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We the Living | [Ayn Rand]

We the Living

We the Living portrays the impact of the Russian Revolution on three people who demand the right to live their own lives. At its center is a girl whose passionate love is her fortress against the cruelty and oppression of a totalitarian state. Rand said of this book: "It is as near to an autobiography as I will ever write."
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Publisher's Summary

We the Living portrays the impact of the Russian Revolution on three people who demand the right to live their own lives. At its center is a girl whose passionate love is her fortress against the cruelty and oppression of a totalitarian state. Rand said of this book: "It is as near to an autobiography as I will ever write."

©1936 Ayn Rand; (P)1991 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (499 )
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4.2 (277 )
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  •  
    Thomas Ewing, NJ, United States 12-11-14
    Thomas Ewing, NJ, United States 12-11-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Nothing wrong with story author-bummer tale"
    Would you try another book from Ayn Rand and/or Mary Woods?

    A great writer.
    An excellent reader.
    Prophetic tale.

    Rands grasp of human psychology is key; all of the characters resemble someone you know--especially the minor and ancillary. It's a tale of a people's relentless decline to resignation, illness and passivity. Call it reportage, but stuffed in a more attractive romance.

    Depressing story nevertheless, made worse by the knowledge that this happened to millions in Venezuela, Zimbabwe, China, and elsewhere. Still worse, it may happen here.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    53Classic 01-23-13
    53Classic 01-23-13
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    "Heartbreaking!"
    Where does We the Living rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    What other book might you compare We the Living to and why?

    Have not read other books with such a completely developed love story. Others fall short of the depth in this story.


    What does Mary Woods bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    None.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl 07-29-12
    Carl 07-29-12
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    "Just as good as Rand's other books"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy 01-23-11
    Wendy 01-23-11

    Avid listener

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    "I wish there were more stars"

    You cannot beat Ayn Rand - all these years later and her work is still pertinent, engaging and addictive.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Old Bridge, NJ, United States 05-24-14
    Anthony Old Bridge, NJ, United States 05-24-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Early Rand"
    Where does We the Living rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I liked it, not in my top 10 or anything but I enjoyed it mostly out of being a fan of Ayn Rand.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Kira


    What about Mary Woods’s performance did you like?

    She had a nice voice and did a good job differentiating voices enough without sounding silly.


    Who was the most memorable character of We the Living and why?

    Probably Leo or Comrade Taganov, just rich characters who have a lot of action in the story.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-29-14

    Davey B

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    "Not like anything I've read"
    Which character – as performed by Mary Woods – was your favorite?

    The voice matched exactly what I would expect Kira to sound like. But all the voices were well done.


    Who was the most memorable character of We the Living and why?

    I found Andre to be the most memorable in that he developed and grew more through out the book than anyone else.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marina 03-25-14
    Marina 03-25-14

    Say something about yourself!

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    "A good listen...An important listen."
    What made the experience of listening to We the Living the most enjoyable?

    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.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roswatheist Dexter, New Mexico, United States 10-21-12
    Roswatheist Dexter, New Mexico, United States 10-21-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Weepy"
    Would you listen to We the Living again? Why?

    I will. I appreciate Kira very much. I would hope to have the balls she has if I were in a similar situation.


    What other book might you compare We the Living to and why?

    Anna Karenina because there are some love triangle parallels, but overall, We the Living can't really be compared to another book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Andrei thinks more of Kira after she explains why she has done what she did.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Are you kidding?! I cried myself sick!


    Any additional comments?

    Ayn Rand's work is precious. It should be required reading for college freshmen at the latest.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wayland Baltimore, MD, United States 10-13-12
    Wayland Baltimore, MD, United States 10-13-12 Listener Since 2010
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    "Surreal Vision"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim Salisbury, nh, United States 12-06-11
    Jim Salisbury, nh, United States 12-06-11
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    "Explains so much!!"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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