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Author Topic: Atlas Shrugged and it hurts me.
The Silverblue Sun
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...but it's more of an angry yawn, because for some reason this feels mucho worse than homework.

It's taken me 2 months to read 700 pages of ATLAS SHRUGGED by Ayn Rand {I read the Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix is less than a week in comparison}.

I'm determined to finish this book, and it's not TOTALLY horrible, it's just not good, and it is not fun. There are some parts that have been cool, but for the most part, I'm having a hard time reading it.

I LOVED the Fountainhead. I believe it's a great book, and someday may tackle the task of trying to write the 4 screenplays for it, but I'm taking away points from Ayn Rand's legacy for Atlas Shrugged.

It's one thing to romanticize an Architect in the Fountainhead, but the whole cannonization of capitalism in Atlas Shrugged is absurd.

...but to me the WORST part of the freaking book is here need to over describe EVERYTHING. Do we need ten paragraphs on EVERY item? And who are these people that speak in 4 page speeches during a conversation?

It was cool to have Howard Roark give a 10 page speech at the end of the Fountainhead when he is in court defending himself, but seriously, who speaks for 10 paragraphs at a time at dinner, or on a walk, or on the crapper?

Oh yeah, and, can I have a hero, or a character that I like???

300 pages to go. Maybe I'll make it through. i need to finish this stupid book. Really I do. Wish me luck.

And if you'd like to discuss the first 700 pages, by all means do. I'm up to the part where Dagny has landed in the Mountain Resort Billionare Getaway thing.

<T>

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Megan
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My theory about The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged is that you liked best whichever one you read first. This is, of course, COMPLETELY anecdotal, but it's held true for everyone I've met so far (well, everyone that's actually read Ayn Rand at all, let alone more than once [Wink] )

I actually preferred Atlas Shrugged because I found the story more complete. It's also heavy into objectivism, which I don't really agree with, so I sort of ignored those parts and focused on the story. Then again, it's been a while since I've read either, so I could just be TOTALLY off base. [Dont Know]

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Danzig
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Most of the capitalists have a few redeeming qualities. My favorite characters are all relatively minor- Ragnar (I will mess this up) Danneskjold, Cheryl Taggart, and Eddie whatever his last name is.

If you think you have heard long speeches now... Well, let me just say that even though I agree with most of what John Galt says, his speech is the absolute worst part of the book. Ayn Rand really needed an editor.

At the time I read it, I liked Atlas Shrugged much better than The Fountainhead, but after about two years, I realized that The Fountainhead is really a much better work. It contains all that Atlas Shrugged does and more, and is a much tighter work.

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Danzig
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Megan- not me.
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celia60
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THOR, you are getting to the section best described as oh-bother-the-copy-editors-gave-up. I cannot think of another book with so many typos, and me even noticing takes a lot.
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TomDavidson
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Thor, you've already read past the worst part -- Galt's fifty-page diatribe. From here, it's just meaningless chatter. You can probably skip the rest of the book, if you want.

[ August 11, 2003, 12:34 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Danzig
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Tom- are you sure? I thought Galt's diatribe was after they went back. (I also thought it lasted 100 pages, but even 50 would be bad enough.) Or maybe we are thinking of different speeches.
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Dan_raven
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Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

There are severa authors that I love to read just so I can argue with them. She is one of them.

I totally skipped the Speech chapters, feeling they were dry and useless. Thanks everyone for proving I was right.

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TomDavidson
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Hm. It's been a while, but I thought Galt's speech came over the radio before they reached his libertarian nerdtopia, just after things started to hit the fan. I could very easily be wrong, though; I've tried to blot whole segments of that piece of crap out of my mind. [Smile]
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Megan
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Yeah, I don't think I've EVER actually read that long speech all the way through. It came after Dagny went back to the city, I think.

Danzig--You know, I probably should reread the books now. Maybe after I reread both, I WILL prefer The Fountainhead--who knows? At the time I read it, I just didn't find much that was memorable in the story.

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The Silverblue Sun
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TNT the TV channel was talking about making Atlas Shrugged into a movie. HA HA HA HA

TNT makes crappy movies, but with Atlas Shrugged it may have a titanic crappy movie on it's hands.
It'd be fun to watch them TRY to make a movie.

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Danzig
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What type of dumbass came up with that idea? The entire book is nothing but people talking in various backdrops.
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TheTick
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Danzig, remember that TNT is the network that ruined the Babylon 5 franchise with a bunch of stupid crap.
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Danzig
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Well, I do not have cable, and rarely watch TV at all, so I must profess ignorance concerning that situation.
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TomDavidson
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Actually, Atlas Shrugged would probably make a far better movie than it does a book, since the actual ACTION of the novel isn't all that bad, and the characters are tolerably interesting when they aren't being didactic. Provided you were willing to pare it down to the essential story, it'd probably be okay.
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The Silverblue Sun
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...BUT

if you have to work with TNT's bunch of C-list actors, you might as well hang it up.

