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Atlas Shrugged | [Ayn Rand]

Atlas Shrugged

In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts? 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.
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Publisher's Summary

In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts?

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.

What Members Say

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4.3 (6292 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Laura Dearing, GA, United States 02-09-14
    Laura Dearing, GA, United States 02-09-14 Member Since 2010

    Yardtigress

    HELPFUL VOTES
    47
    ratings
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    "Looks like its coming true"

    This book is very long and I think it could have been shorter. I thought it was slow, but could not stop listening. It's scary that some of the things in it are coming true today. This is a conservative book, showing what could happen when progressives go wild.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danny EUNICE, NM, United States 11-14-13
    Danny EUNICE, NM, United States 11-14-13 Member Since 2011

    Considered a grump and confrontational, but still a loving grandad.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Change your views about life and living it."
    Any additional comments?

    This author has taught all who are willing to listen to what she has said, truly a life changing, mind provoking life style available to the listener.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Najmeddin Potomac, MD, United States 10-14-12
    Najmeddin Potomac, MD, United States 10-14-12 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Poor narration"
    What did you like best about Atlas Shrugged? What did you like least?

    Almost uncomfortable to listen to, due mainly to the reader's voice inflection, intonation and difficulty with reading the text. I wish I had sampled the narration before buying it. Also, the segments aren't appropriately identified so if you're following the recording with the print you have to struggle to find the right page. Not recommended for reading-impaired listeners.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ayn Rand? Why or why not?

    Not now.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Maybe.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Canada 09-09-12
    Michael Canada 09-09-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good with some caveats"

    I enjoyed this book a lot but there are some negatives that diminished my enjoyment of it.

    The Good:
    - I loved the protagonists (Dagny, Hank Rearden, Francisco). They were strong, intelligent characters and I was rooting for them right from the start
    - the story was interesting. I was anxious to find out how it would all end and it was gripping
    - the philosophical disadvantages of Socialism are well-presented

    The Bad:
    - it seems very exaggerated. I don't think the staunchest defenders of Socialism would identify with the "Incompetents' (my word for them) in this book
    - the antagonists in this book (James Taggart, Wesley Mulch, etc.) seemed to be the same person. They are one-dimensional with no redeeming qualities
    - it was very, very long. A few times I wanted to stop because it was so long but I really wanted to find out how it all turned out. John Galt's speech on the radio could have been cut down to 10% of its length with no loss of meaning or impact.

    Overall a good, enjoyable story and I recommend it

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph ROUND ROCK, TX, United States 04-05-11
    Joseph ROUND ROCK, TX, United States 04-05-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Socialism Bad, Capitalism Good"

    These 4 words say it all, but somehow it took 1100+ pages and 63+ hours to say it. This book is considered a classic and I can understand why; it gets into the fundamental rights of humanity, it addresses many of the issues we're still facing today and its characters are well-defined and interesting. I really got into this audiobook, but having said that...it's painfully boring to listen to at times. There's a long-winded speech at the end that literally goes on and on for hours. Clearly Ayn Rand didn't like governmental control, but I had no idea she was also against editors. A third of this book could be cut...seriously...and it would not only reduce the endless preaching, but it would make the book as a whole more concise and fluid. On at least 10 occasions I said "OK I GET THE POINT!"

    The characters are interesting...I was very intrigued by the principles that guided them. I found it hard to believe that such successful businessmen and women would be so dramatic, philosophical and soap-opera-like while expressing their views, especially in such industries as metals and railroads. But the extreme idealism of their views was very insightful nonetheless.

