An Atlas Shrugged Weekend


As I mentioned in last Sunday’s post, December Is Here – Time To End 2011 With A Bang, it was my hope to complete my reading of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.  I’m relatively certain I didn’t post an introductory post, but here’s a quick summary of what the book is about, from Goodreads.com:

This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world – and did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved? What is the world’s motor – and the motive power of every man? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story.” “Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life – from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy – to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction – to the philosopher who becomes a pirate – to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph – to the woman who runs a transcontinental railroad – to the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels.” This is a mystery story, not about the murder of a man’s body, but about the murder – and rebirth – of man’s spirit. It is a philosophical revolution, told in the form of an action thriller of violent events.

I’m reading Atlas Shrugged on my Kindle, and thus far, I’m finding the book to be quite enjoyable.  I’ve spent the weekend so far reading it and the farther along I get in it, the more I’m finding that I’m enjoying it.  I understand that Atlas Shrugged brings out very many thoughts from a political standpoint, but even if you disagree with Rand’s philosophy and can separate that from the story, I think the story is quite enjoyable.

Through this morning, I’ve managed to make my way to Chapter VIII of the first part.  At this point in the book, major governmental and business leaders are more interested in what’s best for society as a whole.  In this case, if a particular product doesn’t benefit society, business and government will work to make it as difficult as possible for those outfits to be successful.  In essence, things need to be socially acceptable to be accepted by society.  I saw this similar theme when I read The Fountainhead in 2009.

Henry Rearden and Dagny Taggart are trying to buck that trend, and I definitely enjoy seeing them breaking out of the box in an attempt to change things for the better, and because they’re fighting for what they believe in.  With that being said, I’m definitely looking forward to discovering the answer to this question:  “Who is John Galt?”

John Galt has been mentioned frequently, and he’s mentioned when something goes wrong or if there’s an impasse; however, after some of my reading this weekend, I’m starting to get the beginnings of who John Galt might be, I can see it in some of the narrative, and by reading between the lines.

I’m definitely seeing early on, how much of a masterpiece Atlas Shrugged is and all the different messages it contains.  I hope going forward for the rest of the month, I’ll continue to enjoy it.  One thing’s for sure, the highlight function on my Kindle is getting a workout with this book!

If you’ve read Atlas Shrugged, I’d love to know what you think, without any spoilers please!  I’d also love to hear what you’ve been reading this weekend and what you have coming up.  I hope everyone has a great Sunday!

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About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

8 Responses to “An Atlas Shrugged Weekend”

  1. I read this one, along with The Fountainhead, when I was quite young. I loved this author and these books; I’m curious as to my reactions to them now. Probably will see depths I missed earlier.

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    • I wonder if reading Ayn Rand is similar to reading a work by Jane Austen, such as Emma. I’ve heard that if you read Emma more than once, you can learn new things, and interpret things differently at times.

      I may have to take another look at The Fountainhead in a couple of years and see if I see anything different with it. One thing I’ve noticed about Atlas Shrugged is a lot of themes still seem to apply today, even though the book was written back in the 1950s! Thanks for dropping by Laurel!

  2. This is one book I have never been motivated to pick up – but maybe I should. To be honest, it intimidates me a little! Glad to see you are enjoying it.

    • Hi Wendy! I also used to be intimidated by Ayn Rand. I think that started in high school when we had to read Anthem in my freshman year. My father also influenced my thinking some by telling me the writing was pretty thick and may be best to be avoided until I was much older.

      I do know several years ago, I would’ve never contemplated picking up Rand at all, not sure what attracted me to it in the first place. Thanks for dropping by!

  3. I know a lot of people really like Ayn Rand and consider The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged among their favorites. I would like to read her dystopian book Anthem, but I’ve never been really excited to read either of the chunksters. Hope you continue to enjoy it!

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    • Hi Laura! I read The Fountainhead about two and a half years ago and absolutely loved it! It took me about 5 days to read it, I simply couldn’t put it down! Atlas Shrugged hasn’t been nearly that fast for me, but this novel seems to be much deeper than The Fountainhead.

      I read Anthem in my freshman year of high school, and I seem to recall not enjoying it very much. I’ll probably take another look at it again next year and see if my thoughts have changed since the 20 years since I read it. Thanks for dropping by!

  4. Atlas Shrugged is a great book and it teaches a great lesson. Wikipedia reports that: According to a 1991 survey done for the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club, Atlas Shrugged was situated between The Bible and M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled as the book that made the most difference in the lives of 5,000 Book-of-the-Month club members surveyed….
    http://BradMD.com

    • Hi Brad! I’ve noticed not only a lot of online discussions about Atlas Shrugged but websites for book clubs that are actively discussing it! I’m definitely beginning to see a lot of the message that Rand is telling here, and I can understand why it’s still very much a popular book today, not only with individuals, but for book clubs as well. I’ve even noticed a new recently done independent movie based on the book. Thanks for dropping by!

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