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Outside of any other commentary on the original work, the translation is beautifully done. Preserving imagery, metaphors, and wordplay are extremely difficult when moving between languages, and it was masterful in WE. A few phrases and lines that I jotted down --

"Delineated by stately and stern quadrilinear contours"

"You can so clearly hear the metallic plinks of your thoughts."

"An invisible aero carries me up to the azure heights of my favorite abstractions..."

The narrator is an engineer, so even when he begins deviating from the strict confines of his orderly society, his "whimsical" daydreams still remain mostly comparisons to math or science or engineering. Somewhere midday through the book, I started to question whether he was a reliable narrator. He was ultimately a small cog in the machination of a revolution he didn't understand or plan. He does eventually realize he was only being used for his access to the rocket, and at that point he succumbs to the pull of conformity, admitting his violations against the state. He is ultimately a weak and naive narrator, with incomplete information and blinded by his romantic feelings toward I-330. 

My favorite part of the book was the little callback to a conversation on the cyclic nature of revolutions (I think between D and I). Basically, this conversation posited that revolutions never end; there's never the "last revolution" because a perfect society can never exist. I'm paraphrasing, but she uses the example of infinity to illustrate the concept in terms he can understand - no final number, and therefore no final revolution. At the very end of the book, the narrator is sitting next to a man that is loudly ranting that he's proven that infinity doesn't exist. At this point, the narrator ends up getting the surgery that will "remove imagination".  It's unclear whether the infinity guy was a tool for the state, or just mad. I enjoyed the little bread crumb, though!

I think most reviews already better address it, but this book was definitely the forgotten template for future literature in the western world (Brave New World, 1984). It's been awhile since I read them, but WE felt more sophisticated and ripe for analysis - plenty of chances to tease out political, societal, religious criticisms.
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We, written by Yevgeny Zamyatin and translated by Bela Shayevich, is a classic of dystopian literature yet also one that is still sometimes overlooked. I first encountered it in a Dystopian Literature course in the early 90s and it was the only work in the class that I had not at least heard of if not read. And, sadly, I was not in the minority.

I found the translation here to be very good. I don't know Russian so I can't speak to that aspect, but I think Shayevich captured the flow and tone of the work as well as any translation I've read, and better than at least one of them. If you haven't read this novel, this is a good edition to grab. If you have read it and want to revisit it, this edition should please you.

The novel itself aside, I found the additional pieces by Margaret Atwood, George Orwell, and Ursula K Le Guin make the work well worth adding to your library even if you have another edition. In particular, Le Guin's essay is excellent as a standalone essay, touching on several important topics as they relate to this novel.

While the novel spoke to a very specific place and time, it still reverberates for today's reader. Likewise Le Guin's essay, written in the early 70s, could easily have been written for today's world. The essay is in one of her books if you want to read more of her nonfiction work.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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If you have never read this novel yet read the immaculate novel (we all thought) that is 1984, you are doing a disservice to this author. Zamyatin is excellent and I have to say overall a better dystopian writer than that of Orwell. You will be enraptured in the same kind of context as Orwell in this classic. Read it now.
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Zamyatin's "We" is an insightful and terrifying treatise on freedom and happiness in modern society.
I had never read Zamyatin's novel before this translation; nor was I aware of its influence on George Orwell's "1984" (and almost certainly on Aldous Huxley's "Brave New World"). The basic plot centers on D—an engineer in the repressive, totalitarian One State— and his notes on the last days before a violent revolution against the leader of the State. That's all I'll say about the plot because you can just read the synopsis for that.

The narrative style is largely fragmentary, often ending abruptly in the middle of scenes or even sentences. In this way, Zamyatin presages the film styles of Soviet filmmakers such as Dziga Vertov and Sergei Eisenstein. Consequently, it is easy to lose one's grasp on the events of the novel, and I found myself having to reread paragraphs or return to entire sections to make sure I understood what was going on and why it was important. Zamyatin's poetical prose and metaphorical style lends to this difficulty (as in the case of a chair and a man having sex). I imagine that this will be the aspect of the novel that will turn the most readers off.

