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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.
Public Domain (P)2011 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

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

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Joel D Offenberg on 11-30-11

Interesting history, prose a little outdated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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41 of 43 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Matthew Wiese on 05-20-15

Original Distopian novel read without blemish.

This novel is written ahead of it's time. I think it is better than 1984 because the idea of One State is a trend unfolding even today. Fantastic narrative read extremely well.

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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