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.
I loved the premise but hated the narrative...I found myself screaming "Just get to the point!" The book could have been half as long.
Scott Brick does his best to ruin a literary classic with his narrating style. His pace is so slow and pronunciation so precise you start too loose interest in the of listening to this classic novel. I have noted his name and in the future will not download any novel narrated by Mr. Brick.
Clearly a classic. Very well written and with a clear dedicated author's philosphy that is impregnated in every chapter of the book. I would critique it as being a little wordy and repetitive. Started off strong and very engaging, ended with a slight yawn and OK I have heard this already. Brick was a perfect choice for this book. Highly recommend. Glad I chose the audiobook rather than read the book. Finished the book much quicker than I thought it would take. Go for it.
Hard core Audble listener, been listening to recorded books since they were on casset tape...
This voluminous book had an enjoyable theme, but I kept thinking as each character rambled their points ad nauseam, that this reader sounds just like the just like the voice of the People Mover ride narrator at Disneyland. I know that ride is not around anymore, at least at the Anaheim location, but man, I just couldn't get past that for some reason.
Only worth sitting through if you are looking for a book and want to get a lot out of your credit.
I have a cassette recording narrated by Kate Reading from Books on Tape that I have had for several years.Since I don't care forScott Brick but wanted to get a version I could load on my iphone I went ahead and wasted a credit on the Audible version. I am now considering buying a cassette player so I can listen to Ms Readings much better version. Audible, please consider purchasing the BOT version. It is MUCH better.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love history,I am into genealogy, my iPod is my constant companion. Favorite authors...D. Gabaldon, N. DeMille, K. Follett, E. Rutherfurd
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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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!
This book is l-o-o-ng – two long books riveted together. One is an ok drama, set (unusually) in industry. The other is pure Mills & Boon, its Dallas-like cast led by cool, elegant Dagny Taggart, who’s fought over by a string of brilliant, powerful men. You can’t help feeling the second was added to make the first more palatable to the masses.
Despite all that, Atlas Shrugged is really just an unremitting political sermon. Let’s face it, you’ll love this book if you’re a US Republican, hate it if you’re a US Democrat, and be bemused if you’re anyone else. For all her objectivist rhetoric, you sense that it’s Rand’s cri de coeur: “After all that trouble getting away from Stalin, I’m darned if we’re gonna have socialism over here”. Obama is the proof that it was wasted effort. Still, this is a millenarian work, so many can still take comfort in a world that never was.
Unfortunately, Rand leaves you feeling like you’ve been scolded by a Victorian aunt. But the mirthless hectoring isn’t the worst part. That’s the endless repetition. If an ad lib is worth uttering once, it’s worth repeating ad nauseam. Much of the book is taken up with speeches that sound like she’s cut-and-pasted them from essays she got good marks for at college. Her favourite rhetorical device – “I say this, you say that. I do this, you do that...” – is fine, except when you realise that all her heroic characters speak the same way, at which point you want to slap them.
Narrator Scott Brick maintains his energy levels to the bitter end, especially in distinguishing the voices of the lead characters (of both sexes). But his performance is offset by solecisms, e.g. annoying mispronunciations and the fact that he intones literally every three-part list wrongly – and Rand is inordinately fond of lists. And his desperately languid style does make him an accessory to Rand’s prolixity. But Audible proves its worth with this one: I’d nearly given up when I discovered the 2X button on my i-Phone. Oh, joy!
"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.
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