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Author Topic: The Fountainhead & Atlas Shrugged  (Read 4898 times)
feeblepizza
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« on: April 05, 2011, 04:39:45 pm »
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I purchased Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead at a bookstore last night, and was wondering if anyone here had read it or Atlas Shrugged. If so, can you give me a short review?
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#Ready4Nixon
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« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2011, 05:21:46 pm »
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I've read over 70% of Atlas Shrugged. The ironic thing is that my english teacher is giving them away for free because the Ayn Rand foundation was giving them away to teachers a couple years ago. Therefore, a book by someone who despised charity is being given away fro free.

Anyway, Atlas Shrugged is basically the story of a world where the common man is glorified, and businessmen are either demonized or are horrible businessmen who just mooch off each other or the government. Eventually, after more and more government regulation, the businessmen start disappearing one by one. I'm not going to give you the ending (you may have already read the ending on wikipedia).

In terms of reviewing it, a friend and I were joking about what a movie about the book might be like (there was actually a "part one" at some point). If it was to be accurate, the camera would have to stare at a character's face for ten minutes (or more) and just watch the slightest shift in the character's expression (trust me, you had to be there). Needless to say, the book is long and it has a lot of description. If you stop reading, it's hard to get back on, though I've done it. If you can stomach all the description and back-story, you might also be offended on how the book rips things such as charity, marriage, and God. However, if you can read it, that alone is an accomplishment.
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« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2011, 05:28:29 pm »
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I've read Atlas Shrugged. I found it quite interesting, although unconvincing and badly written.
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« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2011, 05:40:30 pm »
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« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2011, 08:10:53 pm »
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I've been planning to pick up some of Rand's writing soon. I doubt I'll agree with much of what she has to say, but I am curious just what all the fuss is about. I've heard she's not that good a writer though, which is what's stopped me from picking her up yet.
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2011, 12:21:32 am »
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I read Anthem, which I think is her shortest work. It doesn't have the complexity of some of the others, but it was interesting enough for a quick read.  A defense of individualism against collectivism, which I appreciate, but in a way lacking because her sort of individualism doesn't really lend itself to a consideration of the complicated and intimate meaning of human relationships.  I think if I were going to read a book as large as Atlas Shrugged I would go instead for Dosteyevski. The book of hers I am interested in reading is We The Living, as it is based more in her own life experience and those suffering under a historical totalitarianism.
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2011, 11:09:00 am »
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I'd rather attend a Ke$ha concert followed by a death metal show followed by a service at BushOklahoma's church than read one paragraph of the nonsense spewed by that abominable woman.
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2011, 03:10:29 pm »
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I've read Atlas Shrugged four times (Never read The Fountainhead D:)

It's quite long but it's basically about how capitalism is good. That's the very blunt summary, it'd take several hours to describe the whole book.
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2011, 03:17:25 pm »
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Atlas Shrugged was probably a poor choice to read the week when I retired at age 35. 

The back story was good science fiction. She likes long, rambling monologes and was hidous at writing dialogue. 

Rand was a better philosopher than fiction writer.  Some of her philosophy is flawed in some aspects, i.e. assuming that money is the sole motivation in life.
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2011, 04:08:10 pm »
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Atlas Shrugged was probably a poor choice to read the week when I retired at age 35

The back story was good science fiction. She likes long, rambling monologes and was hidous at writing dialogue. 

Rand was a better philosopher than fiction writer.  Some of her philosophy is flawed in some aspects, i.e. assuming that money is the sole motivation in life.

How does that work?
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2011, 04:27:54 pm »
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I've read Atlas Shrugged thrice over the years. The first two times I was an impressionable young (13-15, some age around there) and ate it up. The third time though, a few years later, I read it in a more critical light and found how lacking and one dimensional the philosophy truly is. Rand's philosophy kind of works within the confines of her novel because the main protagonists are all flawless.

Even then, when reading the book, pay attention to the character of Eddie Willers especially towards the end. It's a perfect tale of how the average man gets screwed over by objectivism even if they're a hardworking capitalist at heart themselves. It was that observation more than anything else that made me realize how unapologetically horrible Rand's philosophy really is.
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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2011, 07:23:37 pm »
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Haven't read either, but I've heard they're both incredibly boring.
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« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2011, 09:24:22 am »
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Atlas Shrugged was probably a poor choice to read the week when I retired at age 35

The back story was good science fiction. She likes long, rambling monologes and was hidous at writing dialogue. 

