Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Early Ayn Rand: A Selection From Her Unpublished Fiction” as Want to Read:
The Early Ayn Rand: A Selection From Her Unpublished Fiction
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Early Ayn Rand: A Selection From Her Unpublished Fiction

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  851 Ratings  ·  35 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This remarkable, newly revised collection of Ayn Rand's early fiction—including her previously unpublished short story The Night King—ranges from beginner's exercises to excerpts from early versions of We the Living and The Fountainhead.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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Early Ayn Rand, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Early Ayn Rand

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,641)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Mar 15, 2011 Nick rated it really liked it
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
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
Mar 22, 2014 Sweety rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ayn-rand
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
John Bruni
Aug 05, 2015 John Bruni rated it really liked it
This is a pretty interesting book, mostly because it gives us stories from Ayn Rand before she was Ayn Rand. For example, I had no idea that she used to be a genre writer. She's got a few stories in here that could have come from O. Henry's mind. In another story, Rand comes off sounding like Raymond Chandler. It's a whole new side to her I've never seen before. There's also a pretty interesting play in here about what happens when a disgraced Hollywood starlet goes on the lam and starts hiding ...more
Nov 19, 2009 Christopher rated it it was amazing
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
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
Isla McKetta
Aug 14, 2015 Isla McKetta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than I thought it would be, this book is not just for the devoted Rand fan. Although if you're looking for characters that are more than archetypes and an emphasis on the real rather than the ideal, this won't be your book. Still the stories and plays are forceful and compelling and it is interesting to have insight into Rand's process as she learns both English and how to write. I did have one chuckle when the editor (a Rand devotee) lauded Rand's concision.
***** 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
Mar 11, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was a nice read but it struck me how silly she was when she wrote these stories. Silly due to inexperience, not due to stupidity. But unbelievably silly nevertheless.
Juliana Es
Jul 18, 2010 Juliana Es rated it liked it
Shelves: 2010
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
Jul 30, 2014 Readerbug marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Feb 17, 2013 Andrea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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.
May 18, 2013 JP rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 27, 2007 Sabrina Ryan rated it liked it
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
Aug 09, 2010 Elise Baker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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.
Aug 03, 2008 Bethany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great collection of short stories and plays. Anyone familiar with Ayn Rand will definitely recognize glimpses of future characters and plots.
Feb 09, 2008 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A glimpse into how she developed...most pieces are unfinished...profound glimpse into the mind of my favorite philosopher.
Oct 13, 2011 Pearl rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The stories are really, really good, but overall pretty depressing. Each subject outlines a different "horror of reality".
Jan 24, 2010 Rich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent examples of her writing. A good primer for those who do not want to attack Atlas Shrugged or The Fountainhead first.
Jul 04, 2007 Christine rated it really liked it
Includes a couple of old school Hollywood film treatments and some awesome short stories- as for her plays, not that great
May 26, 2012 Joseph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some good short stories such as The Husband I Bought, Good Copy, and Red Pawn. Overall, worth reading.
Oct 29, 2008 Kiah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really interesting to see the progress of Ayn Rand's writing, subject matter, etc. Loved it!
Apr 03, 2007 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Jul 21, 2007 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  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!
Oct 05, 2008 Mikias rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is a good collection, particularly the firts story The Husband I Bought is awsome.
May 14, 2007 Adam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Objectivism would be great if you guys would do it first. Rand's sentences are so ugly.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 54 55 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Ayn Rand Answers: the Best of Her Q & A
  • Understanding Objectivism: A Guide to Learning Ayn Rand's Philosophy
  • Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand's Ideas Can End Big Government
  • Driving Blind
  • Ayn Rand and the World She Made
  • The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic and Philosophic Case for Laissez-Faire
  • Mama's Boy and Other Dark Tales
  • Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right
  • Jack Frake (Sparrowhawk, #1)
  • Screwjack: A Short Story
  • The Best Early Stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • My Years with Ayn Rand
  • How It Ended: New and Collected Stories
  • The Logical Leap: Induction in Physics
  • Mrs. Dalloway's Party: A Short Story Sequence
  • I Am John Galt: Today's Heroic Innovators Building the World and the Villainous Parasites Destroying It
  • Martha Washington Saves the World
  • The Essential Writings of Machiavelli
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...

Share This Book

“Everyone has the right to make his own decisions, but none has the right to force his decision on others.” 35 likes
“...нет ничего невозможного для того, кто умеет ждать.
"Ночной король”
More quotes…