The Early Ayn Rand: A Selection From Her Unpublished Fiction
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The Early Ayn Rand: A Selection From Her Unpublished Fiction

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  747 ratings  ·  30 reviews
This remarkable, newly revised collection of Ayn Rand's early fiction—including her previously unpublished short story The Night King—ranges from beginner's exercises to excerpts from early versions of We the Living and The Fountainhead.
Paperback, 528 pages
Published April 5th 2005 by Signet (first published August 1st 1984)
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sologdin
Part IX of a multi-part review series.

Juvenilia & outtakes. Forgettable shorts and irrational realist dramas. Scenes from We the Living and The Fountainhead that were left on the cutting room floor, but that editor thinks are interesting. Several texts are pre-McCarthy red scare, trite even in the 1930s.

Most interesting bits are Peikoff’s editorial comments.

For instance, “the novels of the mature Ayn Rand contain superlative values that are unique in our age” (vii).

We find no outtakes from A...more
Marilag
For all Leonard Peikoff's periodically pointing out that Ayn Rand's grasp of English was poor in the beginning of her writing years, it is still much better than a lot of native English writing today. Sure, some of the phrasing was a little awkward, and I cringed a bit at her attempt at capturing the slang in "The Night King," but overall her style and sense of the dramatics hasn't disappeared.

I actually liked some of her earlier works, and a little sad that she didn't further develop her more h...more
Nick
Gigantic book, but full of great stuff. There are some more "conventional" plot types especially early in the book, but since Rand is writing them they come across as totally distinctive in terms of characters, motivation, description of setting, etc. Since she is a philosophical novelist its interesting to see which concepts come across most strongly in which stories. Like the real cheery ones are all about how life's default state is gaiety and joy, and the darker ones are all about the strugg...more
Drsweety
Even as a beginner, Ayn does not seem like a fumbling amateur. She displayed crisp self-editing, the power of visual-evocation and occasionally, even a breezy sense of humor.
My favorites include :

Vesta Dunning: Howard's pre-Dominique passion (I wrote romantic interest and then erased it. Romance seems too frivolous an emotion for Howard.)It contains some of her best lines, which were ultimately gleaned from here and put in the final version.

Think Twice: Her pre-Altas Shrugged mixture of scienc...more
Christopher
This book is a collection of the early works by novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand (author of "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead").

The collection is worth the price simply for Dr. Leonard Peikoff's analysis of Rand's literary method in the preface to the passages on "The Fountainhead". Even though this book is unedited material, it still surpasses the quality of work of just about any author. There are some excellent stories in this collection, with the highlight on "Red Pawn", a sort of prec...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
This is a collection of Ayn Rand's early unpublished fiction. I wouldn't recommend this to someone not already a fan of her writing. If I weren't already, I don't know that I'd consider any piece here a standout (with the exception of the 1939 play, Think Twice.). To a fan it definitely has it's fascinations however, seeing the flashes of genius even in the earliest works here, where her "command of English" (Rand emigrated from Russia in the twenties) was still shaky. I have to say though, most...more
Tokoro
3.5
***** for "A Good Copy," (1920s) the character of Steve Ingalls from the "Think Twice" whodunit play (1930s), and what was cut from the final version of "The Fountainhead"— which had what Leonard Peikoff described as her best writing and so far. I agree, as well as characterization of Howard Roark here.
****ish for Red Dawn (1930s), but I was not pleased with how she ended it.

I got it on a whim to see what the development of her mind and writing looked like, to hopefully contribute to understa...more
Juliana Es
The Early Ayn Rand is a collection of the author's unpublished works. Her early twenties short stories such as Red Pawn, Good Copy, and Her Second Career, though not considered masterpiece, are very engaging and leave a strong impression. These are stories that you will not forget easily.

If you are a beginner in Ayn Rand, this book is a good start. Her unpublished works may be flawed, but they are unique and strong, which spark my curiosity and set my interest to explore the author's famous work...more
Andrea
This book shows how much it's possible to improve if you put your mind to it. I was also really happy to read shorter stories of Rand's, and see more of how her ideology has evolved through the years! I don't doubt I'll go back to this book at times, and read stories like Good Copy and Ideal over again. I also greatly enjoyed the unpublished parts from We the Living and The Fountainhead. Definitely a must-read for those who enjoyed Ayn Rand's other novels.
JP
Peikoff talks a lot about her maturing during the 20+ year span here, but her work is interesting from the beginning. In some ways, we see the raw stuff of which her later ideas and characters were formed. Most of the works are captivating, including: The Husband I Bought, Good Copy, Her Second Career, Red Pawn, Ideal, and Think Twice.
Jessica Blethen
I absolutely love Ayn Rand. I own every book she has written (I think). I love how she illustrates the way of life in Soviet Russia through a first hand knowledge in her first works and how she plays them into her stories. She is amazing. The philosophies behind her greatest works are AMAZING. She is... amazing in herself.
Sabrina Ryan
Interesting compilation of Ayn Rand's early short stories - her first written stories in English upon arriving in America. It is interesting to see her progression of mastering the English language and has many twisting plot stories that are sometimes great and sometimes lacking.
Elise Baker
Five stars only applies to "The Husband I Bought". The rest is interesting reading from the perspective of seeing a developing author. Some of it is funny, as well.
Hawkgrrrl
Ah, the allure of "unpublished fiction" of a beloved author. Like the siren song. Steer your ships away from this one unless you are really in for the long haul.
Bethany
Great collection of short stories and plays. Anyone familiar with Ayn Rand will definitely recognize glimpses of future characters and plots.
Bryan
A glimpse into how she developed...most pieces are unfinished...profound glimpse into the mind of my favorite philosopher.
Pearl
The stories are really, really good, but overall pretty depressing. Each subject outlines a different "horror of reality".
Rich
Excellent examples of her writing. A good primer for those who do not want to attack Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead first.
Christine
Includes a couple of old school Hollywood film treatments and some awesome short stories- as for her plays, not that great
Joseph
Some good short stories such as The Husband I Bought, Good Copy, and Red Pawn. Overall, worth reading.
Kiah
Really interesting to see the progress of Ayn Rand's writing, subject matter, etc. Loved it!
Karen
Apr 03, 2007 Karen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers of short fiction
A perhaps different side of Rand, which delve into the humble roots of her school of thought.
Teresa
Jul 21, 2007 Teresa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers
Great short stories and plays. If you love shorts stories with a twist this is the book for you!
Mikias
It is a good collection, particularly the firts story The Husband I Bought is awsome.
Adam
Objectivism would be great if you guys would do it first. Rand's sentences are so ugly.
Kimberlee Jane
Another short read. The Warrior story... definitely a must-read for Ayn Rand fans.
Jenna
It's a very good unpublished story of Ms. Ayn Rand, and it's worth reading..
Laura Wilson
The short stories in this book blew me away. I loved it.
Chuck D
Gives a more in-depth look at her mind
Ying
Read The Husband I Bought!
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Alisa Rosenbaum was born in pre-revolutionary St. Petersburg to a prosperous Jewish family. When the Bolsheviks requisitioned the pharmacy owned by her father, Fronz, the Rosenbaums fled to the Crimea. Alisa returned to the city (renamed Leningrad) to attend the university, but in 1926 relatives who had already settled in America offered her the chance of joining them there. With money from the sa...more
More about Ayn Rand...
Atlas Shrugged The Fountainhead Anthem We the Living The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism

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