Atlas Shrugged is one of the greatest novels I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I got the audiobook to listen to in my car to and from work and to listen to while running. My problem is that I got the abridged version read by Edward Herrmann first. I wanted the unabridged version.....massive mistake. Brick is the worst reader I've ever heard and I've got plenty from Librivox from amateur readers! He makes every man sound angry all of the time. That's the only emotion they convey. And Dagny sounds like she's using a bedroom voice all of the time. I really don't like being rude, but as a paying customer I'm insulted that my money went to pay this guy. @ Audible: PLEASE get a better version, I'll pay again to get something that's less garbage! I recommend Ed Herrmann, his abridged version was fantastic.
I'm trying to read books with intelligence, even if I expect to disagree with them. That being said, about 25% of the way through Rand's "atlas shrugged" any time I hear the words "it's not right" I expect to hear some stupid stupid S@#.
one small example (of which all the others are just this stupid) - somehow I'm expected to believe that during an oil shortage, oil producers would go out of business because of competition, and people would demand that the big producer have his output capped, (during said shortage) because its not fair to the little guy? And already understanding how this book progresses, I'm sure they do cap the big guys production, with no mention of even the premise that made them think it was a good idea except everyone deserves and equal chance? Can't read this crap anymore.
it's supposed to be a philisophical book, but what's the point of basing a philosophy on an illogical plot line? I get the illogic of Vonnegut et. Al. Because say a main character walking on stilts for several years is not THE plot line, its an aid to it, to make you think from a different prospective. Now as of so far Rand's plot line is not BASED on things that could ever happen in the real world, her plot line IS things that could never happen in the real world, with no explanations of how or why....which amazes me given that the book is over 1000 pages long.
I am 2 hours into the audio book and I have tired of the slightly whining intonation being employed for the narrator's voice. I find the story interesting but the narrator voice to be distracting and out of context. I feel that the narrators voice is much too passive and feeble in tone instead of being more direct and matter of fact.
Several years ago, I read The Fountainhead & was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I found the story interesting, the characters intriguing, and the ideas worth contemplating. Atlas Shrugged, so I thought, was supposed to be even better, and I expected to enjoy it.
Unfortunately, I found the book tedious and mediocre. In so many ways, it's inferior to The Fountainhead. Rand really hits you over the head, repeatedly, with her ideology, too, so if you disagree with her position it might be especially difficult to stomach this book. It took an act of will for me to finish listening.
Something about the narration rather annoyed me, too, although I can't put my finger on what. Maybe it's because I sometimes couldn't tell if the prose really was as stilted, melodramatic, and banal as the reader made it sound, or if it was just his delivery.
All in all, you have to really WANT to "read" this book. I can't recommend it much for entertainment.
This may be the largest novel cover up ever!! This book is merely an 1100 page pamphlet to promote AYN RAND's philisophy of objectivism. If you are considering this book based on ALL those good reviews, please be aware that unless you agree with this her philosophical views, you will be highly disapointed. There is hardly any character development, and she force feeds you her philosophy OVER AND AVER AND OVER AND OVER again. The book ends with a 60 page rant, hammering the same views that were on the preceeding 1040 pages. And what world does this woman live in that EVERY one in the book is white, no matter where in the world they are. And oh yeah, all the so called heros in the book are blonde haired and blue eyed. COME ON. Seriously, I would burn this book if I actually had a copy. My only regret is that I didnt do a little more research on Ayn Rand before I purchased this piece of crap.
Written over fifty years ago and still in print, this should be an awesome book. It isn't. It is stilted, the characters are wooden, overbearing, and apparently incapable of growth. because--like Rand herself if we are to believe the publisher's afterword--they already know it all. These, of course, are the ones she likes; those she doesn't have no redeeming traits. ATLAS ' novelistic elements feel dated to contemporary readers, such as dialogs that are really extended soliloquies bouncing off each other; its philosophical ones simplistic, trampled by advances in science. But there is an evil in this book: from the historical context we know Rand's villains are surrogates for Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration, yet the descriptions are of Bolshevik commissars. At one level, this isn't surprising since Rand grew up under their revolution in Czarist Russia. From a truth-seeker's perspective, however, it is deeply dishonest. Rand's tendency, so abundant in this book, to demonize your enemies without understanding them and lionize those who agree with you, has become the norm in our society.
