©1936 Ayn Rand; (P)1991 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Just days before twenty-one year old Alisa Rosenbaum escaped Leninist Russia to sail for the United States, she was enjoined by a friend to tell the world that "Russia is a huge cemetery and we are all dying." We The Living, by that same young emigre, writing now in English and calling herself Ayn Rand, was the result. It is the most accurate portrayal of life in the late workers' paradise ever committed to words. It is also a compelling work of art, and harbinger of the greatness to come.
Though the least explicitly philosophic of Ayn Rand's novels, We The Living was for me, because of its emotional intensity, the most difficult to read. Kira's relationships with Leo and Andre, her perseverance vis-a-vis the hopelessness of her situation--her struggle to breathe in a wretchedly airless environment--were nearly more than I could bear.
Listen, cry, learn, and rejoice. If you are not already familiar with the works of Ayn Rand, this is a marvelous place to begin.
I have sort of a love/hate relationship with this book. It is so intense and maddening, although I believe it is an accurate portrayal of Russia during the post Bolshevik Revolution times. Ayn Rand was such a powerful writer. After finishing this book I had to get a lighter one.
Ayn Rand stands head and shoulders above most authors in her ideology. She understood what makes the world work-best. As to literature We The Living was her best effort. I feel that because she lived most of it, the story was easy to write because it was her story.
Mary Woods reading of Ayn Rand's novel/bio was marvelous with her accent just where it should be and still be easy listening, Great job all around on this one.
This novel is one of my favorites. Rand was able to depict the despair of living under a totalitarian regime very well. Coming from Soviet Russia myself, I can say that not many things have changed from birth to collapse of the Communist State.
The only thing I didn't like was the production. The narrator reads without any emphasis, and at times way too fast. One will probably get more out of reading it, rather than listening to this production.
Classic Ayn Rand themes. The look into Russian past was fascinating. The story moved a lot slower than with Fountain Head and Atlas Shrugged for me. I found it much easier to connect with Howard Roark and Hank Rearden and Dagney Taggart. But the story was solid and eye opening. I can see the progression of her beliefs through her writings. Calling this the 'closet thing to a biography I have ever written', you can definitely see where her believe in the Individual above all else came from!
Still a huge fan. But if you're new to Rand, start with Fountain Head or Atlas Shrugged.
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.
You cannot beat Ayn Rand - all these years later and her work is still pertinent, engaging and addictive.
Avid audiobook listener since 2007. I've enjoyed thousands of hours while jogging, driving, and working around the house.
I loved Atlas Shrugged. I loved Anthem. So I was looking forward to We the Living with great anticipation.
Unfortunately, the characters in this novel grated. Of the three main characters, the only one I respected was the Communist. :-!
Of the other two, one got on my nerves for the last third of the novel and I hated the third before even halfway through.
For all of her realism, Rand seemingly REALLY gave in to the notion of Romantic Love in this novel . . . utterly unlike the mature decisions made by Dagny and others in Atlas Shrugged.
Production value in this one was superb. Mary Woods is a *fantastic* reader and, if I am tempted to get another book and see she is the narrator, that will tip the scale.
Great characterization, recognizable differences between characters, inflection, singing! All were some of the best I've ever heard.
Brava, madame. Brava!
"Petrograd smelt of carbolic acid"
You don’t have to buy into Rand’s philosophy to enjoy this book. An engaging story and interesting portrait of the decay of Bolshevism in the 1920s. Excellent narration – although I can imagine that some may not take to the voice (so listen to the audio sample).
"Objectivism - the fountainhead of folly"
Ayn Rand is a made up name - Alisa Zinovyevna Rosenbaum, Objectivism is a made up philosophy - Subjectivism of the highest order, actually. Lingering descriptions of what a pretty girl Kira Argounova is and endless details as to what she and the other female characters are wearing at any given point in the 'action,' seem to be the basis for this paeān to early twentieth century American capitalism. How ironic that the wild west unfettered capitalism that was unleashed on the post-Mikhail Gorbachev Soviet bloc by Reagan's proto-neo-con zealots is now blowing a wintery chill back through the pipelines of Gazprom. Rand's anti-totalitarian dream extends no further than a pair of silk stockings and the ability to manipulate one-dimensional males. Compare and contrast this one with Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle' - worthy in aims but lacking in literary quality. Great to read around and nice to have the authentic voice but really, Miss Rand, there's more to life than French lingerie.
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