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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

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

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.

35 of 36 people found this review helpful

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  • virginia
  • MOSCA, CO, United States
  • 06-14-08

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!

44 of 48 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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.

29 of 32 people found this review helpful

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dry story and narration

I loved Atlas Shrugged...but this story is slow, dry, and seeming to be justba way to force in an anti-socialism perspextive...which I completely agree with but it has to make sense.

After hearing Atlas Shrugged read by Scott Brick...this book read by Christopher Hurt comes up welll short and very dry to say the least.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Complex characters confusing story

Compared to Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead lacks the captivating storyline that drags one through the pages. Nevertheless, each character had profiles that had me stressing to find real world analogs. I found Roark's court speech to be a condensed and less dramatic summary of all the monologues from Atlas.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Gohar
  • Issaquah, WA
  • 05-19-09

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.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • Ashton
  • Mishima-gun, Japan
  • 12-13-13

Needs to be shorter.

It's messed in the head and a good listen. If it was shorter and more refined like the main character I think this would be a far better book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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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!!!!!

24 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Rob
  • Auburn Hills, MI, USA
  • 10-21-09

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?

24 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard
  • Fair Lawn, NJ, United States
  • 08-23-15

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • D. Berry
  • 12-04-13

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Russell
  • 03-06-13

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.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Piotr
  • 02-26-17

Idealists, all creators and designers must read.

Difficult to compare, as different, but for me just behind Atlas Shrugged. Love, Ideas, Story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Shrinivas Siva Prashant Chamarty
  • 11-18-15

Creator vs Second Hander

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • portia
  • 11-16-15

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • 04-27-15

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-30-17

Really enjoyable

great book with an interesting stance on the creative industries and those that work within them. would recommend highly.

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  • Gutterstargazer
  • 11-01-17

Best narration ever!

Thoroughly enjoyed the book. The story is expertly written and delivered. Very thought provoking content. Will be looking for more similar titles.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-24-17

A book for all time

Words cannot do it justice.
Thank you Ayn Rand wherever you may be.
Buy it

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-12-17

The spirit of mankind

If you're a confident, self sufficient human being, this book will give you courage to continue being so.

If you're a weakling dependent on others for validation, this book will show you a new way to live.

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  • Phil
  • 08-07-15

Performance makes perfect

So well read! One of the best audiobook experiences I've had. Prompted me to look at other books performed by Christopher Hurt just because of his style

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-12-17

More important now than ever

Beautifully written prose, coupled with deep insight. The ideas found within will no doubt challenge; but nothing important comes easy.

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  • Vasanth
  • 02-25-17

Riveting

This book expressed everything I felt but could not find the words for them .

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  • Dr.
  • 11-14-16

Ayn Rand is such an important author

Ayn Rand is such an important author- if you have not read her books you are not really educated - this is a brilliant version

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  • Samuel
  • 05-23-16

Ayn Bland.

hated the novel. the reading was fine but the text is a load of twoddle