Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.
I had very high hopes for We the Living . . . and parts of the story, the true historical parts of communist Russia, were very good . . . I listened intently and sadly as the young, idealistic men eagerly joined "the party", believing the garbage that they were being spoon fed. But I was deeply disappointed in the story of Kira, who was no more free than the communist government that she so despised. I tried and tried to like her, to root for her, but to no avail. She, just like her communist counterparts, justified her own actions, and was not above prostituting herself. You see, that is what happens when you deny that there is a God and you become your OWN God. Ayn Rand's hatred of socialist/communism and worship of freedom above all else . . . I'm afraid it may have made her blind to the only true freedom that is lasting.
It's been a long while since I have been so disappointed and chagrined by the ending of a story. There was not a single story line or character ending that resolved the way I would have hoped or wanted. It left me heart sick and sad. When it ended, I couldn't believe that could possibly be the end. Her other books have had a more hopeful ending. Guess this one just blindsided me.Even so, it is an AMAZING story of love, unrequited love, sacrifice, endurance, courage ... the list goes on. Not to be missed.
Have not read other books with such a completely developed love story. Others fall short of the depth in this story.
Her characterizations of women were pretty good. There are a lot of very different men in this book with lots of variations in their personalities that didn't quite translate for me in her reading of them.
I have read Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead before I found this book and the three of them fit together perfectly. Anyone that has enjoyed any of Rand's book should read this one too.
The narrator does a good job and does not distract from the story.
I liked it, not in my top 10 or anything but I enjoyed it mostly out of being a fan of Ayn Rand.
She had a nice voice and did a good job differentiating voices enough without sounding silly.
Probably Leo or Comrade Taganov, just rich characters who have a lot of action in the story.
As much as I love Ayn Rand and the works of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, We the Living is considerably less impressive. While its good enough and having read her other works understanding her philosophy, the budding notions presented in this book are less developed but still stand out. I wont give too much of a spoiler here despite it involving the end of the book. I found particular substance in the books closing scenes- to think about what the characters stood for and what the consequential actions each say are extremely meaningful and beautifully punctuate the books theme and message. Very well done indeed. If you love Rand, consider this. If you don't know Rand, start somewhere else.
The voice matched exactly what I would expect Kira to sound like. But all the voices were well done.
I found Andre to be the most memorable in that he developed and grew more through out the book than anyone else.
A strong recommendation the all listen to the forward as written by Ayn in 1958. It does much to give you understanding about her, as well as her reasons and desires in writing this book. The characters in the book are very real and very believable and I believe you'll find it hard to not both love and hate many of the prime characters. Often loving and hating them at the same time, you can experience their feelings at an exceptional depth.
(a little bit of a spoiler here so read at your own risk)
I think most westerners, myself included, will find the resolutions within the book a little hard to take and a bit unsettling, but I understand the necessity and the value of the reality expressed. Written any other way it would not be exceptional book it is.
All the character voices she does - Impressive! Also, the realism of the story...understanding what life was really like in St. Petersburg/Petrograd, Russia. How would some of us Americans live and cope under the circumstances? Imagining America under a communist government with such oppression is scary.
I will. I appreciate Kira very much. I would hope to have the balls she has if I were in a similar situation.
Anna Karenina because there are some love triangle parallels, but overall, We the Living can't really be compared to another book.
When Andrei thinks more of Kira after she explains why she has done what she did.
Are you kidding?! I cried myself sick!
Ayn Rand's work is precious. It should be required reading for college freshmen at the latest.
We The Living is an amazing and well written story. It feels like a cross between a dramatic narrative and a history textbook. While the character interactions and events in their lives are incredibly personal and dramatic, the way that Ayn Rand describes those characters and events along with a plethora of background information makes the story seem like a drawn out newspaper article trying to give all the information possible. I really liked the story because it gave a peasant's view of early communist Russia. It was descriptive to a fault and the social commentary is classicly blunt. A must read/listen for fans of historical social commentaries.
I did not like the narrator at all at first, but i got used to it, she did well, It must be hard for a female to impersonate 25 different burly Russian men without sounding silly. By the end though, i felt like (especially during the narration parts) in was Rand herself reading it to me.
I had read the other three Ayn Rand book prior to this, and it helped make sense out of the other three a little more. You can totally see the roots for Fountainhead, Anthem, and Atlas in this book. I agree with the other commenter who stated that of the three main characters, only the Filthy Commie had my respect by the end. The other two really pissed me off in the third part of the book. Lastly, i suddenly now have a great interest in the plight of the everyday Russain during/after the revolution. It was fascinating learning the details about how they were forced to live, and Rand does a great job of illustrating a backwardness/hypocrisy of communism without explicitly saying it like in other works of hers.