We

  • by Yevgeny Zamyatin
  • Narrated by Grover Gardner
  • 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Set in the 26th century A.D., Yevgeny Zamyatin's masterpiece describes life under the regimented totalitarian society of OneState, ruled over by the all-powerful "Benefactor." Recognized as the inspiration for George Orwell's 1984, We is the archetype of the modern dystopia, or anti-Utopia: a great prose poem detailing the fate that might befall us all if we surrender our individual selves to some collective dream of technology and fail in the vigilance that is the price of freedom. Clarence Brown's brilliant translation is based on the corrected text of the novel, first published in Russia in 1988 after more than 60 years' suppression.

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What the Critics Say

"One of the greatest novels of the twentieth century." (Irving Howe)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Interesting history, prose a little outdated

WE tells the story of the "One State," a sanitized, regimented world in which the individuals ("numbers"...nobody has a name) live sanitized, regimented lives. Rocket scientist D305 lives his clockwork life as expected until he meets and falls in love with the revolutionary I330.

WE is one of the earliest examples of dystopian literature---you can see elements of WE in 1984 (Orwell), Brave New World (Huxley), Anthem (Rand), Player Piano (Vonnegut) and many others.

The story is presented as D305's personal journal. The prose is a bit dated---it was written around 1920 and has very flowery internal narration and not a lot of dialog, and I started to find it getting tedious, until we got close to the end.

The audio book starts with a fairly long and involved history of WE and its publication (and the various translations). Usually, I find such intros boring and low-value, but in this case, I found it helpful.

Grover Gardner's narration is quite good...he doesn't really add anything to the story but he doesn't take anything away, either.

[Footnote: According to Wikipedia, Aldous Huxley denied having read WE before writing Brave New World, but Orwell definitely cited it as a source for 1984.] Of course, all have different themes and draw different conclusions.
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- Joel D Offenberg

THERE IS NO INFINITY

NOBODY IS ONE, ONLY ONE OF
I know this is translated, but the language is beautiful. Here are some examples: A THOUSAND POUNDS OF SILENCE, HER LAUGHTER SPLASHED ALL OVER ME and SAGGING VOICE. The book is full of these beautiful examples of descriptive writing without being over the top. I was very intrigued by this world of numbers, tables, geometry and We. For the first three hours I was very interested. Towards the end when the ship was built, I was interested, but in the middle when the main character is going on and on about going crazy, I got a bit bored. He dissects every sentence and action made, mostly because he has fallen in love in a world that does not allow love.

Grover Gardner is fantastic, I can't imagine listening to this with any other narrator.

THE ONLY WAY TO RID MAN OF CRIME, IS TO RID HIM OF FREEDOM.
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- Jim "The Impatient"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-28-2011
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio