Customer Reviews for

We: New Edition

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  • Posted November 21, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Yevgeny Zamyatin has a very interesting history himself. Being a

    Yevgeny Zamyatin has a very interesting history himself. Being a part of Russian Intelligentsia, he was a strong proponent of Russian revolutionary movement and a believer in "change" that was about to follow. While in England, he heard that the change is about to happen and Yevgeny rushed back, so that he could be part the movement to overthrow Czarist regime and create what he thought would have been a workers' paradise. Fast forward a bit and he started to realize that the change that he himself helped create was not at all what it was claiming to be and reality of that change created despot and despair. While the publishing and the media was not yet completely taken over by the new regime, he was able to publish and write several essays, but then further realizing that the regime is changing even more so, he was banned and even arrested for his ideological free voice.




    If you liked "Brave New World" and "1984", you will love this or actually the other way around. "We" was published before the other two and there are so many items here that were borrowed by Huxley and Orwell, it is not even a question of if, but obvious what and which portions were. Zamyatin creates a One State society in his novel "We", where everyone and everything is for Benefactor's sake and for the "happiness" of the citizens. The wall around the city doesn't just protect those from outside getting in, but also for those inside for being "happy". Here we see strong resemblances of the same picture perfect anti Utopian "Utopia" as in "Brave New World". We see rationing and partnership assignments, if you will, just like in Huxley's novel, and many parts, which I am sure Huxley decided to "borrow" from "We". Also, there are many examples of despot and punishment, social behavior and work related previsions as we see in "1984" later. My guess is as such. Since Soviet Union was not big on world copyright laws, and the fact that some of Zamyatin's works were not officially published until 1980s and even 90s, that both Huxley and Orwell had an opportunity to reviewing those works. Lesser in popularity of all three of those anti Utopian novels, "We" however does present a great example, interesting and clever plot on the society that is "great" in theory, but not so in reality. 




    Zamyatin is a great visionary and this book, scary enough, could have been a road map for despots to use. "Freedom or happiness, but if you are free, you can't be happy" - We, Zamyatin. Also, the numerous examples of how "chaotic" the free world is and was, in what "We" refers to as in ancients' way of life. Freedom caused crime and war according to One State and Benefactor. It seems that by associating freedom with all the "evil" in the world, the Benefactor and Guardians are able to create this "perfect" happy world that is not free, but "happy". 




    Overall, I really enjoyed reading this first of the three great anti Utopian novels. It is a wonderful example of both fiction and the author's reality, how utopia only exists in theory, but in reality people do want and do strive for freedom to make their own decision and their own choices. Zamyatin's life, is a perfect example of to be careful of what you wish for and out of the three, he is the only author who actually wrote his work while living in completely despotic society. Highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys this genre.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    WAY ahead of its time.

    Like a refreshing breath of air, I chanced upon We as I was drowning in all the trashy sci-fi that has been filling shelves as of late.
    To say it simply, We is the best science fiction novel I have ever read (and I have read my fair share). It has, in its 203 pages, a story of a simple man who worships his government with a wild abandon, until the day when he contracts an awful and uniquely human condition.

    We is a prime, perhaps the greatest, example of a Dystopian novel: it in many ways sets the groundwork for ALL dystopian stories to come. In it we read elements of famous books to come, such as Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World. But. but there is something more, different, indescribable about We that Zamyatin could never have planned: a magic that resides in between the words.

    That being said, We is also one of the most exclusionary books I have read as well. While I fully believe that this book has never achieved the popularity and success that it should have, shared by 1984 and Brave New World, I can truly understand why: We is written as the journal of a mathematical genius, and his view of nature as "some big equation, yet to be solved" leaks heavily into his journal entries and this, coupled with his conflicting ideas about himself and his surroundings, does not make a welcoming environment for the everyday reader.

    I highly recommend this book, but only to those hardcore sci-fi buffs and intellectual book-club readers that can wade through it. If it can be tolerated, or better yet appreciated for what it is, then We could be your next favorite-book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2011

    one of my top ten books of ALL TIME.

    I really won't get into it here. "We" is a book that you have to read to understand why I feel this way. If you remember reading dystopian novels in high school, I can guarantee that your teacher missed this jewel. A precursor and inspiration to 1984 and Brave New World, this book makes Ayn Rand's Anthem look like a kids book. (not to mention that I believe that her book is a blatant rip of the subject book.) Zamyatin's genius truly shines in this short but well thought out piece of anti-Stalinist writing, that transcends (as all good books do) time and space.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Undoubtably one of the greatest things I've ever read

    We is such a perfect novel that to sum it in such a small area such as this would be a great injustice to the magnitude of this novel's quality. Simply put: We is, hands down, one of the single greatest works of literature ever written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2005

    A classic

    WE is a true classic and an extraordinary novel in many senses. It was the inspiration behind George Orwell¿s book 1984, and other subsequent books of the utopian/dystopian sub-genre, such as UNION MOUJIK, BRAVE NEW WORLD. The age-old conflict between individual self and the collective being that man has grappled with in our efforts to become more human is treated beautifully in thus book. What is peculiar about it is that the author never allowed politics to dominate. Overall, the Utopian-Fantasy is a recommended read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2014

    Many people's first introduction to dystopic literature is when

    Many people's first introduction to dystopic literature is when they read "1984" in high school. However, the roots of dystopian literature go back even farther. One of the first - and seminal works - of this genre is Yevgeny Zamyatin's "We". It is the grandfather of works like "1984", "Brave New World", and Vonnegut's "Player Piano". It is a satirical look at the utopian fantasy ruled by a select elite.

