In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? And why does he fight his hardest battle not against his enemies but against the woman he loves?
Tremendous in scope and breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's magnum opus, an electrifying moral defense of capitalism and free enterprise which launched an ideological movement and gained millions of loyal fans around the world.
©1985 Eugene Winick, Paul Gitlin and Leonard Peikoff; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Released in 1956, Atlas Shrugged has become an American classic. I first read in in 1962 as a college sophomore. There are two versions if the novel at Audible, one is narrated by Christopher Hurt and the other is narrated by Scott Brick. Brick is my favorite narrator, but I admit that Hurt does a slightly better job with Atlas Shrugged, but both are superb. I recommend the Kindle version over either Audible version because of John Galt's very, very long speech to the nation which is easier to understand by rereading parts. (The Audible bookmark feature is almost as useful.)
Atlas Shrugged is too long and complex to easily summarize. Dagny Taggart inherits a railroad and expands it into an empire despite her weak brother James. Hank Rearden invents and patents a new steel alloy (Rearden Metal) that threatens to put all of his competitors out of business, but politicians interfere and threaten his patent. Taggart used Reardon Metal to enhance her railroad construction in the Rocky Mountains. Taggart and Readen become lovers and join forces against the thuggery of the politicians. The ultimate hero is John Galt who years before abandoned society when his invention of a revolutionary motor that would have literally changed the world was threatened by politicians and government regulators.
Reading or listening to Atlas Shrugged requires a significant commitment of time. It is well worth it; indeed, it would be worth twice the commitment. Atlas Shrugged is a great novel.
I enjoy counter-terrorism, westerns, historical fiction, detective mysteries, and old school comedy like "A Christmas Story".
This is a book of philosophy. Enjoy, in a story format, the importance of good struggling against evil; ambitious hard work overcoming apathy and a sense of self entitlement. If this book was formatted as pure philosophy it would have been a challenging, albeit, boring read. As presented with characters during the industrial revolution, it was mind expanding and had profound messages about the human spirit, intelligence and courage. I feel I only digested a fraction of the stories messages. This book should be read again and again, as I plan to do. The simple message: work hard, work smart, believe in doing a quality job and you will be a winner and other winners will seek you out. If you are mediocre...expect nothing special to come to your life.
While I appreciate many of Scott Brick's audiobooks, he misses the emotional impetus behind the characters and Ayn's incredible grasp of satire. Many of her characters are archetypes, and Hurt just plain understands how she intended them to come across. There are some issues with the audio quality(background noise, etc). This drawback is overwhelmed by the brilliance of his acting. He really brings the book to live. Brick on the otherhand comes across flat, misses the characters emotional states and motivations, and turns a great story less so. I have both versions, but if you only purchase one yourself, select the Hurt version. You will not regret it
I'm an audiobook nerd living in Copenhagen, Denmark. At the time of writing, I'm approaching 400 audiobooks.
If you want a real treat - download this unabridged recording.
I have been meaning to listen to Atlas Shrugged for years, but I have been put somewhat off by its length.
When I discovered that a new recording had been made with no other than THE narrator Scott Brick the case was settled.
Atlas Shrugged is a story that will stick with you and make you reflect on The World, your life and the future.
It is set in The US and describes what would happen if you took away the initiative of the individual and deprived all of the intellectuals of their rights.
While I understand why many people will find the story political, controversial and even disturbing - it cannot help you appreciate how lucky we are living in democracies.
Download this recording, listen to Scott's mellow voice for 62 hours and prepare yourself for utter joy.
Belive me when I say stick with the Christopher Hurt version. I have listened to both. Scott Brick is said to be "THE NARRATOR" but he can't compair to Christopher Hurt.
The Hurt version isn't great sound quality. I did hear some background noise at parts. There is a part where is stops compleatly for a few seconds but stick it out. Hurt's version of Taggart alone is woth it.
Brick makes this book I belive 11 hours longer using the exact same words. Brick has 1 voice for each male and female character and his book is packed with many characters. I think brick trys to play some parts.
