This is very long listen, but one that is well worth it. It makes you think about life and has wonderful descriptions of the characters and a time when the country was so young. I am very excited about reading more from Ayn Rand.
Every School age child should read this book prior to entering the real world. What a wonderful message to take with you as you explore out on your own. I loved the narrator - he fit every part.
This book would have been really good at half the length. The characters are all one-dimensional and her philosophy is not exactly brought across in a subtle manner, she hits you over the head with it for over 50 hours including a 3 hour speech that should have taken 5 minutes.
The "bad guys" were all voiced with the same wimpy voice while all the "good guys" were voiced with the same manly strong voice.
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.
This book was soooooo long. I love long books normally but only if they're not repeating the same thing over and over and over again. This book is essentially a study in how long you can beat a dead horse and still keep a conservatives attention. I suppose I'm glad I listened to this since so many other people seem to find it inspiring but really, the philosophy is shallow and flawed and I don't see why so many people are taken in by it.
The writing stunk, The characters reminded me more of comic book characters than literature characters. If Ayn Rand wanted to write an ecomomic or social philopshy book she should have done so. And for all the people who love the characters because they think captialists are all heroes and socialists are all evil slackers, explain to me the heroics of Enron, the financial crisis, BP's disaster, and so on. The human race is not simple and it never will be. Ayn Rand wanted us to believe it was.
Sterling Hayden (General Jack Ripper) as Hank Rearden. Peter Sellers (Inspector Jacques Clouseau) as Francisco D'Anconia. And Kathleen Turner (Jessica Rabbit) as Dagny Taggart.
Is Mr. Brick's unrelenting and cartoonishly melodramatic breathlessness intended as malicious mockery? Or is it simply that the man was not right for the part? Has Blackstone been overrun by Bolsheviks? If this is not an act of deliberate demolition, why didn't someone who understood and respected this priceless work of genius put a stop to this audible farce?
By all means, you must read and understand Atlas. But by all means, find a way to acquire Christopher Hurt's rendition. It can be done. Just google "Atlas Shrugged Christopher Hurt." It will be well worth your effort.
I think the overall story is good. And, I do like Scott Brick as a Narrator. The message of the book is good, but kinda drummed into your head over and over.
It's an interesting book, but for me I can only go through it once.
No for Rand, yes for Brick.
After this, I listened to several economic texts including "Economics, 3rd Edition" and "Debt, the first 5000 years".
His narration shows determined characters with single minded focus. I think that's how Rand would have wanted it.
All of them. They were all caricatures for Rand to show off her philosophy. They had very little value in and of themselves. Rand would have been better off making the book a quarter of its length and just explained what she thought was right and wrong with the world instead of writing a novel. She wouldn't need any poorly written, unsympathetic, two dimensional characters in order to do that.
I need to put aside the value of her philosophy and just tell you about the book. It is not well written. The author doesn't understand her characters. She loves to hear herself talk. She wants to get her way. Her characters are like comic book characters, all powerful superheros or evil super-villains.
The people giving this book 5 stars are those who love her philosophy and willing to suffer through her writing to see their heroes triumphant at the end. You won't see any 5 star reviews from literary critics. Think of that as you contemplate listening to this for 63 hours.
I cannot believe this book is considered a classic. It's a two dimensional story that seems to send the message: There's only two types of people in the world, Those that think exactly like me and total idiots. If people disagree with you they are not worth listening to.
The antagonist in the story only exists to nag people and to get in the way. They are written badly, like a teenager trying to write about how someone thinks and they want you to know just how stupid these characters are and they should just wise up and agree with the protagonist.
She portrayed working class people as too stupid to look after themselves. Without a boss to tell them too, they wouldn't even know to throw rooting food away. They would live in squallier not even bothering to repair their homes. It just reeks of class prejudice.
The end because I didn't need to listen to any more. The only other part I even remotely liked was when John Gault is being tortured and the machine breaks and no one them know how to fix it and he ends up tell them how to get in running again. That was not worth 63 hours of my time though.
The only thing that might have saved it is if antagonist were better written. I cannot understand the motivation because their decisions make no logical sense. You have to understand the motivation of a character even you don't like the character. While I hate a character like Lord Voldimort of King Joffery, I understand what motivates them even thought the characters are horrible people doing things I would never do I can still understand why they make the decisions they do. James Taggart and Lillian Rearden only seem to exist to make problems and protagonists and nag them.
Also the pomposity of the protagonists needs to be removed completely. Dagney is particular is so pompous and condescending I want to smack her, also could we have one male character who doesn't fall in love with her.
If you think Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck are the great minds of our time, you'll love this book.