Atlas Shrugged

  • Note: I ‘read’ this (listened with occasional looksee at the eBook) in July. I am behind in my review writing. I wrote this the first week of August and forgot about it. I decided now to go ahead and post. Thank you.

Thoughts asAbyar by Ayn Rand, Blackstone Audio 2008 (orig 1957), 63 hours

Narrated by Scott Brick.


A big THANK YOU to Ti of Book Chatter for the ambitious readalong adventure suggestion for the months of July and into August. I was certainly intimidated – the length alone is mind-boggling but throw in the controversy of the author and her political leanings, and one must REALLY think, “do I really want to tackle this? Is now the right time?”

I asked those questions, and did it anyway.

I can’t resist a Ti readalong, usually. Actually, I confess, she and I are not litmus tests to each other’s love of books. She has loved books that I have hated or gotten bored by and vice versa. I think this is why we are good friends. She interests and amuses me and the differences of tastes intrigues me – when we agree, I wonder how we ever find things to disagree on!

But I digress.

Atlas Shrugged is ambitious. It is ambition. It is thwarted ambition and good come-uppance to the losers who dare dictate to winners how to define winning. It truly is a FASCINATING tale, in my opinion.

But I do think it is too long. Oh sure, “GRAND IN SCOPE” and certainly well-thought out and planned. I can sense that Ayn Dear was not a lazy gal. But tedious? Yes, I imagine she has one helluva stare if you dare ask her a stupid question or suggest a time-wasting venture of any kind that might distract her from task at hand. She is totally interesting!

I find the controversy and the devotion and even the scorn she gets to be very fascinating. I kind of wish I had read her in college. I wonder what my 20 yo self would have thought.

But I’m no longer 20. I’m a few decades beyond. The longer I live, the more complicated life is to me.

Oh, crap, I’m thinking I have wandered off topic again.

I don’t think Ayn Rand would have liked me. I cringe thinking of what she would think of me if we met. I don’t really care; – – – again: she fascinates me! But she would look me up and down and dismiss me, I’m sure of it.

I’m rating this 3 stars. The pros are TRAINS!  (think Sheldon Cooper of Big Bang Theory) and I do believe that good work should be rewarded. AND I think that if you give leechers and looters an inch, they’ll demand a mile.

But I believe in balance, too.

I believe in value add;  I believe in sharing. I believe in Rand’s understanding of selfishness as much as I believe in Jubal Harshaw’s. I don’t believe that the government can be trusted. And everyone IS out for themselves. The trick is to respect and not take advantage of ‘the other’. Be true, be kind.

I believe in public education. I don’t know how to fix it but it needs fixing.

BUT. I don’t believe that the government is the best way to ‘steal from the rich to give to the poor’. I’m all for Robin Hood, actually. I just don’t believe the government can “FIX” or distribute wisely or best. You can’t force morality or legislate people to ‘do right’. RIGHT is subjective. And usually selfish on the ulterior motive. If you don’t have an economy, you can’t share any of the pie.

I have lovely lovely friends who are staunch Republicans. I know Libertarians. I have lovely lovely friends who are staunch Democrats. I think that one party thinks the other is all crooked or lazy and vice versa. Ugh, I just hate all of it and wonder how towns ever managed to come together and agree on how to provide clean water and working sewer systems for their citizens!

I am so glad to have read this book. It really had some fun parts, some tedious parts and eye-rolling parts. Good times.

  • Jubal Harshaw is in Stranger in a Strange Land – a fascinating look at many of the same themes. Very mind-twisty to read this right after Rand. Similar time period, too. My brain hurts.


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7 thoughts on “Atlas Shrugged

    1. I have waited too long to write down my thoughts of SiaSL – hopefully I will be able to recall a few things for a review. It’s always harder when audiobooked. AND I was driving cross-AtlanticCoast so I might have been distracted at times.

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