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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  27,698 ratings  ·  1,556 reviews
Роман Е.Замятина "Мы" лежит на грани двух эпох. Он вырос на благодатной почве Серебряного века, вобрав его многокрасочность и интеллектуальность, воплотив в душе героя идеализм и склонность к всемирной идее переустройства, мечту о будущем и беззащитность перед громадой власти.
Написанный в 1921 году, в России роман был опубликован впервые лишь в конце 1990-х.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published 2010 by Азбука-классика (first published 1921)
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It's been a decade since I first read Zamyatin's masterpiece, and even though this book remains unchanged for almost a century now, the person who read it is not. A decade later, I'm a very different person, no longer the wide-eyed undergraduate who thought she had the world all figured out. Physically, I still look under twenty (thanks, youthful genetics!) but mentally time has added a bit more life experience, an overdose of cynicism, a few collisions with the rougher edges of the universe, an...more
Henry Avila
A city of glass, 1,000 years in the future, domed, with a green wall, to keep out all the undesirable, primitive life forms. Animal, human, vegetable or insect...A clean and sparkling place, for its millions of citizens, everything and everyone, has a schedule, the perfect "One State". No privacy, people have numbers for names, they dress (light blue uniforms) , and eat the same food, live in small, sparse apartments, which are transparent. No drinking or smoking, even sex regulated by, yes, an...more
Well, I can see why We by Yevgeny Zamyatin was 'problematic' for the Soviet regime. It unequivocally debunks the utopian collective ideal. Communism (in practice, if not in theory) demands each of its fellow-travelers to exist on a purely atomic level. Good, responsible communists are mere corpuscles in a bland, unfulfilling social body. Sure, economic equality seems like a nice ideal, right? A cute ideal, even? But aside from being virtually impracticable (because humans will always be human),...more
Zamyatin's real interest here is the impossibility of being fully human in a totalitarian society. His future is not technologically superior. There's very little that might be called high-tech. In the way it's both forward-looking and dated, the mood it inspires is rather like that of Fritz Lang's Metropolis. I liked that. It was like finding this artefact of world lit. A piece of the history of literary dystopias, and one that influenced Orwell. But it's worth reading for more than simply hist...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Read again to discuss on SFF Audio; will link to podcast when it is posted.

This book has not been on my radar for long, but when something is considered to be "the best single work of science fiction yet written" (Ursula K. Le Guin) and the precursor of 1984 and Brave New World, not to mention the majority of current science fiction (Bruce Sterling introduction), I knew I couldn't put it off.

An interesting historical note - it was published in England (1921) long before it was published in Russi...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
A thousand years in our future, D-503 is just one number among many in the One State. The One State is a city, a society, that revolves not around the individual but around the collective we, like a hive, with the Benefactor in God-like status at the centre. D-503 works as a constructor on the Integral, the ship that will take their ideology and philosophy of life to other planets, to civilise and free other species. When an article in the State Gazette calls for poems, manifestos etc. to go in...more
We came before Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s 1984, and Yevgeny Zamyatin proved himself a master of the dystopian novel so popular today. The novel tells of the protagonist D-503 coming-of-age, becoming more and more aware of his desires, imagination and individuality, until the Operation returns him to the collective.


In We, the One-State removes its citizens’ individuality by assigning alphanumerical designations to them and so it dehumanizes them more than the governments...more
This book has universal five stars among my Friend's and Follower's reviews, but I'm skeptical. Having read more than two dystopian novels in my life, what does this have to offer that's new, besides simply being the first? I get that totalitarian governments and loss of individual expression is bad, but what else?

(That wasn't rhetorical–someone who's read and loved this please explain to me the benefits of this one.)


Well, let's find out.


I started getting into adult literature—as many do—w...more
Yevgeny Zamyatin wrote his seminal dystopian novel We (1921) based on his personal experiences during the two Russian revolutions (1905 and 1917) and the first World War. The book ended influencing dystopian authors like Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. This book not only influenced the dystopian genre but could also be the influence towards the post-apocalyptic genre as this was set in a world where all was wiped out but “0.2% of the earth's population”. The book is set in ‘One State’ which has...more
This review was written in 2003 for another website. I read the Clarence Brown Penguin edition of the book. I remember almost nothing about the book today, like the fact that the book takes place on a spaceship.

