Title: Atlas Shrugged
Author: Ayn Rand
Narrator: Scott Brick
Audiobook Length: 63 hours
Origins: Mine. All mine.
Release Date: 10 October 1957
“In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error of judgment has its value gone unrecognized, its brilliant inventor punished rather than rewarded for his efforts?
This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world—and did. In defense of those greatest of human qualities that have made civilization possible, he sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went on strike. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he have to fight his battle not against his enemies but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves? The answers will be revealed once you discover the reason behind the baffling events that wreak havoc on the lives of the amazing men and women in this remarkable book.
Tremendous in scope and breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand’s magnum opus, which launched an ideology and a movement. With the publication of this work in 1957, Rand gained an instant following and became a phenomenon. Atlas Shrugged
Thoughts on the Novel: “Who is John Galt?” With this opening question, readers find themselves plunged into a world in which there is something very much wrong. Powerful companies are inexplicably failing. Essential businessmen are disappearing or retiring without warning. The government is becoming more active in the business world as it tries to protect the common man against the evil corporations. Dagny Taggart is one businessperson bent on saving her railroad against the malaise that has taken over the country, but she finds herself up against the most impossible odds. As her battle to survive rages on throughout the years, she must ultimately decide just what she is trying to prove by continuing the fight and what the prize actually is.
Who is right and who is wrong? It is such a simple question, but in Atlas Shrugged, there are no simple answers. Presented as the quintessential book to showcase Rand’s objectivism philosophy, ultimately readers have to decide for themselves just what success means in Dagny’s failing world. As with any philosophy, readers will find themselves drawn to certain elements of it and repulsed by others. No one reader will have the same reaction to the story’s proceedings, and their sympathies for certain characters will be equally diverse. Therein lies some of the story’s power.
This is not the book to sit and escape reality. Atlas Shrugged is the type of story that requires active reading. One should be totally engaged in the story to grasp all of the nuances within Dagny’s world. However, when one is engaged and active in the story, what unfolds is a rich experience that challenges a reader’s understanding of the world and introduces a reader to a vast cast of characters that will draw upon one’s every emotion. It is the type of story that makes one feel invincible. Moreover, it is just a great story about the importance of fighting for one’s beliefs and never surrendering.
Atlas Shrugged is one of the more intimidating novels in existence. Not only is it a behemoth in length, it tackles some unusual philosophical ideas and uses them as the springboard for the entire story. However, one should never let a book’s size prevent one from reading it, and this is especially true with Ms. Rand’s most famous novel.
Thoughts on the Audiobook: Atlas Shrugged is a tough book to narrate. Not only is it long, clocking in at 63 hours of narrative, the cast of characters is huge. Scott Brick not only tackles the challenges posed by its length and epic cast, he succeeds where so many would fail. He finds a way to distinguish between every single character, which in and of itself is an amazing feat given just how many of them there are. He also enhances their depth to make them stand out from the written page just that much more. His performance is subtle, but that adds to the story’s mystique. There are some long philosophical monologues throughout the story, but he powers through them without any struggle, making them more palatable for listeners by allowing them to pick up on those portions which are truly important and those which are there for dramatic effect. Overall, his is an understated performance that compliments the drama of the story and helps make the 63 hours pass quickly.