    Towards the end of the book, I found myself saying "No...it really is ok to do a favor for a friend without a dime exchanged between us." Anyhow...I get the point; it's better to be free and the fruit of my labor is mine to sell. Perfect audiobook for the patient and audacious among you. Enjoy.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 01-21-11
    John 01-21-11 Member Since 2011

    greeve440

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "great story...perhaps a bit long in the tooth"

    this is a truly entertaining story. one that many people in america would do well to hear considering our current political and economic situation.

    i gave this 4, instead of 5, stars for two reasons:

    most of the monologues in this book, and there are a handful, are almost suicidally long. the point is typically made within the first 5 or 10 minutes, but the listener is subjected to exhausting reiterations of the same idea. case in point is john galt's radio address clocking in at 3 hours of listening time. having said this, i loved francisco's diatribe about money being the root of all evil (or not, as the case may be) and that probably came in around 45 minutes or so.

    the second reason i didn't give this 5 stars is that i felt the narrator portrayed dagney in an excessively weak and frail voice. i don't know if that was his best impression of a woman, but dagney deserved a more confident sounding voice. he did a great job with reardon and i found myself hating james taggert on multiple occasions because the whining tone of his voice was so grating.

    overall, awesome book. would recommend to everyone, young and old.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Issaquah, WA, USA 04-22-10
    David Issaquah, WA, USA 04-22-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Excellent Rendition"

    Atlas Shrugged is a true classic, perhpas even more relevant today than it was when it was first written. I have read it many times, but enjoyed very much listening to the audio book reading. It added some life to the text that I had been missing. I highly recommend it.

    20 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    09-30-09
    09-30-09 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth a refresher on this one during these times"

    Hadn't read this since high school and remember I thought it was akin to science fiction then. Read it now! Boy was Ayan Rand right on and its very scary. Read it, read it read it.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James W. Moore 09-29-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Jim (Lompoc, CA)"

    I remember reading this book in college back in the early 60s and finding it fascinating. Students of today should read this book and understand what is happening in the real world. It is interesting how this work of fiction written in the 50s seems to demonstrate what is happening to our economy today and how the laws and the rights of the people of this country are being corrupted by the ineptness of the present government in handling real life situations.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Southlake, TX, USA 07-22-09
    Thomas Southlake, TX, USA 07-22-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "fantastic!"

    i was surprised that i was finished with it so quickly. i was expecting it to take me forever to finish! very captivating book, its a must read!

    17 of 22 people found this review helpful
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  • R Hamilton
    London
    5/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding book, outstandingly read."

    Everyone should read this book. It is very well written and thought-provoking, and wonderfully brought to life by Scott Brick.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • miss flavell
    4/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hedonism"
    What made the experience of listening to Atlas Shrugged the most enjoyable?

    Ayn Rand is narcissistic, her idealogies give me permission to be the most selfish primal and greedy human being and I can be this way with impunity, Ayns world was much moore fun than my own I think.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I would have preferred a female with a russian ish accent to narrate!


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Charming Avant Garde Piffle


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Demirep
    LONDON, England
    12/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly impressive book"
    What made the experience of listening to Atlas Shrugged the most enjoyable?

    Scott Brick is a talented narrator with a fluent command of the different voices.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    There are many characters in this book and Brick managed to make a different voice for every one of them.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me think.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • GWFarrow
    12/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Atlas Shrugged with indifference"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Value for money? Yep it's 63 hours long. Entertaining? Not in any real sense.


    What could Ayn Rand have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favourite?

    Character performance is superb throughout and his delivery is a real strength.


    Could you see Atlas Shrugged being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    Even God himself (deity of your choice) could not forge this into a film worthy of watching.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is notable not just for its length but also for containing the least appealing love affair in history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tashifan
    10/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Golly what a marathon! !"

    I am not sure I would have finished this book if I had not been listening to it. A lot of rant which did at times become tedious. But on the good side thought provoking and over all a good tale of how things could come to pass if philosophies are taken to extremes. Certainly a book of its time!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sonia
    RYE, United Kingdom
    9/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Industrialists turn the tables."
    Would you listen to Atlas Shrugged again? Why?

    Very unlikely - simply because of its length.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Less self indulgent material about how wonderful the female protagonist is.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The inaugural train journey - it was breathtaking - very fast paced - and constantly interesting.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Only in America.


    Any additional comments?

    This book took Ayn Rand 10 years to write. She researched her subjects diligently and wrote clearly and often excitingly. She gives her characters very long speeches, these are set pieces that are designed to express her philosophy. This is a book of ideas, not a simple story. Her basic concept is that work is virtuous and that wealth is the inevitable reward. Her heroes are hard working industrialists with a hands on approach. She is also unflinching about the moral necessity of owning ones own motivation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Iain Holland
    UK
    3/28/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What to make of Atlas Shrugged"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It's length.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The train facing the tunnel and beyond.


    Do you think Atlas Shrugged needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. This is a tome concerning the rights of Capitalism but the principles expressed simply don't work. Very interesting read though.


    Any additional comments?

    Ayn Rand's diatribe, for that's what it essentially is, creates a world where 'capital' fights it's cause. The key premise is that those accruing vast capital do so by their own efforts solely and therefore have no responsibility to their society. This is an inane argument as we all must accept that there is no such person as 'the self made man' and it only the notional power of money that could conclude otherwise. This is novel that tells us that power (in this case wealth) never tells the truth or (more specifically) never admits it's wrong.

    In a way this is much the same argument that many 19th century intellectuals and philosophers use to describe their thoughts and although not specifically related to capital you'll find similar arguments used by Adolf Hitler in his books of the 1920s leading to the 2nd World War.

    Ayn offers no ideas and merely suggest a future of economic hegemony and of a withdrawn capital owning class and fails completely to understand that such a withdrawn culture makes capital ownership actually worthless.

    There's a strong sexual component too and one (certainly me) can't help feeling that her mass argument amounts to nothing more than sexual longings of her own. Herself a very plain and rather unattractive woman it's quite hard not to see her female characters as possessed of a beauty and sexuality she may have lacked. While I may hear feminists bounding up to her defence I very much doubt that I'll hear many similarly bounding toward her ideas - as expressed in Atlas Shrugged.

    Basically the central premise of this novel is just plain silly. It has truths (in my opinion), it most certainly isn't worthless. For me it just astounds - however, I have a longer view and my own arguments with capital are 70 years more knowing and probably a great deal more damning than this trite piece of 1950s kitsch. A good read overall.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Janine
    BRACKNELL, United Kingdom
    3/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Magnificent"

    This book should be required reading for anyone with anything to do with government in any way.

    Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism is a honed blade to be held at the throat of society's demand for privileges. In Britain today, her message of 'stand on your own merits without leeching on others' is particularly relevant. Nothing is a privilege that you are owed. What you want must be worked for with your own sweat. No handouts. True respect is a reflection of your actual worth - to fellow humans, to business, to the economy. Using others' worth to create your own is immoral. The requirement of being your brother's keeper is obscene. Pity for a fellow human is a horrid emotion, without honour for both.

    Ayn Rand's writing is superb, the clarity of her philosophy is a beacon in the dark.

    The characters are superbly crafted. My only raised eyebrow is that Ayn Rand seems to have a disquieting take on violence in sex. The characters seem okay with it but it's a bit odd. It's a theme in The Fountainhead as well.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • anymus
    London
    3/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Worthwhile Marathon"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Atlas Shrugged to be better than the print version?

    This book is vast in its coverage, if you have the patience and persistance you will be greatly rewarded, because of its size and length, its a difficult book to finish, many havnt, in audible form its just alittle easier. If you do finish it, I suspect you will be one of the few.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Francisco d'Anconia, clearly a complex and highly intelligent character


    What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Yes, somehow adds to the drama


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Time to rethink your morals.


    Any additional comments?

    The book made me think much more deeply about life and happiness. ITs OK to be selfish, but not morally corrupt.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jennifer
    Crewe, United Kingdom
    2/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "too verbose"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed the story but it could have been a lot shorter. Often hours went by with little happening e.g. 3 hours on the whole of a speech when really only edited highlights were necessary for the story itself


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hank Reardon is an easy to understand character who doesn't mince his words


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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