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Publisher's Summary

Atlas Shrugged is the "second most influential book for Americans today" after the Bible, according to a joint survey conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club.

This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world - and did. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he fight his hardest battle not against his enemies, but against the woman he loves?

Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's magnum opus and launched an ideology and a movement. With the publication of this work in 1957, Rand gained an instant following and became a phenomenon. Atlas Shrugged emerged as a premier moral apologia for capitalism, a defense that had an electrifying effect on millions of readers (and now listeners) who had never heard capitalism defended in other than technical terms.

©1957 Ayn Rand, 1985 renewed Eugene Winick, Paul Gitlin, and Leonard Peikoff, Introduction 1992 Leonard Peikoff (P)1991 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rich
  • Portland, ME, United States
  • 02-04-08

Epic in Scope, Simplistic Characters

Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged both come with a lot of baggage. Some people love it, others loathe it.

Bottom line, this story is epic in scope. I've read the book before, and now my wife and I are listening to it together every chance we get. We discuss the ideas, talk about the characters, and often laugh at the two-dimensional characters.

Yes, it's true. This book's plot is amazing, and thoroughly enjoyable on a lot of levels. It truly is a classic. However, a lot of the writing makes us laugh out loud. Especially in discussing sex and relationships.

Selfish business people are held up as heroes. They have no faults. Sensitive, empathic business owners and gov't types are all portrayed as sniveling losers. Everything is black and white; none of the characters are complex, although many are fascinating. I find myself wanting to chat with Hank Reardon or Dagny Taggart, or bounce business ideas off them.

If you've got the patience, this book is worth the listen. Even if you consider yourself to be liberal and fear big business more than big government, this book is a fascinating read.

Although I don't believe in the absolutes that Rand puts out there, it did "rewire" my brain, and allowed me to view current events through an additional point of view. It challenged me to defend some of my deep-seated beliefs, and even discard a couple.

And isn't that the kind of challenge that's worth your time?

65 of 69 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Dan
  • Jamul, CA, USA
  • 09-24-07

Stop and smell the roses

When I read this book 40-some years ago, I rushed through the long-winded speeches. One benefit of having it read to you is that you cannot. I was surprised to discover how much Ayn Rand's philosophy seemed to develop during the book. I really enjoyed looking for things that dated the book--like driving 200 miles to find a long-distance phone! It is a wonderful story, albeit with a pretty heavy message. If you've not read Ayn before, start here!

33 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent Book, minor issue

This is an excellent book, with a very good narrator. My only issue with it is that it appears there was poor sound insulation between the studio this book was recorded in, and another studio. I would often hear quiet murmurings from (I assume) another audiobook reading. It was a bit distracting at times. However, I reiterate the quality of the material and the narration. I often found myself sitting in a parking lot for an additional 10-15 minutes, not willing to turn the book off and get out of the car.

60 of 65 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 07-08-08

A Classic Well Told

At first blush, the length of this work, combined with how dry it can be in print made it daunting.

However, this reading made a very viable presentation of the material. Mr. Hurt has good pacing and intonation. He makes reasonable character voicings, and does a really superb job of keeping the long monologues and introspections interesting.

The reading was also very well paced. I was particularly impressed that the length of the summary speech near the end of the work matches almost exactly the times in the text which reference it.

Overall, this is a very accessible and insightful presentation of subject matter which could under other circumstances be particularly onerous.

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • Fairfax, VA, United States
  • 04-19-08

Over before you know it

Clocking in at 50+ hours, some might think the length of this audiobook is prohibitive. Believe it or not, I can honestly say that it is such a riveting and compelling novel and philosophical discussion that it truly is over before you know it.

Highly, highly recommend this book to all readers. Also, if you're wondering which Ayn Rand to start with, start here. Her philosophy is best summarized in Atlas Shrugged.

43 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Didn't know what I expected, but wow...

I normally read sci-fi, fantasy, etc. Something to escape the day to day. This book had been on my 'to read' list for a long time, but I was always put off by it's length (1200 pages), and that it was old (1950s). I mean, how good could that be? Woah was I wrong. I so wish I would of read this book earlier! Incredible page turner with some of the most amazing writing I have ever read. Without question the story will cause you to look at the world differently. Truly a MUST READ/LISTEN. I just finished listening to it, and now I have the book and I'm going to read it again as well. Simply an amazingly engaging, suspenseful, and moving book.
As for the audio-book: This book was wonderfully read/performed. There is a bit of background 'noise' at a few points... but nothing serious.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kuldeep
  • Chicago, IL, USA
  • 01-19-09

Outstanding book, outstanding narrator

The narrator, Christopher Hurt, does as much for this audio book as the book itself. Being such a tome containing sophisticated and complex ideas, it would have been a disaster if the narrator was weak. He is simply outstanding. Never falters once in a book of 645,000 words. Yes, it's that big. Uses intonation to anticipate 2 sentences ahead, and does a marvelous job of using different voices without crossing the line to being cheesy. I recommend this book highly.

40 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Love the book, funny echo in the audio

Great book, exceptionally well read by the narrator. I especially liked the clarity of voice when changing characters. In spite of few written clues, the narrator's changing voice always made clear who was speaking dialogue.

Unfortunately, a distracting echo or some other audio effect was present throughout the audiobook. Not bad enough to ruin the book, but noticeable enough to distract the listener.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Atlas Shrugged - Christopher Hurt

Atlas Shrugged is in and of itself an amazing work. Christopher Hurt's vocal interpretative reading brings Rand's work to life. Hurt is head and shoulders above other readers available on His subtle vocal charecterizations of the various roles is excellent.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 06-03-08

Excellent narrator, Outstanding content.

Audio: Narrator Christopher Hurt is top notch. His clear, crisp delivery makes every word easily understandable. His addition of tone, inflection, and emotion when characters speak enables you to distinguish who is talking without being over-dramatic. This book was a pleasure to listen to and I'll seek other works by the same narrator.

Content: I dare say this is one of the greatest novels and "practical philosophy" books of our time. First published in 1957 it is still FRIGHTENINGLY pertinent to our world today. Whether, or not, you think logic, reason, and self-responsibility have a role in life, READ THIS BOOK. It just.. makes.. sense... It is a GREAT story besides, written in a modern setting that one can relate to. Yes, it is a long book, but think of it as a lengthy series of episodes (which is what good books are, aren't they?). And each episode here is SUCH a great story. Trust me, I delore long books, but I read this one twice before the audiobook. (And I'm not a hardcore Rand-ian.) I was amazed at how the audio version made so many things clearer. It just.. makes.. sense... Enjoy.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful