I have read this book 3 times over 30 years. It give a first hand account of what it was like to be sentenced to a Russian Gulag in the late 1800. Dostoyevsky describes in detail every day life in such a brutal environment. Those prisoners with no access to money survived on Cabbage soup infested with cockroaches and dry bread.. Fetters were worn 24 hours a day. They slept on wooden plank beds with only a thick coat as bedding. In each barrack there were 30 prisoners. The toilet was a night pail in the corner. Imagine the smell. Those prisoners who committed murder were given 4000 lashes. Half to start with, then given time to heal. The other 2000 lashes were then inflicted on them. Many prisoners died from these beatings. Dostoyevsky described his first impressions thus, In Summer, intolerable closeness, in Winter, unendurable cold, - 30 degrees. All the floors were rotten. Filth on the floor an inch deep. "We were packed in like Herrings in a barrel. There was no room to turn around. From dawn to dusk it was impossible not to behave like pigs. Fleas, lice and black beetles by the bushel. " I fail to understand why this book has not been made into a movie. Do yourself a favour and read this book for an insight in mans inhumanity to man.