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The Fountainhead Audiobook

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 (4727 )
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  •  
    Zachary Bluffdale, UT, USA 06-04-10
    Zachary Bluffdale, UT, USA 06-04-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Fountainhead"

    This was my first brush against anything Ayn Rand ever did, and it was fantastic. Much of the enjoyment came not only from the elements of the story itself, but from the narrator; he is no Christopher Lee, but the particular voicing of so many various characters was brilliant. Whether it was the slyly pompous Ellsworth Toohey, the ever-stoic Howard Roark, the sad Dominique, or the brash Gail Wynand, hearing their dialogue spoken with such talent was the extra treat to the what they represented within the story itself. If you're looking for a story that transcends mere political philosophy with a philosophy of humanity, one that makes one think and enjoy at the same time, then I highly recommend this particular audio book.

    24 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    virginia MOSCA, CO, United States 06-14-08
    virginia MOSCA, CO, United States 06-14-08
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    "Go for the unabridged"

    My 19 year old son is a great Ayn Rand fan and has read all her books, and I could tell he was influenced by her thinking and wanted to discuss it. I was never going to get the time to read the books. So I tested the waters with Anthem- a good, quick listen, and knew I wanted more. The Unabridged version of The Fountainhead seemed so daunting, but I took the chance and 32 hours later am glad I did! I echo the other reviewers in the riveting interest in the book and would encourage anyone interested in modern thought to go for the whole thing! Today I download Atlas Shrugged... Unabridged!

    32 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Fair Lawn, NJ, United States 08-23-15
    Richard Fair Lawn, NJ, United States 08-23-15 Member Since 2012
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    "A foundation book"

    There are books that should be read simply because they're important. Having read Atlas Shrugged, I had high expectations for Fountainhead. This exceeded them by leaps and bounds. Brilliant wordsmithing, exceptional characters, gripping story development are all brought together with great narration.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Collett 05-23-09 Member Since 2013
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    "One of the Best"

    One of the best narration's, if not the best that I've heard. Apparently, Christopher Hurt is very familiar with the book and captures the tone and attitude of the characters perfectly.
    On top of that, Ayn Rand presents her philosophy incredibly effectively in the story. This makes for much better comprehension when you have the characters to exemplify the spectrum of attitudes towards life that exist around us. I personally saw pieces of myself in most of the characters and it has helped me recognize when I am thinking independently and truthfully, and conversely, when collective thought dominates my mind. A very good read for those trying to approach life in a pro-active, self-motivated, and independently chosen way.

    23 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gohar Issaquah, WA 05-19-09
    Gohar Issaquah, WA 05-19-09 Member Since 2015

    I enjoy sci-fi, fantasy, non-fiction, historical fiction genres. Liked Stormlight, Mistborn, GoT. Last read: Shadows of Self

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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.

    15 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence Monroeville, PA, United States 12-22-10
    Lawrence Monroeville, PA, United States 12-22-10 Member Since 2013
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    "much better than expected"

    This book was on my bucket list. I didn't think I'd like it because it is currently popular with conservative wingnuts who do not share my political views. To my suprise, it seems to be more about rugged individualism than politics. The protagonists have a Hemmingway flavor, i.e., marching to their own tune. The plot moves well. And, contrary to what some critics say, the prose style is succinct and colorful. I heartily recommend this novel whether you are a righty or lefty. The price is right, too.

    24 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael Hanover, MD, United States 08-21-09
    michael Hanover, MD, United States 08-21-09 Member Since 2005
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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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Montreal, Quebec, Canada 08-06-08
    J Montreal, Quebec, Canada 08-06-08
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    "great narration, good book"

    I think that the narration for this audiobook was excellent-I find that this narrator's voice fits well with Rand's works.
    In terms of content-it's really good. However, I listened to it after having listened to Atlas Shrugged, and found that the Fountainhead seemed quite unoriginal and predictable compared to it. So, if you've never read a book by Rand before I'd really recommend Atlas Shrugged (with the same narrator).

    15 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Auburn Hills, MI, USA 10-21-09
    Rob Auburn Hills, MI, USA 10-21-09 Member Since 2012
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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
  •  
    Wayne Matthews, NC 01-06-16
    Wayne Matthews, NC 01-06-16 Member Since 2016

    I love espionage and detective thrillers but will listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!

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    "Released in 1943 and still relevant!"

    This book was released the year I was born and I first read it in high school. My advice to the listener is to read the book as a novel rather than as political philosophy. For political philosophy read F.A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom written the same year.

    The Fountainhead is a classic novel. The protagonist is architect Howard Roarke as well as his love interest Dominique Francon. The bad guy is millionaire Gail Wynand. Roarke believes very strongly, even with obsession, that his designs should be constructed exactly as designed. Christopher Hurt does a fantastic job of narration.

    Critique: In her three best known novels Rand depicts strong women as dependent on strong men for their identity. That is true in We the Living where a man has to convince the heroine to defect. It is true in The Fountainhead with Francon's dependence on Roarke for her identity. It is even more true in Atlas Shrugged where the very strong Dagny Taggart is passed on from the very strong Hank Rearden to the even stronger John Galt almost as a prize. Rand seems to view strong women as rewards for even stronger men. The men are the ones who accomplish most.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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  • D. Berry
    York, UK
    12/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.


    2 of 2 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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Clare
    12/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "challenging and thought provoking"

    this classic doesn't disappoint - i loved the characters and found it very thought provoking even though I didn't agree with all the ideas it promotes. Would recommend to any thinking person.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shrinivas Siva Prashant Chamarty
    11/18/15
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    Performance
    Story
    "Creator vs Second Hander"

    Very Interesting albeit long book about Creators vs Second Handers. Lot of food for thought and contemplation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • portia
    11/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Exceptional"

    What an exceptionally thrilling story! I enjoyed the different characters, my favourites being Roricke and Dominique of course.

    Applause to the narrator! Magnificent storytelling!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brian
    4/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly exceptionally."

    A real treat. The characters quickly come alive, some will frustrate you, some you'll love, others you'll hate and truly wish a great tragedy befalls them in the next paragraph or perhaps the next. Desperately your mind will try impose a reason for the relationship and later character assassination of Rourke.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Shabbir Mookhtiar
    3/23/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great underlying concept but a bit stretched out"

    The book is well written and talks about individualism as being of utmost performance. The story line is pretty good in trying to make this point. The first half of the book can be very depressing at times though. Also, there are large portions of the book where the presence of the protagonist is really missed. Overall it is a good read. I would recommend the abridged one to people short on time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Katarina
    3/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story"

    Good quality and reading speed. Enjoyable and highly recommended.
    The only thing is that recording broke a few times. Thanks

    0 of 0 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


    2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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