(Picture from aynrand.org)
Goodness, this book was a doozy.
I’ve been reading it since the end of last year and finally finished it today, so it took about two to three complete months of concentrated reading. I read every word until John Galt’s infamous rant and ended up skimming that halfway through because at that point, I was more interested in how the story was going to end than Rand’s philosophy, which I got quite a pretty good handle of by the end of the first act. I may go back to reread that formidable rant someday.
I feel a bit of triumph and accomplishment, but am also extremely exhausted from reading Atlas Shrugged. Give extra credit to Ayn Rand for creating a fascinating story wrapped snugly around her life philosophy, which is unforgivingly logical and thorough, and hard to argue against. My next goal is to find a counterargument against Objectivism that is just as unforgivingly logical as her, just to balance things out.
One issue I had with with the book itself is that some parts were just a tad too long-winded and repetitive. (I’m looking at you, John Galt!)
I can see why people are so divided over Ayn Rand, they seem to either worship or hate her based on how much of her philosophy they agree with.
For me, the story itself was actually quite fun to read.
Dagny is a cool character, and I’m glad that Ayn Rand’s longest novel had an imperfect and independent female protagonist running the show.
Plot-wise, it gave me a feeling similar to Anna Karenina, where it’s like watching a train wreck (literally, too!) that you know is going to happen, but can’t keep from watching. Plus, being from Ayn Rand, it also came with that feeling of security I get when watching superhero movies where I know the hero will prevail no matter how bad things get. Minus the rant, the pacing was just right, I felt that everything said had its place in the story.
I hadn’t read Ayn Rand since we were required to read the Anthem in High School, but I’m glad I got a refresher, and this is probably one of the longest novels I’ve read to date.