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In the First Circle

Narrated by: Derek Perkins
Length: 31 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Moscow, Christmas Eve, 1949. The Soviet secret police intercept a call made to the American embassy by a Russian diplomat who promises to deliver secrets about the nascent Soviet Atomic Bomb program. On that same day, a brilliant mathematician is locked away inside a Moscow prison that houses the country's brightest minds. He and his fellow prisoners are charged with using their abilities to sleuth out the caller's identity, and they must choose whether to aid Joseph Stalin's repressive state - or refuse and accept transfer to the Siberian Gulag camps...and almost certain death.

First written between 1955 and 1958, In the First Circle is Solzhenitsyn's fiction masterpiece. In order to pass through Soviet censors, many essential scenes - including nine full chapters - were cut or altered before it was published in a hastily translated English edition in 1968. Now with the help of the author's most trusted translator, Harry T. Willetts, here for the first time is the complete, definitive English edition of Solzhenitsyn's powerful and magnificent classic.

©2009 Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn (P)2018 Tantor

What the critics say

"[An] indelible novel of towering artistry, caustic wit, moral clarity, and spiritual fire." (Booklist, starred review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • HistoricalReader
  • 2018-11-08

Outstanding!

An outstanding narration of one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. I very much hope we will see other works by Solzhenitsyn from Audible (e.g. Cancer Ward).

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Caroline Brown
  • 2019-04-19

The debate

Life in a socialist state run prison system - should be required reading as a warning about an overpowering omnipresent state

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Ellis D Vener
  • 2019-04-08

One of the five finest novels written in the 20th Century

If you want to understand where we are going you have to look at where we have been. This novel does that and the echoes of Stalin’s totalitarian rule of the USSR and his ambitions for the world still echo loudly today.

On top of that, “In The First Circle” is also a cracklingly told story which richly drawn characters.

It also does not hurt the narration is terrific.

Highly recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Handyman
  • 2019-03-22

Fiction based on fact

I've read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich twice, but really began to understand the power of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's genius as I listened to this book. The chapters delving into Stalin's inner thoughts (starting with Chapter 19, The Birthday Hero) are fascinating and entertaining even as that part of the novel steps away from the main plotline. And the narration is outstanding!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael
  • 2019-06-08

Excellent fictional history.

He engagingly relates the oppression of the Workers Paradise. A history of our future (2019) with Progressives on the rise.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-30

Give story a chance

It took a while to get into the story but once there, it was sadly interesting.

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  • J. Benuck
  • 2019-07-26

Powerful

A very important work. Incredibly well written. I was concerned that it would be hard to follow the story line on audio, but that was not the case. Living in a western democracy, we take so much for granted.

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  • Justin Kern
  • 2019-05-17

great minus the British accent

so good, but a British dude reading a book taking place in the Soviet union's sucks, this needs to change. get a good narrator with a Russian accent, please.

2 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Glen
  • 2019-04-28

4 names are just too hard to keep up with

there's so many different names in this book that is very hard to keep track of who's who

0 of 11 people found this review helpful