    Our story revolves around D-503, a mathmetician and scientist working on the Integral, a spaceship that will take his society's One State philosophy (via conquest) to other worlds. In the One State, life is organized to promote maximum efficiency (its developer, F.W. Taylor, is almost revered in this culture). Everyone's lives in One State are regimented, right down to the number of chews everyone is to take from their bite of food to regularly scheduled conjugal visits. Further, there is no concept of privacy, as all walls are transparent except for those conjugal visits when curtains may be lowered.

    D-503 writes his journal as a prelude to the launch of Integral as a way of explaining his society to those worlds his One State attempts to conquer. However, along the way his attention is diverted by the charms of I-330 who smokes and openly flirts with D-503 in open defiance of One State. However much she repels him, yet he is strangely attracted to her. As time goes one, we find D-503 slowly losing his firm grasp on what he thought he knew. He is obsessed over the thought of the square root of -1 (which is an imaginary number and something with which a mathmetician would be familiar).

    D-503 eventually discovers that I-330 is a member of MELPHI, a group seeking to reintegrate the One State society with those humans still living on the outside. It is from that point that D-503 reaches his end and his eventual restoration within the One State society.

    There are some difficulties with the book, notwithstanding its classic stature. Because it was translated from Russian, certain sentences come off as awkward in reading. It areas where D-503 is going through a delusional phase, the short, choppy sentences don't lend themselves to easy reading.

    On the positive, this a great story to show what the effects of government as patriarch can do to a society, especially after members of the One State start rebelling. All of the efforts of the patrician government are for the benefit (read: subjugation) of their citizens. Much of what we today call "Orwellian" speech can be rightly find its birthplace in this book. D-503 routinely denounces concepts such as freedom and free will as the cause of unhappiness; only through rigid adherence to the wishes of the state can true happiness be found.

    BOTTOM LINE: This book should be on the shelf of every enthusiastic reader of science fiction/dystopian literature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    Awful ebook conversion

    I'm sure this book is great, but the ebook version is absolutely terrible. By far the worst conversion I have ever read. Words missing, haphazard punctuation, letters merged or omitted...all of this, several times per page. Truly awful.

    Do yourself a favor and either pick another "We" ebook version or just buy a hard copy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2013

    A must read

    Written in the aftermath of the Bolshvik revolution, this intriguing novel is as relevant today as it was when it was written. The cult of conformity and subversion of critical thinking and introspection are still alive and well. "We" is a prescient tale and carries lessons that we need to re-learn today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2012

    Anonymous

    Fantastic! Thought it might read a little dated, written in the early 20th century. Not at all. Sucker for the dystopian novels, and this is the mother & the father of them all

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    Pretty good

    This book is only good if you are interested in this sort of stuff.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Brenda

    Hey

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    Jett

    I

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    Tim

    Hello

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2006

    WE,, the first, not the Best

    After a two-hundred year war, only 2/10ths of one percent of the Earth's population emerges into a society encircled by a Green Wall topped by an invisible electric shield, and ruled by the rarely seen totalitarian known as The Benefactor. So regimented is this world that its citizens must spend substantial time each day marching in regimented lockstep around the plaza. 'Pink tickets' are issued so that previously unknown-to-each-other couples may, with the blinds down, copulate for up to one hour. A mere sixty minutes each day is allowed for personal time, curfew is at 10pm, families are not permitted and smoking and alcohol are illegal. In addition to every window blind being in the raised position twenty-four hours per day, all the buildings, walls within those buildings, stairs and tables are made of clear glass. This is so that government officials can always keep their citizens in clear view. Each sex-segregated dormitory building has a trusted monitor who opens, reads, and distributes the incoming mail of all its residents. The book is presented as the diary of mathematician and space ship builder D-503, but don't let that format keep you from reading it. However, what may deter you from reading the book, is the fact that many times I found it is almost impossible to understand what, where or who to the action was happening. After substantially slowing my reading speed, I was able to savor some fine writing, but my comprehension did not improve much, and I was not enthused enough to re-read the previous many chapters. WE like Orwell's 1984, is a story of a government that controls absolutely everything, however unlike Orwell's book, WE may generate a migraine but not a nightmare.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2003

    The Granddaddy of all Negative Utopias

    If you liked 1984 and Brave New World...this is a must by the great Russian writer Zamyatin....and this is definitely a top notch translation....you can't go wrong with this one...it will keep you on the edge of your seat and you will not be able to put it down.....this is the best of the Dystopia genre.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2002

    Thought Provoking and Enlightening

    This book offers an interesting interpretation of the future. Values of that society can serve as metaphors for the way we are living today.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 1999

    Precursor to 1984

    If you thought '1984' (especially the movie version) and 'Farenheit 451' were depressing, wait til you read 'We'. Yevgheny Zamyatin's Bolshevic-era novel looks at love, society, and control with such a harsh view that it was banned for years in Russia. The protagonist, a mathematician, and his mate want to do things a bit differently in a society where everything is the same. The people genuinely live in glass houses (everything is see-through), and the super-Soviet style society controls all. The characterizations are excellent, and the quality of the novel exceptional for futuristic fiction. Is the ending tragic, or depressing? Is there hope for the future? You decide after this excellent read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2011

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    Posted May 12, 2011

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    Posted October 23, 2009

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