Scott's Reviews > Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
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's review
Nov 02, 11

bookshelves: politics
Read in October, 2011

Seriously mixed views on this book...

Given some of the almost prophetic insights contained in this book (considering it was written over 50 years ago), I can see why this book remains popular. For example, see if the following quote doesn't resonate with you based on what you see going on in Washington, D.C. (and other politcal centers) today:

“[W]hen you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing; when you see that money is flowing to those who deal not in goods, but in favors; when you see that men get rich more easily by graft than by work, and your laws no longer protect you against them, but protect them against you. . . you may know that your society is doomed.”

It's only because of such insights that I gave the book 3 stars... Otherwise, I would have struggled to give it a 2-star rating. For an author that claimed to be an athiest, I find it interesting that I felt like I had been preached at for nearly 1000 pages -- especially Galt's radio address. And the obvious attempt to make Galt a Christ-figure was just so heavy-handed (his near omniscience, his torture [read: crucifixion], his "rapturing" people into his "heaven," etc., etc., etc.).

That, and if I ever find another author who thinks that people can actually detect a world of emotion in the slightest twinge on a character's face, I think I'll puke. Rand spent an inordinate amount of time describing how someone could read someone else's facial expressions (or lack thereof) and make 100% accurate conclusions in an instant. I know she was using it as a literary device to convey her character's emotions, but after the first couple of times it got old -- and after the hundredth time it got *real* old. And by the end of the book I just wish she would have stopped altogether.

Overall, not what I expected given the hype...


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