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.
As with many classics I hesitate to write reviews. With this one even more so, since many of it's premises on life I agree with whole heartedly. My brother calls me a Randian every time politics or economics comes up and then he smiles and refuses to discuss it further. As a political and economic philosopher Rand ranks among the giants. As a writer of fiction she has no equel. Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead are true masterpieces of American literature written in the Russian style. If you truly wish to see what some of the Russian masterpieces would have looked like if they had been written in english you have to look no further than Ayn Rand. The length of content, color of description, mass of character development, and depth of story in Rand's books not only show her love for her characters, story, and art, but also reveal her Russian roots and give all of us a glimpse into what some of the great Russian literature would have looked like if it had been written first in english instead of being translated and therefore making it a little more difficult to follow. I can only imagine that if War and Peace or Dr. Zhivago flowed as smoothly in english as Atlas Shrugged more Americans might have enjoyed their wonderful and full worlds.
Scott Brick does a fantastic job in presenting this masterpiece as it was intended. I have to say that at times I truly forgot that this book was being read by a single individual. Scott Brick makes this book truly come alive in the mind's eye, and because of this I can say that I have seen the Taggart Bridge and the Taggart Tower. Scott Brick is a master of his craft and was a perfect pick for reading this masterpiece.
Compelling, inspiring, thought-provoking
His voice's clarity and passion make the listen entertaining.
The soliloquy about money, free market and economic freedom in Part III spells out human nature and its love-hate affair with capitalism and money itself. Brilliant segment on Rand's part and wonderful interpretation on Brick's.
This is a novel written in the 40s - but it's message is especially important when it's cool to shun capitalism. Free markets is the key to America's success and this perspective should be appealing to college age and above - it is urgent that more Americans listen to get the other side of the economic story.
Theology Reality Anarchy
I became so involved I felt as though my consciousness was a character.
This was the only one I've ever listened to
A is A, Theology is Life. Ayn's Magnum Opus will solidify your reality.
Every now and then a book comes along that challenges your own perceptions of the world around you. For me, that book was Atlus Shrugged. As with most written works that are meant to be persuasive, the book presents an ideal with very little representation of the opposing viewpoint. However, the ideal this book presents, business, and more importantly the people who run them, are the engines that propel society forward. All to often, big business is usually represented as abusive and oppressive (think Enron). It's that "evil" perspective that most literature indulges in.
In her argument, Ayn Rand illustrates through fictional prose, the real evil in society, the looter. This person does not want to work and artfully leaches off the people driving business while simultaneously despising them. Charity, according to Rand, is simply a vehicle that enables this mentality.
The book presents a story that brings these thoughts to life and echos different aspects of our society in a frighteningly accurate way. The story feels contrived at times, however, it is being written to exemplify a point. I particularly didn't enjoy the ending, but that did not ruin the book.
Rand also seems to go on and indulge in arguments at some length, almost to the point of drudgery. However, I do believe it is for the sake of clarifying her argument and attempting to present counter arguments to potential opposing viewpoints.
The real enjoyment for this book was introducing a coherent, logical philosophy that in my belief should be required reading. The book is engaging and performance is excellent. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
An Essential Read
It makes a very relevant philosophy understandable within an incredible story.
The part in which Fransisco spoke with Rearden about Atlas.
I have always heard this was a great book. It is much better than I expected. Characters are very well written, and the story and its philosophy is more relevant today than ever.
Scott Brick did a fantastic performance.
Overall, this is a very good book with a lot of great ideas, but it's so darn wordy and melodramatic. This story could be cut down by 2/3.
Definitely worth checking out though and should be required reading/listening.
As an entreprenuer, it is hard for me to shut off my brain! It is also hard for me to sit still! I love audibles! I can exercise, work on "chores" , travel and be entertained! Always looking for a good story!
My husband began trying to get me to read this book 10 years ago, when as a successful business owner I encountered many of the things described within this work. I wish I had hadn't waited so long to read it...perhaps if I had read it in college, I could have saved myself 30 years of guilt! It is long, but I understand why it needed to be. And it is eerie to see and hear Atlas Shrugged played out in our political and social life now. Who is John Gault?
story got lost in the dialogue,
maybe, I would be very hesitant
yes, love Scott Brick
The majority of the radio announcement from John Gault! way too long almost didn't finish I got so bored.
I love Atlas Shrugged! This is a wonderful book free of socialist sentimentality and excuse for being inept. Atlas Shrugged is mercilessly wonderful!
This book is so captivating and relavant. Even with its length it seemd to be over too soon. A must read!
"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.
"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."
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.
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!
"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.
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.
He is could develop more different voices for different characters (compare Humphry Bower, Frank Muller etc)
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