Let me first say, I am not a political liberal. I am very conservative with a definite degree of liberterianism about my views. I am not naturally predisposed to disagree with the general perception of "Atlas Shrugged." In fact, I think Rand's general premise of economic liberty, personal responsibility and free markets is dead-on. The liberals of today, the Occupy Wall Street crowd, those that back socialistic philosophies could learn a lot about economic freedom from "Atlas Shrugged." Yes, the book's antagonists are over the top and often caricatures and the novel is wordy and preachy throughout - she could have easily cut 40% of the length of this book out by not say the same things over and over in long-winded speeches multiple characters - but there the people of today who continually seek to punish and deride success and achievement could do worse than to adopt some of the views of Rand. Note, I say "some."
NOTE: MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW
Where Rand lost me and prompted to not finish the book, is when she insinuates God is a "mystical moocher" or words to that effect. In addition to being highly offensive to my Christian faith, Rand falls into the same trap that the left does - moral relativism. By what authority does Rand deem the truths that she put forths, especially in John Galt's radio address, in various speeches through the novel, to be absolute morality? She is a human being with no higher authority than any other person. Her views are no more absolute than any other man. This arrogance is amplified by her arrogance to call God, the only One who does have supreme authority, to be in violation of HER moral code! As I said, much of her economic philosophy rings true, but her justification and rationalization fails. I do not see that her economic positions are in spite of God's law to help our fellow man, but rather is the most effective way to show love and help others.
Ultimately, the ironic immorality of Rand's pronouncements as she puts forth her own relative morality, regardless of how valid many of her political and economic points may be, undermine her overall position. Just like true libertarianism, Rand's extreme perspective will alienate many who would otherwise be sympathetic to her politics. This is a shame because in our current era, we need economic liberty and excellence in our society more than ever. But we also need to refocus on God as well, an area in which Rand miserably fails with "Atlas Shrugged."
I love audiobooks because it helps me "read" many more books than I could in the traditional method. Scott Brick is excellent in his character development as a narrator and if you enjoy a good SciFi book you should listen to him in "The Passage." It took me a little while to warm up to this book. Once I realized the messages developing within it there was nothing that could tear me away from it. I truly wish I had read this book 20 years ago as a younger man. I am a successful physician, business owner, artist, entrepreneur, husband and father. So many times in my life of self made success I have felt guilty for succeeding when those around me failed. Not through any cheating or advantage other than my own skill came my successes but I was still "made" to feel guilty for what I had accomplished. Deep down inside I have always felt this was unfair. This book helped me understand why those feelings were true. Rand's insights into human nature are so accurate that they transcend time. Once you grasp her ideas of human motivation for success as a creator or a taker you too will see my elation at her work. THIS should have been my high school required reading instead of Dickens crap about a thief's beneficiary! Rand has changed my life as a successful, educated man of 41. I hope I live long enough to truly appreciate what she has taught me.
I've managed to get through another book or two narrated by Scott Brick, but I can't get through a book of this length, and will be careful not to purchase more narrated by him. So pretentious, so overdone. I can't get past the first hour. What a big waste of money.
Unfortunately I finished the book after the movie was already out of the theaters. I was not surprised to learn the critics hated the film while 81% of the viewers like it according to Rotten Tomatoes. Hollywood is ground zero after Washington of course for all the shallow, holy than thou, card carrying sniveling two faced elitist supporting the failed socialist/communist philosophy so expertly dissect and discredit by Ayn Rand’s masterpiece. This should be mandatory reading in every college and high school. This will never happen because, right behind Hollywood, are the teacher unions supporting the unholy alliance of electing their bosses with everyone’s money. The DVD will be out soon and I am interested to see how they can get this rich and complex story told in 90 minutes. For anyone of conservative leaning this book is a breath of fresh air. All others should give it a chance even if just to understand the mindset that built this country and what will be the outcome if things continue on their current path.
This recording took 11 hours longer than the previous recording because Scott Brick has about three voices total and they all are very very SLOW. He has a man voice, a less powerful man voice, and a woman voice. Even when the text directs the dialogue to be delivered with haste, lightheartedness, intensity, volume, etc., Brick keeps the same non-animated snail pace! I got 2 hours and 44 minutes into it, and had to turn it off. The scene is with several men at a bar, and I couldnt figure out who was talking based on Brick's voices. Imagine Elaine's boss from Seinfeld reading the whole book, with about half the animation.
I don't recommend this Atlas Shrugged audiobook. I'm going to just read the book myself.
I feel like i was reading a paper written with a one trillion word minimum as an assignment for getting in trouble for not sharing. the whole thing could have been summed up in half the amount of words, to be honest i found myself skipping chapters and didn't miss a thing.
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.
This is an epic novel about a grand clash in a world where there are two kinds of people, the pedantic and the vapid. If you want to hear sixty hours of someone arguing in favor of the spherical world theory,this book is for you. I was weary after 6 hours, but I kept thinking something would happen, so I finished. Nothing did.
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.