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The Fountainhead | [Ayn Rand]

The Fountainhead

One of the 20th century's most challenging novels of ideas, The Fountainhead champions the cause of individualism through the story of a gifted young architect who defies the tyranny of conventional public opinion. The struggle for personal integrity in a world that values conformity above creativity is powerfully illustrated through three characters: Howard Roarke, a genius; Gail Wynand, a newspaper mogul and self-made millionaire; and Dominique Francon, a devastating beauty.
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Publisher's Summary

One of the 20th century's most challenging novels of ideas, The Fountainhead champions the cause of individualism through the story of a gifted young architect who defies the tyranny of conventional public opinion. The struggle for personal integrity in a world that values conformity above creativity is powerfully illustrated through three characters: Howard Roarke, the genius who is resented because he creates purely for the delight of his own work and on no other terms; Gail Wynand, the newspaper mogul and self-made millionaire whose power was bought by sacrificing his ideals to the lowest common denominator of public taste; and Dominique Francon, the devastating beauty whose desperate search for meaning has been twisted, through despair, into a quest to destroy the single object of her desire: Howard Roarke. Dramatic, poetic, and demanding, The Fountainhead remains one of the towering books on the contemporary intellectual scene.

©1943 The Bobbs-Merrill Company; ©1968 Ayn Rand; Afterword ©1993 Leonard Peikoff; (P)1994 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (2956 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Alika Fricke Nebraska 03-12-09
    Alika Fricke Nebraska 03-12-09 Listener Since 2005

    dominate6

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "Great Book"

    Has everything I loved in Atlas Shrugged. A great story with philosophy and romanticism spun in. Definitely worth the credit!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy Greenock, PA, USA 12-11-08
    Tammy Greenock, PA, USA 12-11-08 Member Since 2007
    ratings
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    22
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    "GREAT"

    Typical Ayn Rand! I wish she wrote more books so I can read them all!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stevan tebbetts, MO, USA 08-05-08
    Stevan tebbetts, MO, USA 08-05-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent view of the Human condition"

    Rand describes the human condition with exquisite detail that truly holds your attention for hours. The reader is great. Every American should read this book as required reading - the public schools and government workers could especially use this illustration of what it means to be free.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William deerfield beach, FL, USA 12-23-07
    William deerfield beach, FL, USA 12-23-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fountainhead rules"

    A must read and get he DVD release of the movie with Gary Cooper.

    6 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Raleigh, NC, USA 09-05-08
    Mike Raleigh, NC, USA 09-05-08
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    "One of the greatest books ever written"

    If you are considering this, then maybe you've got the brains to appreciate it. I'm not employing the Emperor's New Clothes strategy. The vocab is difficult, and the concepts are complex. But even though it's a hefty tomb, not a word is wasted. I've never read its equal, except for maybe 'Atlas Shrugged.'

    12 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-15-09
    02-15-09
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    "The Fountainhead Narator Not a Good Match"

    The Fountainhead is my favorite book. The narator for your version that I purchased from audible was unacceptable to my ear and I was unable to listen very long. I would encourage audible to obtain the recording that Books on Tape owned. Although I don't recall the narator off hand, it may have been Kate Reading.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sue Carmichaels, PA, United States 03-09-14
    sue Carmichaels, PA, United States 03-09-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "i should have read War and Peace"
    What would have made The Fountainhead better?

    if it wasn't written


    Has The Fountainhead turned you off from other books in this genre?

    will not read another Ayn Rand


    Would you be willing to try another one of Christopher Hurt’s performances?

    yes. Mr. Hurt was the only redeeming quality but one can't make a silk purse from the proverbial sow's ear.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    i felt really good when it was over.


    Any additional comments?

    this book was so filled with negativity that i needed to read something fun and positive afterward. the flow was slow, the plot was convoluted to the point that i was unable to find it. i found most of the characters vapid and one-dimensional. i felt as though i wasted my time.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlie NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI, United States 03-11-14
    Charlie NORTH KINGSTOWN, RI, United States 03-11-14 Member Since 2012
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    2
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    "Nice performance on a bad book"
    Would you try another book from Ayn Rand and/or Christopher Hurt?

    Christopher Hurt - yes.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ayn Rand again?

    I have listened to both the Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Cannot understand why people like her writing. When I was in my early 20s, I read both books and liked the independent, strong character of Roark. Now that I am older, I find the story to be simplistic, poorly written, and a garbage plot. This is a book I could not wait to get to the end so it was over, rather than good books where I wanted to know what happened at the end.


    What about Christopher Hurt’s performance did you like?

    Great voices, easy to listen to.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcus Fairport, NY, United States 05-14-13
    Marcus Fairport, NY, United States 05-14-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Who am I suppose to root for again?"
    What disappointed you about The Fountainhead?

    the characters are not, character I mean. I don't care about any of them at all, they might as well be strangers that I am waiting to watch leave the stage so the story can start.


    Has The Fountainhead turned you off from other books in this genre?

    What genre is this? Not drama, not comedy, not action. As I understand it this is one of those novels that are suppose to have a larger meaning, social Darwinism, or individualism, or objectivitsm, or whatever drivel the author was trying to hit you over the head with. Long boring round about speeches. too many villains to keep track of and no hero at all.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    narration was the best part of this book.


    Any additional comments?

    So the hero gets the girl at the end, well not much of a hero gets not much of a girl, as a matter of fact we have an entirely different name to describe this heroine in upstate NY, however putting it in print only brings me down to the level of the story I have grudgingly listened to.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Williamston, SC, United States 03-17-13
    Laurie Williamston, SC, United States 03-17-13 Member Since 2010

    Love a good mystery, suspence or southern literature.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Did not enjoy at all"
    What would have made The Fountainhead better?

    just did not like the subject


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    The decendants


    Would you be willing to try another one of Christopher Hurt’s performances?

    Maybe, did not like content of the book


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I never got past the first 15 minutes


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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