On this narration, I found Scott Brick, usually one of the better performers in the field, disappointing here. The meaning as conveyed by inflection frequently missed the author's point, and he gives only minimal differentiation of characters. With the self-indulgent length of Rand's soliloquy-dialogs it was often hard to remember who was talking. This undifferentiated quality made it seem like an extended harangue. Then again, harangue is probably the best one-word descriptions of ATLAS SHRUGGED.
I am slightly amazed that a book at this stultifying a level of mediocrity has lasted this long. The underlying argument never rises above a remedial level, the characters are dull and not believeable, and the long speeches never rise to the level of real dialogue.
One almost feels that people like it because it makes them feel like intellectuals without having to invest in any actual thought.
Brick does a good job here, especially given the tripe he has to work with.
The premise is good: a world that begins punishing those who are successful while lauding those who do a lot of lip service about "helping" the poor by excusing their lack of performance and hard work (both the actual poor and those paying lip service), as circumstance of birth or because of their philosophy. Those who produce are penalized; those who talk a lot of philosophical good while producing nothing are rewarded for their politically-correct savvy -- and political connections who know which way the current of public opinion is blowing. (Yep, sounds familiar.)
While the premise IS good, the endless grand-standing and monologuing the same message (too far in the extreme opposite direction) gets old, very fast, going on and on and on and . . .
Instead of necessitating a download of this book in about a thousand parts, Ayn Rand could have gotten to the meat and had a much more effective book in at least a quarter of the material count. And don't get me started about Scott Brick' s narration.
Scott Brick is apparently a very, very popular narrator judging by his prolific narrative works. This in spite of the way he chews his words, drawing out n's and ng's sounds until I want to pull out my hair. His timber is wonderful and I suppose it is his great resonance quality that draws authors and producers to use him, but I have found myself shying away from titles with his narration, unless it's a book I REALLY want--or else I just sit down and read it myself.
*Sorry if I just ripped on your favorite narrator. It's nothing personal and you're obviously not alone while I seem to be in the minority. Just reviewing my personal opinion and mine alone.*
All in all, if you can skip past all the repetitive philosophising, the self-justified adultery (just divorce the old bat already!), and keep listening despite the extreme length of the work itself, you'll come out ahead. Just don't expect me to ever, EVER listen to this book again. Once was quite good enough, thank you.
I just kept waiting for it to gain traction in my mind and it never did. In fairness to the author, I have to admit that I listened to about half the book before I stopped listening and switched to another book. It just didn't keep my attention, but that is not necessarily the fault of the author. The reviews of this book are very good. I would have returned it, but I returned another book just before I bought this one. I know audible allows one return per certain period of time (I can't remember) but, I think that is fair. You certainly can not do that with a paperback.
I have several other books that are similar in length and I have listened to both of these books twice, without loosing interest. This book is just not my cup of tea.
Scott Brick actually did a fairly good job of reading through Atlas Shrugged
I strongly disagree with Ayn Rand as a writer, a thinker, and in her creation of the story.
To start, it is very obvious to me that Rand wrote herself into this novel in the character of Dagny Taggart. Her constant whining about how she and Henry Reardon (The other main character) are the only competent or sensible people in the entire professional world drove me nuts. I was also turned off by the fact that she made every character in the novel nothing more that a bunch of straw men, systematically defeating positions that I don't think anyone actually holds. This strikes me as intellectually dishonest, and fairly immature to be perfectly honest.
I also feel that Rand has no understanding of some of the engineering processes she harps about when she introduced the John Galt line. For example, during the test run of the John Galt line, one of her characters stated that the average velocity of the train from start to finish would be 100 mph. She then stated part of the route would go through the mountains, up and down steep grades, and through residential areas. On these sections of the trail, it would be almost impossible for the train to travel at 100 mph, as the train might fly off the tracks traveling that fast. Ergo, the train would have to go less than 100 mph on those sections. Hence the train would have to go more than 100 mph on other sections. Yet through the entire section of writing, she continually mentioned that the train was going 100 mph. So this causes me to believe that she does not understand the way trains work, she has little to no understanding of physics, and does not know how to average a set of numbers. You may say that this is nitpicking, but if you're going to make an argument based on industrial and engineering business problems, you have to have the details straight. Otherwise it would lead me to believe that the ideas you espouse are unrealistic.
I didn't really have one.
Rand was fairly good at setting the stage of her books.