My alphabetical reading list is done. Yevgeny Zamyatin’s dystopian novel We takes up the tail end of my journey through the alphabet. This dismal piece of writing (and I’m not talking about the dystopian setting) is a perfect end for the self-imposed restrictions on my reading choices. Th...more
Amy Sturgis
This is the "granddaddy" of the modern dystopian novel, the book that influenced Huxley's Brave New World, Rand's Anthem, and Orwell's 1984: Yevgeny Zamyatin's We (1924). I've read it repeatedly and taught it, as well, and I always discover something new in the novel each time I turn to it. It's a brilliantly chilling depiction of a futuristic totalitarian regime that organizes its people's lives with almost scientific precision, as seen through the troubled eyes of one of its leading citizens....more
When the creators of badass shit like ‘Logan’s Run’ and “1984” are eager to cite your output as significant and influential, you’ve got the goods. With “We”, Zamyatin earns those lofty credentials, and also wins the endearing faith from its readers.

With the 200-Years War in the remote past, a post-apocalyptic society known as OneState rises amidst the aftermath by embracing the tenets of efficiency expert Frederick Taylor and crafts a futuristic paradise, a new world built around the sensibili...more
For a small book this one took me much longer than I had anticipated. It is complex and evocative and fantastical and logical and very Russian.

Written in Russia in the 1920's during the Russian Civil War We is one of the first major dystopic works and went on to inspire writers like Aldous Huxley, George Orwell and Kurt Vonnegut.

It it set in the distant future in the nation (or city) of the One State, a totalitarian society where everything is structured around logic and mathematics. Everybody...more
Transport yourself to OneState. Imagine a city, sealed off from the world by a Green Wall, inhabited by Numbers (each person is assigned a number rather than a name), all with their daily schedules planned out to the minute by a benevolent government. They live in transparent houses and wear identical uniforms and keep their heads shaved. The Benefactor has freed them from the bonds of freedom and bestowed upon them the blessings of homogeneity and collectivization.

We's main virtue is its abilit...more
This is one of those books that I knew I'd put off reviewing. When a book is classic, or popular, or iconic.. you just know you'll never find anything original to say that hasn't already been said, or that'll do the book justice.

We is set in a future utopian paradise, The One State, ruled by their glorious Benefactor. Everyone is a number, not a person, the emphasis is on cohesion, not individuality. Happiness has been reduced to an equation, but as such it it is solved, plug in the numbers and...more
200 pages of an interminable balancing act between decision and indecision. A severely fractured protagonist suffering through the weight of unwanted responsibility. Hopelessly clawing at two realities with a narrow distinction between both and with the threats of his actions mercilessly ratcheting up the pressure.

The fragmented society in which he lives mirroring his own life; held together only by extinguishing and suppressing half of its humanity.

This book reminds me of that vague desire of...more
One can see echoes of this story in other greats of dystopian SF such as Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451 and, of course, the great 1984. Written in the early 1920's it hadn't taken Zamyatin long to realise the logical consequences of the ideological reasoning behind his country's recent revolution. And this is precisely what is explored here, several hundred years in the future after the successful elimination of all opposition.

What would a society be like that had eliminated all notion of the i...more
Jeff Toto
Aug 20, 2007 Jeff Toto rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who has read 1984 and Brave New World...
This was a very challenging read; in many ways I feel a second read will be necessary to better comprehend this book.

Zamyatin's protagonist, D-503, is a mathematician as well, and as such, he consciously eschews flowery language. Natasha Randall's translation is excellent, and she keeps Zamyatin's sentence fragments and sudden exclamations intact. Nestled among these, however, are descriptions of startling imagery ("Only a gaunt gray shadow is slowly crawling up the bluish stariway, sketched in...more
Ben Loory
It is said there are flowers that bloom only once in a hundred years. Why should there not be some that bloom once in a thousand, in ten thousand years? Perhaps we never knew about them simply because this "once in a thousand years" has come only today?

Blissfully, drunkenly, I walked down the stairs to the number on duty, and all around me, wherever my eyes fell, thousand-year-old buds were bursting into bloom. Everything bloomed-- armchairs, shoes, golden badges, electric bulbs, someone’s dark,...more
The two stars is not meant to suggest that I don't appreciate the historical importance of this book. As is often noted, it is one of the earliest novels to depict a dystopian totalitarian future, written in 1924 -- before "1984" and "Brave New World." So while two stars may strike some as churlish, I admit that I found Zamyatin's narrative poorly executed and the portrayal of the totalitarian state one-dimensional and unbelievable.

This is also a problem that I have with 1984. It would be more e...more
“They say there are flowers that bloom only once every hundred years. Why shouldn’t there be others, that bloom once every thousand—ten thousand—years. Maybe we never knew about them only because that once-every-thousand-years is today.”—We, Yevgheniy Zamyatin

Published 27 years before George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Yevgheniy Zamyatin’s We could easily be mistaken as just a precursor of Orwell’s dystopian thriller. But Zamyatin is much more than a Russian Orwell—he introspectively explores...more
This is a superb work of science fiction, and I'm sorry it's not as well known as its dystopian counterparts 1984 and Brave New World. What the One State reminded me of, though, was not either of those books but rather the planet Camozotz in Madeleine L'Engle's book A Wrinkle In Time.

