El's Reviews > We

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
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's review
Aug 16, 08

bookshelves: early20th-centurylit, 1001-books-list, society-went-boom, russia
Recommended to El by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (194/1001)
Read in August, 2008

Now this book which I snagged off of my boyfriend's brother's bookshelf before I left town made me especially warm and fuzzy inside. I thought it was a lost cause, that I would never actually be able to read this book all of the way through as the copy I checked out from the library last year was destroyed so many pages in. Feeling it was a bad omen, a harbinger of bad things, I put the idea of reading We on a back burner. When I saw it on the shelf and seemingly complete and unharmed I decided to take it along with me - because what says Wisconsin like an early 20th century science fiction (specifically post-apocalyptic) Russian novel? I say.

1984 and Brave New World (and I wonder even Atwood's Oryx and Crake) were not surprisingly influenced strongly by Zamyatin's book. A lot of the same ideas are found in all three, with Zamyatin being first and foremost a better piece of writing all the way around. The soul is considered a disease, a thing of the past, and to have heart is to have a soul and then where does that leave you? Frightening and interesting and well worth the borrow.
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