A Bookshelf book
This fat tome is often cited as an influential and/or favorite book. I first read it when assigned to for a college course called Human Love in Philosophy and Literature. It was a neat course taught by two professors together, both of whom I liked very much. We read such interesting very different works of literature–it was a standout course. Thanks Trenton State! (Nope, I will not call it College of New Jersey.) How can I summarize the plot? I can’t. Instead I will just mention a few reasons this book is on my shelf. I’ve read the book three times I think and each time loved it a little more. I’m not a fan of Rand, nor a follower of Objectivism, but I think that not only is Atlas Shrugged a superb story, it’s also an incredibly well written one.
I still remember our professor pointing out a sentence (the first one?) about a car being driven down the street, and pointing out that Rand did not throw away words and sentences–they all contributed something to the writing and the story. That impressed me very much, especially given the size and depth of the book.
The construction of the book also pleases me–sections building up to a great big finish.
What also pleases me?
The name, Dagny Taggart. The timelessness of the story. The appreciation for hard work, skill, and talent (OK, so I dig that part of the philosophy.) The copper mines. The wonderful, ending, which unexpectedly is practically an action-adventure story–I still remember reading the ending for the first time in my dorm room and being just blown away by it and also by finishing this big book.
When I first started dating my now-husband we were taking a walk and he was telling me about some friends of his who had an online discussion group called “The Galt List.” Since “Who is John Galt?” is an oft repeated line in the novel I knew it was a Rand reference and was so excited to find that he had also read it and liked it. We’ve been planning for the past year or so to both reread it so we can talk about it all over again, but, as you see from both our blogs (his is I Just Read About That), we’ve got lots of other books on our plates.
Whether or not you like philosophy, Rand, classics, etc. Atlas Shrugged is worthy of the time it takes to read. It’s an immensely satisfying story of personal success and is absolutely beautifully crafted.