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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

4.4 (4011 )
5 star
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4.4 (2638 )
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4.5 (2608 )
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Rob Auburn Hills, MI, USA 10-21-09
    Rob Auburn Hills, MI, USA 10-21-09 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "2nd Only to Atlas"

    I recently discovered Ayn Rand recently, and listened to Atlas Shrugged, and it was the best book I have read or listened to. I read Fountainhead next not expecting it to be anything as good as Atlas, but it was just about as great. It's different but similar, a little quieter but just as thought provoking. Such a range of characters. Is it coincident between the two books, the two main ladies have a name that start with D, and the two main men have the initials HR?

    22 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Moorestown, NJ, USA 07-25-09
    Eric Moorestown, NJ, USA 07-25-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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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
  •  
    Megan San Diego, CA, USA 03-11-09
    Megan San Diego, CA, USA 03-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A must read!"

    The books "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" are must reads for anyone who is on a path of greatness or are looking for one. Although I disagree with Rand because I do believe in God the book is just what I needed to read especially with what is going on in our Country's current circumstances.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Dublin, OH, United States 07-15-08
    Bruce Dublin, OH, United States 07-15-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 R. Southern Arizona 06-08-08
    Sara R. Southern Arizona 06-08-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 2015
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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.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 08-25-13
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 08-25-13 Member Since 2015

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Your Much Worse Then A Bitch, Your A Saint"

    EVEN IF HE DOES TALK LIKE A TRUCK DRIVER
    There are some interesting characters. I learned more about architecture then I though I ever wanted and there was some weird sex. After long stretches of nothing or gossip or philosophy something interesting could happen. The main character stands for what he believes in and will not back down.

    THERE ARE THINGS IN LIFE THAT MUST BE DESTROYED OR THEY WILL DESTROY US.
    Like the main character, I must write what I believe. I must not let the common egghead influence my thinking. Howard Roarke is a Vulcan. This 32 hour diatribe is a thinly masked attempt to turn us all into mind numb robots. Who wants to admit that they listen to 32 hours of boring tripe. If you listened that long, you must convince others that it is great literature. It has happened before. Look at Moby Dick. I was able to break out of the trance after 14 hours. Friends don't let friends read Ayn Rand.

    Before Audible, there was Books on Tape. If you have listened to Books on Tape, then you will probably remember Christopher Hurt. His smooth narration will take you back, will soothe your nerves, will help you fall into the trap.STOP!!!!!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth LEESBURG, VA, United States 12-26-08
    Kenneth LEESBURG, VA, United States 12-26-08 Member Since 2010

    Old & fat, but strong; American, Chinese, & Indian (sort of); Ph.D. in C.S.; strategy, economics & stability theory; trees & machining.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Masterful Product ion of a Classic"

    This is one of the great literary works of the 20th century, so it is not my place to judge.

    However, the production quality on this particular recording is very good.

    The story is about an architect who struggles for the creative integrity of work in a world that is bent on suppressing individualism and creativity. It is hard not to relate to many of the characters both good and bad, perhaps more so today than when the story was first created.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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