Rand's Protagonist, Equality 7-2521, describes a surreal world of faceless, nameless drones who "exist through, by and for our brothers who are the State. Amen." Alone, this daring young man defies the will of the ruling councils and discovers the forbidden freedoms that prevailed during the Unmentionable Times. In other words, he finds and celebrates the power of the self. In doing so, he becomes the prototypical Rand hero, a bold risk-taker who shuns conformity and unabashedly embraces egoism.
This exciting dramatization features an electrifying performance by veteran actor and former BBC Drama Repertory Company member Paul Meier. It is certain to be the definitive recording of Anthem and a milestone in audio interpretation of literary classics.
©2001 The Atlas Society; (P)2002 HighBridge Company
I thought Atlas Shrugged was the best "Russian" novel written in English. Ayn Rand wrote it following the form of The Brothers Karamazov and while she is nowhere close to Dostoyevsky in skill, the novel was still worthy. (I did think it flagged after "the speech" section about 80% toward the end.)
And I enjoyed The Fountainhead, though its philosophy was troubling in certain respects.
But this book was a great disappointment. The only merit might be that it was the kind of fairy tale that might be interesting listening for a ten year old. And the narrator was so "over the top" in style that it took away from the experience, at least for me.
This was so well narrated - gripping even - that my young children understood the underlying concept of the dangers of "We" and wanted to hear more.
I love BOOKS and reading, listening is as good when I can't look at the book. I listen every minute driving.
We read this book years ago, when we found out that the Rush rock opera 2112 was based on this book and loved it.
Listening now many years later, more than 25. We still love it. We won't even go into how politically apt it is now with the election season on us.
I, yes I said it, I, recommend this book to all.
I'm not a follower of Ayn Rand's philosophy, however this small and poignant book has remained with me since I first read it 21 years ago as a sophomore in high school. I've read Atlas Shrugged. I've read The Fountainhead. Much of her work seems plodding and bogged down in tome-like parables of miserable people trying to elevate themselves by finding ways to do miserable things to other miserable people. This is not the case in Anthem. In fact I often wish she'd just left her exploration here.
Like many others, I've felt that for much of the past decade, America has lived under a shroud of darkness and ruled by the politics of fear. The dissenting opinion, so vital to our survival as a species has been stamped out by the boot of like minded individuals who seek to serve the lowest common denominator of our thinking society and elevate mediocrity to the norm. In doing so, the creative spirit has been replaced in our schools with the need to pass tests that serve not to expand knowledge, but to ensure that the knowledge of the many is passed on. All avenues for creative exploration are cut first in an attempt to balance budgets. No Arts. No Humanities. No athletic competition. What will allow our children and our future to have pride in individual accomplishment? Human beings need the opportunity to develop self esteem not through the daily ablutions of sycophantic parents, but through individual achievement.
This is intended to be a review, not a rant. This book is as important and powerful today as it ever was, perhaps more important.
The narration is top notch. If the goal of theatrical elocution is to take the words that are written and speak them as the true words of a living breathing person, Paul Meier succeeds with mastery and aplomb. He inhabits the words as they inhabit his soul, making us feel the narrators spirit and transformation throughout his journey. Bravo Mr. Meier. Bravo!
Anthem is a classic story. I have previously read the book but I must say that the narrator made all the difference in the world. You "felt" every emotion that the main character felt.
I would highly recommend this story and this narrator.
This is a great book. This should be mandatory reading for all Americans. The writing is colorful and passionate, the narrator brought this book to life.Chapter 11 was very dramatic and you could feel the characters pain. It was one of the best audio books I have listened to. Highly recommended.
If you have read Anthem, read it again. If you haven't, read it now.
I will read this again but I will skip the long unnecessary speech at the end of the book. The story speaks for itself without hammering home the intended message. Other than that speech, it reads like a contemporary short story.
Warning- It does take some time to get used to the way the main character does not refer to himself as I, but as a long word/number distinction. Humans were not meant to live as drones.
Twenty five years ago, Ayn Rand may have seem dated and irrelevant to most. I had never heard of her anyway. My son suggested that I read this book after he read it in high school last year.
Anthem is a look at socialism through a fiction medium. Her books are brilliant and way ahead of their time. If you have read them before read them again with new eyes.
More than anything else, it helps me to know what books a reviewer loves most when deciding on whether or not to spend my time or money on a particular book. Below I have listed some of my 5 or 4½ star books from many different genres:
Anne of Green Gables, The Book Thief, Bossypants, Catch Me if You Can, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, A Christmas Carol, The Clan of the Cave Bear series, The Color Purple, The Davinci Code, A Dog’s Purpose, Emma, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, A Girl Named Zippy, Glass Castle, Gone with the Wind, The Green Mile, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Harry Potter Series, The Help, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 1-3, The Hunger Games, To Kill a Mockingbird, Let’s Pretend this Never Happened, Little Women, Mind Hunter, Nineteen Minutes, The Outlander series, Peace like a River, A Prayer for Owen Meany, Pride and Prejudice, Saving Sammy, The Secret life of Bees, Shawshank Redemption, My Sister’s Keeper, Stand by Me, The Stand, The Time Traveler’s Wife, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn...
Ayn Rand's books are not supposed to be manuals, but they seem to more and more be exactly that.
Preaching the danger of collectivism using an extreme society in which the very mention of the word "I" is verboten, it's hard not to draw a parallel to the "modern" world in which living for yourself is taboo, but living for others is a venerated position. The message is clear: reject collectivism. Reject self-immolation. Reject it all.
You own yourself and the products of your labor and what you do with yourself and the product of your labor is your decision to be made freely by you.
It's a beautiful message and one that needs to be taken to heart, particularly today.
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