Just days before twenty-one year old Alisa Rosenbaum escaped Leninist Russia to sail for the United States, she was enjoined by a friend to tell the world that "Russia is a huge cemetery and we are all dying." We The Living, by that same young emigre, writing now in English and calling herself Ayn Rand, was the result. It is the most accurate portrayal of life in the late workers' paradise ever committed to words. It is also a compelling work of art, and harbinger of the greatness to come.
Though the least explicitly philosophic of Ayn Rand's novels, We The Living was for me, because of its emotional intensity, the most difficult to read. Kira's relationships with Leo and Andre, her perseverance vis-a-vis the hopelessness of her situation--her struggle to breathe in a wretchedly airless environment--were nearly more than I could bear.
Listen, cry, learn, and rejoice. If you are not already familiar with the works of Ayn Rand, this is a marvelous place to begin.
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.
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