Very few books achieve notoriety and devotion in the magnitude of Atlas Shrugged. And it really isn’t surprising. It’s a massive over thousand pages book with little plot, and very little character development. Instead it’s crammed full on philosophical monologues from said characters.
Most criticism seems to fall into one of two camps:
The first thinks the book is literarily dreary and clearly didn’t read more than the first third of the book. These are most reviews and critiques I’ve found, as they claim characters say and do things that are changed later or turn out to be false.
The second thinks Ayn Rand is an insane egotist, who clearly doesn’t care about human beings or the arts. And this second group is more interesting. They should indeed complain, as they are the complainers & looters that Rand is painting as the most terrible of criminals in Atlas.
Regardless of your political opinion. The book is interesting as a historical work, this is a strong female author who’s clearly a hard core feminist, writing a book with plenty of sex in the 50s… It is also a book that has had a lot of influence. And is still selling surprisingly well. I don’t recommend this to everyone, it’s a bit of a slog. But it’s also genuinely thought provoking. Especially if you’ve been nurtured into the liberal norm (in the modern sense of the word liberal) as I had.
“She was fifteen when it occurred to her for the first time that women did not run railroads and that people might object. To hell with that, she thought-and never worried about it again.”
— Ayn Rand
“What greater wealth is there than to own your life and to spend it on growing?
Every living thing must grow. It can’t stand still. It must grow or perish.”
— Ayn Rand