Monday, 9 May 2011

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Ahead of its Time?
review by Maryom

The Mole came across this a few weeks ago while chatting on FB, borrowed it from the library, read and reviewed it. I'd never heard of it, so I thought I'd read it now while it was still out on loan.
In the totalitarian world of OneState people have no names - only numbers. All aspects of life are planned and regimented by the "Benefactor" - when to eat, work, sleep, even when to have sex! D-503 is happy enough in his work as designer of the INTEGRAL rocket until he meets the attractive and unorthodox I-330. She shows him that there is life outside the narrow confines of OneState and tries to persuade him to join with an underground movement intent on liberating the populace.
A warning of what may happen if we start to abandon our freedom as individuals, there are lots of obvious parallels with 1984 and many other sci-fi stories that I've read but can't put a title to. We is a very readable book in its own right and, despite being written in the 1920s, modern in feel. At times I wondered how much of the narrators confusion was intended by the author or just lost in translation, but overall it read well.
An interesting, thought-provoking read.

The Mole's review

Maryom's review - 4 stars
Publisher - Penguin Classics
Genre - Sci-Fi

Buy We (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics) from Amazon

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