surprise, Solzhenitsyn was--still is--one of his favorite authors, along with many others. After having read from his favorite books, he and I would discuss extensively about each text; these were some of the most memorable moments of my childhood. And that's why I can never give an objective review of this book because, no matter no skewed the subject matter, it would always remain a favorite.It wasn't until years later that I learned Solzhenitsyn was a an anti-semite who published a series of critical papers spouting his anti-semitism. Dad and I took a huge step back from Solzhenitsyn's books at that point and we don't read him again, but would occasionally discuss things related to his books when/if they come up. Solzhenitsyn will always remain a powerful critical voice in Soviet literature, but his views... are a huge problem that we should not discount. There are people who are able to separate the author from his/her views. Personally, I'm not able to do that, and I think we as readers should always take into account all an author's views when reading a text.