Review: Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

9/17/13: 5 stars. Well, .. maybe 4.7 stars★★★★✮

This is perhaps the most insightful, yet philosophical pretentious book I have ever read. I loved almost every second of it. If you think you will learn insight to my rating by means of my beliefs, I will give you some facts about me: I am an Atheist and I am an Independent who leans Libertarian.
I am not a great lover of political arguments. I am not going to pretend that I am college educated -though I have taken a smattering of college courses- but I am not ignorant. I love fiction and prefer it to non-fiction for exactly the reason that prevents from talking about politics or religion in public situations: I hate conflict in conversation. I like to avoid arguing. My reasons for this are not because I cannot support my arguments, but because most people don’t listen to them. Most people argue for the sole purpose of making you understand their perspective in a means to hopefully change your opinion to theirs. I will say that perhaps 40% of the time, I fall -unfortunately- into this category though I do try to keep my barrings and remain impartial.This book does fall into the category of my current standards of living, justice, and ideals.

Many people that would rate this book poorly are those who would consider it Rhetoric or Propaganda from the opposing side to their political party of choice. In fact, I have not read many poor reviews of this book that didn’t spout that their sole reason for despising its message is that they think some rich republican wrote it about THIS situation we are current in and therefor, it is no better than listening to Fox news. I find this incredibly amusing. It is not only an honor to the author but it is the very thing that proves her point! This book was conceived of in the 1940s and was written in the 1950s when many of the extremes in the book were only fictional prophetic possibilities of our country’s condition if only the most extreme of her possibilities were to come true. The fact that so many readers automatically pair this book with the current events would seem to prove her point! Yes there are many points in current society that could easily be matched to the sequence of events in the story, but this was written before News Stations even knew what to hate. Most of these people, surprise.. surprise.., specifically state that they did not read the whole book. They could not get past the first few pages, the first chapter, the first half of the book, …they will say it was too wordy, droned on and on, etc. I like to think that those who stick it out often believe, as I did, that the story was wonderful! the characters outstanding! the fiction was totally worth reading even though it takes a little longer to get through than shorter novels.

Books must have strong characters to really make a book flow. The characters of this book were extremely well thought out and described to the point that I know them all with extreme intimate detail. Dagny was easy to identify with. Hank is the kind of guy you really pull for and want to succeed so I had a pity for him through his hardships with his wife & family, and his legal matters. Ragnar, John, and Francisco were amazing heroes of the story who I would be able to read hours more about without tiring. John and Francisco both had very lengthy, but epically memorable speeches in the book which I am sure have been quoted, and re-quoted over the 60years since this book was published. “Money is the Root of all Evil” and “I am John Galt” speeches were crazy examples of philosophy getting tangled in their own love of words… Although I loved the idea and thought behind them, it is the reason I have removed .3 stars from my official rating. They were just too damn wordy and were talking in circles with no reason but for someone who really wanted to drill it in. It is fine, of course, because it revs you up for what you are waiting to explore in the final pages of the story, the outcome, the plot uncovered.

This book, many wont know, is also an epic romance novel. Dagny has her share of admirers with Eddie and her past beaus but when you hear Hank’s confession of love and within it, his understanding of why he must stand aside, my heart melted. When Francisco admitted that his abdication of his reputation was solely because of his love of her and that she drove him to make his part of the strike happen as soon as he could start, so that he can hopefully be with her again once it ended, my heart melted. When John told Francisco he would not allow his employee to stay at his home for her remaining week because his giving up what he wanted for someone else to gain without deserving it just because of his selflessness would make him no better than those in the outside world, my heart melted. Such amazing stories of love without the overdone and always dreaded love triangle angle where everyone is at each others throats and all fighting when these men of reason see that their love must be deserved and won, not at the cost of competitors, but in light of their competition. It was such a refreshing source of life that these people lived for you in the course of these pages. Their struggles were amazing which makes the reward all the better.

I now understand why this book is as controversial and as classic as its reputation has warned. I will recommend it to anyone and everyone who likes Romances, Dystopian Novels, Political Fiction, Industrial Fiction, or Classics, from now on.♥

9/11/13: I have to make note of something amazing in this book. Many reviews claim this is a book siding with the right wing of politics, because the left really believe that the right is exactly this evil and unfeeling. I find that amusing. The book takes the right and the left and draws extremely embellished philosophical conclusions to how the world might be if everyone was really as sideways with their beliefs as others always claim. Its fascinating to see both the antiheroes of the story, and their enemies, fight it out in a situation that is entirely formed in the basis of “what if”. I’m positive that by the end of this book, it will be one of my favorites.

April, 2013: Wow, i was wrong about my original assumption (below) thinking this was only reality fiction. I just watched parts one and two via movie-adaptation and this story is awesome. I’m definitely going to finish this book!

Original Review Nov 1, 2012:
I read chapter one in the free the sample on Kindle. It seems like an easy enough book to read, and I may come back to it someday… but the story isn’t really appealing to me.

It appears to be about a transcontinental train company and begins as they attempt to repair one of their tracks or risk losing much of their freight business to competing railroad companies.

In other words, it’s a reality fiction and is all business-y… not the sort of genre I’m normally excited about…

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