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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

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  •  
    Zachary Bluffdale, UT, USA 06-04-10
    Zachary Bluffdale, UT, USA 06-04-10
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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.

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lawrence Monroeville, PA, United States 12-22-10
    Lawrence Monroeville, PA, United States 12-22-10 Member Since 2009
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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.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    virginia MOSCA, CO, United States 06-14-08
    virginia MOSCA, CO, United States 06-14-08 Member Since 2005
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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!

    24 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Collett 05-23-09 Member Since 2003
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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.

    19 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dean 04-07-10
    Dean 04-07-10 Member Since 2009

    a Tech Exec who loves the stories about what could be and what should have been. Mixed with histories told from an outside perspective.

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    "An Architects Architect or an Artists Artist?"

    The Fountainhead is set in the 1920's and 1930's in the building boom of New York. Most concentrate on this book's main characters business intrests and the building related activities of an Architect who deems his buildings as pieces of Art. Others around him seem to share this view in both raptured jelousy of his talents, and of those viewing the results. I enjoyed more the underlying passion between Rourke and Domonique, the true plot lays with in their intertwined souls and shared world view.

    This books is a love story about two people and how that bond can withstand a life's storms and seperations. To me this is the message delivered by Iyn Rand, not the political intrigue, artistic steadfastness, or even megolamainia other comment on. Simply two peoples passion and its enduring truth.

    5 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 2005

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

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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 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob Auburn Hills, MI, USA 10-21-09
    Rob Auburn Hills, MI, USA 10-21-09 Member Since 2006
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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?

    18 of 21 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).

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan San Diego, CA, USA 03-11-09
    Megan San Diego, CA, USA 03-11-09
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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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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
  • Showing: 1-10 of 120 results PREVIOUS1212NEXT
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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.


    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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