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We

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  60,322 ratings  ·  3,962 reviews
Yevgeny Zamyatin's We is set in an urban glass city called OneState, regulated by spies and secret police. Citizens of the tyrannical OneState wear identical clothing and are distinguished only by the number assigned to them at birth. The story follows a man called D-503, who dangerously begins to veer from the 'norms' of society after meeting I-330, a woman who defies the r ...more
Kindle Edition, 224 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Momentum (first published 1921)
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Sal The book is written in a dry manner on purpose. Our narrator is a mathematician, focused on logic, on numbers, on empirical data. The entire world of…moreThe book is written in a dry manner on purpose. Our narrator is a mathematician, focused on logic, on numbers, on empirical data. The entire world of a "soul," of feeling, of disregard for the State...it's all abstraction. There's nothing empirical about what he's experiencing, and he's not much of a poet. Look at the way he loses his mind after having his first dream.

The disjointed, unfinished thoughts are a brilliant way of describing experiences a narrator has no idea how to describe. There is no empirical data for him to utilize in his sentences, and he's far from the world of poetics or free description.

Aside from all of his logic, this is an adult who has only known a self-censored world, and in his disrupted sentences you see how ingrained his sense of society is. It's the sort of thing one would do without fully realizing it. He tries to battle through, but even when he might have the right words, his indoctrination breaks his line of rational thought.(less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  60,322 ratings  ·  3,962 reviews


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Forrest
Feb 28, 2013 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 intelligent on ...more
Nataliya
May 02, 2010 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
Bill Kerwin
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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 society. The
...more
Jim Fonseca
This is a classic Russian science-fiction dystopian novel published in 1924 that influenced many following books: 1984 and Brave New World and authors such as Kurt Vonnegut and Ayn Rand. According to Wiki “We is generally considered to be the grandfather of the satirical futuristic dystopia genre.” The book had to be published outside of the USSR because under Stalin the author ended up first imprisoned and later exiled to France. In an Introduction, Foreword and Preface we are told that the boo ...more
Lyn
Mar 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin is a must read for fans and students 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 su
...more
Lisa
The prototype of dystopian fiction - a vivisection of monolithic faith and cruelty in the name of “We”!

Dystopian science fiction never analyses the future, even though it is the supposed topic of the novel. It looks at the past, and follows the road that humanity has already embarked on, to its logical next step. When Zamyatin wrote “We”, the society he knew was rapidly changing, breaking apart, one authoritarian structure was being replaced with another, through the means of a viole
...more
Fabian
Feb 10, 2009 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
Ariel
Jul 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoughts:
- 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 thin
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
707. Мы = We, Yevgeny Zamyatin
We (Russian: Мы, translit. My) is a dystopian novel by Russian writer Yevgeny Zamyatin, completed in 1921. The novel was first published in 1924 by E. P. Dutton in New York in an English translation by Gregory Zilboorg. The novel describes a world of harmony and conformity within a united totalitarian state.
ما - یوگنی زامیاتین (نشر دیگر) ادبیات روسی علمی تخیلی؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: چهاردهم ماه می سال 2012 میلادی
عنوان: ما؛ نویسنده: یوگنی زامیاتین (سا
...more
William2
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 influenced Georg ...more
Luís C.
In the futuristic world imagined by Zamyatin in 1920, D-503, inventor of the spaceship "The Integral', is sick. He developed a soul, tells it with humility and sincerity.
And good God, that's beautiful! Beautiful as I can write it to a lover, yet here torn between the temptations of I, rebellious woman and the laws of his perfect Euclidean world, Taylorism world where the best way to stop a man from committing a crime is to deprive him of liberty.
I've felt invaded by some compassionat
...more
Henry Avila
Aug 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
David
Apr 06, 2012 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), however, ...more
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Taylor and irrational numbers and calculus must have really made impression on Zamyatin. Just as the ideation of 'sex free for all' that he likely could have perceived around at the time.

Visionary, seer and dystopianist of 1920.
Manuel Antão
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.


