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The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
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The Fountainhead (1943)

by Ayn Rand

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
14,696201135 (3.91)251
  1. 103
    Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (bigtent21, thebookpile)
    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)
  2. 31
    Essays on Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead by Robert Mayhew (mcaution)
    mcaution: Gain a deeper understanding and appreciation on the classic novel from this collection of scholarly criticism.
  3. 32
    Anthem by Ayn Rand (Voracious_Reader)
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    Progress by Charles Stampul (PeerlessPress)
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    Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland (Alixtii)
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    Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David Von Drehle (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: The real world results of libertarianism.
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    Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Voracious_Reader)
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Ayn Rand's at her approachable best. Roark's speech before the court plainly defines the conflict between individual and society. ( )
  apomonis | Jun 2, 2016 |
Review: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

I enjoyed this book to the end. Somewhat lengthy, and I felt the reading was slow paced only because I wanted to understand Ayn Rand’s philosophy on Objectiveness and enjoy the story too. The story is fictional and some say Ayn Rand was a novelist first, and then a philosopher but I don’t agree. I’ve read her other books and I feel she strives to get her opinion explained her way and creates the story and characters around the philosophy on the subject matter. The story line is filled with true life situations, social Darwinism, society vs. man, revenge, desire, lust, and every other symptom life prevails. The story is powerful, strong, stunning, and not predictable. The characters had combinations of flaws, attitudes, and some stigma which, made the story more intriguing.

I read that some readers tried to classify it; the shallow saw it as a book about architecture, the more skeptical, saw it as a book about extremism, and the more respectful and intelligent majority which, is how I understood it, saw it as a book about identity. The book is for individualism, for creativity, for following your own path and for impartial truth and reality. When I read this book I felt challenged and I liked all the ideological, philosophical, political aspects of the story. I’m willing to encounter more than one argument, one side to any issue, and still retain opinions of my own. I think that’s what it takes to read any of Ayn Rand’s books.

In the introduction Ayn Rand states that, “The Fountainhead was written for the purpose of presenting her philosophy…. It was her soul motive and purpose of writing the projection of the ideal man….and first cause and prime motive to portray Howard Roark as an end in himself…” My opinion is that her ultimate goal was to present her characters highlighting through their actions and inactions, attitudes and convictions with good and bad points of their array of perspectives on life.

The premise of the story is one man’s unwillingness to compromise his work for the tastes of the general public. He would not give in, and he would not waver in his beliefs, regardless of the personal and professional set backs they caused him. The man I am talking about is Howard Roark, who was an architect and created buildings in a style never seen before. His radical new designs were put down by many critics and other architects. He was Ayn Rand’s ideal man… who designed and built only for his own ego and the satisfaction of having done it himself.

There were so many climaxes and interesting characters to this story that would take me a day to rehash it all. I’ll write a tad-bit on a couple of characters for you to follow. There is Dominique, who seems to have everything except for love and happiness and emotionally tries to hurt Roark every chance she gets. She reminds me of Dagny in the book Atlas Shrugged. Gail Wynand was a nobody and than worked his way fighting against all odds to become impressionable, rich, owning many businesses and becoming his own person. Ellsworth Toohey was a strange mystery to me for awhile. He was an elderly man who was a newspaper columnist. He was manipulative, power hungry, pursued socialism, but he craved to be a Dictator. Toohey seemed to have all the worst characteristics of communism and fascism. Than we have Peter Keating, who was an architect who was willing to do anything, as long as it pleases the boss. He was the type to kiss-ass to get to the top and certainly did that well. He was Roark’s competitor and hated him but when he was in a bind Roark was the first person Peter would contact. Oh..! ..One more thing…One building in the story went….Kaboom, Kaboom…I wonder which building, why, and whodunit……??

It was an amazing story and the length was rewarding. For some it might be more satisfying if you don’t read to deep into every dynamic of the philosophy and just enjoy the story….
( )
  Juan-banjo | May 31, 2016 |
The book is tedious to read. Also regarding the characters, I had to suspend disbelief to get through it. The real word "resembles" that shown in the book, but not to the hard-edged extremes as presented by the author. The issue is not with Rand's brand of conservatism/Libertarianism, but with her writing. It seems that she takes too many words to express her ideas. She really needed a good editor. ( )
  Marc_Mccune | Apr 11, 2016 |
grand livre, opposant ceux qui font: createurs...et ceux qui critiquent, personnages tres monolytiques,caricaturaux a mon gout,mais belle histoire,forte, didactique.
Very strong characters, well written book, impressive story, A Rand was a great writer, no doubt about it! ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 2, 2016 |
I actually was really influenced by Rand at the time of reading the book. Today I would say the society she envisioned is so hideous - so selfish and cruel, so inhuman -that human beings could never allow such a thing to happen - any human beings (though some surely would like to). ( )
  AZG1001 | Mar 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 193 (next | show all)
[Miss Rand] has written a hymn in praise of the individual and has said things worth saying in these days. Whether her antithesis between altruism and selfishness is logically correct or not, she has written a powerful indictment.
 

» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rand, Aynprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Peikoff, LeonardAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Rheenen, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Whatever their future, at the dawn of their lives, men seek a noble vision of man's nature and of life's potential." _____Ayn Rand
Dedication
To Frank O'Connor
First words
Howard Roark laughed.
Quotations
To say "I love you" one must first be able to say the "I".
"If a writer wrote merely for his time, I would have to break my pen and throw it away" ---Victor Hugo.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (4)

Book description
Fountainhead by Ayn Rand is the story of Howard Roark, a man who stands up for his principles in a world where they are not valued. He pays the price for it, with his rivals like Peter Keating getting ahead. But he runs his own race, because the race everyone else runs is one filled with compromise and without integrity. He falls in love with a woman, whom he must first teach to live in a world like this. He stands tall, alone, and shows us the essence of individualism.
Haiku summary
The selfless man is/acting as his own builder/and as destroyer (missteacher)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451191153, Mass Market Paperback)

The Fountainhead has become an enduring piece of literature, more popular now than when published in 1943. On the surface, it is a story of one man, Howard Roark, and his struggles as an architect in the face of a successful rival, Peter Keating, and a newspaper columnist, Ellsworth Toohey. But the book addresses a number of universal themes: the strength of the individual, the tug between good and evil, the threat of fascism. The confrontation of those themes, along with the amazing stroke of Rand's writing, combine to give this book its enduring influence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:44 -0400)

(see all 10 descriptions)

Here is the story of an intransigent young architect, Howard Roark, of his violent battle against a mindless status quo, and of his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who worships him yet struggles to defeat him. In order to build his kind of buildings according to his own standards, Roark must fight against every variant of human corruption.… (more)

» see all 13 descriptions

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