For me, the most fascinating part of the novel is its place in geopolitical and literary histories. Zamyatin responds to contemporary political issues in the Soviet Union with a negative, secular utopia that leads to interesting questions about happiness and liberty, sex and love, and primitivism vs civilization. It's also got more complex and powerful female characters than many of today's novels. The novel is complemented by the accompanying forward by Margaret Atwood and afterwords by Orwell, Ursula K. Le Guin, and the translator. I actually enjoyed reading these more than the novel itself, if only because I'm a huge fan of these authors.

I would recommend Zamyatin's "We" to any fan of science fiction, especially SF written by Orwell, Atwood, and Huxley. As a negative utopia, "We" will sadly be relevant for a long time to come. As we face the daily threats of misinformation and tyrannical leaders throughout the world, Zamyatin's novel becomes a warning that should be heeded.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. #We #netgalley
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I think this has the potential to be a really good book but the writing style and syntax of the sentences was so confusing that it took away from the message of the book. It was hard to get into the story when the wording was so difficult to understand what was going on. I wanted to love this book but couldn’t because I’m still not sure I fully understood the story. I wonder if the meaning was lost in translation ? Or if the translation could be done better to make the story more readable ?
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I've actually read this book before. It's an excellent classic science fiction work that no doubt inspired many writers. Initially published in 1920, "We" came before both George Orwell and Alduous Huxley (and I would personally argue is better than Huxley's book). It's a lesser known work, but an extremely powerful one. I honestly don't have much more to say on the book itself. 

So why am I reviewing it? Because I got a chance to read Bela Shayevich's new translation for free before its release in November. What do I think of this new translation? It's delightful. Very readable, well done, captures the emotions better than Clarence Brown's (the only other translation I have read) and is overall wonderful. The sarcasm and irony truly shine here... and yes, I find it a significant improvement to what was already an amazing read. 

Should you read this book? Absolutely. This is a classic of both Russian literature and science fiction. It's a gem of a book that sadly goes unnoticed far too much. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up if you want to read an amazing early dystopian novel. 5/5 stars

My thanks to Netgalley and Ecco for providing me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this new edition of "We."

There are many good things about the new edition of "We": A brilliant cover design; an introduction by Margaret Atwood; a review of the novel by George Orwell written in 1946; notes on "We" by Ursula K. Le Guin; notes from translator Bela Shayevich. Without these additional pieces, I never would have figured out what was going on.

I'm glad to have read such an important book that set the bar for the 20th century's best dystopias. That said, I couldn't understand anything that was happening and many thoughts were cut off midstream and situations were described with the most minimal detail.

Credit where credit is due for the author's forward-thinking and thought-provoking concept. Otherwise, I was left cold.
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Written in Russia in the early 1920s, We had a fraught publishing history that includes the fact it was not published in its original language to this day. 
We, like the more we'll known 1984, is the story of when conformity and equality goes too far. It is written in the style of a journal where the protagonist (D-503) is the designer of the first spaceship (1920s "knowledge" of space is on full display) who becomes attracted to a woman he meets on the street. The woman turns out to be more than he expected and D-503s life is changed slowly but dramatically. 
The book is fairly well written, though the style is a bit sense at times. The forward by Margaret Atwood (I read it afterward) is very enlightening and demonstrates how the book is rooted in its time and yet still timeless. There are two forwards of previous editions by George Orwell and Ursula LeGuin that are found at the end of the book and are as enlightening as the one by Atwood. To be honest, the book itself rated only a 3 (read in its time, it certainly would have been higher, but now the ground is well trodden) but the forward and afterwards pump that up to the 4 rating I gave. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. #We #netgalley
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Like many others have said before me, clearly an inspiration for 1984 and if not, there are certainly a lot of similarities. This isn't generally a genre I read a lot of but I didn't throughly enjoy this work. I'm glad to see a resurgence and new printing of some previously published works that newer generations haven't experienced. 

Thank you for the ARC Net Galley.
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[Blurb goes here]

Orwell suggest that this book was the inspiration behind Huxley's Brave New World, he also mentions in an interview that "We" was the inspiration behind 1984.

