Some reviews of the Penguin version of "We" comment on the poor quality of the translation and the difficult writing style. With this 2007 translation by Natasha Randall I noticed no such problems. As she notes, the language of the original is very tightly designed: "his words syncopate - they rush and they brake". It seems likely that this translation has done justice to the challenge of communicating those same effects in English. I'm no great aesthete of the written word but some of the expressions stand-out and at times the prose is immensely enjoyable, witty and painfully effective.
The story is relatively uncomplicated, and the themes familiar from many plots that have followed. It is composed of the notes of a citizen (a cipher) in a future totalitarian "One State", who speaks back to us as the primitive people he is expecting his civilization to shortly encounter in space and assimilate into the unique mathematically perfected happiness that they nowadays take for granted. It is a world without questions, doubt, longing but as we see, through the records D-503 manages to make in his free hour, it is a world that shatters when unknowns, desire, jealously and heretical imagination creep in.
The plot will hold no surprises but is nonetheless gripping. At times, it has a light minimalistic touch of a diary that your leaves your imagination doing the work, at other times it turns into a minute-by-minute narrative. But this book is all about the conversation it aims to have with you. Would you opt for a happy, fair, collective, uncomplicated life? Is such a thing really possible, if it requires escape from and denial of individualistic, organic, unpredictable motivations such as love, imagination and the desire to be a parent? Overall, thought-provoking and highly readable stuff! Just the formula for a classic.