Besides the splendid, suspenseful plotting, the protagonist had one of the most distinctive literary voices I have ever seen. I had no idea one could do mathematics so poetically, and come up with such breathtaking...more
Yevgeny Zamyatin has impeccable credentials as one of the most influential early critics of totalitarian governments, industrialization, and the crushing of individual will by the state. The author was involved with the Bolsheviks, exiled to Siberia after the First Russian Revolution in 1905, escaped to become a naval engineer, worked in the UK shipyards supervising construction of ice breakers, witnessed the communist October Revolution, wrote numerous stories satirizing and ridiculing the Sovi...more
Absolutely brilliant.

We is the story of a future in which the citizens of a society, known as "digits", all maintain the same mindset: allegiance to the Do-Gooder. In this world, everyone stays inside the Green Wall, everyone wears a uniform, and everyone wakes and sleeps at the same time. Everything is mathematical; the "chaos" of past music has been refined to something more precise.

The digits have no problem with this way of living, including digit D-503, the story's protagonist. When D-503...more
Feb 09, 2009 Micha rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Zoe, Rod, Ajit, Evison?, Danielle, BRANDON, Tod
Recommended to Micha by: Ben the clever one
Shelves: books-2009
"What have you learned while reading this novel?"
I learned that Ayn Rand is a plagiarist and George Orwell had a crackerjack publisher.

For me, what really stood out in this novel, and perhaps in many of the really GREAT ones, were not the main characters of D & I (beginning of alphabet..) but it's "side" characters. Those who were overlooked. We never really see this future from their perspective, yet we do get a glimpse of it and one can sense that they feel something is wrong.
We see so...more
Nate D
Apr 27, 2011 Nate D rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hairy hands reaching through the green wall
Recommended to Nate D by: the illness of dreaming
1984 was published in 1949. Brave New World in 1931. Of course, long before either of these Brits could get spooked by machine-like totalitarian communism, Russians were already getting spooked by their own country. In the 20s, Mikhail Bulgakov and Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, to name a couple whose objections and subversiveness guaranteed that their finest works went unpublished in their lifetimes. And even earlier, only just after the revolution in 1920, Yevgeny Zamyatin anticipated much of that...more
3.0 to 3.5 stars. It has been some time since I read this classic dystopian novel and so the rating is based on my memory that I liked it, though not as much as 1984. I think part of my issue with this book was the translation from the original Russian which seemed clunky at times. I think I will re-read this at some point and so my review may change at that time.
So, I was reading through my list of Zamyatin stories and thought, "well, here's a chance to get the one novel out of the way".

Famous for being the first "dystopian" novel, mentally this brings to mind images of Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS (*although I especially appreciated the Bruce Sterling's introduction suggestion to envision the characters in Soviet Constructivist Art-era costumes* - worked a treat!). The idea is pretty easy to grasp - a "projecto ad absurdum" of Communist worker agit-prop int...more
Yevgeny Zamyatin described We as "my most jesting and most serious work." Having read nothing else by the author I cannot completely concur with the statement, but serious and jesting it certainly is. We describes a supposedly utopian society based on mathematics and a petroleum based food substance. (If the latter seems an odd choice, keep in mind that the book was written in 1920.) This society is the result of a two hundred year war in which all but 0.2% of humanity is wiped out and the remai...more
Feb 03, 2008 Seabury rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of anything recognized as dystopian
This book is the prototype for many of the books that are well known. It predates the Adolexus Huxley's Brave New World by several years. It is George Orwell's inspiration for 1984, and was thought to be the main inspiration for Brave New World, until Adolexus Huxley claimed that he wrote Brave New World before hearing of this. Well, reading this book almost makes me doubt Huxley, such are the parallels between the novels. We describes a completly industrialised society. This society is based...more
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Basis for the film THX-1138? 7 39 Mar 30, 2014 09:19AM  
Book Lovers Book ...: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin - Summary 1 5 Mar 01, 2014 12:30PM  
She-Geeks: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin (July read) 10 44 Jul 14, 2013 09:29AM  
Orwell 13 134 Jun 04, 2013 10:35AM  
I-330 and D-503's relationship 7 201 Apr 14, 2013 05:06AM  
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Евгений Замятин
Yevgeny Zamyatin (Евгений Замятин) Russian novelist, playwright, short story writer, and essayist, whose famous anti-utopia My (1924, We) prefigured Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (1932), and inspired George Orwell's 1984 (1949). The book was considered a "malicious slander on socialism" in the Soviet Union, and it was not until 1988 when Zamyatin was rehabilitated. In the English...more
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