I tried. I really did, but I couldn’t make it through the book. I had the best of book intentions. I don’t care a fig who John Galt is, but maybe if he revealed himself a lot sooner I might have carried on.
I read through about a quarter of the book, and that’s all I’m reviewing.
All the cool kids are pro-capitalist and the lazy schmucks are pro-socialists. This is not at all an over-simplification of the world. Personally, I’d want to be on the side of the capitalists because they work for the sheer joy of achieving something great that furthers the betterment of mankind. Money has nothing to do with it, and it offends me that you would think so. Besides, all the losers who want to pass socialist programs are crazy and have no integrity. It’s very simple — black or white. If you want gray, go read the novel by EL James (there’s fifty shades of it).
Okay, enough sarcasm.
The Major Characters.
My favorite character that I have encountered so far is Francisco D’Aconia. I say “so far” because there is a chance that one day I’ll finish it. Frisco is not only rich and handsome, he’s super smart and can do anything he sets his mind to. He is to inherit the D’Anconia Copper Empire, but so far, it looks like he is up to something more mysterious. I’m not sure what, but it’s probably related to that John Galt guy.
Dagny Taggart grew up with Frisco, and once upon a time they were lovers, then Frisco turned all weird on her. Dagny is disgusted that Frisco is wasting his time and money on frivolous matters (like women and vapid parties). He is harboring some kind of secret master plan that I haven’t figured out yet. I thought this part was a bit confusing and raised many questions. Back to Dagny. I like her because she’s intelligent and is clearly the obvious choice to run Taggart Transcontinental. I don’t like her because I think she’s a bit one dimensional and not a lot of fun.
Then there’s Henry Rearden— poor little rich boy whose family just doesn’t understand why he’s a workaholic. His mean wife teases him and doesn’t respect him at all. In fact, no one in his family respects him, and yet, his mooching relatives all expect him to support them. Still, you have to admire Rearden because he runs a good business, takes risks and works hard.
I take issue with the fact that everything is black and white in Atlas-World. After all, not all social programs are worthless, and not all capitalist endeavors are noble. I firmly believe that market competition can encourage efficiency and new discoveries. People should be compensated according to their work. At the same time, I realize that there are flaws in capitalism. I couldn’t help but feel annoyed at the one-sided presentation.
As for John Galt, there are rumors that he found Atlantis. I’ll go looking for him again later, but for now, I’m going to move on to something else.
- The Dollop Book Corner – Atlas Shrugged (donegaldollop.wordpress.com)
- Ayn Rand-Loving Companies Fight Over Atlas Shrugged Characters in Court (blogs.sfweekly.com)