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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.

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  •  
    Andrew J Peterson 03-21-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good message in Soap Opera Format"

    I think the overall story is good. And, I do like Scott Brick as a Narrator. The message of the book is good, but kinda drummed into your head over and over.

    It's an interesting book, but for me I can only go through it once.

    5 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 02-26-14
    Neil Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 02-26-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Libertarian propaganda and little else"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    This is a ridiculously long slog through the narcissistic libertarian (as all her protagonists are) mind of Miss Rand. She gives you an extremist view of polar opposite extremists. I never give up on a book until I've finished it and I have only one of the 8 parts left so I will finish it but I hope you read this warning and save your money/credit for something that is more than an extremists propaganda and manifesto for the libertarian cause. The only bright spot is Scott Bricks performance, brilliant as usual.


    Has Atlas Shrugged turned you off from other books in this genre?

    YES!


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

    he was brilliant in all of them


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Atlas Shrugged?

    All of them, especially the 1-2 hour speeches the protaganists issued at least once per part,


    Any additional comments?

    Makes Mein Kampf look like a book of brotherly love in comparison.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason FREDERICKSBURG, VA, United States 12-09-13
    Jason FREDERICKSBURG, VA, United States 12-09-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This book should be mandatory"
    Would you listen to Atlas Shrugged again? Why?

    Yes, it is not only a great story but read like it is rip from today's headlines


    What other book might you compare Atlas Shrugged to and why?

    There is not really any other book like this one


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

    I have not


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

    Yes, this book will help you define what type of person you are in life.


    Any additional comments?

    Should be taught in every school.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Warsaw, IN, United States 10-13-13
    Christopher Warsaw, IN, United States 10-13-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "to much"

    it is ok but way to long and not compelling enough to continue to wish to listen.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gazit Austin, TX 09-26-13
    Gazit Austin, TX 09-26-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A MUST LISTEN (or read) BOOK"

    One of the most important books I have ever read./listen to Grants liberation even as I saw myself as living according to its philosophy even before. Beautiful story, important message.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MickeyMarie 02-24-13
    MickeyMarie 02-24-13 Member Since 2014

    I read so I can write

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Timeless Masterpiece"

    I first listened to Atlas Shrugged when I purchased it 10 years ago. That version narrated by Christopher Hurt is no longer available and when I tried to reload it on my Iphone it wouldn't load. Audible replaced it with this version.

    I was not disappointed with Mr. Brick's narration.

    What I really have noted about Atlas Shrugged is the timelessness of this novel. I first read it forty years ago, listened to it 10 years ago and now again. It is timeless. You cannot even guess when it is happening and know that it could be happening any time.

    I recommend this book as a must have.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Fort Morgan, CO, United States 12-26-11
    John Fort Morgan, CO, United States 12-26-11 Member Since 2014

    Great way to read great books on the go. Love Sci Fi especially Orson Scott Card and Star Wars.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Atlas Didn't...but I did."
    Would you try another book from Ayn Rand and/or Scott Brick?

    No. This book was a pretentious, naive, and narrowminded look at the world.


    If you’ve listened to books by Ayn Rand before, how does this one compare?

    I have not and based on this one will not in the future.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator did an excellent job relating the material.


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

    Perhaps, but I would not pay to see it.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek Loganville, GA, United States 10-11-11
    Derek Loganville, GA, United States 10-11-11 Member Since 2015
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    "I agree with economic freedom but Rand is extreme"

    Let me first say, I am not a political liberal. I am very conservative with a definite degree of liberterianism about my views. I am not naturally predisposed to disagree with the general perception of "Atlas Shrugged." In fact, I think Rand's general premise of economic liberty, personal responsibility and free markets is dead-on. The liberals of today, the Occupy Wall Street crowd, those that back socialistic philosophies could learn a lot about economic freedom from "Atlas Shrugged." Yes, the book's antagonists are over the top and often caricatures and the novel is wordy and preachy throughout - she could have easily cut 40% of the length of this book out by not say the same things over and over in long-winded speeches multiple characters - but there the people of today who continually seek to punish and deride success and achievement could do worse than to adopt some of the views of Rand. Note, I say "some."

    NOTE: MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW

    Where Rand lost me and prompted to not finish the book, is when she insinuates God is a "mystical moocher" or words to that effect. In addition to being highly offensive to my Christian faith, Rand falls into the same trap that the left does - moral relativism. By what authority does Rand deem the truths that she put forths, especially in John Galt's radio address, in various speeches through the novel, to be absolute morality? She is a human being with no higher authority than any other person. Her views are no more absolute than any other man. This arrogance is amplified by her arrogance to call God, the only One who does have supreme authority, to be in violation of HER moral code! As I said, much of her economic philosophy rings true, but her justification and rationalization fails. I do not see that her economic positions are in spite of God's law to help our fellow man, but rather is the most effective way to show love and help others.

    Ultimately, the ironic immorality of Rand's pronouncements as she puts forth her own relative morality, regardless of how valid many of her political and economic points may be, undermine her overall position. Just like true libertarianism, Rand's extreme perspective will alienate many who would otherwise be sympathetic to her politics. This is a shame because in our current era, we need economic liberty and excellence in our society more than ever. But we also need to refocus on God as well, an area in which Rand miserably fails with "Atlas Shrugged."

