Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

So I've finally read Atlas Shrugged. I've known about the book since I was a teenager. I'd been meaning to read it for quite a while. and now I have read it yay. it took a while, several months reading a few pages at a time.

It's one of those books that I'd heard of and knew I should have read. It's an important modern book, written in 1957. It was different some of it was from its time. Everyone smokes and cigarettes even are part of the plot. Achievement is important in this book and none of the major characters have any children to keep in mind as they make sweeping life decisions.

I'm not quite sure after reading it how Rand type thinking somehow came to be a pejorative. Rand is big on personal trade and value. She has no use for the supernatural such as religion, or an unseen collective "society" that works for the best for everyone. So Rand is in a sense a humanist, seeing the reasoning free man as the pinnacle.

In the book the protagonists are all attractive, with movie star legs like Dagny, chiselled features on the faces of the men Hank and Francisco. The villains like Wesley are described as slouching, loose faces, rounded shoulders.

So now I know Who is John Galt. I'm not going to tell you, read the book yourself to find out. It's a worthwhile read, not a short book at over 1000 pages. The dialog is a bit stilted in parts, especially the talks between Francisco and Hank. Still Rand is a good writer, a bit of a romantic I think and surprisingly sensuous.

There are some individual speeches in the book that are epic and would be interesting to see done by talented actors. Still I'm not sure if the book would make a great movie. Just because it's long and so much happens. even a three-hour film would have to cut a lot of important stuff out I would think. what would be interesting for modern times would be a graphical novel approach. that way they could string it out over as many volumes as they need while making the message accessible to additional audiences.