This is my first experience with any Ayn Rand piece.
Setting aside her own political philosophy, which I find myself disagreeing with, the book is terrible. Characters are one-dimentional caricatures of what a person might actually be like. Every sentence if filled with this over-emphasized melodrama to rival the best daytime soap opera. Rand spends pages and pages saying nothing, and her passages of dialogue are just long soliloquies that she uses as an excuse to write another diatribe about the problems of socialism.
Rand should have saved her writing for op-ed pieces.
I would not recommend this book to anyone. Ever.
Great way to read great books on the go. Love Sci Fi especially Orson Scott Card and Star Wars.
No. This book was a pretentious, naive, and narrowminded look at the world.
I have not and based on this one will not in the future.
The narrator did an excellent job relating the material.
Perhaps, but I would not pay to see it.
Ayn Rand presents a view of the world that is not based in reality. While several of her assertions are interesting her presentation of a philospohy gives one paragaph meniotns during a monologue to the millitary and religion. No matter your personal opinion on these aspects of humantiy they are central to human realtions and cannot be dismissed just because you have a low opinion of them. An idealistic presentation, nothing more.
All of the characters seem to be descendants of either the tin woodsman, the scarecrow, or the cowardly lion. In this world where everyone suffers from a major personality flaw, it is no wonder that the heroes are those with brains and courage, and no heart. All of the characters suffer from verbal diarrhea. A homeless stowaway on board a train talks for an hour about the takeover of a motor plant by brain-dead descendants of the founder. He has them quoting Karl Marx (without attribution): "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." One of the main characters delivers a national radio address that would make Bill Clinton or Fidel Castro seem like models of brevity. I've enjoyed Scott Brick in many other books. In this case his characters either speak in a monotone or are constantly whining. Maybe this was just a faithful representation of Rand's characters. Before you buy this book, you should look up Ayn Rand's views on objectivism. If you have serious problems with this philosophy, you will have serious problems with this book. Personally, I find some elements of objectivism useful, but taken as a whole, the philosophy is woefully inadequate. One of the protagonists directly attacks St. Paul's treatise on love: ("The kind who never asked you for faith, hope, and charity, but offered you facts, proof, and profit."). I don't believe that my highest calling is personal pleasure. I also found Rand's foray into science fiction wanting (a motor that gets its energy from static electricity in the air?) I rated this book a 2 rather than 1 because I managed to finish all 63 hours of it. There is a narrative that has a reasonable conclusion.
This for me was a bottom three novel of all the classics I have read in my life. I barely managed to get through it by double-speeding through the interminable didactic speeches in the text. And I'm not someone who hates all long, dense novels. I'm a big fan of Henry James.
It is full of one-dimensional caricatures such as Jim Taggert and Hank Rearden. It contains a silly soap opera sex triangle (or is it a quadrangle). The book could have been twenty-five percent shorter if Ms. Rand had kept under control her main literary conceit of hyper-interpretation of her characters' facial expressions.
"Hank looked at Dagny with a smile that suggested deep cynicism. Dagny's gaze revealed only sincerity. Hank leaned forward and kissed her on the lips. As he looked up at Dagny again this time his smile indicated only great warmth. Now Dagny's eyes were narrowed in a show of mild surprise."
Etcetera, etcetera forever.
How could a serious novelist include those real-time speeches of over a half hour at the party and in the courtroom? Nobody at the party or trial ever interrupts them? And that two hour radio address near the end of the novel? Are we to believe that Mr. and Mrs. America would sit immovable at their radios listening attentively to a speech that would have been far over the head of many scholars? Did anyone who so praised this novel actually read through that entire speech attentively?
That leaves the politics. In the fifties the socialism vs. capitalism debate was very relevant and the author did an excellent job, albeit at ridiculous length, of presenting the argument for capitalism. At some future time the argument may again be relevent. This novel may even have contributed to the victory of capitalism. But capitalism has completely defeated socialism at present. Even in CHINA! Who is willing to spend sixty hours listening to an argument that they learned and mostly all accepted years ago in school?
I must, however compliment Ms. Rand on at least one element of the novel. The character of Dagny Taggert is well drawn, multi-dimensional and always interesting. If Ms. Rand had not been saddled with the task of getting her ideology across then she might have written a very decent novel.
So why is Atlas Shrugged so highly praised by so many readers and listeners? I think that it is because the readership has been conditioned to believe that this is a great novel. More than one organization of scholars has named the even more unreadable and unread "Ulysses" as the greatest English novel of the 20th century. Six days a week the Eugene O'Neill theater is standing room only, at an average ticket price of $150, to see the silly and bigoted new musical Book of Mormon. It receives its first audience ovation upon the mere opening of the curtain.
Much like the clothes in the fable "The Emperor's New Clothes," when everyone is told by other self-designated "experts" in the field that a novel or play is great then all those people do not want to appear stupid by disagreeing with their betters.
Rational Egotism, although this may be an interesting book kind of. Freedom for women through submission? "The only evil is the refusal to think." Wow philosophic drivel each conversation is a diatribe to her personal thoughts and feelings, not even subtle to be open for interruption or consideration. Soap box after soap box, leaves me lathered in boredom. What is the difference between this and fountain head? Nothing!! Except the brevity of Fountainhead? ha ha. Boo, is too strong how about MOO!!!
Good: Excellent observations and writing skill is amazing. The name of this and the other are unique.
Scott Brick did just fine with this reading but I couldn't find a single protagonist in this book with which I could readily identify or sympathize. Likewise, the "looters", etc., are treated with a very broad brush. I quit before even getting through the first 8-hour segment. You might like this book but it just didn't hook me.
If you enjoy droning, monotonous, preachy political diatribes, this is the book for you.
Where was the editor and where was the red pen?
I painfully made it through the 60 hours of this book because I always finish what I start. Some books you hope never end. I could not wait until this book was over. I just cannot believe that this book is considered a classic in American Literature. I am an avid reader and book listener, and rarely do I find a book that I feel is a waste of my time. This book was a total waste of 60 hours. The long winded, repeating themes, were tedious. The characters were unrealistic. I could not relate to any of the characters in the book because they were not like any real person that I ever met. It is ironic that the same debates that are going on at present were being discussed in the 50s as well. I do not think there is a simple solution as this book infers. Moderation of capitalism and socialism have proven to be the most prosperous for our country. Extremes on either end, do not take our country forward. People must be able to think, and prosper and get paid for their efforts, but there are certain social programs that can only be managed by government. A moderate amount of regulations are required, or we have capitalism gone wild as we just experienced. I totally do not agree with the philosophy that was presented in this book and therefore had difficulty relating to the content. I believe that to see the world as black or white is one of the main problems facing this country today. Grey is the color that all of us should be looking at because major issues require true understanding and thinking which means evaluating both sides of the story. This book is totally one sided.
All the style of William Shatner's acting. I just can't get into it, so distracting..
I love this book & I love Scott Brick, for some reason they just don't go well together. I have both in my Library along with 700+ other books, Hurt just seems to get the characters better. But if you are thinking of buying it on this $9.95 sale, then it is definitely worth the money.