First off, the easy part of the review: Rand is a good writer. The story itself is engaging, the characters interestiA book undoubtedly worth reading.
First off, the easy part of the review: Rand is a good writer. The story itself is engaging, the characters interesting, the pacing excellent, the writing vivid. A good dystopian novel. I really enjoyed Dagny as a strong female character.
Now, that said, there's of course more to it than that. This is a book to read and think about. I found it incredibly difficult to read for the reason that I would be chugging along, agreeing with what was said, and then there'd be a paragraph that was like running into a wall. Tons and tons of logical statements that are admirable and I think should be followed; and then the text breaks down into completely unreasonable conclusions.
To laud logic and the mind is fantastic; her celebration of reason is great. To say industrialists are needed is completely true. To then turn around and say that those on the lower rungs don't matter, or to naively act as if there are not real barriers that stop people from achieving the heights their minds are worth of is completely illogical. Rand's world in Atlas Shrugged would be a great one to live in if it was realistic. But it's not. It ignores some glaring problems, such as over-population and globalization (which to be fair weren't a huge deal when this book was written.)
Overall, the book is doomed by it's illogical conclusions, and by plugging its ears to problems that complicate the idea that the world is completely fair and the only barrier is yourself....more
Awesome book. Has value in many ways. First off it gave me a look into a culture I'm less familiar with; it has a wide array of Muslim characters, somAwesome book. Has value in many ways. First off it gave me a look into a culture I'm less familiar with; it has a wide array of Muslim characters, something missing in a lot of American culture right now. It also has a good solid look at punk culture in it's many manifestations, from straightedge to classic to riot grrl to homocore. Yes, this book has gay Muslim punks in it. And it's leaps like that that lead to the books truly valuable stuff. The "normal" narrator, while as a character I don't care for much, very effectively poses the question can these cultures collide while staying true to themselves? Can Muslim punks exist? It also edges then on the question can American Muslims be anything but an oxymoron? The book steers clear of being heavy handed about it's answer, but provides a compelling argument. While I am not Muslim, it tackles what I feel like most religions could use some introspection on, and that's the ability to take the power inherent in the divine and break away from oppressive man-made religious structures. ...more
Fascinating look of God as the protagonist of the piece of literature known as the Hebrew Bible. The author's strong prowess as a literary critic alloFascinating look of God as the protagonist of the piece of literature known as the Hebrew Bible. The author's strong prowess as a literary critic allows him to look at this character without all the clutter of history or religion fogging up this character analysis. Requires a who new look at the bible....more
Not bad, some interesting ideas in it to chew on, and it will certainly make you think. However, he occasionally uses his opinions as facts to supportNot bad, some interesting ideas in it to chew on, and it will certainly make you think. However, he occasionally uses his opinions as facts to support assertions or as a basic premise to a thought without proving them. Overall though an interesting analysis of the philosophers of the past being applicable to today...more
Fascinating. Marriage is not even close to what you probably thought it was. Especially not Christian concepts of marriage. Those squawking about gayFascinating. Marriage is not even close to what you probably thought it was. Especially not Christian concepts of marriage. Those squawking about gay marriage not being traditional (and heck, those on the other side of the debate) should take a gander at this work. Super academic, but accessible and interesting as well....more