Audiobook Review – Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Title: Atlas ShruggedAudiobook Review
Author: Ayn Rand
Narrator: Scott Brick
ISBN: 9781455191956
Audiobook Length: 63 hours
Genre: Classics
Origins: Mine. All mine.
Release Date: 10 October 1957

Synopsis:

“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.

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

One of my favorite books of all time, the audio version was a treat for the ears and brain.

8 Responses to Audiobook Review – Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  1. Kim
    November 11, 2015 | 2:15 PM

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Scott Brick!!! But not sure I love him enough to tackle this scary book! 😉

    • Michelle
      November 11, 2015 | 3:28 PM

      He is an amazing narrator, and he does an excellent job of making this “scary” book difficult to stop.

  2. Ti
    November 12, 2015 | 1:15 PM

    Everyone deserves a badge of honor after finishing this one. I really didn’t mind the length so much, though.

    • Michelle
      November 13, 2015 | 8:44 AM

      It’s not that bad. I can think of some other books that are just as hefty and much more cumbersome to read.

  3. Carrie K.
    November 14, 2015 | 10:56 AM

    Wow – that’s a huge time commitment! I always thought I’d get around to this one in print someday, but since I love Scott Brick, maybe this might be the way to go.

    • Michelle
      November 15, 2015 | 11:55 AM

      I really enjoyed it in print the first time and via audio the second. I was able to pick up so much more knowing what was coming the second time around. Either way, I hope you get around to reading it soon!

  4. susan
    November 16, 2015 | 4:18 PM

    63 hours of listening? You deserve an award.

    • Michelle
      November 16, 2015 | 8:54 PM

      Not at all. It was fun to listen to it and really pay attention to it. I had forgotten so many of the details after my first read years ago.

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