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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.

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  • Overall
  • 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.

27 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • 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!

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • 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.

29 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • 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.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Relevant? You bet!

I first read Atlas Shrugged in high school and I have read it four times since. This audiobook represents my sixth "reading". I think it is more relevant today than it was 51 years ago. As you listen think of today's politicians, pundits, and news.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • 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?

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Peggie
  • Lansing, KS, United States
  • 01-31-09

What's Wrong With Our Economy?

This may be a classic written in 1957 but oh is it relevant for today! If you want to be entertained while understanding just what is causing the economic meltdown across the world - this is the book for you.

Be a bit patient because getting use to Rand's very pictorial writing and symbolism is a bit strange and slow. However, within an hour you will begin to become intrigued that someone could so aptly describe our world today.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


A detailed plot that shows, from roots to flower, the working out of a communistic/socialistic system. Very timely today as our goverment seeks to increase hand-outs and in doiong so take from those who provide our futures.
I could have done w/o John Galt's speech (atheistic as it was - there are better ways to show the troubles of this world w/o blaming God...perhaps one could take a better look at the root difference between God and religion).
Barring that- the book is a good read and I would recomnet it to anyone.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful