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The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
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's review
Mar 20, 2008

really liked it

Ayn Rand writes some terrific books. Not only is she the pundit of objectivism, a descriptive philosophy holding that there is a mind-independent reality that we must adhere to, but she is a terrific story teller. Fountainhead is the first 'big' novel, preceding Atlas Shrugged. Like 'Atlas', Fountainhead contains much of Rand's philosophy with a healthy dose of the importance of individualism and what it takes to keep it. It helps to remember that Rand was, in part, reacting to the Communist scare.

Rourk, the novel's main character, refuses to give in to the mainstream architectural mindset, which eventually leads to his loss of fame and fortune. Rand makes sure the needed details are present without them getting in the way of the plot, which is nice and complex.

It would be of help to read Rand's 'Objectivism' before reading her novels, but is certainly not necessary to enjoy her broad and encompassing style and literary clarity. I highly recommend this book, but give it time for a full experience. Don't be surprised if you hop over to the nearest book dealer for 'Atlas Shrugged' as you finish the last sentence.

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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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George Bradford What do you mean by "give it time for a full experience"? Read slowly? Read in small bits? Something else?

I note you rate Atlas Shrugged higher than The Fountainhead. When I read them (damn, that was twenty years ago!) I thought The Fountainhead was absolutely fantastically great. And, yes, I did immediately race out to grab a copy of Atlas Shrugged and read it. But... I didn't think it was as good. I wonder if I'd react the same way now? I still think The Fountainhead is one of the greatest books of all time.

Mark I think that both of these books are complex and, well, 'big' in many ways. Months after I read them I found myself linking sub-plots, characters and story-lines together as well as realizing what many allusions to her philosophical outlook, Objectivism, were in the book. It helped me to read her philosophy, Objectivism, which I read after the fact.

message 3: by el jefe (new)

el jefe I thought The Fountainhead sucked. I picked it up many years ago after a friend of mine said her work largely shaped his outlook as a teenager. Ayn Rand was quite the rage in her day, but I found this story predictable, her characters shallow and her writing style obtuse. I read The Fountainhead 15 years ago and sometimes think maybe I should give her another chance. But I just can't bring myself to do it. There are too many other good books to read.

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