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Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
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Atlas Shrugged (original 1957; edition 1999)

by Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff (Introduction)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,296255121 (3.88)435
Member:atrautz
Title:Atlas Shrugged
Authors:Ayn Rand
Other authors:Leonard Peikoff (Introduction)
Info:Plume (1999), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 1200 pages
Collections:Your library, Fiction/Literature/Plays/Essays, Read (Personal Collection)
Rating:*****
Tags:Literature

Work details

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (1957)

  1. 144
    The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (PghDragonMan, bigtent21, thebookpile)
    PghDragonMan: This earlier work is more lyrical and is a milder, and more condensed, version of the philosophy expressed by this work.
    bigtent21: "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead" are becoming more relevant as we head into 2009. Large Government Buyouts and Regulation are the scourge of Atlas Shrugged and the outright sponsoring of mediocrity predominates The Fountainhead. Rand can be long-winded, but these two books are must reads regardless of your own personal beliefs.… (more)
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  4. 63
    Essays on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged by Robert Mayhew (mcaution)
    mcaution: Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Rand's magnum opus through this unique collection of scholarly criticism. See why after 50+ years in print it's selling better than when it was first published.
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    PghDragonMan: Do the needs of the many outweigh the value of the individual?
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    missmaddie: Epic struggles of good vs. evil
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» See also 435 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 251 (next | show all)
Not bad for a "classic" book, in terms of writing style, characterization, and dialog. But the length of this monster. Some 1,200 pages. I'm no stranger to less-than-succinct writing, but come one. A few hundred pages in, I began to read only the first sentence of each paragraph as well as the full dialogue. And that gave sufficient information--slightly more than sufficient, probably--to get the whole story. As I noticed in Atlas Shrugged as well as Anthem and The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand makes no attempt at subtlety in her presentation of her personal philosophy. I'm not too annoyed with that, since I do find Objectivism intriguing and worth exploring. But near the end of Atlas Shrugged I found myself yelling at my e-Reader as a character's speech on the radio took up page after page (28 pages? something insane like that) without a break, explaining every facet of Objectivism. Several times I had to stop and cuss out the character/Ayn Rand for each word the speech defined in mind-breaking series of paragraphs. Perhaps 1/4 of the way through I looked for the page number of the next chapter, and, seeing the number of pages left, just flipped through to the end of the chapter, which was also where the speech ended. Some time later, a character noted that, yeah, this was a 3-hour-long speech. And no one appeared to realize that even the most interested audience is going to keep listening past the half-hour mark when the subject is a moral/political/social/economic philosophy.

Still, the subject matter of the book was interesting, there was some tension and stuff, a good dose of irony (though it got rather heavy-handed), and...yeah. I finished it, even if I really read only 2/3 of the actual words in it.

Would I have read this if I didn't have to? No. Anthem, maybe. The Fountainhead, possibly. Neither of those comes near the size of Atlas Shrugged, and the ideas expressed are the same.
Would I have bothered to read this instead of looking over the CliffNotes if I didn't have to write an essay on this book, an essay which could possibly win me a good chunk of money? No. Heck no.

So, 2.5 stars, since the reading experience didn't become truly excruciating until just over midway through, and the aforementioned radio speech at least came at a point where the book's end was in sight. ( )
1 vote -sunny- | Jul 15, 2014 |
Tremendous book written over ten years from 1947 to 1957 yet it predicts exactly what is now happening in the United States! ( )
  mrluckey | Jun 17, 2014 |
An overly long book in which the characters and plot are merely subservient to Rand's philosophy; the characters are often one-dimensional and they have a tendency to expound far too often in monologues. Glad that I read it, but it would be tough to recommend to someone else. ( )
  xuebi | May 30, 2014 |
For its time, this may have been a fairly controversial book. I read it again because the adage of, "History repeats itself," was taking place in our society. So, I read this more as a manifesto rather than pure fiction, which is, I'm sure, what Ms. Rand intended. It angered me and seemed a little laughable, but still, a book that civilized societies should read. This should be what high school and college-aged kids should read, rather than some of the liberal propaganda forced on them by the teacher's unions. ( )
  obedah | Mar 26, 2014 |
Amazing... and yet confusing.

Challenges contemporary views on socialism. Extraordinarily timely in light of this recent election. I'm still trying to resolve the philosophy of the book into my own feelings. Rand definitely takes the idea of the free market to the extreme, discounting factors of corruption and abuse that are bound to happen in a completely unregulated market. But still...

As far as the movement of the book, it's pretty peppy up until the three-hour radio speech towards the end. Reading on the Kindle I'm not sure how many pages it takes up in print, but I'm willing to guess at least a hundred. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 251 (next | show all)
"Despite laborious monologues, the reader will stay with this strange world, borne along by its story and eloquent flow of ideas."
added by GYKM | editNewsweek
 
"inspired" and "monumental" but "(t)o the Christian, everyone is redeemable. But Ayn Rand’s ethical hardness may repel those who most need her message: that charity should be voluntary…. She should not have tried to rewrite the Sermon on the Mount."
 
"to warn contemporary America against abandoning its factories, neglecting technological progress and abolishing the profit motive seems a little like admonishing water against running uphill."
 
Atlas Shrugged represents a watershed in the history of world literature.
 
"remarkably silly" and "can be called a novel only by devaluing the term" ... "From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: 'To the gas chambers — go!'"
 

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ayn Randprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brick, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Frank O'Connor and Nathaniel Branden
To Frank O'Connor
First words
"Who is John Galt?"
Quotations
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.
Pride is the recognition of the fact that you are your own highest value and, like all of man’s values, it has to be earned.
Rationality is the recognition of the fact that nothing can alter the truth and nothing can take precedence over that act of perceiving it.
Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. When money ceases to become the means by which men deal with one another, then men become the tools of other men. Blood, whips and guns--or dollars. Take your choice--there is no other.
It wasn’t real, was it?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0452011876, Paperback)

At last, Ayn Rand's masterpiece is available to her millions of loyal readers in trade paperback.

With this acclaimed work and its immortal query, "Who is John Galt?", Ayn Rand found the perfect artistic form to express her vision of existence. Atlas Shrugged made Rand not only one of the most popular novelists of the century, but one of its most influential thinkers.

Atlas Shrugged is the astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world--and did. Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged stretches the boundaries further than any book you have ever read. It is a mystery, not about the murder of a man's body, but about the murder--and rebirth--of man's spirit.

Atlas Shrugged is the "second most influential book for Americans today" after the Bible, according to a joint survey conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:40:18 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world, and did. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he have to fight his battle not against his enemies but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves? The answers to these questions become clear when the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the amazing men and women in this remarkable book is uncovered . Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, "Atlas shrugged" is Ayn Rand's magnum opus, and a premier moral apologia for Capitalism.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 16 descriptions

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