One of my all-time favorite books. Unlike some of her other works, which contain long speeches on her philosophy, this one is more about the story and the people. There are still some of her usual underlying themes, but the story itself is completely riveting. I love the characters - they are all interesting, flawed, and real. And the ending is absolutely breathtaking. A perfect ending, in my opinion. This book is great for book clubs to generate a lot of interesting discussion. I've read it twice already, and I'm still blown away by what a master storyteller Ayn Rand is. Her other books are excellent as well (Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead) but this one was my clear favorite.
Wanted to refresh my knowledge of Ayn Rand. Read the biggies 30 years ago but today her message is more meaningful. We The Living sets the stage for her future work. In the first pages she tells of the government take over of banks and seizing the contents of safe deposit boxes. Can that happen in America? For the first time ever I see that it is possible. Everyone needs to read books like this written by the people who lived through it to know what socialism/communism really is. We take our freedom for granted.
An exploration of the eternal human struggle between the human individual and the state offers the first installment of Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. The novel is a harsh look at communism in the post-Red revolution of Russia, following three people: Kira, a young, idealistic, woman who bourgeois family was left poverty-stricken following the revolt; Leo, an indifferent young man haunted by the Communists due his late father's war glory; and Andrei, a Communist questioning his own beliefs in the system he has risen up in so quickly. Despite the fact that this novel is set in a far-away time and place to most of its readers, it is a book which I felt an extremely strong connection with. Everybody knows a Leo: flippant, handsome, could get any girl he wants -- but he has serious character flaws, and tends to be abusive of Kira's love for him. And Kira, the novel's protagonist, is very similar to any youth of today: she does not understand the ideals of the Communist party, but she does know what she believes and is wholeheartedly committed to fulfilling the promise she had at birth.
Another great book by Ayn Rand. One that makes you think.
Have always loved this book!
as you might expect from Ayn Rand, an enjoyable read with a much deeper message.
This was Rand's first novel, and her shortest one. I also think it's her best work. This doesn't have the lengthy speeches of her later novels. And the characters actually have (gasp) flaws. They're not so black and white, which makes them so much more believable. Also, being from eastern Europe myself, I appreciated the book all the more. I highly recommend it, even if you aren't a Rand fan. This book does not pontificate as much as her others do.
Having already read Atlas Shrugged, I thought I would really like this book. I loved it up until the very end. I won't reveal anything for those who wish to read it themselves, but I personally was not happy with the ending. I understand that not all stories have a "happily ever after" but this really left me flat.
A good novel about individual thought and destiny. Also a warning about too much "group think."
more of the neo facsist philosophy of the uber man and his absolute superiority over groups.
Ayn Rand is a brilliant writer. Her talent as an artist is outstanding. Though her philosophy is basically just recycled Nietzsche. Egoistic humanism, romantically upholding the greatness of man and reason. Lacking any basis in reason for why man should be so highly esteemed.
Her first work. If you can handle lots of Russian names it is great or if you just want to read her fiction read Atlas and Fountainhead.