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We: A Novel
We: A Novel
We: A Novel
Audiobook9 hours

We: A Novel

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars



About this audiobook

The chilling dystopian novel that influenced George Orwell while he was writing 1984, with a new introduction by Margaret Atwood and an essay by Ursula Le Guin

In a glass-enclosed city of perfectly straight lines, ruled over by an all-powerful “Benefactor,” the citizens of the totalitarian society of OneState are regulated by spies and secret police; wear identical clothing; and are distinguished only by a number assigned to them at birth. That is, until D-503, a mathematician who dreams in numbers, makes a discovery: he has an individual soul. He can feel things. He can fall in love. And, in doing so, he begins to dangerously veer from the norms of his society, becoming embroiled in a plot to destroy OneState and liberate the city.

Set in the twenty-sixth century AD, We was the forerunner of canonical works from George Orwell and Alduous Huxley, among others. It was suppressed for more than sixty years in Russia and remains a resounding cry for individual freedom, as well as a powerful, exciting, and vivid work of science fiction that still feels relevant today. Bela Shayevich’s bold new translation breathes new life into Yevgeny Zamyatin’s seminal work and refreshes it for our current era. 

Release dateNov 2, 2021

Yevgeny Zamyatin

Yevgeny Zamyatin was born in Russia in 1884. Arrested during the abortive 1905 revolution, he was exiled twice from St. Petersburg, then given amnesty in 1913. We, composed in 1920 and 1921, elicited attacks from party-line critics and writers. In 1929, the Russian Association of Proletarian Writers launched an all-out attack against him. Denied the right to publish his work, he requested permission to leave Russia, which Stalin granted in 1931. Zamyatin went to Paris, where he died in 1937. Mirra Ginsburg is a distinguished translator of Russian and Yiddish works by such well-known authors as Mikhail Bulgakov, Isaac Babel, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Fyodor Dostoevsky. Editor and translator of three anthologies of Soviet science fiction, she has also edited and translated A Soviet Heretic: Essays by Yevgeny Zamyatin, and History of Soviet Literature by Vera Alexandrova.

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Reviews for We

Rating: 3.071912454403335 out of 5 stars

1,919 ratings103 reviews

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  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    A somewhat feverish and disjointed but nevertheless thrilling story. Despite being published nearly a century ago, the themes are powerful and evocative enough to give even the retro-futuristic elements a unique charm rather than feeling trite or overly familiar. The more popular sci-fi novels that followed (e.g., Brave New World, 1984, etc.) draw clear inspiration from We, making you feel like you've stumbled upon some sacred forgotten scrolls when you discover it.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    The prototype of dystopian literature. Better than 1984 said Orwell. Masterfully thought-provoking. The ancillary material- Atwood, Le Guin, the translator - make this the edition to read.
    And the narration? So superbly heartfelt and intelligent that the listener is effectively transported into the world the author intended.
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    Not rating the book- rating the fact the it is unavailable now. Russian literary authors- who are long dead- should not be apart of this political cancellation war.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    I never heard of it before. Reading it felt like what I imagine reading Neuromancer must be like to a cyberpunk fan who's read 100s of modern cyberpunk novels.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    This is the dystopian novel that inspired Brave New World, Animal Farm, and 1984. This is a book about communism run rampart, where everything is dictated by numbers, even names of people.The world of the One State is ingeniously written, instead of Human Instinct being suppressed, it re-directs its citizens to hate those that the state hates, love what the state loves. It even manages to have poetry that is about the perfection of math. As a result, strong attachment towards others is to be a sickness.The story is written through a diary/journal type. Each day, entry. The Builder (D-503, everyone is a number in this world) of the ship Integral, whose mission is to travel to alien planets and convert those they find to the perfectness that is the One State, is targeted by I-330. She does this slowly, igniting human passions that are unknown by the builder.The book was written in 1920 - but feels modern. Women and men do different work, D-503 is disgusted with his neighbor who has "negroid" lips. But, for the most part, the society is equal - in that full transparency (both figuratively and literally). I'd have like to know more about the top of this world-is there an actual builder at the top, but we know what the Builder knows, and he, and his fellow citizens, are kept in the dark about how decisions are made.