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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; 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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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

43 of 44 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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!

54 of 59 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

31 of 34 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bruce
  • Dublin, OH, United States
  • 07-15-08

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • 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?

26 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • 08-06-08

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lawrence
  • Monroeville, PA, United States
  • 12-22-10

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.

28 of 36 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

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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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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  • Nick Risley
  • 04-10-18

Cracking Read by Christopher Hurt

the narrator has a cracking voice but wied pronounciation of alturism (although you get used it it)

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • "geordiemoozy"
  • 02-03-18

overlong

Read this many years ago and it is still a good story however I felt as an audiobook it did go over the same ground again and again and I wished it was perhaps a third shorter. Narration was good, and it is still with a listen, but I will probably never listen to it again.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • 01-15-18

The Fountainhead

I love Ayn Rands characters...well atleats the creators and their world. I love their passion for their craft, and the way they are. I enjoy the way she tells her stories, and the way she portrays people. Not much else I can say about it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • nicholas
  • 12-31-17

Great

As recommended to myself from someone who recommended The Fountainhead to me I recommend you do not discuss this book with anyone who has not read or listened to it first. If you must discuss it give yourself about a year after completing it. the right people will love this and the not right people will loathe it.

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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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KB
  • 02-13-18

Great book!

I loved everything about this book including the themes, the characters and the story. I highly recommend it.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Carey Blaik
  • 01-16-18

A timeless book of our time, a great read.

The nature of Man revealed with clarity through lifelike and attractive characters. The Fountainhead has been beautifully written. Passion; envy; elation; despair; charity; greed; folded into a story with originality and style. A book I will keep and recommend.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 12-24-17

Changed My Life

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. I will recommend it to some of them, although many are not ready for the truth, which is hardly surprising if you read the book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I like Katie, because she is probably one of those characters many of us can relate to.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The scene where Katie confesses to her uncle about her negative emotions when people did not want her assistance when they learned to help themselves.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

unapologetically great

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Vasanth
  • 02-25-17

Riveting

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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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

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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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

0 of 1 people found this review helpful