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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.

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  •  
    Amar 09-04-12
    Amar 09-04-12
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    "Great story with incredible plot"

    This was a great story with a complex plot. It is long (53 hours) but went quickly as I listen in my car. The narrator was very good and was able to keep my attention. Although the timing was set a few decades ago, I think the overall concepts are quite relevant today and applicable in any scale (global to local).

    Without giving away any of the story, it develops well and builds upon itself dramatically. There are a lot of twists and turns throughout the story that keep you on the edge of your seat.

    I did run into a minor snag as this was a very long audiobook. I do not sync frequently with my computer so I download multiple parts. It is very easy to lose your place as the titles on my Ipod Touch do not display enough characters to see what part is what. I had to keep a notecard with the times that each segment took as that was the only way to identify each ~8 hour segment and make sure I listen in the correct order. It would be nice if the narrator stated "Part 1 of 8" at the beginning and end of each segment.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory A. Jones Liberty Lake, WA USA 09-04-12
    Gregory A. Jones Liberty Lake, WA USA 09-04-12 Member Since 2013

    gjones

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    "Excellent performance by Scott Brick"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Atlas Shrugged to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I am not finished with the book but I find all of the characters excellent.


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    I think he captures the essence of what Ayn Rand's characters through his voice and pacing.


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

    I don't know.


    Any additional comments?

    I am about 20 hours in and it is excellent.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Griff LONG BEACH, CA, United States 09-03-12
    Griff LONG BEACH, CA, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "Fantastic Story / LONG book"
    Would you listen to Atlas Shrugged again? Why?

    yes, when I have another three months of my life to devote to it. Great story, fantastic themes, good characters, fun surprises / plot turns. Overall, loved the book even though at times I found myself wondering if it would ever be over


    What other book might you compare Atlas Shrugged to and why?

    n/a


    What about Scott Brick’s performance did you like?

    I can't believe how many different voices this guy could do. I was truly impressed. You really get the idea that each voice is its own personality. He is able to make each character their own.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I loved the themes even though at times they are over embellished. You have to believe in capitalism and libertarian ideas to get through this book otherwise you'll be vomiting after the first chapter.


    Any additional comments?

    great book I would recommend everybody read it once. Difficult to get through at times because its so long but after it ended I found myself missing the story. Maybe thats because I spent every day of my life with this book for almost two months.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue Peru, IL, United States 08-26-12
    Sue Peru, IL, United States 08-26-12
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    "A must read before you can vote in 2012 election"
    If you could sum up Atlas Shrugged in three words, what would they be?

    I was blind.....


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love that this book was published in 1957 but it applies to today even more than in 1957. It is a very long book and I will read it again, and again. Because that its such a valuable story. If you think capitalism is evil, you must read. If you feel envy for the rich, if you feel that doctors should work because they love helping people, if you feel that we should be more equal...............READ this book.


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

    U.S. Democracy 2016?


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Wayne, NJ, USA 08-26-12
    David Wayne, NJ, USA 08-26-12

    I find audio books to be the way to go for me. The down time can be put to good use anywhere.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic Classic Classic"
    If you could sum up Atlas Shrugged in three words, what would they be?

    An accurate picture


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dagney Taggart because she is a strong conservative.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It raised my patriotism to an even higher level. I have never ordered people to read a book before (I even begged a few).


    Any additional comments?

    Ayn Rand was brilliant. She learned the hard way and it shows.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin Kissimmee, FL, United States 08-24-12
    Justin Kissimmee, FL, United States 08-24-12
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    "The most amazing book I've ever "read"!"

    I have been putting off reading this for more than two decades, ever since I first heard of it. I wish I hadn't. This put so much of what I've been thinking and feeling into perspective and words in ways that had eluded me. Ayn Rand's way of articulating complex thoughts through dialogue has broadened my own capabilities in rational argument and reasoning. Absorb the book in whatever way is available to you and, as you advance, check your premise.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Traci Seville napa, ca United States 08-03-12
    Traci Seville napa, ca United States 08-03-12
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    "My favorite story! Terrible narration"
    Would you try another book from Ayn Rand and/or Scott Brick?

