Kimberly Cain's Reviews > Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
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's review
Dec 29, 2009

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction, philosophy

I read this because it is the favorite book of a friend. I understand why she loves it. It is not a book I enjoyed, though I did gain insights from reading it. I had a tough time getting through it because Rand muses on the same point for so many pages at a time that I found myself not caring about it anymore, even if it was a good one to start.

Atlas is certainly a book to expand thinking & I like that. I believe Rand's own thinking, however, was not very expansive (due to her lack of spiritual connectedness). I am not a Rand aficionado & I know there are many who believe her philosophy of capitalism is gospel. For my own taste, the philosophy presented in Atlas was myopic.

I tend to glean something useful from just about anything & the same goes here. I have found myself "recognizing" Rand's characters from time to time in real life & even empathizing with some of them. So there is no doubt that she captured something timeless here. Nevertheless, I found the book soulless & it was not an enjoyable read for me!

UPDATE: I am seeing more & more, in our current society, of Rand's philosophy come to life - cheaper & cheaper goods that have no real value, yet no shortage of people wanting to own as much of it as possible, & fewer & fewer companies providing true customer service - meaning the actual caring for their customers aside from collecting their dollars. I'm learning the enduring nature of Atlas Shrugged - it is one of those books that probably sticks with you, whether you enjoy it or not, for a lifetime. You get little glimpses of its concepts out of the corner of your eye & say, "Ah, there's that thing she talked about."

Maybe the positive I can draw from Rand's writing (not necessarily by her intent) is that it's less about "liking" & "enjoying" it & more about the need to be ever diligent in our awareness of what is truly "priceless". What's priceless to me, of course, is quite different from what Rand would consider priceless!

Bottom line - nothing that is written is "owned" by the author. The written word takes on a life of its own & in that vein, it is valuable. It can speak a truth to the reader that was never intended by the author & of which the author may be completely unaware. That's how I've received value from a story by a writer whose philosophy I do not really relish too much!

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by David (new)

David Katzman well put. although i do believe reading this would make me ill.

Kimberly Cain Ha! It did for a while. :)

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