Yevgeny Zamyatin
We Cover



I wanted to read We because I want to read Brave New World some time in the near future, and felt that it would suffer if I read the two books in the opposite order.

I haven't (I don't think - I'm not entirely sure) read Brave New World yet, but I do feel that We is more of historical interest than a great read.

Essentially, it's a tale of the stifling effect of conformity; the crushing of individual creativity by the pressure to fit in. Written as a warning to the young Communist state in Russia, it was not popular with the Party, and eventually resulted in Zamyatin going into exile.

The people of the United State (in the translation I read) live in glass rooms, and have their lives meticulously scheduled. D-504's life is thrown into turmoil when he meets a woman.

The book is written as a diary, from D-504's point of view. It's full of non-sequiturs and half-sentences, which convey his state-of-mind effectively, but can be hard work to read.

Ultimately it's a short book, and a fascinating book, but all that great as a story. I gave it 2.5/5.