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3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  44,289 Ratings  ·  2,557 Reviews
Before Brave New World...
Before 1984... There was...


In the One State of the great Benefactor, there are no individuals, only numbers. Life is an ongoing process of mathematical precision, a perfectly balanced equated. Primitive passions and instincts have been subdues. Even nature has been defeated, banished behind the Green Wall. But one frontier remains: outer space. N
Paperback, 232 pages
Published August 1st 1983 by Harper Voyager (first published 1924)
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Moejoo I do not know. I have wanted to take a little peek myself but
I have not gotten around to it. Do you think I will get away
with it when I do? hehehehe…more
I do not know. I have wanted to take a little peek myself but
I have not gotten around to it. Do you think I will get away
with it when I do? hehehehe I think so (tell no one ssshhh!)

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Community Reviews

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Mar 09, 2014 Nataliya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of classic dystopias
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
Feb 21, 2015 Forrest rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
George Orwell, you poser. You punk. You . . . thief! I heard that you had read this before writing 1984. But I didn't expect Zamyatin's writing to be so superior to yours. And it is. It is so much more intriguing than your sterile work. D-503 is so much the better character than Winston. And you rob I-333 of her power and respect by demoting Julia to the role of a sexual object that stirs Winston to action. Yes, D-503 is stirred to action by I-333, but she's the political activist, the intellige ...more
Oct 17, 2014 Ariel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
- If it was utterly up to me, I'd actually think about classing this more as a "utopia" rather than a "dystopia" understanding that they're ultimately the same thing.
- Living in glass houses is the most terrifying part of this novel.
- I-330 is basically a manic pixie dream girl.
- The commentary on the Russian Revolution and Socialism are heavy, bro.
- Zamyatin had a FASCINATING life that very much influences this book.
- The writing style wasn't my thing. It was by no means bad, but it ju
Zamyatin's theme here is the impossibility of being fully human in totalitarian society. His future is not technologically superior. It contains little of what we'd call high-tech. This is still very much the age of steam. The story seems both forward-looking and dated, almost paradoxically so. The mood it inspires is rather like that of Fritz Lang's classic Metropolis. I liked that. It was like finding this artefact of world lit. Another piece in the long history of dystopias—and one that influ ...more
Henry Avila
Jun 15, 2014 Henry Avila rated it really liked it
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
Apr 08, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Bill  Kerwin
Jan 14, 2017 Bill Kerwin rated it really liked it

Let’s play “Guess That Groundbreaking Novel”!

Question: A party functionary who is recording his experiences in a journal lives in a future fascist society which maintains its solidarity by compulsory attendance at public events dominated by a remote, all-powerful leader. He meets a woman, a secret rebel who expresses her revolutionary impulses through her sexuality, and the two of them carry on an affair in room in an old house which symbolizes what life was like in the days before the new soci
Feb 28, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin is a must read for a student of the Dystopian genre.

Published in 1920, before Brave New World and well before 1984 (which could even be considered a second generation 1984 as Orwell began his seminal work after reading a French translation of We) Zamyatin’s vision is well before his time.

Writing in response to his experiences with the Bolsheviks but without a direct link to the communists, We takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where pockets of “civilized” humanity s
Oct 04, 2016 Fabian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sci-fi's in my top three least favorite fiction genres! However, this one is thankfully not Brave New World, has traces of madness and poetry both, and possesses the Waltmanesque quality of being organic, though the theme of Dystopian Machinery should be inevitably super-structured. The protagonist's POV is impressive. As builder of a space ship that will provide aliens (or: us) with an account of the glass metropolis (see: communism), he transitions from zombie troglodyte to someone infected wi ...more
Jul 10, 2012 Josh rated it it was ok
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
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
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
Sep 19, 2016 Bettie☯ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: BBC Radio Listeners
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Isca Silurum

Description: In a post-revolutionary future, OneState is ruled according to the principles of rationality. The penalty for dissent is death. D-503, the chief engineer of the state, meets the beautiful 1-330. Her initial intentions seem innocent, but soon D starts to question her identity and indeed his own.

