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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
No for Rand, yes for Brick.
After this, I listened to several economic texts including "Economics, 3rd Edition" and "Debt, the first 5000 years".
His narration shows determined characters with single minded focus. I think that's how Rand would have wanted it.
All of them. They were all caricatures for Rand to show off her philosophy. They had very little value in and of themselves. Rand would have been better off making the book a quarter of its length and just explained what she thought was right and wrong with the world instead of writing a novel. She wouldn't need any poorly written, unsympathetic, two dimensional characters in order to do that.
I need to put aside the value of her philosophy and just tell you about the book. It is not well written. The author doesn't understand her characters. She loves to hear herself talk. She wants to get her way. Her characters are like comic book characters, all powerful superheros or evil super-villains.
The people giving this book 5 stars are those who love her philosophy and willing to suffer through her writing to see their heroes triumphant at the end. You won't see any 5 star reviews from literary critics. Think of that as you contemplate listening to this for 63 hours.
I cannot believe this book is considered a classic. It's a two dimensional story that seems to send the message: There's only two types of people in the world, Those that think exactly like me and total idiots. If people disagree with you they are not worth listening to.
The antagonist in the story only exists to nag people and to get in the way. They are written badly, like a teenager trying to write about how someone thinks and they want you to know just how stupid these characters are and they should just wise up and agree with the protagonist.
She portrayed working class people as too stupid to look after themselves. Without a boss to tell them too, they wouldn't even know to throw rooting food away. They would live in squallier not even bothering to repair their homes. It just reeks of class prejudice.
The end because I didn't need to listen to any more. The only other part I even remotely liked was when John Gault is being tortured and the machine breaks and no one them know how to fix it and he ends up tell them how to get in running again. That was not worth 63 hours of my time though.
The only thing that might have saved it is if antagonist were better written. I cannot understand the motivation because their decisions make no logical sense. You have to understand the motivation of a character even you don't like the character. While I hate a character like Lord Voldimort of King Joffery, I understand what motivates them even thought the characters are horrible people doing things I would never do I can still understand why they make the decisions they do. James Taggart and Lillian Rearden only seem to exist to make problems and protagonists and nag them.
Also the pomposity of the protagonists needs to be removed completely. Dagney is particular is so pompous and condescending I want to smack her, also could we have one male character who doesn't fall in love with her.
If you think Ann Coulter and Glenn Beck are the great minds of our time, you'll love this book.
Yes, it is not only a great story but read like it is rip from today's headlines
There is not really any other book like this one
I have not
Yes, this book will help you define what type of person you are in life.
Should be taught in every school.
"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.
"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.
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.
"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.
"What to make of Atlas Shrugged"
The train facing the tunnel and beyond.
No. This is a tome concerning the rights of Capitalism but the principles expressed simply don't work. Very interesting read though.
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.
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