Atlas Shrugged Review

By | June 10, 2011

Atlas Shrugged
By: Ayn Rand

Paige’s Rating: (1) of 5 Stars
Recommended for: Masochists

Atlas Shrugged is the astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world–and did. Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged stretches the boundaries further than any book you have ever read. It is a mystery, not about the murder of a man’s body, but about the murder–and rebirth–of man’s spirit.

This book reminds me of my last marriage:

1) The main characters are flat and linear in their thinking.
As much as Ayn Rand seems to be the champion voice for individualism, her characters over the span of 1000+ pages never seem to grow outside of their very cookie-cutter existence. The heroes are so flawless and the villains so inherently stupid, that I found them bland and waited for them to take on more complex human qualities. Yet, I found that they only remained motivated to continue on a one-track train-of-thought. How appropriate. And speaking of flat characters…

2) Even the sex is cold and completely devoid of passion.
When two of the characters have sex, one would think the book would become interesting. Yet the sex scenes were about as sensual as watching slugs mate on the Discovery Channel.

So this brings me to the plot, which one would assume must have many highs and lows in order to keep a reader’s attention during the 1000+ page journey. Yet, the entire plot is like a vicious cycle…

3) It’s repetitive as in: didn’t we have this argument before?
The main dialogues throughout the book continually regurgitate the same ideas and often use the same phrases and words but in a different scenarios. The heroes being flawless are always articulate in a common but clever Matlock way, and the villains are always about as bright as the brown crayon. I found myself seriously flipping through some dialogues that existed merely because Ayn Rand must hate trees as much as communism and socialism.

Within the plot, I also felt like Ayn Rand used her flat and flawless characters to spew her message. There isn’t much tact here and so…
4) I felt as if I was getting preached to by someone who didn’t necessarily have the credentials to preach. Ugh. Bitch please, you can probably see me giving the book “the hand” or in the case of my ex, “the finger.”

So overall…
5) Nothing is gained by “sticking it out.” You can’t really brag about finishing this book, because much smarter people (unlike me) quit dealing with this crap around page 450. You can try to justify your commitment, you can try to remember why you wanted to make such a commitment to an awful book in the first place, but at the end of the day, there must be a time when it finishes. And thank God I finally had the energy to finish it! And while I agree with the theme, Ms. Rand would have been a lot more effective in her sermon had she cut back about 500 pages.

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