This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world - and did. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he fight his hardest battle not against his enemies, but against the woman he loves?
Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's magnum opus and launched an ideology and a movement. With the publication of this work in 1957, Rand gained an instant following and became a phenomenon. Atlas Shrugged emerged as a premier moral apologia for capitalism, a defense that had an electrifying effect on millions of readers (and now listeners) who had never heard capitalism defended in other than technical terms.
©1957 Ayn Rand, ©1985 renewed Eugene Winick, Paul Gitlin, and Leonard Peikoff, Introduction ©1992 Leonard Peikoff; (P)1991 Blackstone Audio Inc.
Clocking in at 50+ hours, some might think the length of this audiobook is prohibitive. Believe it or not, I can honestly say that it is such a riveting and compelling novel and philosophical discussion that it truly is over before you know it.
Highly, highly recommend this book to all readers. Also, if you're wondering which Ayn Rand to start with, start here. Her philosophy is best summarized in Atlas Shrugged.
At first blush, the length of this work, combined with how dry it can be in print made it daunting.
However, this reading made a very viable presentation of the material. Mr. Hurt has good pacing and intonation. He makes reasonable character voicings, and does a really superb job of keeping the long monologues and introspections interesting.
The reading was also very well paced. I was particularly impressed that the length of the summary speech near the end of the work matches almost exactly the times in the text which reference it.
Overall, this is a very accessible and insightful presentation of subject matter which could under other circumstances be particularly onerous.
With all the negative reviews, I almost didn't take the time to listen to a classic. There is much to disagree with (Rand's atheism being my biggest quibble). Yes, quality was very poor. The long speeches were ponderous. The characters are not in any way real people (good guys perfect, bad guys perfectly evil). It was worth the 52 hour listen however.
I normally read sci-fi, fantasy, etc. Something to escape the day to day. This book had been on my 'to read' list for a long time, but I was always put off by it's length (1200 pages), and that it was old (1950s). I mean, how good could that be? Woah was I wrong. I so wish I would of read this book earlier! Incredible page turner with some of the most amazing writing I have ever read. Without question the story will cause you to look at the world differently. Truly a MUST READ/LISTEN. I just finished listening to it, and now I have the book and I'm going to read it again as well. Simply an amazingly engaging, suspenseful, and moving book.
As for the audio-book: This book was wonderfully read/performed. There is a bit of background 'noise' at a few points... but nothing serious.
This may be a classic written in 1957 but oh is it relevant for today! If you want to be entertained while understanding just what is causing the economic meltdown across the world - this is the book for you.
Be a bit patient because getting use to Rand's very pictorial writing and symbolism is a bit strange and slow. However, within an hour you will begin to become intrigued that someone could so aptly describe our world today.
I never tire of comparing this book and the ongoing problems the world economies have today. There are so many comparisons that I won't even begin to go into them. The author has a unique way of driving her point home. There are times that I felt as if I was at the dentist and the dentist keeps telling me over and over what they are doing and as if I didn't understand them they have the assistant drive home the same point.
The characters are believable but at times seem to be whiny,arrogant,insecure,belligerent, indignant,self-centered and heroic. You want Dagny to win but you also want her to fail sometimes. Things just seem too easily bought and without any red tape or hoops to jump through. I am a business man who cannot seem to jump these hurdles as smoothly as these characters, nor can I drop a wad of cash to get anything I am working on a top priority. It just doesn't work that way. That said, I still enjoyed the backbone of the story...work hard, stay true to your convictions, be honest, fair and above all keep your word as a business person and you will reap your reward. The drawback to this philosophy is there are always those with the opposite intentions of yours willing to do whatever it takes to remove and halt any success that you may achieve.
I give this book a 5 star for inspiration, 4 star for storyline and writing, yet only a 3 star for accuracy in government and the workings of the checks and balance system. (Where was the President, Senate, Congress in this book)? I do recommend this book to anyone who understands the business world or those who are thinking of starting a business. It is, after all a classic piece of literature that seems to cover any global, economic or time frame. A very long listen, it took me 4 and 1/2 weeks to listen to the unabridged version on my 2 hour commute each day. It will remain in my library forever to be replayed when then next stock market crash or Enron fiasco happens.
This is an excellent book, with a very good narrator. My only issue with it is that it appears there was poor sound insulation between the studio this book was recorded in, and another studio. I would often hear quiet murmurings from (I assume) another audiobook reading. It was a bit distracting at times. However, I reiterate the quality of the material and the narration. I often found myself sitting in a parking lot for an additional 10-15 minutes, not willing to turn the book off and get out of the car.
When I read this book 40-some years ago, I rushed through the long-winded speeches. One benefit of having it read to you is that you cannot. I was surprised to discover how much Ayn Rand's philosophy seemed to develop during the book. I really enjoyed looking for things that dated the book--like driving 200 miles to find a long-distance phone! It is a wonderful story, albeit with a pretty heavy message. If you've not read Ayn before, start here!
A detailed plot that shows, from roots to flower, the working out of a communistic/socialistic system. Very timely today as our goverment seeks to increase hand-outs and in doiong so take from those who provide our futures.
I could have done w/o John Galt's speech (atheistic as it was - there are better ways to show the troubles of this world w/o blaming God...perhaps one could take a better look at the root difference between God and religion).
Barring that- the book is a good read and I would recomnet it to anyone.
Christopher Hurt's narration is exceptionally good. For a 52-hour commitment, this is very important. I find Rand's ideas about economics compelling, but I wonder about the plight of the disabled in her utopia. It's all well and good for the capable; but what of the handicapped if we aren't to "live our lives for the benefit of others?" Rand assumes the reality of meaningful free will, which is a tenuous doctrine. What I applaud most is Rand's distrust of governmental intervention, which tends toward the horror of a directed economy. May we never forget the benefits we've reaped from our profit-driven, free economies nor the unchosen suffering of the disabled and disadvantaged. And may we always follow empirical, rational reasons in deciding about matters of great importance, like economics.
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