Atlas Shrugged Fanatics discussion

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message 1: by Staci (new)

Staci Johnson Start Atlas Shrugged tonight; finished Anthem yesterday and I am very interested in more of this philosophy.


message 2: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Jensen (sweatcoder) | 23 comments Mod
If you liked Anthem you'll love Atlas. It's my favorite fiction of all time.


message 3: by Mpress (new)

Mpress | 16 comments I've just started reading Atlas shrugged. I'm on the 2nd chapter. I couldn't wait to read this book; heard so much about it. Enjoying the story thus far.


message 4: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Jensen (sweatcoder) | 23 comments Mod
Atlas gains momentum and tempo the deeper you get into it. It is masterful storytelling. Rand claims she invented an entirely new genre of fiction, and I think she may be right.


message 5: by Mpress (new)

Mpress | 16 comments I can tell Rand's writing style is different than anything I've ever read before.. masterful is a perfect description.. I'm captivated....I just want to know who in the world in John Galt?? Lol


message 6: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Jensen (sweatcoder) | 23 comments Mod
You'll find out who John Galt is...and it will blow your mind. :-)


message 7: by Mpress (new)

Mpress | 16 comments I must say ... I am battling boredom with certain parts of the book. I'm not particularly interested on railroads. I'm ready to get to the juicy juice...i'm hanging in there because I know it will get good. lol


message 8: by Nathan (new)

Nathan Jensen (sweatcoder) | 23 comments Mod
I suppose Atlas isn't for everyone. I had a co-worker that hated it. It's my favorite fiction ever. Hang in there, it gets really good, imho.


message 9: by Mpress (new)

Mpress | 16 comments yea!!! I'm finally on part II Either Or


message 10: by Mpress (last edited Jul 23, 2012 08:19AM) (new)

Mpress | 16 comments just wondering what anyones thoughts were on James Taggart?


message 11: by Marta (last edited Aug 04, 2012 07:29PM) (new)

Marta B | 4 comments I read Ayn Rand's Anthem in high school. It is very short but has a great message about individualism. In the last couple of years I read Fountainhead and then Atlas Shrugged. I was super excited when I saw the movie was coming out. Ayn Rand was brilliant and it's amazing how we are living much of what must have seemed so foreign at the time the novel was written. She was clearly ahead of her time and understood the dangers of the loss of individual freedoms.


message 12: by Mpress (new)

Mpress | 16 comments @Marta, I agree. I like the ideas of Ayn Rand as they are very relevent to the changing time, as human nature remains the same. when I have completed Atlas Shrugged, I will seek to read her other works.


message 13: by Maii (new)

Maii (maiita) Atlas shrugged is the first book im reading by Ayn Rand.
i just started with part III! its a really wonderful book!


message 14: by Marta (new)

Marta B | 4 comments It is a WONDERFUL novel. Ayn Rand was ahead of her times. If she were alive today, I'm sure she would be saddened to see her fiction coming to life in our day-to-day lives. Maii...enjoy the book. Other great Rand books: Anthem is short but thought provoking. We the Living gives an insight into the suffering and injustice brought on by the advent of Communism in Soviet Union shortly after the revolution and Fountainhead once again emphasizes that exceptionalism comes from individualism, not collectivism. She was an amazing writer. Her Russian roots give her an insight most people who have lived in a democracy cannot fully understand. I was born in Cuba in the late 50s. While I fortunate enough to leave at the age of 3, I saw first hand through the suffering of my family members how socialism/communism is a horrible system that creates nothing but suffering and kills the individual spirit.


message 15: by Maii (new)

Maii (maiita) I finished the book a month ago, it is by far one of the best books i have ever read.. If not the best. Its literally a journey


message 16: by Marta (new)

Marta B | 4 comments I'm ready to read it again. It's an amazing book. I agree with you...one of the best!


message 17: by Marta (new)

Marta B | 4 comments Marge....I'm depressed as well. I feel like a witnessed the death of American on 11/6. :-(


message 18: by Greg (new)

Greg Handley | 1 comments Personally, I enjoy this book immensely. I think it's best attribute isn't just the sharing of ideas foreign to the individual reader, but that the way it is written makes your brain think, assuming you have yours turned on.

