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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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Performance
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  •  
    Paula 12-05-12
    Paula 12-05-12 Member Since 2013

    Avid reader and listener, of both fiction on non-fiction. I especially love history, adventure, and creative, clever and unusual characters!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    "Still one of the greatest stories EVER"

    There is a reason that the classic Atlas Shrugged has remained one of the best selling books for over 50 years: it is simply a phenomenal tale, before its time in many ways, and filled with fascinating characters and unpredictable plot elements. Scott Brick is not my favorite reader, but he does a reliable job in telling this complex story. This audio version remains one of my favorite listens ever, and my husband and I have both listened to it several times. It is an undertaking, to be sure, at 63 hours, but there is so much story to be told that you will relish every hour.

    I will not give any spoilers to listeners who have not read the book, but suffice it to say that the events of Atlas Shrugged sound as if they are taken from current headlines; you will have a hard time believing that this was written more than half a century ago. The American economy is in shambles, the government repeatedly tries to fix it with legislation that only compounds the problems, the few remaining productive sectors of the economy are villified as being "greedy," and forced to hand over all they earn for the "good of society," and successful businessmen are disappearing, leaving their once profitable companies to be looted by beaurocrats. One man's dramatic solution does indeed leave you wondering "Who is John Galt?"

    Enjoy this marvelous classic! You will never look at society, government and the economy in the same light again.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josiah Chandler, AZ, United States 12-04-12
    Josiah Chandler, AZ, United States 12-04-12 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome Read! Narrator is the BOMB at x3"
    Any additional comments?

    Brick was actually pretty dang good. Start listening at 1.25X then slowly move up to 3X (if you would like to). Brick talks slowly but probably sounds the best at 1.5X. I had full comprehension at 3X and thought it was very engaging. Have a great time listening most def worth it!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    krystee yakima, WA, United States 11-30-12
    krystee yakima, WA, United States 11-30-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Great political concept mixed w/human connection"
    Where does Atlas Shrugged rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    9 out of 10.. I'm not sure what ten was but it was so far above the other books I've heard, that it's way up there. They do a good job of painting a political picture of where the world is and/or can go and connects it to you personally at a human level, all while holding suspense, mystery, and excitement. The narrator does a great job of painting the picture of the each scene and individual.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Francisco was a self- motivated, 12 steps ahead individual who thought on multiple levels outside of the perverbial box. This is the way all humans should strive to be.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't have a favorite


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Wish I could, but 60 hrs doesn't fit in one sitting..


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette SAINT PAUL, MN, United States 11-29-12
    Jeanette SAINT PAUL, MN, United States 11-29-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Story
    "A Fantastic Story"
    What made the experience of listening to Atlas Shrugged the most enjoyable?

    The reader made the story come alive. I don't think I would make it through reading over 1000 pages.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Atlas Shrugged?

    When Daphne crashed landed in the valley and John Gault was the first person she saw.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    See the above answer.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kraig angola, IN, United States 10-29-12
    Kraig angola, IN, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "This was written in 1957 ???"
    If you could sum up Atlas Shrugged in three words, what would they be?

    Engaging, relevant, & lengthy


    What did you like best about this story?

    A clever, coherent defense of the benefits of capitalism in an engaging story.


    Any additional comments?

    Although written in 1957, the book seems more relevant today that it probably did in 1957. Some minor social norms have changed since the 50's, but this only adds to the interest of this story.

    However, be aware this is a long book. Sometimes the dialog is made up of short, rapid fire, back-and-forth conversations, but I guess that's what happens when you have 1,100 pages to fill.

    Don't be fooled by the recent movie. This is a very engaging story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brant 10-29-12
    Brant 10-29-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Producers live!"
    Where does Atlas Shrugged rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Very High.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Atlas Shrugged?

    The story of Robin Hood.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    He did a good job of changing tone and inflection to represent characters.


    If you could take any character from Atlas Shrugged out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Dagny Taggerd. She's honest.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ricardo San Antonio, TX, United States 10-23-12
    Ricardo San Antonio, TX, United States 10-23-12 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding narration"
    Would you listen to Atlas Shrugged again? Why?

    I would absolutely listen to this audio book a second time in order to appreciate the rich details.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Atlas Shrugged?

    The paragraph in which the title of the book was explained.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    I thoroughly enjoyed his range of characters which brought the characters to life.


    If you could rename Atlas Shrugged, what would you call it?

    Extinguish the Lights


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Middleton Lexington, KY USA 10-14-12
    David Middleton Lexington, KY USA 10-14-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
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    3
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    "Compelling journey with burden of repeation"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Atlas Shrugged to be better than the print version?

    The story moves along and I wanted to hear what happens next. But the same speeches are made over and over again by different characters or in different circumstances were punishing. That it was in audio helped to make the burden easier to bear.

    I went back to the introduction after listening to the book. Rand's explanation that fundamentally the book was for her and only shared with us later made the book easier to take. I don't agree with her belief in the critical importance of the creators as a narrow class but I value her book as an expression of her belief.

    As an example of her time and reaction to communism/socialism the book is both valuable for that but dated when it comes to more universal prospectives.


    Any additional comments?

    The reader did a wonderful job, especially with scenes in which two or more speaker are talking. It oddly made me enjoy the experience just a tad more when I very occasionally questioned some part of the reading where the text described how the voice should have sounds and I questioned whether the reader got it right.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Snowsurfer 09-05-12
    Snowsurfer 09-05-12 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
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    Story
    "Awesome"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. It was the longest book I've listened to on audible, but it's just the kind of book I want to read. If I read it on paper, it would take me forever. It only took me a few weeks this way because I was so interested in the story, and could listen to it anytime.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dagne, because she persisted and believed so strongly in herself.


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

    That's a hard choice, since Scott Brick is one of my favorite readers. But I think my favorite was Francisco, because his double life was so well differentiated by the reading.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Wanted to? Maybe. Possible? No way, unless you can stay up for 60 hours at a time.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jordan Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 09-05-12
    Jordan Edmonton, Alberta, Canada 09-05-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Story
    "Glad I listened"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I chose this book because of the controversy surrounding it. I'm glad that I did. The story by Ayn Rand was well written, and the conclusions were interesting, but it was truly built on some glaringly false premises. A bit of a straw man. Still, I enjoyed it.


    What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He's a fantastic reader.


    If you could take any character from Atlas Shrugged out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Dagny. Sounds hot.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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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