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Godric
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Oh my! Atlas Shrugged was the first and only book I have ever given up on and have no intention of returning to. I was bored, angry and apathetic all at the same time. I gave up somewhere around page 700 or so and I don't remember getting to Galt's speech, but then by that point I may have and not even noticed -- heck, it might have started to get interesting and I doubt I would have noticed. [Wall Bash]

I would, someday, like to try The Fountainhead and see if I find that any more palatable.

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Boothby171
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Thor,

Don't give up--you're about to get to the one joke in the entire book.

It's during the torture scene, of course.

The joke typically starts "During the French Revolution, a doctor, a lawyer and an engineer are scheduled to be guillotined. The doctor goes up first..." But Ayn does it in her own way.

Let me know when you get there.

--Steve

(Only a 50 page daitribe? I thought I counted over 80 pages. We're talking about the radio monologue, correct?)

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AndrewR
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Say, Thor, when you've finished Atlas, could you help me get through Brideshead, Revisited? I enjoyed the Masterpiece Theatre miniseries, but I've only made it 50 pages or so through the novel. Maybe you can give me some pointers on how to plow through it?
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suntranafs
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Yeah, Tell yah what, SBS, why don't you finish Atlas and then download all of both The Fountainhead an Atlas Shrugged directly into my brain, cause I've been to lazy so far to even start either one!
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Bob_Scopatz
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Ayn Rand was writing to promote a philosophy, not to entertain. As such, I think she felt compelled to beat her readers into submission. I enjoyed Atlas Shrugged at the time that I read it, but within a few days I was bothered by the message it seemed to be sending. When I read up on Ms. Rand's philosophy, I realized that she was definitely trying to send the messages that bothered me to so much in retrospect.

And the upshot of it all is that I've had Fountainhead on my "to read" shelf for over 2 years and I just can't let that woman back into my head yet.

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Frisco
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I agree that the book was more about promoting a philosophy than being entertaining.

Yet to me, it was fun, too. I'm in love with the story.

I don't forsee any book knocking it off as my favorite of all time. My favorite story of love and friendship.

[BTW, Thor, if you've thought about doing the drawing I asked about a few months ago (what I described to you was actually my view of the statue from the Fountainhead...didn't know you were a fan) , let me know. I'm going to get a tattoo on my birthday, and I want that statue. I've actually found someone to model for it, and I'm going out to shoot next Wednesday. But I was hoping to see what you could come up with. Lemme know. I mean, with as many people see my naked body, this could be a bit of Thor-advertising, so to speak.]

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Papa Moose
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quote:
What type of dumbass came up with that idea? The entire book is nothing but people talking in various backdrops.
Did anyone else think of the Star Wars prequels here?
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Sho'nuff
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Pop, that would only be EP2.

EP1 was Jar Jar and an 8 year old saving the galaxy through stupidity and blind luck.

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Ethics Gradient
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So true. Jake Lloyd would be way better in the Ender's Game movie.
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Beren One Hand
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I just want to point out that last Sunday's Simpsons episode made a reference to The Fountainhead. Offering to rebuild Bart's treehouse, Homer stated that he wanted to create a structure that was "an affront to God." Later on, Homer also made a reference to Frank Lloyd Wright. In Fountainhead, the Stoddard temple was called an affront to God; Howard Roark is loosely based on the real architect Frank Lloyd Wright. [Smile]
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The Silverblue Sun
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What's the worst part is this...

I've got two books I'm very excited to read after I finish Atlas Shrugged...

1984

and

Le Morte D'Arthur

so I've got to finish soon so I can get back to reading cool stuff.

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Frisco
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Man, you could at least tell me to go to hell, Thor. [Razz]
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AndrewR
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Just make sure you're in a pretty good mood before you start Nineteen Eighty-Four. It's more depressing than The Watchmen graphic novel. [Frown]
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Dan_raven
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Also, bring along some graph paper for LaMorte just to try and figure out everyone's relations to everyone else.
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twinky
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1984 is a fantastic book.
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Jenny Gardener
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Dagny was so cool until she went and became John Galt's love partner. Then she got really really boring. And Ayn Rand's sex scenes are awful! I can't imagine them at all. "Let's just scratch and bite and hit each other like savage beasts." "Okay, sounds exciting." Whatever.
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The Silverblue Sun
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I liked the building of the Galt line and it's first run. I liked it when she took the Rearden Metal bracelet from Hank's wife. I thought Fransisco Anacio was cool for a while. The New Super motor thing was cool...until it led into 1000 paragraphs about some stupid communisim/socialism program. Oh and I did think it was cool, the fight against all the govenrment regulations, until the government regulations became so freaking crazy.