    Love all Ayn Rand books. Would never download this narrator again, all characters of worth sound like they're growling!


    What didn’t you like about Scott Brick’s performance?

    He only shows inflection or interest in characters you don't want to hear. All my favorite charcters are bland.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David LAKE ODESSA, MICHIGAN, United States 07-30-12
    David LAKE ODESSA, MICHIGAN, United States 07-30-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A Glimpse of Today from Yesterday"

    Very good book. I almost decided against listening to it because of its length but I am glad I did and now understand why this book is so popular. Interesting story, good character development and I even thought the reader, Scott Brick, did a nice job in bringing the story to life. First and foremost, the book is meant to be philosophical but Rand's points are clearly and entertainingly made within the fictional tale. Say what you will about how much you agree or disagree with her viewpoints, you can not argue the timeliness of its assertions and it's depictions of what faces us today. I found it to be almost eerie considering the book was written in 1957.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Ludtke Houston, TX USA 07-30-12
    S. Ludtke Houston, TX USA 07-30-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Excellent Performance"
    What did you love best about Atlas Shrugged?

    I first read this in high school at the recommendation of an english teacher who didn't really care for it, but thought I probably would. She was right. I reread it (or listen to it) now every few years. If you believe in the greatness of human achievement and of the human mind, and have not read this, you should. Give it a little time, it is a massive book, and starts rather slowly.


    Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have listened to a (non-audible) performance of this book by a different narrator, and this one is superior in my mind. I have not listened to the other available audible reading.


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

    It is not physically possible to listen to this in one sitting.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan Wheatfield, Indiana 07-29-12
    Nathan Wheatfield, Indiana 07-29-12 Member Since 2010
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    "I loved this book for ME!"

    I was unsure what this book was about when I began reading it. I had heard it mentioned in the past and always thought it might be good to understand what people were talking about.

    I was shocked to see concepts within the book that I had long left behind because so many people had told me that my ideas were wrong. For me the idea that there is no such thing as a selfless act was the most profound. As a child I remember thinking this while being taught that it was evil to be selfish. This book validated my beliefs and allowed me to see that I am not alone in this world. I always contended that selfishness is not the evil, but rather how we treat each other that can be evil. Once you realize the and understand the idea that everything and everyone holds a potential personal benefit, then the world becomes much clearer. To deny this simple truth, is to lie to yourself. I know it goes against what we were all taught but it is true. We all need to think, really think about what we believe and why we believe it. This book is all about unleashing the thinker in us all and it moves you to believe in what is.

    I am not a head of industry or even a business owner. I have no great scheme to ride the backs of the people until they drop and then grind them under my heartless oppressive heal. I work every day doing the best I can. I fight the urge to let the apathy created by so many lazy people who are allowed to continue in their laziness due to other lazy cogs in the machine. My job is a mission, a personal one. Much like golf, I don't measure myself against others but against myself. I strive to think and live. This book is a breath of fresh air and it will inspire you if you will open your mind and challenge your beliefs.

    I loved this book for many reasons, but I also think there are some tough spots. Spots that really require us to think. Contrast this book to "The Grapes of Wrath", how would Rand solve the problems that Steinbeck introduces. Neither really proposed a solution. But in the real world, the solution to Joad's problems came from what Rand called prime movers. Rand did not elevate only the leaders of industry, she simply elevated man. She pronounced that man was great and not weak. If man is to shine, to be a "prime mover" they must first believe in themselves, first and foremost.

    Too often we teach our children conflicting beliefs. We teach that selfishness in to be uprooted and in the same breath, we tell them to believe in themselves to build their self esteem. These two views are conflicting. It is only by the use of objective thought that we can begin to truly understand the world, others, and ourselves.

    I think the best honor I can give to this book it to say that I loved this book for ME and what it has helped ME to see and to become.

    0 of 1 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.

    12 of 13 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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