"We" is a hundred year old story, written in 1921 and smuggled out of the USSR to be published in France in 1926. Does it holds up today? It surely does, this dystopian science fiction novel gives the impression of being written just a few years ago.

I found "We" to be enticing and exiting. There's so much to tell about this book, but ultimately, I'll just say: this one is a must.

Thank you for the advanced copy!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me an e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.

Originally this book was published before Brave New World and 1984, it is considered to be the original of dystopian novels.  Although a bit difficult to comprehend (at least it was for me), I believe it is a must read for all dystopian book lovers.  

I found that I could not connect to any of the characters, but given the world they live in, perhaps, that was a given.  I absolutely loved Brave New World and liked 1984 and perhaps putting this book against those is not fair plus the reality is both have had series and/or movies made about them which brings the stories closer.

None the less, it's an interesting read even if it may be a tough one.  A solid 3.5 stars.
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I recall reading an interview with George Orwell about the origin of perhaps his most notable work, nineteen-eighty four where he mentioned a story I had never heard of called "We". He cited that We was his basis for his story, and assumed that Brave New World by Aldous Huxley shared a similar origin. This got me thinking - why had I never heard of this? Well, The Iron Curtain and age kept this story somewhat buried under other stories that borrowed heavily from it. "We" was Written in the early 1920's by Yevgeny Zamyatin and was confusingly only released in his motherland of Russia in the late 1980's. In fact, it was released in America first! This was, of course, because his work was banned by the Communist party. Being a fan of dystopian stories, and especially ones like 1984 and Brazil - I knew I would love "We".

It's a story of the horrors that would be caused if humanity eventually adopted a purely scientific and atheistic society based on the writings of Frederick Winslow Taylor. Humans are reduced to mere labor machines with numbered names and absolutely zero sense of individuality. Everything is precisely planned and scheduled, and everyone somehow persists on food derived from petroleum production. There are many similarities with 1984, but is less dreary in many ways. "We" is by no means a happy story, but it's distance from many of the actual horrors that 1984 were based on keeps it somehow more fantastical. The protagonist, D-503, is very unlikable for the most part, and the book is basically a chronicle of his decent into madness after discovering his long suppressed imagination or "soul". I felt that the story ends somewhat abruptly, but it follows the structure of a series of diary entries so it's not completely out of place. I was happy that the post-modern writing style feels somewhat contemporary despite being nearly 100 years old, this is very easy to read as long as you can get over the style, especially the post-modern free flowing dialog that made other books like Ulysses really hard to read.

Truly a classic everyone should read, this contains an entirely new translation that keeps the story moving quite well, and is very enjoyable. .
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This story is really thought provoking. It was written before George Orwell's 1984, and I think he borrowed a good bit from this book in his story. The people in this societies are all numbers, and they serve The Benefactor. The people don't really think all, and when one of the numbers starts to question things, he is brought to bear.

I received an e-ARC of this book by the author and publishing via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion regarding the book.
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All hail the grandfather of dystopian fiction! First published in 1921, yet this reads like a modern masterpiece. In this newly translated edition of the dystopian classic Margaret Atwood provides a concise, insightful analysis of We. She admits not having discovered it until several years after writing her masterpiece, The Handmaid's Tale, yet acknowledges it was a major influence on Orwell's dystopian classic, 1984, which in turn heavily influenced her own writing. As she explains, it was very much a product of its time and place - with Zamyatin having just lived through the Bolshevik revolution and its aftermath, and already beginning to glimpse the seeds of destruction of many of its Utopian ideals, i.e. the sacrificing of freedoms and the individual in the name of unity, i.e. conformity and "happiness".

As Atwood and many others have noted, there are indeed many parallels to be drawn between We and Orwell's 1984. However, a main distinction worth noting, aside from the frequent lighthearted threads, is the extent to which the story revolves around the protagonist's inner struggle between between accepting freedom vs control, nature vs perfection, the infinite vs the finite, and his slow, seeming slide into insanity as he questions his reality and chafes against the bonds of society's rigid, sterile conditioning.
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