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July 2018: Dystopian > We by Yevgeny Zamyatin 2.5 stars

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Karin | 7301 comments Sadly, only 2.5 stars rounded up

There is a book description and I'm not going to recount that sort of thing.

Often considered the first dystopian novel, and certainly a large influence on dystopian novels I read years ago, this book did not impress me. Had I read it 40 years ago or so, I'd have no doubt liked it much better, as I was easier to impress and technology was less advanced. Not only do I have a difficult time believing a city so entirely of glass (sidewalks, buildings, the wall), but I have a hard time with futuristic scifi using technology not always as advanced as what we have. That said, there certainly is some AI here, which we don't have at the level it is in the book.

It gets points for imagination and the novelty it had at the time, but I had a difficult time liking it, often found it a chore to read and was delighted to have finally finished it. Why would I do this? I would say because I've been reading dystopian novels most of my life (not all the time, of course) I felt I really needed to read this one. I couldn't stand some of the writing and confusion of the protagonist; it was irksome and got in the way of the point being made.


message 2: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments Interesting review. Is the story itself interesting?

I was going to read it at some point but now will reconsider (or just flick through first).
It was one of my contenders for this month, but I ended up reading Drowned World - which shows its age as well (but I haven’t made up my mind about it yet)


Karin | 7301 comments Idit wrote: "Interesting review. Is the story itself interesting?

I was going to read it at some point but now will reconsider (or just flick through first).
It was one of my contenders for this month, but I ..."


You might find it interesting. It is a bit philosophical if you look past the action. I just know I missed my window for enjoying this by a few decades. This is one of the kinds of books I'd have enjoyed back then. It is a classic, and deserves its spot, which is why I gave it 2.5 stars even though I didn't like it.


message 4: by Hope (new)

Hope | 150 comments I really liked this one but I read it originally in a science fiction class so we talked a lot about the influences it had and the philosophy and that might have helped me appreciate it. I remember enjoying the story though. You may be right that it hasn’t aged well.


message 5: by Karin (last edited Jul 29, 2018 02:08PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karin | 7301 comments Hope wrote: "I really liked this one but I read it originally in a science fiction class so we talked a lot about the influences it had and the philosophy and that might have helped me appreciate it. I remember..."

Yes, it might not have aged well, but I think my age also has an influence as well. There are many things I was more accepting of in my youth when it came to fiction that I no longer am, and other things I accept more now than then.

I am not sure if I would like it if I were 16 now, but I might be more forgiving of it--it's hard to say, and not as forgiving as I would have been in the era I was 16.


Sara (mootastic1) | 770 comments Idit, I personally loved this one. I get what Karen is saying, but I believe I gave it 5 stars.


message 7: by Karin (last edited Jul 30, 2018 04:32PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karin | 7301 comments Sara wrote: "Idit, I personally loved this one. I get what Karen is saying, but I believe I gave it 5 stars."

I believe you mean Karin :). In a print world, spelling matters, and whenever I see Karen I think it's referring to someone else (always have, actually).


Sara (mootastic1) | 770 comments Karin wrote: "Sara wrote: "Idit, I personally loved this one. I get what Karen is saying, but I believe I gave it 5 stars."

I believe you mean Karin :). In a print world, spelling matters, and whenever I see Ka..."


Sorry about that. Autocorrect.

It also misspelled Idit's name initially. I must have missed yours.

I get it though, my name is usually misspelled as well.


message 9: by Idit (new)

Idit | 1028 comments When your name gets auto corrected to ‘idiot’ ...

And to make matters worse - it’s not even a good spelling. English speaking people never guess how it’s suppose to be pronounced. Edeat would have been much better.


Karin | 7301 comments I forgot about auto correct--I don't use a smart phone so don't have that problem. Well, that is very annoying, but having Idit change to idiot is worse!


message 11: by Karin (last edited Aug 01, 2018 03:53PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karin | 7301 comments Idit wrote: "When your name gets auto corrected to ‘idiot’ ...

And to make matters worse - it’s not even a good spelling. English speaking people never guess how it’s suppose to be pronounced. Edeat would have..."


I understand. My maiden name underwent some poor choices during immigrations over 150 years and is not phonetic in any language that exists now or ever. I had no idea how your name is pronounced until now :)


message 12: by Hilde (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 429 comments Your name is very common here in Norway, Karin, but I guess we pronounce it differently than you do :) (We pronounce it just as it is written).


message 13: by Karin (last edited Aug 01, 2018 06:21PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karin | 7301 comments Hilde wrote: "Your name is very common here in Norway, Karin, but I guess we pronounce it differently than you do :) (We pronounce it just as it is written)."


Yes,-I don't mind if people pronounce it the Norwegian way, the Icelandic way, the Swedish way or how it would be in German , I just don't want it pronounced like core-Inn or spelled with an e. One of my husband's cousins on his dad's side in Norway is married to a Karin as well, so we share the same first and last names, but on different continents--his dad came to the States back in the 1950s. I met her and her family once when they were travelling here, but my husband has also visited them in Norway. Norwegian phonics are different than English phonics :)

Anyway, it's spelled with an i due partly to my heritage, although I was born in Canada. My dad's parents were immigrants and my dad's second language is English (but Karin isn't a German language name), and my mother grew up bilingual in Icelandic and English.

One of my dad's sisters was named Hildegard, but went by Hilde, so I have good associations with your name.


message 14: by Hilde (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 429 comments Karin wrote: "Hilde wrote: "Your name is very common here in Norway, Karin, but I guess we pronounce it differently than you do :) (We pronounce it just as it is written)."


Yes,-I don't mind if people pronounc..."


Interesting family story you got, and glad to hear you have good associations with my name :)

I can relate to the difficulties with pronouncing a name correctly. Usually, I just become Heidi when I'm traveling as it's much easier to pronounce, especially at coffee shops etc. My last name is also very rare (less than 100 people in Noray have this name), so I always have to spell it, it has just become a habit ;)


message 15: by Karin (last edited Aug 02, 2018 04:20PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karin | 7301 comments Hilde wrote: "Karin wrote: "Hilde wrote: "Your name is very common here in Norway, Karin, but I guess we pronounce it differently than you do :) (We pronounce it just as it is written)."


Yes,-I don't mind if p..."


My husband's surname isn't that common here, but I'm not sure about in Norway, it's also a place name. It's far less common here than my horrible maiden name (different cultures and parts of Europe because my dad isn't Scandinavian or of any Scandinavian descent). But while people here have minor problems with it, it's far easier than my maiden name, which is why I changed my name when I got married.


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