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 would, but not because it's a good story. The book is worth reading for the warning story of the Bum's Speech alone, and Hank Reardon's testimony is also worthwhile, but one must have the full context to understand why those two speeches are worth listening to.
When Hank Reardon gave his testimony before the tribunal stating that he had no plea to enter because he hadn't violated any law. The entire book was worth it for that moment alone.
No, while one was able to get used to the performance after a while, the monotone, down-beat delivery of the performance left me wishing for a better narrator.
Ayn Rand's use of this book to convey her Objectivist philosophy suffers in two major areas:
First, she writes what is essentially a Self-Insert story where it's clear she's intending the Dagny Taggart character to be her proxy in-story, second is the obvious use of a Mary-sue level character in the form of John Galt. Self-insert stories need to be delicately handled, and Mary-sue characters never make good characters at all.
Second, Ayn Rand suffers from the core problem that most atheists suffer; allowing someone else to define God for them. There is no spiritual aspect to this book beyond the physical needs of the moment, resulting in no real driving goals being obvious to anyone, requiring the reader to intuit that there is supposed to be some great spiritual strength to John Galt's "Workers of the Mind" strike. A single charismatic opposition leader who understood the spiritual needs, as well as the temporal needs, of any human would have destroyed the "strike" without even knowing it was taking place.
This is ignoring entirely that Ayn Rand's so-called "perfect man" in John Galt is fairly two-dimensional and is fairly uninteresting.
Rand's logic used to present her ideals were superb.
Rand's ideas on capitalism, happiness, role of government and etc.
Too dramatic of a tone all the time made it weary after a while and took a long time to get used to it.
Self-Reliance Objectivism Philosophy
This is John Gault Speaking.
The preachy radio broadcast.
Too long, but didn't want to stop listening.
It is better than not reading the book, at all. Listening to the audio while reading along is best. There are points she makes that bare consideration. The pause button is important. This book is a feast to be slowly enjoyed and ruminated over.
Her use of descriptive titles for the 'Looters', the 'Destroyers', the 'Parasites' is especially good for youthful readers. She makes clear who the good guys and who the bad guys are. "The mind is the fundamental source of wealth." And her comment that 'individuals should pursue life enhancing values'.
Cautionary Tale to Modern Society
Someone very conservative who is fond of repetition may be fond of this book.
This story was annoying, the author beats you over the head over and over with the same themes and ideas.
Not my cup of tea, was very disappointed as it had so many high ratings.
Rand's individualist philosophy is one worth considering by today's American liberals and conservatives alike, particularly as our two dominant political parties compete to enlarge the federal government and extend its powers for their own purposes. Rand portrays an extreme scenario of the people handing over all responsibility to a government comprised of those whose only goal is to remain in power, even at the cost of the country self-destructing. As this fairly accurately describes our current political system, and the path we seem to be on, I would almost put this one on a required reading list for anyone of voting age in the US.
That said, Rand leaves no shadow of a doubt when articulating her philosophy via dozens of characters and their dialogs (and several epic monologs), to the point that I had most of the book on 1.5x and even 2x to just get through sections. "OK — I get it!" was a phrase I found myself almost uttering aloud at several points.
Scott Brick's performance was excellent, and I agree with another reviewer that his ability to read each character distinctly really helped me keep things straight.
For those who are on the fence regarding abridged/unabridged as I was, I'm glad I went with the full version, as the characters are complex and nuanced; I wonder if that might have been sacrificed in the culling of some content. You'd have to rely on the review of those who have read both, I suppose.
Say something about yourself!
What a great story! I had a uncle who was reading the book and raved about it, then friends at work were talking about the Movies and I decided to get it through audible. I did some research an Amazon and found that it was written in the late 40's and early 50's and was published in 1957. The similarities between the society in the book and today are astounding. I wish I had read the reviews about the narration before I purchased this version, But I liked all of Scott Bricks other work, but it sounds like a Dune Novel. The narration bothered me from the start, but I became used to it by part 2 and then is was all about a driving story and a great mystery, not the who done it, but what is going on and were will it all lead. This may be the best book I have listened to, I can't believe I never came across it before now. Try this book, I really doubt you will regret it.
Scott Brick is an outstanding narrator!
Ayn Rand's story is excellent, and her characters are engrossing. Her philosophy is in line with mine, but I'm much less radical.
However, Ayn Rand is l o n g w i n d e d !!! Holy cow! The 3 + hour dialog by the main character in the next-to-last chapter is a killer! When Rand makes a point, then goes on and on explaining it in a different light, you just want to scream: "I've got it! Move on!"
I really wonder if she was getting paid by the word? How did this get past an editor?
"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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