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We (The Gregg Press science fiction series) [Unknown Binding]

Evgenii Ivanovich Zamiatin
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Gregg Press (1975)
  • ASIN: B0006CJ28I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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First Sentence
I am merely copying out here, word for word, what was printed today in the State Gazette: In 120 days from now the building of the INTEGRAL will be finished. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than 1984 or Brave New World in my opinion 25 July 2008
Format:Paperback
Not only the original for 1984 and Brave New World and the other dystopian novels, but better than them too, in my view. Some people have knocked it for its complexity, for its comparative lack of plausibility, but the truth is that "We" is far more subtle, and its society is far more unsettling and terrifying. Some have criticised the translations, but I found the Penguin translation very good and readable: Zamyatin called it a "prose poem", and it had that quality, particularly when read aloud.

The narrator is not like the comparatively rational but disaffected characters of 1984 or Brave New World, he is a deeply confused, emotionally traumatised atomised ant, trying to gain some control over his thoughts and feelings to find a way to crawl out of his suffering. It has both the sense of wonder of a good SF novel, while having at times the psychological feeling of Dostoyevsky.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent translation 17 Jan 2013
By Ocean
Format:Kindle Edition
better than Randall and Glinka versions in flow of narrative and accuracy of text ; thought provoking, wry humour and original -- subtlety hopeful
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50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. Flawed translation 16 Oct 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book has an excellent and thought provoking story, and as has been noted is the inspiration for parts of 1984.
However this version of the book is spoiled by being translated into a very American version of English. This reads very oddly in places with all sorts of Americanisms that seem out of place in a Russian novel.
The introduction is very long winded and doesn't do the book justice. It treats the novel as some kind of historic curiosity rather than a book that's really worth reading. The introduction also makes the cardinal sin of giving away too much of the storyline, which is annoying if like me you read it before starting on the novel itself.
3 stars. Would have been 4 if the book had been translated and packaged better.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We is an interesting classic 8 April 2006
By James
Format:Paperback
WE is a true classic and an extraordinary novel in many senses. It was the inspiration behind George Orwell's book 1984, and other subsequent books of the utopian/dystopian sub-genre, such as UNION MOUJIK, BRAVE NEW WORLD. The age-old conflict between individual self and the collective being that man has grappled with in our efforts to become more human is treated beautifully in thus book. What is peculiar about it is that the author never allowed politics to dominate. Overall, the Utopian-Fantasy is a recommended read.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable 23 Feb 2000
Format:Paperback
Forget the comparisons with Orwell's 1984, Zamyatin's work stands as a remarkable message about Russia's desperate resignation to Stalin and Communism. Unsurprisingly curtailed in his native country, Zamyatin saw his nation's descent into a subservient mass of workers as terrifying. A tale of a historically tragic people transplanted into a numeric dystopia, and a reminder that the individual has to fight for the right to express himself and be aware of the consequences. The only element I dislike of this translation is Clarence Brown's snobbish and ignorant view of science fiction in his introduction. Worth reading alongside "1984" and "Brave New World" to complete a circle of complimentary fiction.
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34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Important and Overlooked Influence 14 Feb 2003
By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The key difficulty in reading this influential dystopian novel is that virtually everyone who cracks the cover, does so having already read 1984 and Brave New World. To a very large degree that is a pity, since this work predates those considerably-Orwell cited it as the key influence on 1984. However, once you've read those, Zamiatin's work has little new to offer, and unfolds in much less readable language. Our book group read it and discussed it with great vigor, but ultimately concluded that we wouldn't recommend it to anyone who had already read Orwell and Huxley's works.
The story is related through the diary entries of D-503, a rather important cog in the machine of a future city state which has hermetically sealed itself from the wild and primal outside world that is left after the Two Hundred Years War. The staccato form of the entries makes for rather cumbersome and occasionally confusing reading. The society is strictly regimented, everyone wears the same uniform, and follows set schedules throughout the day, and literally lives in glass houses. The aim of the society is to scientifically manage everyone's time and energy for maximum efficiency and smoothness, a notion Zamiatin extrapolated from the writings of Frederick Winslow Taylor, the founder of modern scientific management principles, who was highly influential in the early part of the 20th century. However, this "perfect" society-where happiness is considered inversely proportional to freedom-has yet to figure out a way to eliminate that most primal of urges, sex.
This achilles heel is what sets things in motion, as D-503, who is the lead engineer in the construction of a rocket ship being designed to expand the society to other worlds, falls for a dishy rebel who has access to the outside world.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An influence on so many things. 17 Sep 2001
Format:Paperback
Told in the style of a journal, this is certainly worthy of the comparisons of 1984 and Brave New World but it is also an attack on the totalitarian Soviet Union of the time right down to the description of the mock elections where everybody freely votes for "The Benefactor". Perhaps one of the darker parts which recalls "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" is where an individual imagination is seen to be a dangerous medical problem that could upset the balance of the world but which can easily be cured with what is effectively a lobotomy. For my mind this rates only 4 stars however as I rate 1984 and Brave New World higher but this still remains a fine novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Incredibly thought provoking idea about the distant future, from the 1920s
Published 3 days ago by James Anderson
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book, maybe not for the obvious reasons
The 'life in dystopia' nature of this book is what people refer to the most, but this is not really what I was left with. Read more
Published 14 days ago by superfrog
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Ordering and delivery easy, good. Glad to finally find an old classic at a reasonable price.
Published 1 month ago by Dr. D. M. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book, a bad translation
We is a neglected classic, a touchstone for other works that build on its ideas and is incredibly enjoyable. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nicholas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
perfect purchase
Published 1 month ago by Nobody's Fool
3.0 out of 5 stars Politcally astute and enjoyable to read
I guess it was original for its time, but it felt like it never really explored the fascinating world the author had imagined. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Oliver A.
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book
Very interesting story about a dystopian future, written at the beginning of the twentieth century. The author was a Russian naval architect who worked in England and the main... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mr. P. A. Buchwald
5.0 out of 5 stars wildly strange and thought provoking
From a great mind, quite the imagination. You get a feel for an enforced way of life that many governments would kill for.
Published 5 months ago by possilam
4.0 out of 5 stars 1984esque
Haven't finished it yet but really enjoying it, If you like George Orwell you may like it. Recommended read all the same.
Published 5 months ago by James Tormey
5.0 out of 5 stars Important Book
Powerful dystopian fiction, told in a beautiful and unique voice.

Moving, sparsely lyrical, awkwardly lovely. Read more
Published 5 months ago by SQG
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