- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Modern Library; Reprint edition (July 11 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 081297462X
- ISBN-13: 978-0812974621
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.3 x 20.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 227 g
- Average Customer Review: 78 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
We Paperback – Jul 11 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
First published in the Soviet 1920s, Zamyatin's dystopic novel left an indelible watermark on 20th-century culture, from Orwell's 1984 to Terry Gilliam's movie Brazil. Randall's exciting new translation strips away the Cold War connotations and makes us conscious of Zamyatin's other influences, from Dostoyevski to German expressionism. D-503 is a loyal "cipher" of the totalitarian One State, literally walled in by glass; he is a mathematician happily building the world's first rocket, but his life is changed by meeting I-330, a woman with "sharp teeth" who keeps emerging out of a sudden vampirish dusk to smile wickedly on the poor narrator and drive him wild with desire. (When she first forces him to drink alcohol, the mind leaps to Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel.) In becoming a slave to love, D-503 becomes, briefly, a free man. In Randall's hands, Zamyatin's modernist idiom crackles ("I only remember his fingers: they flew out of his sleeve, like bundles of beams"), though the novel sometimes seems prophetic of the onset of Stalinism, particularly in the bleak ending. Modern Library's reintroduction of Zamyatin's novel is a literary event sure to bring this neglected classic to the attention of a new readership. (On sale July 11)
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“[Zamyatin’s] intuitive grasp of the irrational side of totalitarianism—human sacrifice, cruelty as an end in itself—makes [We] superior to Huxley’s [Brave New World].”—George OrwellSee all Product description
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While "We" is a somewhat challenging read, the additional effort required will lead to a clear viewpoint of how Zamyatin viewed the possible future evolution of existing Russian rule. Written in First Person Singular the protagonist is a tunnel-visioned mathematician living in the blissful 'One State'. Because of this writing format some of the descriptions are somewhat difficult to comprehend either due to the incomplete internal sentences that persons naturally relate to themselves or his overly-structured view of the world around him in either purely mathematical terms or ones related to socially pre-defined 'happiness'. George Orwell in "1984" used a highly similar plotline and conclusion in his portrayal of Winston.
Being a true fan of dystopia, I highly recommend this text to all persons of like minds.
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