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.
This is a long book, very long with ideas repeating over and over again to make the point. Having said that, once you get into the book, the characters - although stereotypes - become your closest friends. There are many good lessons to be taken, but you will need to dig them out.
Do not start the book if you have little time to read. Start it when you take a long vacation and then you can enjoy a story of determination against all odds and see what love is from the standpoint of a woman. I am moving on to Fountainhead.
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.
The upside is that you get 63 hours of Scott Brick’s dulcet tones for a single credit. The downside is the silliness of the long-long-long rants and mental soliloquies. The silliest of these had to be the concept of the nation of anesthetised brains listening avidly to three (read it – 3!) hours of John Gault venting forth on the radio. At least if you have the physical or e-book you can skim this – harder to do in an audio book. Scott Brick deserves a medal.
Seriously, just read it, the only reason I'm writing here is because I must have 15 words.
Read when and where you can! Eye and Ears turn the pages, let your mind color in the rest.
I would listen to this book over and over. I particularly enjoyed being able to follow along with the book as the audio version is unabridged. I had no conflicts with following along during the times I wanted to just read the book verses catch up by listening to the Audio book in my car.
It is a great complex novel that will tinge at your concept of the human psyche. Similar to Leo Tolstoy, but for those familiar with Ayn you will know why this isn't completely accurate either. Who could you compare Ayn to?
I really enjoyed the character voices and changes. The only CON is sometimes the "s" sounds and "c" sounds were awfully sharp to hear and could be uncomfortable with the volume up. I had to change my audio settings in my car to compensate for this. No problem though for a Fan of this book!
as always, who is John Galt?
I would and I do. I have become somwhat of an evangelist for Atlas Shrugged and for Objectivism in genaral. This book gave me a whole new outlook on life. It was a triumphant salute to all that I love on this earth. Read it!
Its hard to pick but If I have to choose it would be Hank Rearden because I identify with his ideological struggle and with his path twards his ultimate self absolution.
Scott Brick did a wonderful Job with all the characters I cant pick one.
Yes however it is 63 hours so that is not posible but I would often find myself listing to it for 15 hours straight.
Atlas Shrugged is the most important book ever writen. If you have not read it you are missing out on an adventure that will sweep you off your feet and never put you back down again. If it has been a wile sense you have read it. Read it again you will be suprised at the strength you will get from it and the knowledge it will arm you with