Rand was a better philosopher than fiction writer.  Some of her philosophy is flawed in some aspects, i.e. assuming that money is the sole motivation in life.

How does that work?

Easy, all you need is for you spine to be in two parts.
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2011, 09:54:07 pm »
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The movie, Part I, just opened 15th; is it comparable to the book?
 Local radio guy interviewed the producer today. 400 screens $2m, gets bumped up to 1200 screens tomorrow.

Part 2 - 2012 April 15th
Part 3 - 2013 April 15th
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« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2011, 08:56:36 am »
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Atlas shrugged is poorly written by means of description. This book is not sub-par in it's description, no, quite the opposite, 2 whole pages of close to 500 words describing this guy and his back story. Until about page, I don't know 200, it is nothing but torturous character development with a little spark of plot here and there. Then the book gets interesting. I'm not going to review the plot that much except this. Galt's speech in my version of the book is.
5 whole chapters.
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« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2011, 09:13:39 am »
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I'm getting a impression from this thread & the authors that China has a lot in common.

The movie would need or could have many layers of rubicon type scripting.

anyone seen the the movie yet.
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#Ready4Nixon
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« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2011, 06:36:01 pm »
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I'm getting a impression from this thread & the authors that China has a lot in common.

The movie would need or could have many layers of rubicon type scripting.

anyone seen the the movie yet.

I saw a trailer for it, and it looked like they changed a lot of the book. However, I haven't finished the book yet. I wonder if it'll be successful enough for a party two, or if it'll just flop.
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« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2011, 06:02:04 pm »
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Suggest reading We the Living.  Probably Rand's best written work.


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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2011, 01:52:44 am »
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I've read both... one by choice, one for a book club.... the writing is abominable and incredibly, incredibly dense. The concepts themselves are interesting... but that didn't stop me wanting to take a running leap at a kitchen knife half-way through TF and about 20 pages into AS.

Rand has basically become the Marx of the Tea Party... albeit for those who can read.
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« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2011, 08:33:09 am »
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Rand has basically become the Marx of the Tea Party... albeit for those who can read.

That's just a little bit offensive to old Karl, no? She's more a Marcuse of the right.
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« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2011, 10:18:36 pm »
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I just finished reading Atlas shrugged this afternoon and it was well... different.

I think Rand has a few legitament points, mainly about the "looters" in the book but overall it was lacking in many ways. For one, there are only two characters in the book that are just copied over and over again with different names: the industrialist and the looter, no one else.

She seems to be operating under some kind of strange delusion that emotion is completely useless in all situations. Even her best musician writes with no emotion. Huh? How can the world's best musician operate that way. It's totally unbelieveable but to make an exception would ruin her thesis. It's sort of irritating that all her "good" characters are also psychopaths. It's like her idea of a utopia can only be achieved when we suck the world dry of all personal relationships. Who'd want to live in such a world as that even if the trains do come on time? Her ideas of how science is conducted are rather absurd as well.

I also virulently dissagree with her views of religion and sex (which probably goes without saying). She seems to be simultaneously arguing that morals are absolute and that morality doesn't exist.
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« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2011, 10:23:56 pm »
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I also virulently dissagree with her views of religion and sex (which probably goes without saying). She seems to be simultaneously arguing that morals are absolute and that morality doesn't exist.

I noticed this too. She seems full of contradictions on stuff like that.
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« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2011, 11:25:04 pm »
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I've just started reading The Fountainhead. Not to far into it yet but it doesn't seem that bad.
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« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2011, 08:40:29 pm »
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Atlas Shrugged did not impress me in the slightest.  As others have mentioned, it was poorly written, so poorly that I did not bother continuing after the first few pages.  Is the Fountainhead any better?

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« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2011, 08:43:29 pm »
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My father loves The Fountainhead, I've never tried it.  Only Rand I've managed to get all the way through was Anthem, and that's basically an oversized short story.

Anthem is like a second-rate "Harrison Bergeron."  I've said it before, and I'll say it again.
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