Note: I cheated and read the first 3 pages of 1984, and it appears to be awesome and scary and eery. It's 1st line is one of the best 1st lines ever.

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The Silverblue Sun
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It was a bright cold day in April, and all the clocks were striking 13.
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Book
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The only thing I really remember about that book was that it struck me as cheesy as a soap opera but with everyone saying the same thing. I think Mr. Card has had several speeches about why authors should not directly propound their own personal beliefs through their work.
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TomDavidson
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"I think Mr. Card has had several speeches about why authors should not directly propound their own personal beliefs through their work."

He's given us several examples, too. [Smile]

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katharina
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Tom, you are in a fuddy-duddy mood. [Razz]
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Jon Boy
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*pies Tom*

Well, somebody had to do it.

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The Silverblue Sun
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Talk about Timing

Forget TnT.

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Icarus
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quote:
Howard Roark is loosely based on the real architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Um, no. The "architecture" allegedly created by Roark in the cheesy old black and white movie of this novel was clearly inspired by Wright, but this was not true to the book. In the book, Roark espoused function over form . . . not so for Wright. Also, the Frank Lloyd Wright foundation forced the architects who work for it to share credit rather than take credit for their own work; I believe this would be anathema to Rand.

I'm with you on Atlas Shrugged, Thor. It is one of the very few books I ever gave up on (along with Anna Karenina) and that still bugs me. I found Fountainhead much more interesting.

And I think the Galt speech must come much later in the book than some of you think, because I don't remember it.

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Beren One Hand
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Thanks for the info Icarus. [Smile]

I suppose "based on" is not the correct phrase to use here. Maybe "influenced by" Wright is a better way to describe the relationship:

quote:
That Wright stands somewhere in the background of The Fountainhead has been a common impression for as long as the novel has been in print, and the publication of the author's letters and journals in the past few years has confirmed this. One reason the book is not a roman clef, however, is that the borrowings from Wright are so small next to Rand's fictional inventions; another is that she already knew what she was looking for before she discovered Wright. In a 1932 letter to actor Colin Clive, she wrote:


Objectivistcenter.org

P.S. I'm so glad to learn that I'm not the only one who gave up on Anna Karenina. [Big Grin]

[ August 17, 2003, 01:18 AM: Message edited by: Beren One Hand ]

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filetted
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sBS,

I'm not sure Rand and Rowling are naturally comparable in the same sentence (aside from length as you pointed out)

Kinda curious about this thread, but there doesn't seem to be any sort of question here?

flish

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:Locke
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Le Morte d'Arthur is the greatest.

I always steal names from the characters when I can't come up with any for my writing.

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Icarus
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Le Morte d'Arthur was cool and all, but I'll take The Once and Future King over it any day.
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DCC
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If you think Atlas Shrugged is a tough read, you should trying reading Anthem some time. I read as the first novel of Ayn Rand's and the opening bit of the short book was set in super socialized world were "I" was am illegal word. No first person singular for half the book was really exasperating to read, but it made for a great story as the main character discovered somethings called identity and ego. I have enjoyed aspects of all of the Ayn Rand books I have read over the years and by the way, my introduction to Ayn Rand was the non fiction book The Virtue of Selfishness which was given to me when I was in high school (which was over a third of a century ago I am afraid to admit).

dcc

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Icarus
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I read Anthem first, and then The Fountainhead, and attempted Atlas Shrugged last.
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ClaudiaTherese
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Those who enjoyed Anthem should check out We, a 1921 novel by Zamyatin. He was exiled from communist Russia because of it. Orwell credits We for inspiring 1984.
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Tresof
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Regarding Atlas Shrugged, my favorite trick is to stop reading when (*spoilers*) she crashes her plane, and pretend she dies instead of waking up in Galt's Gulch. Cruel, perhaps, but effective.
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DCC
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Icarus, you mean you missed out on We the Living? Arguably it was the best "story" for propounding Randian objectivism of the lot, and was the first full length novel. The story line was simpler to follow and the plot is centered around an egoist living through the time leading up to, during and just after the Bolshevik revolution in Russia.

dcc

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TomDavidson
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Why are so many people in the oil and gas industries huge fans of Ayn Rand?
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