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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

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (6302 )
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4.4 (4169 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Stephen Webster, MA, USA 11-11-09
    Stephen Webster, MA, USA 11-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    "Spectacular"

    Ayn Rand does an exquisite job of conveying her objectivist philosophy in a wonderfully entertaining novel. A must read for anyone with a mind!

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rod Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 11-11-09
    Rod Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 11-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Blown Away!!"

    The quality of writing and the incredible account of a world where mind is absent is unique. This is the best book ever!
    The reader does an incredible job from distinguishing different characters and their individual voices to the point that before they are identified you know who is speaking. This is a longer version but the quality of reading is superb. I recommend this version.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Cherry Hill, NJ, USA 10-25-09
    Jeffrey Cherry Hill, NJ, USA 10-25-09 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    "Great, worth the time!"

    This is very long listen, but one that is well worth it. It makes you think about life and has wonderful descriptions of the characters and a time when the country was so young. I am very excited about reading more from Ayn Rand.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad bemidji, MN, USA 09-15-09
    Brad bemidji, MN, USA 09-15-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    25
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    "Unbeleivable"

    Every School age child should read this book prior to entering the real world. What a wonderful message to take with you as you explore out on your own. I loved the narrator - he fit every part.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Gig Harbor, WA, USA 01-26-10
    Chris Gig Harbor, WA, USA 01-26-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Too Long Poorly Voiced"

    This book would have been really good at half the length. The characters are all one-dimensional and her philosophy is not exactly brought across in a subtle manner, she hits you over the head with it for over 50 hours including a 3 hour speech that should have taken 5 minutes.

    The "bad guys" were all voiced with the same wimpy voice while all the "good guys" were voiced with the same manly strong voice.

    5 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Big John Montana 07-29-13
    Big John Montana 07-29-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
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    "Story was garbage."

    I'm trying to read books with intelligence, even if I expect to disagree with them. That being said, about 25% of the way through Rand's "atlas shrugged" any time I hear the words "it's not right" I expect to hear some stupid stupid S@#.

    one small example (of which all the others are just this stupid) - somehow I'm expected to believe that during an oil shortage, oil producers would go out of business because of competition, and people would demand that the big producer have his output capped, (during said shortage) because its not fair to the little guy? And already understanding how this book progresses, I'm sure they do cap the big guys production, with no mention of even the premise that made them think it was a good idea except everyone deserves and equal chance? Can't read this crap anymore.

    it's supposed to be a philisophical book, but what's the point of basing a philosophy on an illogical plot line? I get the illogic of Vonnegut et. Al. Because say a main character walking on stilts for several years is not THE plot line, its an aid to it, to make you think from a different prospective. Now as of so far Rand's plot line is not BASED on things that could ever happen in the real world, her plot line IS things that could never happen in the real world, with no explanations of how or why....which amazes me given that the book is over 1000 pages long.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin United States 02-15-11
    Justin United States 02-15-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "in need of some serious editing..."

    This book was soooooo long. I love long books normally but only if they're not repeating the same thing over and over and over again. This book is essentially a study in how long you can beat a dead horse and still keep a conservatives attention. I suppose I'm glad I listened to this since so many other people seem to find it inspiring but really, the philosophy is shallow and flawed and I don't see why so many people are taken in by it.

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kurt Y. Hanish Seattle, WA USA 07-14-10
    Kurt Y. Hanish Seattle, WA USA 07-14-10

    Xbalance

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Worst book I have ever listened to"

    The writing stunk, The characters reminded me more of comic book characters than literature characters. If Ayn Rand wanted to write an ecomomic or social philopshy book she should have done so. And for all the people who love the characters because they think captialists are all heroes and socialists are all evil slackers, explain to me the heroics of Enron, the financial crisis, BP's disaster, and so on. The human race is not simple and it never will be. Ayn Rand wanted us to believe it was.

    6 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoffrey Rockford, TN, United States 08-25-10
    Geoffrey Rockford, TN, United States 08-25-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, narrated by Lois Cook"

    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.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew J Peterson 03-21-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
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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
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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.

    13 of 14 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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