Friday, January 09, 2009


So I just finished Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and dove directly into Atlas Shrugged.

Okay, honesty moment here. I'm kind of cheating. I have quite a commute to and from work and I walk the dog for an hour or two at night so I don't have a lot of time to read, but I can listen to audio books just fine. *I* don't consider it cheating since I only listen to the unabridged versions, often read by the author. Plus, there's the added benefit of not looking at a book after a good long reading session only to realize it is SO large, you've not even made a dent. Heck, the audio version is 54 hours and 8 minutes. That's just under a month of commuting and dog walking.

I've done this for quite a few books since getting out here. Some untold histories if the US and the world books, Born on a Blue Day, History of Jazz by Ken Burns (that guy is great. Anything and everything you ever could want to know about jazz or its artists... he's got it), a few psychology books... I get a lot accomplished while driving, I think. Most anything is preferable to the single radio station.

Look... setting aside whatever you may think of Ayn Rand's ideals, she's rarely matched in her ability to so completely describe something that you'd feel as though you were there. It is as though she had heard the saying, " picture is worth a thousand words" and decided she needed a thousand for every picture in her books. The result is the reader being able to see hear feel relate smell...

Do you know that head nod people give each other when you walk up to elevator doors waiting to open. To steal a line from Brian Regan, "I see ya, I just got nothin to say to ya."

If Ayn Rand were writing this, you'd find yourself giving that nod, even though you are not in front of any elevator. Her words connect so deeply and perfectly, you are powerless to deny the feelings or emotions described.

Maybe I should have put a different book in the middle. It is too late now, I'm captivated by Atlas, but I'm still reeling from Howard Roark.

If any of you have not read Ayn Rand, Anthem is an easy introduction. It is similar to Orson Well's 1984, but not as long. The link will take you to a free copy on the internet... there are others as well found on the Googs. It is a bit choppier than the longer works... you've got to remember while reading, that this is written as though it is in the first person. Man has lost individual identity, so everything is referenced in the third person, but it is from one man. It is choppy, because in the "time in which it was written" in some far off(?) future, men have lost words to describe his feelings and he must recreate them.

Aahhh, heck.. draw your own conclusions. I dig'em. I just don't recommend you read them one after another after another... it might be a bit ambitious.

1 comment:

Maggie's Attic said...

Wow. This is soo weird. Fountainhead was your grandmother's favorite book of all time, and she read quite a lot. I still remember her paperback copy, almost thicker than it was wide, with Scotch tape all over the binding, she had read it so many times. I loved it too. Sigh. She can write.