The first great dystopian novel of the 20th century, written in secret in early Soviet Russia by Yevgeni Zamyatin. Stars Anton Lesser as D-503, Joanna R
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: An early dystopian masterpiece from Russia
(Also posted at Fantasy Literature)
Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We (1924) is widely recognized as a direct influence on George Orwell when he composed his dystopian masterpiece Nineteen Eighty-Four, and there are certainly strong signs of influence in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World as well. Zamyatin edited Russian translations of works of Jack London and H.G. Wells, and We can be viewed as a reaction against the optimistic scientific socialist utopias promote
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
Sep 25, 2013 Leonard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Roland Deschain
sonbahar başlarında ithaki'den rusça aslından çeviriyle çıkan yevgeni zamyatin'in "biz" eserini okuyarak epub yapmaya karar vermiş, sonra da sayfa düzenlemesini çok kötü olması, çeviri hatalarının, anlatım bozukluklarının, yazım ve noktalama yanlışlarının fazlalığı nedeniyle vazgeçmiş ve kendime eziyet ederek not ala ala okuyup bitireceğimi ve yayınlayacağımı söylemiştim.

kitap elimde süründü ama sonunda kendime eziyet ederek not ala ala okuyup bitirmeyi başardım.

baştan uyarıyorum. çok çok uzun b
May 04, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Apr 17, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kim by: Nataliya
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
Decades ahead of its time. I don't understand how it is possible for a person to write these kinds of emotions so succinctly. Shut up and take my stars.

We caught me during a bad week - worksplosion, hormonesplosion, general worriedness about the state of the world. I don't want to talk about it in superlatives, but I think this book has been one of the good things to happen to me lately. Certainly it's one of the things I want to remember.


Fun fact: this is the first book I ever bough
فهد الفهد

إحدى كلاسيكيات روايات الدستوبيا، حيث يسيطر نظام واحد على البشر، ويوهمهم بأن السعادة تكمن في فقدان الهوية الفردية والاندماج في المجموع، كتبت هذه الرواية في 1921 م مما يجعلها رائدة في مجالها، وسابقة لرائعة جورج أورويل 1984، ولكن ما جعل رواية أورويل أشهر وأكثر قراءة هي صعوبة (نحن) سردياً، حيث يشعر القارئ بشيء من الضياع وعدم فهم بعض ما يحدث، وهي طريقة ربما يحاول الكاتب من خلالها إسبال نوع من المستقبلية على الرواية، ذات الشعور الذي يمر به من يحاول قراءة كتاب قديم جداً، حيث بطل استعمال الكثير من ا
Miquel Codony
Sep 19, 2015 Miquel Codony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Magnífic. I ja sabia, és clar, que Nosaltres és una de les tres pedres angulars a l’origen de la distòpia com a gènere, però no m’esperava que també pressagiés la *new wave* que tantes dècades va trigar a aparéixer. Zamiatin ja escrivia sobre l’espai interior i el seu estil és líric, impressionista fins i tot, i molt sofisticat. Com a fita literària dels origens de la ciència ficció com a gènere està a anys llum (per a mi) del que es faria pocs anys després amb l’Amazing Stories de l’Hugo Gernsb ...more
Dec 08, 2014 11 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Author Yevgeny Zamyatin took part in two Russian Revolutions, hoping to overthrow the abusive and excessive Czarist system. He had joined the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union), and believed Lenin's promises of a more equitable society, where labor controlled the means of production. By 1920, he tried to remain hopeful, but it was becoming apparent that the country was going in the wrong direction. Three long years since the Revolution had not moved anyone closer to a "workers' paradise" ...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
Jeff Toto
Aug 20, 2007 Jeff Toto rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Ben Loory
Nov 01, 2008 Ben Loory rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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,
Sep 11, 2015 [P] rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I realised some time ago that I need freedom in all aspects of my life, that without it I become surly and depressed. My commitment fears; my intense, relentless fantasies about escape; my interest in creative subjects or activities; even the animals I admire [foxes, wolves, hares]: it all comes back to the same thing. Moreover, when I think back to my schooldays or any job I have had I’m immediately struck by how resistant I am to authority, so that if anyone tries to tell me what to do, or if ...more
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The Book Vipers: Group Translated Fiction Read - We - November 2016 - SPOILERS ALLOWED 9 29 Dec 26, 2016 12:21PM  
The Book Vipers: Group Translated Fiction Read - We - November 2016 - NO SPOILERS 1 30 Oct 11, 2016 05:36AM  
Around the Year i...: We, by Yevgeny Zamyatin 12 22 Jul 30, 2016 01:03PM  
The "S-shaped man" 7 129 Mar 11, 2016 06:50AM  
I-330 and D-503's relationship 9 283 Mar 11, 2016 06:28AM  
  • The Slynx
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  • The Sheep Look Up
  • Moscow 2042
  • The Iron Heel
  • Memories of the Future
  • Nervous People and Other Satires
  • Summer in Baden-Baden
  • War with the Newts
  • Native Tongue (Native Tongue, #1)
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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 Englis
More about Yevgeny Zamyatin...

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“A man is like a novel: until the very last page you don't know how it will end. Otherwise it wouldn't even be worth reading.” 464 likes
“You are afraid of it because it is stronger than you; you hate it because you are afraid of it; you love it because you cannot subdue it to your will. Only the unsubduable can be loved.” 266 likes
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