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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 (5237 )
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Story
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Performance
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  •  
    David CINCINNATI, OH, United States 03-06-11
    David CINCINNATI, OH, United States 03-06-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
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    "Too long"

    Great political tale. It's just too long. This isn't Harry Potter, this is serious literature. There is a message here, and made me think about what is going on in the US today. The dialogue is patched together monologues. I don't think Rand actually ever listened in on a conversation to learn how people really talk to each other. Other reviewers mentioned the narrator. I thought he did fine for such a massive undertaking. I do recommend this book. If you feel it is long, it really is a trilogy, so take a break at the breaks.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela United States 02-09-11
    Angela United States 02-09-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "ON and ON and ON and ON"

    I thought that the narration was extremely dull. It seemed like even when the characters were passionate, the narrator made them sound disconnected and boring.

    As for the story itself.... well, I don't know about everyone else, but I got the point of it in a few chapters. The rest of the book is just hammering the same thing over and over again... just in case you didn't get it the first hundred times. Daphne has to be the most clueless character ever created; I did not find her believable in the slightest. I thought Hank was equally as stupid. If they were so smart and talented, perhaps by the 30th hour of the neverending story...they would have caught onto the fact that they were being used a thousand times over by any and everyone in the world.

    I get the social and political point of the book. But if you cut out the number of times the author repeated herself, it would be a short story.

    A very complicated book to drive home a simple point.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky Jennings 01-20-11 Member Since 2007
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    4
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    "Inspiring book....unbearable narrator."

    I fell in love with Atlas Shrugged when I first read it many years ago, and as many Atlas Shrugged fan tend to do, I reread it every few years. As an Audible fan, I thought this time around I would listen to it. I found the narration of Scott Brick extremely irritating which ruined both story and character betrayal. His narration had a whining, sarcastic, sing-song tone to all characters. It is especially difficult to listen to the characters I admire, and the reason I come back to Atlas Shrugged every few years, portrayed in a voice that does not depict their strength and untainted conviction. Listening to a book for 61 hours is a commitment. I have not listened to the abridged version of Atlas Shrugged, but please don't listen to this version as it will ruin this remarkable story for you.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chadborne NISSWA, MN, United States 01-20-11
    Chadborne NISSWA, MN, United States 01-20-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not worth it unless you're a neo-con."

    I jumped into this with the desire to understand the most popularized version of lassaiz-faire economics. It became apparent to me that there was no such treatment to be found in the book. I've read about a quarter of the way into it, and I have decided to abandon the project for other exploits. Yes, I've heard about the famous Galt monologue. No, I won't read it all - here's why.

    When Rand decides to abandon real human interaction in favor of artificial preaching, she invariably just says "I [Rand] believe that might makes right [or any other suitable proposition]. Why? Because it's clearly true." Without presenting so much as a shred of evidence that she understands how people function, let alone why her pop-philosophy is to be taken seriously, she's successfully used an old trick: telling you what to think without the compliment of telling you why.

    The many reviews and discourses I've read suggest that fans of Ms. Rand are looking for something smart and sophisticated to justify their beliefs post-hoc. And no, you are not allowed to redefine "moral" to mean what we would commonly think of as "amoral self-interest". Believe it or not, structuring a society around helping each other is moral. Letting the vaguely-defined "great" men do their thing simply because they have vision will often lead bad things.

    Any book that is longer than the complete Hebrew-English Tanach had better develop a plotline. This does not develop fast enough. The characters don't act like real people. If you want suggestions of what to do with your great burning spirit, I suggest F. Nietzsche.

    If you're still reading my review, then let me state that Rand can be very descriptive in her usual paragraphs. If you want a more concise, perhaps even believable version of her objectivism, skip this and move to The Fountainhead. It's much more manageable, and the focus on an artist instead of a capitalist is far more appropriate to matters of spirit.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie Klamath Falls, OR, United States 12-23-10
    Marie Klamath Falls, OR, United States 12-23-10 Member Since 2007

    I love history,I am into genealogy, my iPod is my constant companion. Favorite authors...D. Gabaldon, N. DeMille, K. Follett, E. Rutherfurd

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very depressing...."

    I bought this book because I had heard so much about it, there are several 5 star ratings and Scott Brick is one of my favorite narrators. I love long books, should be a no brainer...you're going to love this book...WRONG...I am now over half finished listening to it and it is the saddest most depressing book I have ever listened to, and it just goes on and on. If I listen to it while trying to go to sleep, I have nightmares.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Corrales, NM, United States 12-12-10
    Thomas Corrales, NM, United States 12-12-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slow, dated and wordy."

    Listening to it now, I recall skipping dozens of pages at a time when I read it in high school. Too long; too many adjectives; too much of everything. Poor word selection. Maybe her command of the English language just wasn't good enough. The characters are poorly developed, uninteresting, unlikable. Each one so reprehesible, the listener hopes they all fail. Rand fails to construct an interesting basis for the political/economic message, which is thin and unexamined: Capitalists good; socialists bad. OK, but she fails to give the good capitalists a worthy foil. The performance is one note: dramatic. As if the listener should hang on every word. But there is never a payoff for hanging in there.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vickey Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada 10-17-10
    Vickey Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada 10-17-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring!!!!!"

    This has got to be the dullest, most boring thing I have ever heard. And it's not the narator's fault at all. It's all on Rand. She uses as many words as possible to describe what her antisocial characters are thinking and there's almost no action. It's taken me 6 months to listen to the first section. I'll probably finish it seeing how I paid for it but it may take a few decades.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Dresden, ME, United States 09-29-10
    Michelle Dresden, ME, United States 09-29-10 Member Since 2009
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    1
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    "Could Not Finish"

    I had heard about this book in various articles I had come across and wanted to see what all the buzz (re-newed buzz) was about. Unfortunately, I found this narrator impossible to listen to. He emphasized nearly every word. The story itself was interesting at first but the book could and should have been half the size. I would have liked to know how it ended and will perhaps finish it in hard copy although the story seems to provide a very simplistic view of a complex problem.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bart Franklinton, LA, United States 05-19-10
    Bart Franklinton, LA, United States 05-19-10
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    "This is not a good book"

    I decided to listen to this book because I've heard so much about it, and wanted to better understand more conservative idealologies. I found I agree with much of what she says, but she takes it way to far.
    It is much too long. I'm okay with long books generally, but no new content or thoughts are introduced. It's the same sermon over and over. Also, I HATE Hank Rearden. What a dull, uninteresting character. Dangy isn't much better. I haven't finished yet, but I hope they die horrible deaths.

    And trains don't bring lasting fulfillment. They just don't, okay?

    25 of 86 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Lake Dallas, TX, United States 08-01-10
    Paul Lake Dallas, TX, United States 08-01-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    1
    1
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    "Not what I expected..."

    I really was excited about this. I just can't get into this extremely long and dry novel. To each his own, I fall asleep after the first 30 minutes.

    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
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