The book made me think in all new ways and dramatically altered my perspective and outlook on a life and a multitude of ideas.

While I overall believe this to be the most life-changing and thought provoking book I've read and believe it holds so many hard truths that many people turn a blind eye to and refuse to hear/understand, I also have some issues with it which have caused loss of interest in finishing the work.

Don't get me wrong, one day I will commit to finishing the book, but I got stuck disagreeing with a couple chapters and ideas Ayn Rand purports as truths/axioms.

Ex: I was expecting Galts Gulch to be a place I would mentally want to journey back to and re-read chapters relating to it early on while reading Shrugged. But when I got there, Rand's approach to life partner relationships and her attempt to adapt her "free" approach of seeking one's best match and equal felt like something Rand forced, and an idea she was struggling with in her personal life, and forced on the reader in this chapter as a false truth, that she wished were so for some reason, her life choice, rather than what's naturally right and true for humans to act.

I got stuck on that idea and much of the positive momentum of aggreance with Rand's political views and societal views stopped there for me, and while they have not eroded, I have divided (extracted the good from Atlas Shrugged) the good ideas from the bad. Even in the lens of the book's own characters, in my view using Rand's rules D'Antonia was not the best offer Dagny could earn (Galt was), while Dagny was deserving of Galt? While I enjoyed Dagny's character, D'Antonia actually lived a truer life to Rand's standards than Dagny did.

The moral Rand builds for personal relationships between man and women doesn't convince and has majorly flawed premises. What happens when a more worthy leading lady appears for John Galt (or a real person like him)? Does/would he turn away from Dagny and immediately absolve their relationship to enter into a new and "better" one with the third party? Is there then a never ending domino effect downward where Dagny believes D'Antonia should take her back as he is the next best thing to Galt, and she is a higher grade equal to that of D'Antonia? And so on and so on, breaking up marriage after marriage, family after family to recouple supposed to who is the best suitor one could hope to earn, while kicking their previous mate to the wayside?

What struck me is that Rand lacked a fundamental understanding of human interaction in relationships, and the way we live. Attachment.

Building strong families and strong relationships isn't just about finding your absolute equal in life, it is about building something between two parties who have decided to mutually commit to one another for the sake of building something together that neither could achieve without the bond they share. That commitment comes with attachment and they share self-interest in seeing it grow together, just like Dagny and Hank were excited to see their inventions grow steel bridges for railroad transportation, so do parents take great pride and enjoyment in seeing their families grow and prosper and their lives become richer together.

I think Rand lacked objective reason in understanding what so many others understand, and while her great principles regarding life apply to fiscal #'s and ways of operating government to remain limited and protect our liberties, I disagree that her philosophy applies to all things, and specifically not to the bonds between a man and a woman.

And this is coming from a single, male, non-religious reader.

I'll also admit that Galt's speech has hit me dead in my tracks. I am laboring to get through it and have had to put the book down for a long time. Galt's message is a good one, but Rand botched it with her emotional discharge and drew the speech out to an incoherent jumble of vented rantings of all the things she as a person, not John Galt, wanted to state to a captive audience. The editor must not have had the courage to tell her that Galt as a man who cared enough to put so much effort into altering the course of society, to correct the wrongs we all allowed, would give a speech similar in tone and awe as he did as an early scientist at the 21st century motor plant when it was turned over to the owner's children and they decided to turn their company into a socialist experiment.

Galt's speech deserves to be re-written. It doesn't represent the character's and stories buildup to that moment.

