Book review: Atlas Shrugged

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Author:Ayn Rand
Reading Level (Conceptual):Children 12 and up
Reading Level (Vocabulary):Children 12 and up
Year of publication:1957

Not well written, which is not exactly beside the point, given the topic.

I am not opposed to high word counts, and I certainly find Rand's IDEAS powerful and she presents them using plots that are innovative and highlight her points nicely. (Unlike, for example, Nancy Kress' writing in Beggars in Spain.)

On the other hand, no one can claim that Atlas Shrugged is well written. Has she ever described any female heroine as being other than beautiful and thin? Is there a word for the right-wing equivalent of Socialist Realism? Do any of her heroes have flaws? Do any of her villains have any redeeming characteristics?

Rand really did need a good editor. Like, for example, those 60 or so pages of John Galt's harangue in Atlas Shrugged. Trees are sometimes better used for shade rather than pulp, don't you think?

Contrasts kind of nicely with books like Crime and Punishment and Brothers Karamazov, in which the ideas are actually extremely lame (but are considered not to be lame by most), but the plots are quite compelling AND the words are powerful and spare, even though Brothers K. is quite weighty.

Or, Ender's Game? There's a more well-rounded brilliant person for you, don't you think? And it IS so much more -- concise? Or Ender's Shadow, even better!

If you found this review helpful and/or interesting, consider supporting our book habit: Buy this book!: Atlas Shrugged

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