This is my favourite book. I read it every year. Belive me when I say stick with the Christopher Hurt version.
This is one of my all time favortite books. I have read this book 3 times, but I never made it through the speech but once. I decided to listen, and originally bought this version during an Audible sale. After listening for a few hours, I could not listen to this narrator any longer and purchased the Christopher Hurt version. SO much better. I am sad to know that the book will end in the next couple of commutes.
There's very few things I can add to all that have been said about "Atlas Shrugged" that haven't been said before. Ayn Rand wrote a timeless masterpiece who put her name across the most influential writers of the english language. The story by itself is an Ode to the Human Mind and the best within us. This book change the lives of those who enter in contact with it and, most of the time, for the better.
The production of this audiobook is perfect. There's no background noise and the sound is as crisp as it could be. Only on the technical standpoint, the recording is as perfect as the state of the technology allows it to be.
So, why I gave it only 3 stars? Because of the casting of Mr. Brick. I have no quarrel with him. He's a talented artist who, I am sure, would give an outstanding reading of "Pride and Prejudice". He's, sadly, a poor choice for "Atlas Shrugged". His voice is unable to carry the certainty of John Galt, Dagny Taggart seems to be a moment away to sobbing, Francisco d'Anconia got a mundane voice while Jim Taggart sounds perfectly sane(!). This mostly ruined my enjoyment of this recording. "Atlas Shrugged" is a righteous book and his voice is too mellow to sound right.
In summary, may I suggest to those who really want to enjoy this story that they acquire the Christopher Hurt's rendition of it? The quality is less than stellar but the reading is perfect. In fact, I listened to the later right after I listened Mr. Brick's recording, just to forget the poor experience I lived.
I'll assume that anyone considering this book is already aware of its significance, so I'll focus instead on this audio recording. The narrator, Scott Brick, is very talented. When listening to an audiobook, it is important that the reader uses inflection to impart life to the individual characters. He does a fantastic job of creating individuals who are recognizable by their voices. He does, however, have a tendency to speak quite slowly, and draw out some of the text in a painfully deliberate manner. To the point that several of the characters sound overly grave or even angry. You might notice that this recorded version is more than 10 hours longer than the unabridged version released in 2007. While I haven't listened to that version, I wonder whether that's because he speaks that much slower. I found that I was able to play this at 2X speed on my iPod and it was still perfectly clear. This ended my frustration of waiting for the words to come, with the added benefit of cutting the playback time in half.
The story is classic. The reader is exceptional - I want more books by Scott Brick. Here, Scott creates several different voices for different characters and engages the listener for the entire 63 hours. Pacing and tone were perfect. Wonderful read/listen. Great clean recording, diction and color - and that's important for a 63 hour book. Story is thought-provoking if not outrageous - and just real enough to imagine, at least parts of it, taking place in modern times. "Novel" introduction to Objectivism. Easy to listen to - again and again, down the road.
somehow I got to be 38 without every reading this. Without really even knowing what it was about. I'd heard wacky things about Ayn (and her followers), but was pleasantly surprised by the book. The scale was refreshingly endless... her writing style is unique, wavering from the authentic depths of story telling to the shallow puddle of smut-fiction... But as a fan of Sci-Fi I am used to that. In many ways it is an Asimov-ian sci-fi adventure set in the techno-industrial beginnings of our country. in short, wish I'd read it earlier.
"John Galt would have liked it"
A minor criticism first. The first track in this audio book is an introduction with spoilers, so you should skip it if you don't want the surprise to be spoiled. The narration is clear and well acted and the sound is good.
Atlas Shrugged is two books in one: a novel and a book of philosophy. As a novel, AS is very good. It has interesting characters that change over the course of the book in ways that seem reasonable given their worldview and the world they live in. The plot also makes sense and is very effective at presenting Rand's worldview.
Many people complain about AS. I think these complaints are largely due to them disagreeing with the philosophy without having any good arguments against it. Do characters speak more eloquently than most people do in real life? There isn't a novel worth reading where that isn't true. The characters sometimes give speeches when they have something to say that requires a speech. People disapprove of this stuff because they dislike the content of the speech, not because there is a speech. My suggestion about how to approach the book is this: every time you feel outraged ask yourself whether you have a logical argument against what Rand is saying. If you don't then you should be willing to admit that you might be wrong and keep going.
