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3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  34,963 ratings  ·  1,885 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 November 26th 1921)
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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 sssshhh)

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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
- 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
Chiara Pagliochini
« Ma la colpa non è vostra, siete afflitti da una malattia il cui nome è:
È un verme che solca la fronte di rughe scure. È una febbre che vi spinge a correre sempre oltre, sebbene questo “oltre” inizi là, dove termina la felicità. È l’ultima barricata sulla via che conduce alla felicità.
Ma rallegratevi: essa è già stata fatta saltare! La via è sgombra!
L’ultima scoperta della Scienza di Stato è la sede della fantasia: un misero plesso cerebrale nella regione del ponte di Varolio. Una vo
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
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
Anastasia Fitzgerald-Beaumont
This is not a review as such, more an appreciation of the author.

I love Russian literature almost as much as I love English literature, though the two are as different as is possible to imagine. Writing, either in the form of prose or poetry, goes a long way to defining the character of a nation. Though this is generally true it's perhaps truest of all in relation to Russia and the spirit of the Slav people. I would go so far as to suggest that its impossible to achieve a full understanding of n
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
David Lentz
Genius is an overworked term and should be used discriminately but We is truly the masterpiece of a real genius. Zamyatin was certainly well qualified to write this parable of a totalitarian dystopia, given his creative repression by Soviet censors during the time of Stalin. Zamyatin must be given credit for his courage to write Stalin and request self-exile since publication was impossible inside Communist Russia. And Stalin was wise to grant it because this novel is a powerhouse as a diatribe ...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
“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
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
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
I-330 and D-503's relationship 8 229 Mar 29, 2015 11:20AM  
The "S-shaped man" 6 101 Jan 31, 2015 09:52AM  
O and Baby 3 46 Oct 19, 2014 02:34AM  
KC - Book Club /int/: Book #3 We - Yevgeny Zamyatin 4 26 Sep 06, 2014 05:04PM  
Miévillians: WE discussion thread 4: From Record 31 up to END 10 19 Apr 20, 2014 11:37PM  
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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
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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 be worth reading.” 363 likes
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