Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged

Book - 2007
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Publisher: London : Penguin Group, 2007, c1985
ISBN: 9780141188935
0141188936
Characteristics: 1168 p. --

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ryankegley
May 17, 2019

Unfortunately, three stars is not an accurate depiction of my feelings about the mammoth dystopian philosophical sci-fi melodrama romance action novel that is Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.” Yes, it is all those things, and more, as Rand threw pretty much everything but the kitchen sink into the 1168 pages of her fourth and final novel.

Rand is not a great writer, at least not of fiction. Everything exists, not in the service of the characters or the story as one might rightfully expect, but merely for her philosophical aims. Characters are largely one-dimensional, all-good or all-bad. Heroes are driven by something so innately pure (to her and them anyway) that everything in their lives — the entire world itself — can only be seen and acted upon through this perfect lens. Villains border on the comically grotesque, so obviously stupid and ridiculous their words and deeds are meant to be perceived. Dialogue is often atrocious, as if Rand had never had, let alone heard, a normal conversation, and is written in a way that is impossible not to imagine it spoken in that 1930s and ’40s Hollywood Mid-Atlantic stagey way. The story itself is sprawling and unwieldy — as you might expect at eleven hundred-plus pages — attempting to encompass the entire dystopian world Rand is meant to have built, while remaining intimate enough so that we might actually give a damn about the protagonists. The problem is that the world she’s built is often just as one-dimensional as her characters. Everyone everywhere — the world over! — has lost their minds and is falling hook, line, and sinker for the most cartoonish version of socialism you might imagine.

The premise of the novel — what happens if the prime movers of the world went on strike — isn’t a bad one. Nor are many of the fundamentals at the heart of Rand’s philosophy (which is not the same thing as the fundamentals of her philosophy). Frequently, though, character, story, and philosophy blend into perfect harmony. It is at those times the story is a delight to read. When they are out of sync, however, the story is an absolute bear, and I sometimes found myself needing days, or, in a couple of instances, weeks, before I could bring myself to go back for more.

If you’re considering “Atlas Shrugged,” know that, regardless of your politics or philosophical viewpoint, reading it is a commitment not to be taken lightly. It’s the literary equivalent of an ultramarathon, and it will test your patience, your stamina, and, sometimes, your will to live. (I’m only half-joking about that last one.)

k
kaphings
Apr 15, 2019

Ayn Rand’s magnum opus for sure. A tough long read, but glad I did It. Her philosophy is not for everyone. But, I think one should at least try to understand her philosophy of objectivism that A is A.

w
white_wolf_874
Mar 05, 2019

If you like this book you must be a teenager or an uneducated adult. #sad

r
robinandrews10
Feb 19, 2019

Ayn Rand is brilliant, but this was a tough read for me. Very slow moving and brooding.

e
ELemos
Jan 19, 2019

Audio Booked this many times and most likely will again in 2019. Objectivism I know isn't for everyone but read \ listen to it carefully. Among many of the words and phrases (and there are many) for example is "bus expertly driven". I only wish that I had read this book upon the advise of a U.S.A.F. tech school classmate back in 87.

c
carlsgr1
Nov 01, 2018

Actually not crap. Rand's politics and personal life are well-documented train wrecks, but you've got to set that aside and suspend disbelief as you read.
Woefully under-edited: somewhere in there is a half-decent 350-page book crying to get out. But her plot is at least coherent and interesting, which keeps you turning pages. Her dialogue can be wooden, but she works in some decent lines in places.
The Fountainhead is as good and 400 pages shorter. Her short story Anthem is the pick of the litter, though. I would actually call it good, and it gets her views across through suggestion and metaphor, which is more eloquent and effective than this amphetamine-fueled brain-dump.

r
red_dog_14987
Nov 01, 2018

Ayn Rand called social security a welfare program - yet she gladly used it.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/ayn-rand-social-security/
She was also pro-life and hated all religion - including Christianity. I think the people who like this book must be poorly educated and unable to use any form of logic.

f
flygt
Sep 28, 2018

This one is a marathon. I enjoyed the story but the dialogue was horrendous, you'd think Rand had never witnessed a conversation before let alone had one. There are so many lengthy political and epistemological rants my head was spinning. It was a very dystopian world she created, reminded me a bit of Orwell's 1984 in the sense that the state controlled everything and manipulated the plebs to dumb them down as much as possible. There's no subtlety to any of it, she's hitting you over the head the entire time with her worldview. A little nuance wouldn't have hurt.

b
bthomas0144
Sep 20, 2018

All things considered, its a great book. Kinda disappointing to see so many one star reviews because of the readers differentiating political or religious philosophies. It's a great story that can be appreciated by anyone if you aren't close minded and repulsed by world views other than your own. Its a hefty 1200 pages or so, but it's well worth the read.

Who is John Galt?

s
sunsandr
Jun 21, 2018

OMG, this book is so long. The long "lectures" given by characters was a big turn off. It made me what to give up and return the book. It was like being stuck in a boring college philosophy/sociology class. But other than that, there is a good story buried with this book.

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Laura_X Feb 22, 2019

Whenever anyone accuses some person of being ‘unfeeling,’ he means that that person is just. He means that that person has no causeless emotions and will not grant him a feeling which he does not deserve. He means that .‘to feel’ is to go against reason, against moral values, against reality.

s
sfinley87
Jun 28, 2016

“I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”

b
beth_klassen
Aug 18, 2015

Those men who do not mind being practical enough to sell their brains for money

EuSei Apr 17, 2015

"To trade by means of money is the code of the men of good will. Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort. Money allows no power to prescribe the value of your effort except the voluntary choice of the man who is willing to trade you his effort in return." Francisco d'Anconia

EuSei Apr 17, 2015

"Wealth is the product of man’s capacity to think. Then is money made by the man who invents a motor at the expense of those who did not invent it?" Francisco d'Anconia

EuSei Apr 17, 2015

"I am a trader. I earn what I get in trade for what I produce. I ask for nothing more or
nothing less than what I earn. That is justice. I don't force anyone to trade with me; I only
trade for mutual benefit." John Galt

EuSei Apr 17, 2015

"We're on strike against your creed of unearned rewards and unrewarded duties." John Galt

EuSei Apr 17, 2015

"The world will change when you are ready to pronounce this oath: I swear by my Life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for the sake of mine." John Galt

EuSei Aug 14, 2012

Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 2

EuSei Aug 14, 2012

Love is our response to our highest values — and can be nothing else. -Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, Ch. 4

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brookszirkel
Mar 16, 2015

brookszirkel thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and under

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HtetNAung thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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ecrl thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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EuSei Jul 30, 2011

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

rwh77 Jun 15, 2011

rwh77 thinks this title is suitable for 21 years and under

EuSei Jun 08, 2011

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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