©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)
I absolutely recommend this audiobook if you are a thinker and not afraid to look at yourself.
My favorite character is Dominique, she always lives on her own terms.
The only thing I can think of that Christopher Hurt brought to the book that I couldn't experience if I had read the book, is a male voice. With that said he got pretty close to what what I would hear in my head, he did great.
I was moved every time Howard Roark was knocked back down by society.
If you value hard work, honesty, integrity and think that some people are moving us toward dependence on the government, and away from personal responsibility, you will love the message of this book.
Being able to draw parallels to today and the past was scary. I enjoyed how the main character was never ashamed by wanting to be the best "him" that he could be.
York was my favorite character. He was always trying to be true to himself. The struggle to be not just an architect but a man that stood firm to what he believed to be right.
This book shows how people in the media and the "know" use their positions to push their agenda. Sometimes because they believe in it , other times just because they can.
I recommend this book to many people. It's a great example of the (often misunderstood) romantic style of fiction that Rand so loved.
Gail Wynand. He's part villain, part hero, and all tragic figure.
Mr. Hurt's performance was flawless. Having read this book on paper long before I listened to his audio production, I find myself reading in his voices whenever I revisit the book.
My favorite voices:
- Roark. The alleged protagonist is so much a creature of perfection that he appears "on stage" less than some others, but Mr. Hurt captures his heroic idealized nature without making him a parody.
- Toohey. One of the great villains of 20th century literature and Mr. Hurt performs him in such a memorable way, I can't remember how I thought of his voice when I read it myself.
- Alvah Scarret. "But why, Gail?" "Gail, you can't fire Sally! Not _Sally_!" Those line readings alone are worth the price of this recording.
Although it is not as great a commercial success as Atlas Shrugged, I consider this the best example of Rand's fiction. It's a book I've read and re-read, lent and recommended.
Ayn Rand got it wrong. According to Stephen King “fiction is the truth inside the lie…” not the lie inside the lie, which is the best way to describe “The Fountainhead.”
The dialog is not believable. Characters talk like they are in the middle of a low brow discussion at a philosopher’s café. Their logic breaks all over the place, depriving their verbal exchanges of any redeemable value.
According to the author, objectivism holds that there is no greater moral than achieving happiness. That’s certainly not what we see in her novel, where the characters put themselves though years of misery and pain for the sake of arrogance and nonsensical caprice. You may argue that they self-sacrifice in the utility derived from attaining a highly desirable goal, but the existence of alternate ways of attaining the same goals more efficiently and effectively render erode the validity of such arguments. After all, how many more buildings could Mr. Roark have built his way with a little compromise in other projects?
In an appendix to Atlas Shrugged, Ms Rand explains that "her philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute." There is nothing productive about terrorism, and it is certainly not noble. I won’t elaborate further on this concept as I do not want to include any spoilers.
Likewise, there is nothing nobble about rape. On this matter, a web search would show that Ms. Rand justifies the scene saying, basically, that victim asked for it. Clearly this book is at odds with today’s culture in the light of the fight for women’s rights and the post 911 era.
Unrealistic character interactions, limited character growth, exaggerated behaviors, and unlikable characters make for poor character development resulting, ultimately in a bad novel.
Last but not least, those who claim to endorse conservatism don’t forget that Ellsworth Toohey is the quintessential middle manager –although he is not a manager– and his views on collectivism are endorsed today by both sides of the political spectrum– a very sad state of affairs.
Read it if you want to but beware of what you are up against.
Pain is gain
Many similar themes and characters as Atlas Shrugged
He did a good job of distinguishing characters with his voice
I really loved it because it is so dense and thought provoking.
No. I don't have two days to sit and listen to a book.
I hate being read to. As such, I doubted audiobooks were for me. But the boyfriend convinced me they were worth a shot, so I picked out a good fat book that I wouldn't have the patience to sit down and read otherwise: The Fountainhead.
I listened in transit, in bed, while I cooked and cleaned, while I showered. And I've never left an online review for anything in my life, because I've never been so compelled.
This is a phenomenal audiobook.
For whoever or whatever Ayn Rand is - for whatever you may think of her as a person or as an ethicist - she tells a gripping, sweeping fable that reads almost like an epic poem. There's a reason this book matters, a reason it resonates, and a reason it pisses people off. It hits a pretty visceral chord.
Most critics of this book take it not as myth but as manifesto, and you're kinda screwed if you do that. Realize that this is not a subtle book. It isn't subtle thinking. It's all searing archetypes and bold palettes. And it works. The narrative and the characters who carry it have a lot of force, a lot of impact, which to me is more than enough to make it worthwhile.
Also: Christopher Hurt, the narrator, did an incredible job. I now realize how difficult it must be to narrate an audiobook well. He gave every character shape and distinction with his voice, yet somehow managed to fade into the story, if that makes any sense. Because of him, I'm now convinced that certain books are definitely enhanced by skilled narration.I listened to the whole thing at 1.5x speed, which was perfect.
Yesterday I looked through the other books Hurt's narrated. I'm starting Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein, for the sole reason that he's narrating. :)
So in sum: best first audiobook experience I could've hoped for. Props to Ayn Rand, and to Chris Hurt, and to Audible.
Original, captivating, thought provoking
The originality of the almost "philosophical" plot.
Howard Rourke and Gale Weinand!
Laughter and anxiety.
A definite recommendation for those who like a good plot that gives you plenty to think about.
Yes would definitely recommend audio version because of excellent narration of this book by Christopher Hurt. There is much variation in the voice which suits to particular character.
This book has lot of surprises, you just can't read the mind of Ayn Rand. Excellent story telling with great message.
I almost felt like I am watching a movie. Christopher Hurt has so much variation in his voice and that helps in identifying each character and the personality. I would highly recommend Hurt, in fact I would listen audible if they are narrated by Hurt. Excellent work!
You don't want to miss this book in this precious life.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
Or to put it a little more precisely, what if every occupation was accorded the same creative respect as art? I think that is the key idea needed to accept this book on its own terms. Rand sort of lays this out in her preface. She imagined a man who took his calling completely seriously, and then worked out what would happen to that man in our world.
It seems sometimes that Rand is being repetitive or simply filling space with philosophical speeches. But there are a lot of questions raised by her subject, and it is important to pursue them all and address them. This she does, and it makes for a rather long book. As it is a philosophical novel, there is a sense in which her characters are merely symbols for a certain type of person. But there is also a sense in which her main characters are the most intense individual beings as well. That, I think, is the key to understanding and accepting the very odd actions that they occasionally take. That doesn't mean anyone is likely to get attached to any of her characters. If you want warm and fuzzy, go someplace else.
This theme between the individual and the collective is at the core of this novel. Rand builds a strong case that collectivism is inimical to all that is potentially great about mankind. She is less convincing in justifying the crime that sends her protagonist to trial at the climax of the book. Be that as it may, the speech that results is as clear and concise a recap of her theme as one could wish for.
Leaving aside Rand's philosophical bent, the writing about architecture is intriguing in its own right. The potential of architecture to create a sense of space and control light and interact with the environment is inspiring here. And the derision for meaningless borrowings from the past and clumsy compromises.
Even those who don't buy into Rand's vision of the world will have to admit there is a certain validity to the way she lampoons certain intellectual institutions, self-satisfied pundits, and committees in general.
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