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We the Living

A book by Ayn Rand

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If you are an Ayn Rand fan you will enjoy this one.

  • Jul 5, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+5

Ayn Rand’s first novel stands in the shadow of her most widely-known writings in spite of having all of the necessary qualities to stand on its own.

 
The introduction to the reissue accurately replaces We the Living in its context in the days of its original publication in 1936. The author was still learning the finer points of the English language, but this is not very apparent, aside from a few instances where she wrote “don’t let’s” instead of “let’s not”, and it does not detract from the overall story.
 
The whole point of this novel is the influence of Russian communism on relationships between friends, family members and lovers. The main focus of the story is the love triangle involving main characters Kira Argounova, Leo Kovalensky and Andrei Taganov, but unlike in most stories where writers use such a situation for its shock factor or to explore morality issues, for Rand the love triangle is a mere tool to express her disdain of collectivism. Loves become a way to escape totalitarian rule and society’s rampant corruption, a way to go through a life with a bleak future. 
 
The attentive reader will clearly see in We the Living the seeds of Rand’s more elaborated works The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. This novel has its author’s literary trademarks: über-human characters who want to reach their full potential, “casual” dialogue that borders on the intellectual, vivid psychological descriptions and hatred of the collective. In spite of its tragic ending, We the Living will leave its readers with a smile.

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More We the Living reviews
review by . July 15, 2010
This novel is a tragedy where good people are badly hurt. The theme is the individual against the state or, more specifically, how the totalitarian state of Russia in the years following the 1917 Communist revolution destroys a girl, Kira, the man she loves who also loves her, Leo, and a man who loves her who she does not love, Andrei. It is also the story of the conflict between quite a few people, especially these three. Kira agrees to sleep with Andrei in order to save Leo’s life. Andrei …
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Ranked #2341
I enjoy reading books about interesting people and underground cultures.
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