Reviews of We (1924)
Review by g3n0v4h (2009-09-28)
A great solid read concerning a dystopian novel in the similarity to BNW and 1984, but written while before even those two were ever published and read. The primary attention that admiringly grasped my reading were the mathematical poetic writing prose purposely developed for the citizen communication of the far future, contrasting which both BNW and 1984 followed literal language flow without any poetic preaching thus making the later two novels much easier to understand than this, though less imaginative. The system enforced throughout the individualess community correctly captured Stalinism due to strict socialism and collectivism, rejecting lawfully any elements of individualism or any personal goals. Leading to the almost extinction of the soul and imagination. The end of the novel is pretty happy though rather perspectively bleak from the main character due to his dependent reasoning for law and order be maintained to continue progressive human survival due to a near apocalyptic populace. Recommended to any Dystopian reader- 8.0/10
Review by clong (2005-08-09)
This a really interesting book that should be required reading for fans of 1984 and Brave New World (and that's pretty much all of us, right?). It is a powerful depiction of a dystopian future in which individuality has been elminated, and people are numbers (there are no "I"s, just "We"). The language is very direct, and there are humorous moments to break the bleak tone. I found interesting echoes of Dostoevsky, especially in the impulsive romantic entanglements that drive much of the storyline.
In retropect it is astonishing how many aspects of the totalitarian Soviet regime are predicted accurately in this book written so soon after the Bolshevik revolution.
Review by ropie (2005-05-16)
'We' is a complex societal book that presents a version of the near future in which mathematics and logic have completely taken over every aspect of life. In it, D-503, the central figure, is involved in a project to take this society into space.
Parallels are easy to draw with the more widely-known 'Brave New World' (Huxley) and '1984' (Orwell), both of which must have been influenced by 'We'. But this book stands apart from them in its starkness and portrayal of an incredibly minimalist society.
The architecture of Zamyatin's dystopia is pure glass; crystaline and transparent, though D-503 is able to overcome the lack of privacy within his journal. At odds with the heavy industrial forms of Constructivism that were the mainstay of Russian art, architecture and design at the time of writing, Zamyatin's vision seems even further divorced from contemporary reality.
'We' is a bleak book, in common with early science fiction of this mould, and as such is not a particularly easy read. Even as D-503 begins to break free of the constraints of his society (much as Winston does in '1984') long forgotten pleasures and ideas are rediscovered and in creating these emotions D-503 finds he can no longer return to the order of the familiar life of the One State.
Review by bibliocrazy (2004-04-21)
a crazy good book. pre-dating 1984 and brave new world, this book tells the story of two (or three) desparate people living in a hyper-homogenized and -controlled society.
Review by klilly (2003-03-30)
An interesting and very early novel about a distopian society (think Brave New World, 1984, or the movie Metropolis). The writting style is quite poetic which makes for an interesting contrast to the rigid, mathematical society that is protrayed. It occassionally drags, but overall a very interesting read and well worth the time. 8/10 stars.