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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 (3143 )
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4.4 (1829 )
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  •  
    michael Hanover, MD, United States 08-21-09
    michael Hanover, MD, United States 08-21-09 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "5 stars"

    You can hardly go wrong with anything that Christopher Hurt narrates. Also, this is Ayn Rand's best work.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila Keiser Indiana 07-09-12
    Sheila Keiser Indiana 07-09-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Relevant to today's world"

    Rand is a new author to me. I enjoyed her writing so much that I have already started reading Atlas Shrugged.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cassie Melnikow 12-21-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fabulous!"

    It appears you either love Ayn Rand or hate her; there doesn't seem to be a middle ground. I find myself more on the love side and decided to "read"; this as my first audiobook selection since I had enjoyed another work by her (We, The Living) and this book seemed pertinent to the times. I enjoyed the book a lot and it had a good narrator (which I've come to learn is key). It got me thinking about my perspective on the world and noticing the architecture in NYC, as the main characters are architects. And despite her claim that even though the book is being set in NYC, nothing is meant to represent or elude to any person or place in the City, I can't help but notice that the Castle Hill projects in the Bronx are designed exactly as those envisioned by Rourke. It can get a little tedious at times, but is beyond worth sticking it out.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Moorestown, NJ, USA 07-25-09
    Eric Moorestown, NJ, USA 07-25-09
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    "Powerful"

    The prose, philosophy and character development are simply brilliant. Its amazing to think that she was able to fuse these three things together to create such a timeless work at a relatively young age...mid-thirties. Its equally amazing to think this book was rejected by 12 publishers before one accepted it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jholden 06-02-09
    jholden 06-02-09
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    "Amazing"

    As a huge fan of the written work, I was very excited to download and listen to the spoken version. The reader does a great job of making what is a very long book into an enjoyable listen.

    I cannot recommend the written or audible versions highly enough.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew San Jose, CA, USA 05-07-09
    Matthew San Jose, CA, USA 05-07-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth it!"

    Over 32 hours for one credit should be reason enough. If it isn't, then know you are listening to one of the great existentialist pieces of our time. If that isn't enough, know that you will be hearing it through a great narrator who encapsulates everything you think the characters should be. Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Dublin, OH, United States 07-15-08
    Bruce Dublin, OH, United States 07-15-08
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    "it's been 30 years"

    It took a little while to get into this. Ms. Rand's prose is thick. Her philosophy is as important to me now as it was when I was younger and I appreciated relearning it.

    The story is dated (written in the mid 1950s with the scene set in the the 1920s in 1930s).

    The narrator is excellent.

    I gave this book 4 stars but I think that to enjoy this you have to appreciate "objectivism" or its close cousin "libertarianism". If you don't, I don't think you will be able to l make it through the entire reading.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara P. Southern Arizona 06-08-08
    Sara P. Southern Arizona 06-08-08 Member Since 2006
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    "The Fountainhead"

    Well read and a terrific story. I found the characters riveting, the story interesting and the character interactions very thought provoking.
    I read both this and Atlas Shrugged and honestly is made me wish I was reading this in a college class so that I could discuss all the ideas thrumming around in my head with someone else!

    Very worthwhile, I highly recomend it.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Noah Toronto, Ontario, Canada 07-21-09
    Noah Toronto, Ontario, Canada 07-21-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Excellent and Timeless Story"

    Though this book was written over 60 years ago, the story and underlying message hold up well. Despite its length, I found myself engaged throughout. I have read both this and Atlas Shrugged and even though there are many similarities between the two, I preferred this. The underlying message is more subtle than in Atlas Shrugged. I'd recommend this book to anyone who doesn't mind thinking while they read.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ashton Mishima-gun, Japan 12-13-13
    Ashton Mishima-gun, Japan 12-13-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Needs to be shorter."

    It's messed in the head and a good listen. If it was shorter and more refined like the main character I think this would be a far better book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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