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 had heard about this book in various articles I had come across and wanted to see what all the buzz (re-newed buzz) was about. Unfortunately, I found this narrator impossible to listen to. He emphasized nearly every word. The story itself was interesting at first but the book could and should have been half the size. I would have liked to know how it ended and will perhaps finish it in hard copy although the story seems to provide a very simplistic view of a complex problem.
I am slightly amazed that a book at this stultifying a level of mediocrity has lasted this long. The underlying argument never rises above a remedial level, the characters are dull and not believeable, and the long speeches never rise to the level of real dialogue.
One almost feels that people like it because it makes them feel like intellectuals without having to invest in any actual thought.
Brick does a good job here, especially given the tripe he has to work with.
Written over fifty years ago and still in print, this should be an awesome book. It isn't. It is stilted, the characters are wooden, overbearing, and apparently incapable of growth. because--like Rand herself if we are to believe the publisher's afterword--they already know it all. These, of course, are the ones she likes; those she doesn't have no redeeming traits. ATLAS ' novelistic elements feel dated to contemporary readers, such as dialogs that are really extended soliloquies bouncing off each other; its philosophical ones simplistic, trampled by advances in science. But there is an evil in this book: from the historical context we know Rand's villains are surrogates for Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration, yet the descriptions are of Bolshevik commissars. At one level, this isn't surprising since Rand grew up under their revolution in Czarist Russia. From a truth-seeker's perspective, however, it is deeply dishonest. Rand's tendency, so abundant in this book, to demonize your enemies without understanding them and lionize those who agree with you, has become the norm in our society.
On this narration, I found Scott Brick, usually one of the better performers in the field, disappointing here. The meaning as conveyed by inflection frequently missed the author's point, and he gives only minimal differentiation of characters. With the self-indulgent length of Rand's soliloquy-dialogs it was often hard to remember who was talking. This undifferentiated quality made it seem like an extended harangue. Then again, harangue is probably the best one-word descriptions of ATLAS SHRUGGED.
I really was excited about this. I just can't get into this extremely long and dry novel. To each his own, I fall asleep after the first 30 minutes.
I decided to listen to this book because I've heard so much about it, and wanted to better understand more conservative idealologies. I found I agree with much of what she says, but she takes it way to far.
It is much too long. I'm okay with long books generally, but no new content or thoughts are introduced. It's the same sermon over and over. Also, I HATE Hank Rearden. What a dull, uninteresting character. Dangy isn't much better. I haven't finished yet, but I hope they die horrible deaths.
And trains don't bring lasting fulfillment. They just don't, okay?
This is a ridiculously long slog through the narcissistic libertarian (as all her protagonists are) mind of Miss Rand. She gives you an extremist view of polar opposite extremists. I never give up on a book until I've finished it and I have only one of the 8 parts left so I will finish it but I hope you read this warning and save your money/credit for something that is more than an extremists propaganda and manifesto for the libertarian cause. The only bright spot is Scott Bricks performance, brilliant as usual.
he was brilliant in all of them
All of them, especially the 1-2 hour speeches the protaganists issued at least once per part,
Makes Mein Kampf look like a book of brotherly love in comparison.
There are few books that I would place in the same category as Atlas Shrugged--really only the Fountainhead, which is also by Ayn Rand. The book is not just a work of fiction. It is a fictional interpretation of Rand's objectivism views.
Very much so.
The book is so very long in print--which translates to really long to try to listen to. If you aren't familiar with the storyline, I believe it could become a bit difficult to follow the narrative.
This is as long as the bible and more boring than Leviticus. I think you have to have a religious commitment to free market capitalism to endure this. (And I believe in capitalism)
I'm not sure what this genre is.
Talk a lot faster. Also the women's voices were high pitched, whiny, breathy, and very annoying. Sorry Mr. Brick, I've really liked almost everything else you've done.
All the sermons could be cut in half, or just write it like a hymnal and just write (refrain) in parentheses.
Really trashy "love" scenes.
Great character development.
There isn't, except maybe her other work. We the Living was an excellent first novel; The Fountainhead geared up for Atlas Shrugged.
I want to but can't.
I actually have two audio Atlas Shrugged purchases now. This one is far superior in audio quality to the other. The narrarator is better, too.
"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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