2017 Reading Challenge discussion

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15/Book recommended by a friend > The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

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message 1: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Johnson (mascaratomidnight) The Fountainhead is killing me. I dont usually post about the book until I've read it...but I dont WANT to read this book.

My husband recommended this book. He says it's his favorite. So I feel like I need to finish it for his sake. To make him happy. Otherwise I would have quit it already and started something else.

I'm 25% of the way through and I'm fast reading and skimming like crazy. And yet, the book stretches out before, it's long and deep like a well on a green grassy farm, it calls to me from a distance telling me taht it must be read, because it is my husband's favorite even though no one knows why he would even like it, it begs to be read, it asks to picked up; it is a favorite book of my husband's.

^^^Joking, of course. That's how she writes.


message 2: by Valerie (new)

Valerie | 280 comments This book has some pretty strong diehard fans... But, I agree with you. I could not finish it either. I would not feel guilt about not liking it. I do not like everything my husband likes, and I do not expect him to be enthralled with my favorites. If you insist on finishing, you might try an audio version...or read the Sparks Notes version.


message 3: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Johansson (dakkster) I tried getting through Atlas Shrugged a few years ago and I just couldn't stand Rand's writing. Her characters are too flat and she's sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo longwinded. She's tough to read. It feels like you have to be a fan of her to put up with her writing.

A friend of mine got into her "philosophy" objectivism around that time, so I spent some time getting into her other non-fiction works and it's just completely insufferable and intellectually dishonest. I refuse to read Rand after that.

I also always think about this John Rogers quote:

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."

As far as forcing yourself to get through a book just because someone close to you likes it... sometimes it's just time to say uncle. You gave it a shot. Like Valerie says, try the Sparks Notes if you want to get the basics without having to trod through the thick, deep mud that is Rand's writing.


message 4: by J. (new)

J. Gowin | 12 comments To be fair, I tend to view Ayn Rand as equal to Steinbeck.

I know you are all snickering and belly-aching, but hear me out.

Whenever I read The Grapes of Wrath, I want to slap Ayn Rand. And whenever I read The Fountainhead, I want to slap Ayn Rand. So you see, both authors generate the same response.


message 5: by Valerie (new)

Valerie | 280 comments J. wrote: "To be fair, I tend to view Ayn Rand as equal to Steinbeck.

I know you are all snickering and belly-aching, but hear me out.

Whenever I read The Grapes of Wrath, I want to slap Ayn..."


Thanks for the morning chuckle!


message 6: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Johansson (dakkster) Hahahahaha!!!


message 7: by J. (last edited Apr 26, 2015 03:24PM) (new)

J. Gowin | 12 comments Merci, mes amis.

On a more serious note, it is perfectly OK to not like Ayn Rand's fictional opuses. She just isn't very good with drama or romance. She wasn't really going for that sort of thing.

Rand was first and foremost anti-communist. This is understandable, her family had lost almost everything to communism. Unfortunately, it led her philosophy to embrace absolute capitalism without considering the dangers in that system. Her novels are really just straw man arguments in favor of her economic philosophy. So if you agree with her philosophy, you'll probably love her books. (Unless you have good taste, in which case you'll probably prefer Jack London.) And if you take a more moderate economic view, you'll tend to focus on the lack of plot and character development.

@ Michelle,

You don't have to like everything that your spouse likes. I used to date a woman who liked the twilight series, and she accepted that I prefered my gothic horror to not include sparkley vampires.


message 8: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Johnson (mascaratomidnight) No, I know I dont have to like everything he likes. LOL

But the category was a book recommended by a friend. and he's been after me for years to read this because he LOVES it. So I'm gonna keep going.

But when I say I'm skimming...I'm reading a few words on a page and flipping.

By the way, the comments above were hilarious. Thank you.

And Roark....I just got to the part of the quarry...right before he gets a new commission. I dont even understand what's going on or why.


message 9: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Johnson (mascaratomidnight) Finally finished it. I mostly skimmed it.

Spoiler alert:

He rapes her. He marries her.

And a whole bunch of junk about architecture.

The truly bad thing was that every once in a while I'd start getting interested in it.


message 10: by Thomas (new)

Thomas Johansson (dakkster) Yay! Put it behind you now :)

Or ask your husband what exactly he likes about it :)


message 11: by Margery (new)

Margery Cox | 4 comments Think of her novels as actually being allegories, like 'The Pilgrim's Progress', the characters aren't actually individuals but are virtually archetypes places in situations that allow Rand to illustrate her viewpoints on capitalism.


message 12: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Johnson (mascaratomidnight) Margery wrote: "Think of her novels as actually being allegories, like 'The Pilgrim's Progress', the characters aren't actually individuals but are virtually archetypes places in situations that allow Rand to illu..."

I think that's probably why he liked it.


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