We (Modern Library Classics)

We - Yevgeny Zamyatin, Natasha Randall We has left me with general impressions more than with definite ideas - I think I probably need to read it again to get more out of it.The most striking impression is that of the glass buildings and the green glass-filtered twilight in which the numbers of the One State pass their orderly, centrally controlled lives. The almost complete lack of privacy and unending scrutiny by neighbours, or even passers-by in the street, strikes me as more horrific than the surveillance by Big Brother in Nineteen Eighty-Four.Lots of other images: the Tablet of Hours (smartphones and electronic organisers?); "coitus permits"; the regimented citizens marching in unison along the glass pavements; the massive Art Deco (in my mind) spaceship, The Integral; the glass Wall enclosing the city of the One State and the surrounding jungle, pressed up against it: chaos awaiting its inevitable entry into the ordered system precariously maintained by the Benefactor; the robotic numbers who have undergone the Operation (reminding me somewhat of the Scanners in Scanners Live in Vain from The Rediscovery of Man by Cordwainer Smith).It took me a while to read this one, not because of any difficulties with the book itself, but because I was simultaneously reading another rather hefty tome. Next time, I think I will concentrate on We and see I get more of Zamyatin's meaning.