Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Anthem Anthem – Ayn Rand
Evan’s ESS = 8 out of 10
Erin’s ESS =  out of 10      
Content = PG (Adult Content, Weird Names, Appallingly few Individual Rights)

Why: It’s always incredible when an author can pack tons of emotion into just a few pages.  Anthem, which is a mere 146 pages, is a first-class example.  Furthermore, Ayn Rand takes home the award for the most unique, name given to any protagonist.

The novel begins as Equality 7-2521, provides a stirring account of the current state of the world.  Yes, that’s right, Equality 7-2521 is the main character and is only to be outdone by Liberty 5-3000 (we can only speculate on the parents and sibling names of Equality 7-2521).  Anywhooo, the world of Anthem is a mess and through massive government oppression, the individual is all but eliminated.  It’s up to Equality 7-2521 to push the boundaries of the World Council and strive valiantly to obtain his own personal freedoms.  Not an easy task.        

For us, the voice presented in Anthem was truly unique and the story was powerful.  It took us half the novel to understand what Rand was doing with her use of plural pronouns and the revelation gave us shivers (this could have also been due to the fact that the bath water was quickly loosing temperature).  Along with Equality 7-2521, we tried to guess the single Unspeakable Word that caused anyone instant torture and death.  Not surprising, we didn’t figure things out until the very end and the word revealed provided us with another shiver moment (At this time we were out of the bath so the catalyst could only have been the narrative).  Can you guess the Unspeakable Word?  Even if you have more brainpower than us, Anthem is still a very worthy read.

Editor’s Note:  If you happen to like this one we highly recommend We by Yevgeny Zamyatin.  We’ve never read it... but we hear its Anthem before Anthem was ever written...  Plus, the work influenced several heavyweights of Dystopian Fiction: Orwell, Huxley, and Vonnegut. 

1 comment:

  1. I LOVED this book. It packed a punch, as you said. It was incredibly poignant as well. Great pick! Also I loved We as well. I just want to read again.