Dan's Reviews > The Fountainhead
by Ayn Rand
by Ayn Rand
Feb 20, 2008
Ever read a book that changed your life as a kid, I mean totally reconfigured your perceptions of life and how it should be lived? Yeah, me too. This was one of those books for me. It blew me away as a kid. My hero was Roark and his rugged individualism and integrity. Upon rereading this 50th anniversary hardback edition as an adult, I was appalled at this amoral tale. Roark is a sociopathic monster whose integrity is blind and callous. The Objectivism that Rand uses to undergird this story seems to find ethics of communities, or how we should act towards each other, repugnant. Every character is a simple caricature of one facet of a human, there is no moral ambiguity or ambivalence in anybody. Everybody here is an absolute, and because of that, an absolute failure. She attempts to soften these granite facades with a love story, but Rand turns out to be inept at that too. Sure Roark has impeccable aesthetic taste, but if it isn't in service to bettering your life or your fellow man's (preferably both), then it's just an exercise in solipsistic torture. And the whole manifesto masquerading as a serious novel gave me eyeball sprain from all of the rolling it did. This book is probably dangerous for naive minds and too naive for adult minds.
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