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By Geoffrey on 08-14-08
Emotionally intense, historically authentic
Just days before twenty-one year old Alisa Rosenbaum escaped Leninist Russia to sail for the United States, she was enjoined by a friend to tell the world that "Russia is a huge cemetery and we are all dying." We The Living, by that same young emigre, writing now in English and calling herself Ayn Rand, was the result. It is the most accurate portrayal of life in the late workers' paradise ever committed to words. It is also a compelling work of art, and harbinger of the greatness to come.
Though the least explicitly philosophic of Ayn Rand's novels, We The Living was for me, because of its emotional intensity, the most difficult to read. Kira's relationships with Leo and Andre, her perseverance vis-a-vis the hopelessness of her situation--her struggle to breathe in a wretchedly airless environment--were nearly more than I could bear.
Listen, cry, learn, and rejoice. If you are not already familiar with the works of Ayn Rand, this is a marvelous place to begin.
39 of 40 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 06-17-14
Great story but the audio quality is patchy..
I love Ayn Rand's writing. This book (like many of her others) is classic.
This audiobook lay dormant in my library for quite a while as the sound quality was not great. It sounds like it was recorded on magnetic tape which became damaged or has aged prematurely. They should really re-record it the way they did Atlas Shrugged. It would be fantastic if Scott Brick narrated it like he did for that book.
If you are sensitive to sound quality you might find this harder to listen to.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By John on 06-22-11
Petrograd smelt of carbolic acid
You don’t have to buy into Rand’s philosophy to enjoy this book. An engaging story and interesting portrait of the decay of Bolshevism in the 1920s. Excellent narration – although I can imagine that some may not take to the voice (so listen to the audio sample).
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Graziano B. on 08-17-17
Rand's best novel
Nothing can demonstrate the grandeur of life so much as it's struggle against servitude. We the living tells the story of Kira, a shining light that refuses to be put out by the suffocating invasions of every aspects of one's life perpetrated by communism. More so than in Rand's other novels, we the living managed to tell this story in a complex, human, and subtle way. Long and overly repetitive lip service to her philosophy is substituted by a gripping narrative punctuated by terse insights into the Soviet union. Put down 1984, whose villains are too obviously evil, and pick up We The Living, which will show you how evil never presents itself as such.