©1943 The Bobbs-Merrill Company; ©1968 Ayn Rand; Afterword ©1993 Leonard Peikoff; (P)1994 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Ayn Rand is a writer of great power. She has a subtle and ingenious mind and the capacity of writing brilliantly, beautifully, bitterly." (New York Times Book Review)
Thank you Ayn Rand. Timeless for us few, and encouraging for the remainder. I need to type 7 more words for Amazon to accept what I finished in 13.
Just a stupid truck driver.
I loved the reading of this work of literary genius by Christopher Hurt. He gave each character a unique voice and didn't hesitate or stutter between characters during conversation.
As far as the story, I think Atlas Shrugged is better, but this book makes a lot of great points, too, but in a more subtle way, via the personalities of each of the characters.
Excellent choice of narrator for a classic story. Interesting character study as well as examination of intellectual ideals. Highly recommend.
I was pleasantly surprised that a novel written so long ago could be so awesome and timeless. Thank you Audible.com for making this available.
The Fountainhead really opens your eyes to the way many people tend to live their lives putting a major focus on what others say or think as opposed to being original and living their life. Wholly unashamed of their position not needing any approval to be themselves.
Thoreau's 'Walden' and Ayn Rand's 25th anniversary introduction to 'The Fountainhead' summarize my library well.
This was my first Rand novel. It was a coin flip between this and Atlas Shrugged where if I liked one, I would read the other. The Fountainhead was not without imperfections, but was well worth the time and credit.
Rand is over-the-top and polarized with her individualist message, creating characters and scenes that are too fantastic to be rooted in reality, but it serves her message quite well.
Hurt's narration was not great, but still good. Toohey was Hurt's best character; Keating's dismantling was unforgettable: a chilling warning to the "secondhanders" of the world and cause for deep introspection, well worth the 30 hours to get there.
I could have done without the endless details of her characters. Fortunately that was offset by her wonderful scene and setting descriptions, the researched architectural details adding an educational edge to the story. (At the time I was reading this, my wife and I had just purchased a new house, making for a unique personal experience.)
My greatest takeaway though may have come in the first ten minutes, in Rand's introduction to the 25th anniversary of the book:
"Certain writers, of whom I am one, do not live, think or write on the range of the moment. Novels, in the proper sense of the word, are not written to vanish in a month or a year. That most of them do, today, that they are written and published as if they were magazines, to fade as rapidly, is one of the sorriest aspects of today's literature, and one of the clearest indictments of its dominant esthetic philosophy: concrete-bound, journalistic Naturalism which has now reached its dead end in the inarticulate sounds of panic."
I couldn't have put my own similar thoughts into words any better. Atlas Shrugged is on my wishlist.
"Romantic Objectivity at it's finest"
The audio edition was brilliantly read by Christopher Hurt who added a hidden depth to each character, something which I didn't get with the printed edition.
My favorite character has to be Howard Roark, as the main focus of the Fountainhead you follow his story. The story of Roark's life is one that won't only entertain you, make you feel the same emotions as Roark in the story but teach you about objectivist philosophy and how a purely objectivist man would live their life.
Christopher Hurt applies a level of depth to the characters which I didn't get in the book, emoting each speech which gives you the ability to feel more for the story and what is going on. Whilst keeping the story alive, Christopher allows you to keep fully immersed in the story without feeling like your being read too.
My emotional response to the book was one of sympathy, sympathy to the reality of today's society and the one that is described in the book. Unfortunately Rand's second-hander society is one I see around me everyday.
"Its no Atlas shrugged"
Ayn Rand is so good at showing the dangers of central control that it actually hurts to write bad things about her books.
This is about one mans struggle to make his mark in the world and will make no compromise whatsoever. People will see it his way or not at all and the book is one depressing fall after another until he achieves his ambition.
It represents her philosophy of objectivism that is an acquired taste to say the least but it’s an interesting subject.
It’s nowhere near as good as ‘Atlas Shrugged’, which you must listen too.
The problem I have with Rand is her characters; I hate all of them, good or bad. She is also very pro man. I should not have a problem with this but her views of women do not sit well in my male mind despite not being particularly modern in my mind-set.
She is very much like her main character in that she writes this book her way despite what others may think which adds an air of authenticity to her works.
To sum up I suggest you get Atlas Shrugged first and see what you think of it, if you like try this if not stay well away.
"challenging and thought provoking"
this classic doesn't disappoint - i loved the characters and found it very thought provoking even though I didn't agree with all the ideas it promotes. Would recommend to any thinking person.
What an exceptionally thrilling story! I enjoyed the different characters, my favourites being Roricke and Dominique of course.
Applause to the narrator! Magnificent storytelling!
A real treat. The characters quickly come alive, some will frustrate you, some you'll love, others you'll hate and truly wish a great tragedy befalls them in the next paragraph or perhaps the next. Desperately your mind will try impose a reason for the relationship and later character assassination of Rourke.
"Great underlying concept but a bit stretched out"
The book is well written and talks about individualism as being of utmost performance. The story line is pretty good in trying to make this point. The first half of the book can be very depressing at times though. Also, there are large portions of the book where the presence of the protagonist is really missed. Overall it is a good read. I would recommend the abridged one to people short on time.
Good quality and reading speed. Enjoyable and highly recommended.
The only thing is that recording broke a few times. Thanks
"Creator vs Second Hander"
Very Interesting albeit long book about Creators vs Second Handers. Lot of food for thought and contemplation.
"A slow start into the rules of being selfish"
I have to be fair I gave it an hour. In that time i didn't connect with any of the character. I thought the story was setting up to some great insight, but instead it left me cold. It's just not my cup of tea; however, if you like the capitalist story on steroids or if you find that every man's for himself, then you might be able to connect. BBC you gave the story more hype than it deserved.
I might try to understand her politics again at a later stage
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