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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 (2943 )
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  •  
    Gohar Issaquah, WA 05-19-09
    Gohar Issaquah, WA 05-19-09 Member Since 2008

    I Like scifi-fantasy, non-fiction, historical fiction genres. Liked Wot, Got, Pillars of Earth, Century trilogy. Last read: Maritan. luvd it

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    "Outstanding book...."

    This is one of the best fictional books I have ever read. Ayn Rand talks about individualism in a beautiful crafted fictional story. The main characters are so different from each other that Rand has dedicated every part of the book to their origin, beliefs and personality. You get to understand where every one of them comes from and their reasons for their decisions. Howard Roark is an emblem for creative minds and an individual who would stand for his own beliefs. Rand uses architecture as a profession to describe her objectivist theory but you'd see in every and specially your own profession so many times in the book. Great listen. And I would definitely recommend this book more than Atlas Shrugged, reasons for which I have already reviewed in that audiobook's section.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila Keiser Indiana 07-09-12
    Sheila Keiser Indiana 07-09-12 Member Since 2012
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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
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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 Member Since 2009
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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 Member Since 2009
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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
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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
  • Showing: 11-20 of 119 results PREVIOUS12312NEXT
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  • D. Berry
    York, UK
    12/4/13
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    "Romantic Objectivity at it's finest"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Fountainhead to be better than the print version?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    What does Christopher Hurt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    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.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Russell
    Leeds, United Kingdom
    3/6/13
    Overall
    "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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Steve
    United Kingdom
    1/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A slow start into the rules of being selfish"
    What would have made The Fountainhead better?

    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.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ayn Rand again?

    I might try to understand her politics again at a later stage


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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