So, to conclude, this audiobook is a well-narrated presentation of a challenging and dramatic novel.
This is a fantastic eye opening read. It gives the reader a whole new view of the economy today even though it was written in the late 50s. I would recommend this audio especially for those who find reading a book of this size difficult. Definitely a must have!
"Well Worth the Effort"
I was so pleased when I saw the unabridged version of Atlas Shrugged had been released on Audible. I tried to fight my way through the tiny font 1168 page paperback I bought a few years ago but I only have so much determination. This is what audiobooks were meant to be.
As many know this set in an America where socialism has gone bad. At times you do feel as though Rand is hitting you over the head with her message, but I suspected it was always going to be that way.
After a slow start Rand manages to keep my interest in the plot, although I have to admit that it's lovers of philosophy who will get the most out of this book.
Well read by Scott Brick; next up for me in the unabridged Fountainhead.
The longest book I have ever bought and definitely value for money.
"A work of fiction, a work of philosophy."
I really can not describe how much this novel has affected me. The value this book presents is just unmatched by any other work of its kind. For me Atlas Shrugged feels like a classic that is actually a classic. Themes of the book weave together like nothing I have ever read. If you enjoy a good thought provoking book, Atlas Shrugged will change your life.
"Has challenged me to rethink ideas"
For a long time I was reluctant to start reading this book, as it is a very long book, but it has been a great "read" for many hours of driving. Yes, it is long, but it has kept me interested and curious for the next turn of events.
I knew it was a political/philosophical book and it has certainly provoked my thinking - more than I really like, as I normally do not see myself as such a radical liberal as promoted here. The "looters" seem so obvious wrong in this book, that it is scary how often we see and hear their ideas promoted in real life also now in 2013. Having travelled around the world, I see countries almost purely based on the model promoted by the "looters" here - and not surprisingly these countries seem on the brink of catastrophe.
Probably the most thought provoking book I have "read" in years.
"Atlas Shrugged - 30th Edition complete with extras"
A titan of a book, by any standards, would need to give it a while before revisiting, will be trying The Fountainhead though.
Narration perfectly executed by Scott Brick.
Brick's take on all the characters is excellent, but his Hank Rearden was the best.
Such a great book, narrated so well, with notes from the author etc thrown in for good measure.
One of the best purchases I've made on Audible.
"An Explanation of Our Current Folly."
Prophetic vision of our future written Sixty years ago. This is a gripping read that seems to explain today's headlines. Well read in the audible format. An excellent explanation of why ,"There is no free lunch."
I first read this book many years ago, and have been checking Audible for the last three years, waiting for it to come out on audio. I forgot a lot of the plot of this book, but I absolutely love it. Ayn Rand was a genius!
"Surprisingly impressive book"
Scott Brick is a talented narrator with a fluent command of the different voices.
There are many characters in this book and Brick managed to make a different voice for every one of them.
It made me think.
There were holes in the plot and a lot of unanswerable questions. The Utopia which Rand describes is not workable. The Distopia she describes could not happen at that sort of pace in that way. However, later events -- typified in the collapse of Soviet society for example, or the rise of politicly correct language in Western countries -- which she could only predict at the time she wrote the novel, prove her to have been remarkably prescient and although her views seem extreme this book carries warnings we should heed.
"Atlas Shrugged with indifference"
Value for money? Yep it's 63 hours long. Entertaining? Not in any real sense.
Had Rand employed a judicious editor, introduced a sense of pace, or narrative thrust it might have been bearable. While I have no personal issue with didactic writing, labouring a point over interminable ages bears little fruit in terms of convincing or entertaining the reader.
Character performance is superb throughout and his delivery is a real strength.
Even God himself (deity of your choice) could not forge this into a film worthy of watching.
The book is notable not just for its length but also for containing the least appealing love affair in history.
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