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The Fountainhead Audiobook

The Fountainhead

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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

4.5 (6937 )
5 star
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3 star
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Overall
4.5 (5308 )
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Story
4.6 (5281 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    J Montreal, Quebec, Canada 08-06-08
    J Montreal, Quebec, Canada 08-06-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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).

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Doms United States 03-12-17
    Chris Doms United States 03-12-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Awful"

    The first half of this book is actually quite good, and could have come to a natural end. The second half is characterised by long, boring dialogs, the inexplicable and needles introduction of new characters, and implausible and silly character interactions.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Voelker Fort Mitchell, KY, US 12-28-16
    David Voelker Fort Mitchell, KY, US 12-28-16 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Contrived story of an individualism worldview"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Yes with some reservations. I know Ayn's books are very well regarded and I agree with much of her worldview myself but the storyline felt incredibly contrived at points. The lavish response to the inner workings of high-powered architects, even for the time period, was simply too grandiose to be believable. I followed along in order to get through the book but I found the glorification and of architects/architecture to be a distraction.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Much of the book seemed to move in slow motion with the ending suddenly lurching forward. The 2% monologue at the end was a thesis worthy of the price of admission alone but for which the listener had to languish through the other 98%.


    What does Christopher Hurt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His enunciation of character dialogue helped to more quickly understand and build a solid mental view of the characters.


    Did The Fountainhead inspire you to do anything?

    Question whether I should plow through a 52 hour listen of Atlas Shrugged...


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dean 04-07-10
    Dean 04-07-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Pietz 07-25-09
    Eric Pietz 07-25-09 Member Since 2017
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    "Powerful"

    The prose, philosophy and character development are simply brilliant. Its amazing to think that she was able to fuse these three things together to create such a timeless work at a relatively young age...mid-thirties. Its equally amazing to think this book was rejected by 12 publishers before one accepted it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jholden 06-02-09
    jholden 06-02-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing"

    As a huge fan of the written work, I was very excited to download and listen to the spoken version. The reader does a great job of making what is a very long book into an enjoyable listen.

    I cannot recommend the written or audible versions highly enough.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew San Jose, CA, USA 05-07-09
    Matthew San Jose, CA, USA 05-07-09
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    "Worth it!"

    Over 32 hours for one credit should be reason enough. If it isn't, then know you are listening to one of the great existentialist pieces of our time. If that isn't enough, know that you will be hearing it through a great narrator who encapsulates everything you think the characters should be. Highly recommended.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megan San Diego, CA, USA 03-11-09
    Megan San Diego, CA, USA 03-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Dublin, OH, United States 07-15-08
    Bruce Dublin, OH, United States 07-15-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "it's been 30 years"

    It took a little while to get into this. Ms. Rand's prose is thick. Her philosophy is as important to me now as it was when I was younger and I appreciated relearning it.

    The story is dated (written in the mid 1950s with the scene set in the the 1920s in 1930s).

    The narrator is excellent.

    I gave this book 4 stars but I think that to enjoy this you have to appreciate "objectivism" or its close cousin "libertarianism". If you don't, I don't think you will be able to l make it through the entire reading.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara R. 06-08-08
    Sara R. 06-08-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Fountainhead"

    Well read and a terrific story. I found the characters riveting, the story interesting and the character interactions very thought provoking.
    I read both this and Atlas Shrugged and honestly is made me wish I was reading this in a college class so that I could discuss all the ideas thrumming around in my head with someone else!

    Very worthwhile, I highly recomend it.

    5 of 6 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.


    5 of 5 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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>It represents her philosophy of objectivism that is an acquired taste to say the least but it’s an interesting subject. <br/><br/>It’s nowhere near as good as ‘Atlas Shrugged’, which you must listen too. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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.<br/><br/>

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Piotr
    2/26/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  • Shrinivas Siva Prashant Chamarty
    11/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  • 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!

    1 of 1 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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Gutterstargazer
    11/1/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    10/24/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A book for all time "

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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Anonymous
    7/12/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • John Colman
    UK
    6/30/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Let down by narration"

    This recording from 1994 suffers from sound quality issues (heavy compression makes it very bassy) which suits some of the more stoical characters, however, with the exception of Howard Roark, most other male characters sound identical to each other... and to the descriptive narration too!

    The story is good, although no masterpiece, but it's the philosophy inherent in the dialogue that makes this book worth reading. It's a fascinating study in human nature and political ideology, notably individualism versus collectivism.

    The villains are, of course, the collectivists but the main antagonist is so self-aware and Machiavellian that he was somewhat unbelievable. I remain skeptical that all altruists are as deliberate as he but he certainly served as an archetype of evil in the book.

    Randian philosophy is shockingly eye opening and I wish more people were exposed to these arguments irrespective of their political bias.

    A great book which might be greatly improved by a fresh recording with a more spirited narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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