Russian Big Brother: "We" by Yevgeny Zamyatin



“Nineteen Eighty-Four” and “We”: both have constant surveillance of the individual, though through different means. Both have the protagonist discovering a class in society that is free, but powerless. Both have state control over passion, albeit in rather different ways. But “1984” (the new title) is rather turgid though. “We” by contrast is actually a lot of
...more
Bradley
Now, why would I think that an old SF novel from 1924 might not be as polished and extravagant in exploring ideas and crafting a truly delicious dystopia as, say, 1984, or Anthem, or Brave New World as they did many years later? Or be as timely now as it was in the time where it was heralded as a "malicious slander on socialism"?

Did I avoid this mainly because I couldn't pronounce the author's name?

Maybe.

But that's horrible! Especially when this little gem is
...more
Jan-Maat
I had noticed 1984 pop up in my feed and more chatter about that and Brave New World in the media, which my thoughts upstream towards their source Zamyatin's 1924 novel We. Zamyatin's book as is the way of books, did not pop out of the void but is itself in dialogue with older books, in particular I felt Dostoevsky's Notes from the Underground and the Bible. For those afraid of spoilers, you were better off avoiding this review altogether. For if, persons unknown, credit Zamyatin with writing the first dystopia, he hi ...more
Josh
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—with 1984. It took me half of sixth
...more
Stuart
We: A classic warning against political tyranny from Russia that remains relevant today
(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 scien
...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. Zamyatin is ver ...more
Markus
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An overlooked classic.

Written decades before 1984, Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451, Yevgeny Zamyatin's We is arguably the founding text of the dystopian genre. Not necessarily the first, but the one on whose shoulders they all climbed.

Today, this book is obscure and forgotten by comparison to the three mentioned above, but it still deserves to be read for its novel treatment of the themes of individual freedom and totalitarian control.

I have read and heard many incredible thi/>I
...more
Greg
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. Thi
...more
Rakhi Dalal
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia
We have witnessed Totalitarianism prevail in different countries of the World. We have studied its origins, pondered upon its dominion and contemplated the consequences with respect to its bearing on the human civilization and its future. That it still exists, casting a portentous shadow over the lot of people pruned off their rights as humans, divested not only of their freedom to live but also to think, is a travesty that discredits the human advancement. That the beast is still tamed to unlea ...more
Jacob Overmark
Brace yourself and take notes.

In a not so distant future you may be reduced to a number, a cipher that is.

May the beauty of the perfect algorithm shine upon you, reflecting in thousand mirrors, ingeniously providing the adequate amount of light and darkness, enabling you to rest when time is and be awake when needed for the nation.

You dont even have to think, WE have found the key to eternal happiness. All the choices our forefathers had to endure, WE have tak
...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 i
...more
Bettie
Apr 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: BBC Radio Listeners
Recommended to Bettie by: Isca Silurum


http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0076l2s

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 Riding as I-330, Don Warrington as R-13, Brigit Forsyth as U
...more
Paul
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia
3.5 stars
This is an early dystopian novel from the early 1920s and Zamyatin was Russian. We has inspired many other writers including Orwell, Vonnegut, Nabakov, Le Guin, possibly Huxley (he disputed this) amongst others. However Zamyatin in turn was influenced by H G Wells and especially by When the Sleeper Wakes. The novel takes place hundreds of years into the future in a society called One State. The citizens are known by numbers and the protagonist is D-503. He is the chief engineer bu
...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 the ship, D-503 ...more
Poonam
Buddy Read with Megha, Anu, Adita, Partho and Rohisa.

Well this is the book which inspired all the dystopian novels that came along, especially 1984. You can imagine my excitement that I was finally going to read the father of all dystopian novels.

I have to start by making a comparison to 1984, there is a shocking similarity between the worlds- (view spoiler) ...more
Carolina
I enjoyed the writing style and the overall idea (the way the world functions and the story). That being said, I found it very confusing at times, which is why I kept it at 3 stars instead of 4.
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Yevgeny Zamyatin (Russian: Евгений Замятин, sometimes also seen spelled Eugene Zamiatin) Russian novelist, playwright, short story writer, and essayist, whose famous anti-utopia (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 ...more
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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.” 550 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.” 338 likes
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