Seabury's Reviews > We

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
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Feb 03, 08

Recommended for: fans of anything recognized as dystopian
Read in February, 2008

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 100% on logic and mathematics. Everyone lives a strictly regimented life, specifically designed to make everyone happy. The protagonist is one of those people at first, a completly satisfied mathematician who dreams of bringing the perfection of their world to other planets. He is so excited about this project that he starts a diary, so that alien civilizations can read it and see the truth. Only, as he is writing, he discovers love. The overall plot of the book isn't so much a man vs. the state, as it is the internal conflict between his logical math dictated universe and his newly discovered emotions. It is this internal conflict that sets this book apart from 1984 and Brave New World, and puts it more in line with my favorite dystopia: The Dispossessed. The prose in this book is very interesting, with its many refrences to mathematics, but also very passionate. As with previous russian novels I've read, the biggest thorn in my side is a lack of knoweledge of soviet history, however, that didn't stop me from enjoying this novel.
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