There are countless wonderful things to say about Atlas Shrugged. I would buy everyone who would read it a copy, I'd just suggest reading it with an open, active, and critical mind. And to see things for oneself, not for how anyone else would give them to you, myself, Rand, your teachers, parents, friends, etc. See them for oneself and come to your own conclusions.


message 19: by Peter (new)

Peter Brickwood (peterbrickwood) | 1 comments I actually listen to books -- to state the obvious, this book is massive -- most books are 5 to 8 hours of reading time, this is 64 -- so it is taking a while to work through
I also find parts rather slow moving but it has a surprising good story line
the antiquated application of industry dependent on railroads is amazing
I am truly intersted to see how it all comes out


message 20: by Spencer (new)

Spencer | 4 comments once you finish, I highly recommend Peikoff's book Objectivism. It helped me understand the whole philosophy and how it is laid out in the fictional events and characters.


message 21: by Martha (new)

Martha  | 4 comments Greg wrote: "Personally, I enjoy this book immensely. I think it's best attribute isn't just the sharing of ideas foreign to the individual reader, but that the way it is written makes your brain think, assumin..."

I had heard about the section of John Galt's speech and when I reached that point I read about 5 pages, then skipped to the page after his speech and read the rest of the book. Absolutely loved this book! Gave it 5-Star for sure. Now, I have been reading about 3 pages every other day of the speech. It is good, but kind of repetitious to me - kind of grueling. But to think this is from Ayn's heart and soul - I do want to read it completely.


message 22: by Forrest (new)

Forrest Adkins (forrestadkins) | 6 comments New to Atlas shrugged also, in the sense I am still digesting it. And I mean digesting it like a rich buffet. I am listening on MP3 and it's just a bear. I am just past the fancy party. The base philosophy (objectivism) was dumped right in my lap in the intro, and I appreciated that. I agree with her.

I was just doing my duty, trying to get through it, until the business with Dagny and d'Anconia. The development of their relationship, and its implosion, really hooked me.

I started this before and lost interest and listened to the much simpler "Anthem". Now I am ready for AS.

I am currently juggling several books in different formats. This is the one I take on walks and runs.

In replies and such feel free to spoil.


message 23: by Rafael (new)

Rafael (rafaelnyc) | 2 comments Hi and Welcome Forrest !!

Curious what changed between the time you lost interest and now?


message 24: by Forrest (new)

Forrest Adkins (forrestadkins) | 6 comments I think I was overwhelmed and found it too much work for too little payoff. Maybe it was the imagery, or the endless jabbering the characters engaged in. Possibly I got used to it all? Doesn't bother me now.


message 25: by Forrest (new)

Forrest Adkins (forrestadkins) | 6 comments I would say to understand any work (writing especially) it helps to know something about the author. Wouldn't you say we are proceeding blindly? Maybe the only ones who really understand this would be her friends and maybe her husband. All dead people.


message 26: by Rick (new)

Rick | 1 comments So far this book has kept me very captivated...I like that the author questions every side of each issue. Ayn Rand clearly exhibit's clear facts regarding each matter facing the people involved and, their effects on society and, the business world, she infuses this story with misogyny, sexism and, the hierarchy of the human race based on wealth; which still permit's an opportunity for even the most oppressed citizen's to succeed if they choose to follow a prescribed path to that success, only opposed by those claiming it is unfair because these same people who became very successful are nothing more than greedy and, hurting society because they gained their wealth off the backs of their employees and that the employees should receive more for their efforts....not seen for the true fact that what these companies produce and sell....actually benefits all of society and, only those working for the good of all as employee's are rewarded with financial compensation.....good old capitalism....only 25% through and can't wait to get back to it


message 27: by Forrest (new)

Forrest Adkins (forrestadkins) | 6 comments It's just monstrous. The work is huge. I am a relatively intelligent person who has not spent a great deal of time reading any printed works. My brain is engaged but not like this, usually. So, maybe this book is typical in size?

I do like her explanation of and defense of the concept of money and how it's really a good thing, almost a holy thing.

One thing that comes to mind- so far no mention of Hank Reardon's father! Unless I missed it? And don't you marvel at what a train wreck his family and personal life is? Of course Dagney has brought some light into his life. :)


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