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yancey Mayslick, KY, United States 10-06-11
    Yancey Mayslick, KY, United States 10-06-11 Member Since 2008

    Sugar Doc

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "If only I had read it 20 years ago..."

    I love audiobooks because it helps me "read" many more books than I could in the traditional method. Scott Brick is excellent in his character development as a narrator and if you enjoy a good SciFi book you should listen to him in "The Passage." It took me a little while to warm up to this book. Once I realized the messages developing within it there was nothing that could tear me away from it. I truly wish I had read this book 20 years ago as a younger man. I am a successful physician, business owner, artist, entrepreneur, husband and father. So many times in my life of self made success I have felt guilty for succeeding when those around me failed. Not through any cheating or advantage other than my own skill came my successes but I was still "made" to feel guilty for what I had accomplished. Deep down inside I have always felt this was unfair. This book helped me understand why those feelings were true. Rand's insights into human nature are so accurate that they transcend time. Once you grasp her ideas of human motivation for success as a creator or a taker you too will see my elation at her work. THIS should have been my high school required reading instead of Dickens crap about a thief's beneficiary! Rand has changed my life as a successful, educated man of 41. I hope I live long enough to truly appreciate what she has taught me.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Pittsburgh, PA, United States 07-12-11
    Amy Pittsburgh, PA, United States 07-12-11 Member Since 2007
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    "So disappointing !"

    I've managed to get through another book or two narrated by Scott Brick, but I can't get through a book of this length, and will be careful not to purchase more narrated by him. So pretentious, so overdone. I can't get past the first hour. What a big waste of money.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 311-320 of 448 results PREVIOUS131323345NEXT
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  • Alan Michael Forrester
    Northampton
    12/25/12
    Overall
    "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.

    32 of 32 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas
    Copenhagen N, Denmark
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "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.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • michelle
    NOTTINGHAM, United Kingdom
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "Atlas Shrugged"

    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!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    London, United Kingdom
    12/24/12
    Overall
    "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.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  • Oliver
    CANNOCK, United Kingdom
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "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.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • tam
    4/17/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Atlas Shrugged - 30th Edition complete with extras"
    Would you listen to Atlas Shrugged again? Why?

    A titan of a book, by any standards, would need to give it a while before revisiting, will be trying The Fountainhead though.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Narration perfectly executed by Scott Brick.


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

    Brick's take on all the characters is excellent, but his Hank Rearden was the best.


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

    Such a great book, narrated so well, with notes from the author etc thrown in for good measure.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the best purchases I've made on Audible.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Edward
    ROTHESAY, United Kingdom
    6/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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."

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Simon Smith
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom.
    1/12/13
    Overall
    "Amazing book!"

    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!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Judy Corstjens
    8/7/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Naive (and badly written) but with originality"

    If the book was 500 pages instead of 1000, I would have given it five stars, because I think it would then be well worth reading. At 63 hours, it is hard to justify the time spent. In fact, you can save 62 hours of your valuable time by directing yourself to Ayn Rand's interview with US TV host Mike Wallace in 1959 (on Youtube) as she gives a much condensed account of her philosophy there. She has this one idea, which I think is original to her and a complete rejection of the moral position of the Christian church. This is that clever and hard-working people can be exploited and made to feel guilty by lazy, less endowed people. That a human's primary responsibility is to pursue one's own happiness and one should not try to 'love one's neighbour as oneself.' If you are really taken with that you can read the book. Unfortunately, in the book her solutions and working through of this philosophy are hopelessly naive and really get nowhere.

    The book is a joke as a novel - terrible writing style, and painfully repetitive. There is no dialogue, just speeches - everyone (including the odd tramp) talks philosophy and politics. The characters are wooden. Superheroes and wimps. The plots contradicts itself - for example, she spends the (future) profits of the John Galt railway line three times - once mortgaging them to her brother (the owner of the parent company), once to her investors (including Hank Reardon who goes in with $1m) and then for herself as she expects to become stinking rich through her enterprise. She doesn't understand business, but she also doesn't understand politics. There is a strange lack of violence. A prosperous industrialised country (the US) is being destroyed by a wimpy group of socialists. The only 'model' I can think of is the Nazi take over of Germany. This is partly a battle of ideas, but it has to sink into brutality as sensible, rich people never give up without a fight and genuine terror. Rand sort of knows this and does have one torture scene - where the hero John Galt is VERY BRAVE and breaks into a light sweat.

    Rand also has a particular idea of female sexuality which involves super-hero dominant males, and she plays this out ad nauseum throughout the book - her character being the only complete female in the book, she gets to sleep systematically with all the superhero industrialists her pigmy imagination can invent (they are all so alike, why bother?) As a woman, I could neither identify with the main character nor like her. I was ashamed of her.

    17 of 25 people found this review helpful
  • Christian
    Braintree MA, MA, United States
    1/3/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "single minded"
    What disappointed you about Atlas Shrugged?

    After an interesting beginning (woman fights for her right to take charge over her life) the story drifts into black and white. black is everything social white is (neo)capitalism.
    If you like Thatcher Bush and affiliates or like to understand this type of concervative stream, this might be you book.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ayn Rand again?

    No


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    He is could develop more different voices for different characters (compare Humphry Bower, Frank Muller etc)


    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
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