I first read this in high school at the recommendation of an english teacher who didn't really care for it, but thought I probably would. She was right. I reread it (or listen to it) now every few years. If you believe in the greatness of human achievement and of the human mind, and have not read this, you should. Give it a little time, it is a massive book, and starts rather slowly.
I have listened to a (non-audible) performance of this book by a different narrator, and this one is superior in my mind. I have not listened to the other available audible reading.
It is not physically possible to listen to this in one sitting.
I was unsure what this book was about when I began reading it. I had heard it mentioned in the past and always thought it might be good to understand what people were talking about.
I was shocked to see concepts within the book that I had long left behind because so many people had told me that my ideas were wrong. For me the idea that there is no such thing as a selfless act was the most profound. As a child I remember thinking this while being taught that it was evil to be selfish. This book validated my beliefs and allowed me to see that I am not alone in this world. I always contended that selfishness is not the evil, but rather how we treat each other that can be evil. Once you realize the and understand the idea that everything and everyone holds a potential personal benefit, then the world becomes much clearer. To deny this simple truth, is to lie to yourself. I know it goes against what we were all taught but it is true. We all need to think, really think about what we believe and why we believe it. This book is all about unleashing the thinker in us all and it moves you to believe in what is.
I am not a head of industry or even a business owner. I have no great scheme to ride the backs of the people until they drop and then grind them under my heartless oppressive heal. I work every day doing the best I can. I fight the urge to let the apathy created by so many lazy people who are allowed to continue in their laziness due to other lazy cogs in the machine. My job is a mission, a personal one. Much like golf, I don't measure myself against others but against myself. I strive to think and live. This book is a breath of fresh air and it will inspire you if you will open your mind and challenge your beliefs.
I loved this book for many reasons, but I also think there are some tough spots. Spots that really require us to think. Contrast this book to "The Grapes of Wrath", how would Rand solve the problems that Steinbeck introduces. Neither really proposed a solution. But in the real world, the solution to Joad's problems came from what Rand called prime movers. Rand did not elevate only the leaders of industry, she simply elevated man. She pronounced that man was great and not weak. If man is to shine, to be a "prime mover" they must first believe in themselves, first and foremost.
Too often we teach our children conflicting beliefs. We teach that selfishness in to be uprooted and in the same breath, we tell them to believe in themselves to build their self esteem. These two views are conflicting. It is only by the use of objective thought that we can begin to truly understand the world, others, and ourselves.
I think the best honor I can give to this book it to say that I loved this book for ME and what it has helped ME to see and to become.
Yes, it is a classic which narration only enhanced
The message to stand up strong
I loved each scene
It made me more determined to excel
The conversations between Francisco Danconia and Hank Reardon
Yes, excellent narration
Francisco Danconia has the most interesting take on life.
Ayn Rand was so prophetic when she wrote this book in the 1950's. The exact destruction of our society that she spoke of is happening. The who produce nothing, yet depending on those who produce everything, loot from and rule over the producers, until the producers QUIT! It will soon happen in this country if we do not change course.
The story is not the fastest most enticing I've ever read but the philosophy contained in this is incredible I have listened to this book twice now trying to get a better understanding of it and if you really take the time to think it through it will change the way you look at the world.
The philosophy presented explains all the reasons that the world confuses me and prompted me to look more closely at why it confuses me and lead me to the conclusion that Mrs. Rand had seen decades ago the nature of the world we are living in and why it was wrong.
If you are questioning the long commitment of 40 hours to listen to this story/philosophy don't worry it will take much longer than that to fully grasp this book. Which is the mark of a great novel. Whether you agree with her ideas or hate them its worth the effort to listen and understand this novel.
There is a good story here if you can get past the excruciatingly long winded and boring parts. The author could have made her point and moved on, but instead climbs on her soap box and goes on, and on, AND ON......., I don't know if there is an abridged version or not, but this book could easily be edited down by half and be better for it.
Yes I highly recommend this book. I had tried several times to read the print version but each time failed to really become absorbed into the story. The size was intimidating and I ultimately would quit. I work 90 miles away from my home and am an avid audio book listener. After several shorter books I really wanted one that would last. This was a logical choice. I am three quarters of the way through Part 7 and I find myself listening on short drives as well as long and listening when I get home. Today is the perfect time to begin reading or rather listening to this profound, thought provoking novel, especially in these times. I can't tell you how many times I have heard a current news headline and thought "Who is John Gault". This should be required reading for everyone!
I do not think any book from today or yesterday can ever be compared to Atlas Shrugged. It was before its time and it is timeless.
Not sure whether I would listen to another book narrated by Scott Brick. While he does a fine job and you can easily distinguish the characters from one another, the characters don't really come to life with his narration.
The moral of the story. It is still true. Hard work, intelligence, and success should be rewarded and supported as opposed to trying to even the playing field by punishing the successful (i.e. paying more taxes) and incentivizing laziness and restricting business.
He's the best. There were a great deal of characters in this long novel and you always know who's voice is being heard as well as the mood and intent of the words.
Call Ayn Rand a nut if you please but I believe the moral of the story holds true. If you punish the smart, hard-working, successful people (like by taxing them more and saying they owe more because they make more) or by awarding benefits to people because they are not as successful you create incentives for people to become mediocre, destroy individual aspirations and retard the progress of individuals and society as a whole. Yet, it is a lesson that despite the failure of socialism and communism in every single case and the success of capitalism liberals insist on ignoring.
The book is entertaining, sometimes frustrating, often inspiring, and undeniably a classic. The narration was spot on and kept a perfect pace to a very long, complex, and challenging book. Excellent book, perfect narration, and critical lesson that needs to be reinforced constantly, perhaps now more than ever.
I weirdly cried at the end of reading this book 6/3/12. I really enjoyed it and want as many people to consider its contents carefully as possible. Could selfishness really be as beneficial to everyone because through your success others are able to succeed?
Most books on Economics, Public Policy and Finance, marriage and family Sociology, Genetics. many more anything to help you think critically.
The book was long but worth it.
I did cry and rarely do cry. I dont know why i cried at the end of the book but i did.
I wish more people could read the book.
- The idea that you should try to do what truely makes you happy and in this way you can maximize your own utility hit right on the spot for me. Many people might be against the idea of selfishness but in everything we do even altruism is a result of the positive feelings some one might receive from giving their gift, and instinct wise it plays into many other genetic survival reasonings. That being said people would be at their most efficient and motivated when doing an activity that benefits them directly and that ideaology seems to directly refute the idea of socialism. With out knowing it most people help their neighbor or friend for several reasons and most reasons include: if I help this person or spend time with them i receive the companship or increase the ease/Likelihood of my survival (holds less true in modern times- hence less neighborly interaction -b/ there is no need?) Even when it comes to giving gifts and caring for children the genetic drive that pushes us to do those things is the selfish desire to spread your genetic data as successfully as possible (hence grandparents logevity). Not that a person is not free to help others but that is a learned trait generally and not an instinct unless it bears on the success of your offspring or your sustained life.
- FYI for those that dislike what i wrote,Things I do: I try to do a good deed daily, I help others succeed, I promote enviromentally friendly products and ideas, I work hard, many many more things as well, and I do all of that for the selfish desire to see my family and friends some day live in a world that they can thrive in.
Oh my god! How many time can you say the same thing. I love the thought of the book, but wow, I recommend the abridged version if it is half as long. wow.