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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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  •  
    Robert E Ballou Hampstead, Maryland United States 08-27-11
    Robert E Ballou Hampstead, Maryland United States 08-27-11 Member Since 2005

    I listen while driving. When I review, I'm much more apt to discuss the performance than the content. Sometimes, a bit of both.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Audio, just couldn't finish it"

    Scott Brick did just fine with this reading but I couldn't find a single protagonist in this book with which I could readily identify or sympathize. Likewise, the "looters", etc., are treated with a very broad brush. I quit before even getting through the first 8-hour segment. You might like this book but it just didn't hook me.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-17-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "S-L-O-W, LONG and Tedious"

    If you enjoy droning, monotonous, preachy political diatribes, this is the book for you.

    Where was the editor and where was the red pen?

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susanne Vestal, NY, United States 08-05-11
    Susanne Vestal, NY, United States 08-05-11 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
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    "Dragonfly"

    I painfully made it through the 60 hours of this book because I always finish what I start. Some books you hope never end. I could not wait until this book was over. I just cannot believe that this book is considered a classic in American Literature. I am an avid reader and book listener, and rarely do I find a book that I feel is a waste of my time. This book was a total waste of 60 hours. The long winded, repeating themes, were tedious. The characters were unrealistic. I could not relate to any of the characters in the book because they were not like any real person that I ever met. It is ironic that the same debates that are going on at present were being discussed in the 50s as well. I do not think there is a simple solution as this book infers. Moderation of capitalism and socialism have proven to be the most prosperous for our country. Extremes on either end, do not take our country forward. People must be able to think, and prosper and get paid for their efforts, but there are certain social programs that can only be managed by government. A moderate amount of regulations are required, or we have capitalism gone wild as we just experienced. I totally do not agree with the philosophy that was presented in this book and therefore had difficulty relating to the content. I believe that to see the world as black or white is one of the main problems facing this country today. Grey is the color that all of us should be looking at because major issues require true understanding and thinking which means evaluating both sides of the story. This book is totally one sided.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Dallas, TX, United States 04-30-11
    Edward Dallas, TX, United States 04-30-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Scott Brick is not right for this book."

    All the style of William Shatner's acting. I just can't get into it, so distracting..

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DMHVetSurveyor Western Wisconsin 01-02-11
    DMHVetSurveyor Western Wisconsin 01-02-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    533
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    224
    93
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    "Hate to say it Hurt is better"

    I love this book & I love Scott Brick, for some reason they just don't go well together. I have both in my Library along with 700+ other books, Hurt just seems to get the characters better. But if you are thinking of buying it on this $9.95 sale, then it is definitely worth the money.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda D. Cummings Bangor, ME 02-28-10
    Linda D. Cummings Bangor, ME 02-28-10 Member Since 2008

    Rinda

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Act of Discipline to Complete"

    This is a reread or relisten to the original novel. As audio the histrionic delivery is tedious and wearing.

    2 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Paso Robles, CA, USA 09-17-09
    Sarah Paso Robles, CA, USA 09-17-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "not for new listeners, but very interesting"

    This book really tested me. It was hard to get into and hard to finish. But the middle was great. it was so interesting how this work of fiction paralelled what was happening (it seemed to me) so excatly in our own economy.
    try this book if you feel you are a hard core listener, it is amazing, and scary

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    george grand prairie, TX, United States 07-03-10
    george grand prairie, TX, United States 07-03-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "yon"

    the book drags on, and on. it is not a tipical fiction book, it is more a an philosophies fiction book about root of all evil..

    Scott Brick did his damamness to catch person. well no, he made the characters to come life.. don't wase your money, or credit. to life.

    2 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicki Atascadero, CA, United States 09-18-11
    Vicki Atascadero, CA, United States 09-18-11 Member Since 2005

    Very picky when it comes to narrators.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Shoot the narrator"

    This is a long book. I read it years ago in college and thought it would be fun to reacquaint myself with it since I recently saw the movie of the same name. Unfortunately, this has to be the absolute worst narrator I have EVER encountered on audible. I would have rated it 0 stars on performance; unfortunately, that was not an option. I can think of 5 or 6 other narrators who would have done a magnificent job with this story. Too bad they picked this one. I couldn't get past the first part. I wasted to 2 credits on this overwrought mess. Don't waste your money or your credits!

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Xueshu Sycamore, IL, USA 01-21-10
    Xueshu Sycamore, IL, USA 01-21-10
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    "Not as good as The Fountainhead . . ."

    I have read The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand three times and found it intellectually, morally, and emotionally motivating. That's why I bought Atlas Shrugged by the same author. To my disappointment, the characters and the plot in Atlas Shrugged are too simple not to give the impression that Any Rand was writing for preschool children, while the underlining philosophy is obviously for adult audiences who need to be both social and political minorities to appreciate the book.

    Atlas Shrugged appears to me as an undercover non-fiction poorly disguised as a fiction, the author's zealous philosophical beliefs far outweighed her patience and efforts in creating a novel that could have been as good as The Fountainhead, which in my view, has manifested her great writership and her heroic ideals for being independent, creative, and objective in seeking the truth and appreciating the beauty.

    So, if you love Ayn Rand, buy The Fountainhead before you buy Atlas Shrugged.

    1 of 9 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.

    14 of 14 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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • FM Veteran
    UK
    3/2/13
    Overall
    "Reader shrugged"

    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!

    8 of 9 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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • judith
    canary wharf, United Kingdom
    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.

    6 of 7 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.

    6 of 7 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!

    2 of 2 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."

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    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!

    1 of 1 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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