By Alexander Dolinin
I'm an advid reader of all books concerning the Soviet Gulag. yet this one simply did not reduce the mustard. The characters are one-dimensional, the discussion is stilted, and the descriptions of the camp was once like a minimize and paste from Wikipedia. that will learn the simplest books, try out David Littel's "The Revolutionist," Alan Furst's "Night Soldier." This e-book is too educational in all its verbiage.
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What, you bastard? Not afraid of death? Then try a load of this. The old man looked Trofimov in the eye. “It looks like I’ve upset you. ” He thrust his dingy brown hand inside his pea jacket and produced a small paper package. He opened it with a neat twist of the finger and thumb. It was a packet of twist, black shag tobacco, in short supply in the camps. Trofimov had last smoked almost a month ago. This was the kind of small miracle that every convict craved. Trofimov often saw prisoners begging for a couple of drags on a home rolled cigar and here was a whole pack of the stuff.
Trofimov recalled some cases he had known. Mostly the patients dozed on their barracks bunks and got up only for basic necessities. They did not have to work, but they got no treatment either. They were left to die. They could not even walk to the canteen, and the barracks orderlies brought them food. “But,” Ganin continued, “the doctor never refuses me. I can ask him to take care of you. But of course, before we approach him,” Ganin emphasized, “you must have a gift to offer him. Nothing out of the ordinary—a sweater, or some boots.
The idea of escape consumed Trofimov. At first glance, it looked impossible. The screws guarded your every move. They were ready to finish you off with a submachine burst for a single step out of line. But wasn’t it a battle of wits? Trofimov was an experienced combat officer. He had more military experience than all the camp officers put together. He knew how to outsmart an enemy. Was there a way to divert the screws’ attention then break out of the compound and the heavily guarded zone around it?