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Discover new books on Goodreads. Sign in with Facebook Sign in options. Join Goodreads. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Edward Herrmann.
David 's review Aug 18, This specific version is an abridged audiobook that is masterfully narrated by Edward Herrmann. As a rule, I don't listen to abridged audiobooks. Whether reading myself or hearing it read aloud, I'd rather have all of a book or none of it.
This is the second exception I've made. The first was Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, which was good but definitely felt abridged. A twelve-hour audiobook, and it seemed like a highlight reel. This eleven and a half hour book of Ayn Rand's magnum opus felt very natural to me. The plot felt complete; In fact, comparing it to wikipedia's plot summary, it looks like it left out nothing essential to the plot.
The book is known for a lengthy speech which essentially outlines Rand's objectivism philosophy , and very much of it is left intact. From what I can gather, this abridged version was definitely the way to go since what was left out was a whole lot of diversion, mostly further commentary to the objectivism point of view.
If this is in fact the case, then I feel satisfied with this particular experience. That said, to evaluate this novel, because the philosophy is so prevalent, you have to consider it in addition to the usual judgments on writing, characters and plot. In a nutshell, the philosophy is problematic but has more good points than bad. Its basic premise is that man is meant to live solely for himself, not for the sake of another.
If a man can be successful, other men should not hate him, envy him or try to punish him by taxing him excessively for the sake of those who have not known the same level of success. Truth is not what our imaginations wish it to be. I also say right on towards the right to live a life as we choose, to have any success we can earn and not be hated for it. In Rand's world, if you're unhappy with your life, then get off your butt and do something about it.
That is If someone's rich beyond your comprehension, good for them. Why should they be obligated to share with others by force. If they want to give their money away, as many rich people do, then that should be solely their choice. In Rand's world, a human is only truly alive when they first try to please their own individual self and not bemoan their misfortune, accepting reality and working within it instead of just dreaming about it.
Where Rand and I disagree is that her philosophy is essentially a brand of atheism. In her viewpoint, God can't exist. All of her points can exist and allow the existence of God, which would involve the individual's willing act to serve God. The criticisms she makes of religion, specifically Christianity, involve the futility of sacrifice. However, there are different types of sacrifices, and some that fit in her own view. In fact her own characters, John Galt in this book, actually sacrifice themselves at some point for their cause.
She doesn't label it that, but that is what it is. Her research in bashing religion is also shoddy. First, as a Jewish atheist, she doesn't really know the texts. She also never even acknowledges not even to refute the mountain of historical evidence of documents as well as apologetic writings of people like C.
Lewis and his contemporaries. It's a shame she hits this point so hard and so blindly, because in almost every other regard it is indeed a good way of thinking. It's still difficult to conceive of her utopia, where the only neighborly kindness would come from you having something to offer that I could use.
As a writer, she is quite solid. Her narrative and dialog are very good. The plot and characterization makes it very much a modern thriller. However, in my own opinion, she extends the boundaries of fiction by devoting so much of the book to philosophy. This makes her previous book "The Fountainhead" a superior work of fiction in my opinion. In that book, the protagonist Howard Roark demonstrates all the ideals of John Galt without the book becoming such a sermon. Officially, I rate this 3 and a half star which Goodreads won't allow , but in the spirit Ayn Rand, I proclaim it thus anyway.
Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Atlas Shrugged. Reading Progress. November 23, — Shelved as: September 11, — Shelved as: audiobooks. May 22, — Shelved as: classics.
Sep 11, AM. Great review. Thanks for posting. Sep 11, PM. Sean wrote: "Great review. Add a reference: Book Author. Search for a book to add a reference. We take abuse seriously in our discussion boards. Only flag comments that clearly need our attention. As a general rule we do not censor any content on the site. The only content we will consider removing is spam, slanderous attacks on other members, or extremely offensive content eg. We will not remove any content for bad language alone, or being critical of a particular book.
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Abridged Too Far
The lowest-priced item that has been used or worn previously. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully operational and functions as intended. This item may be a floor model or store return that has been used. See details for description of any imperfections. Ayn Rand was a philosopher as much as a novelist, and in the book she brillantly brings to life the contrast between differing character traits which Aristotle discussed rather dryly in his "Nicomechean Ethics. She also understood it better than many if not most Americans.
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (Compact Disc, Abridged edition)