Saturday, May 02, 2009

I shrugged

This post is long overdue.

Finally managed to finish "Atlas Shrugged" in March. This was probably the longest I had taken to finish a book; unfinished ones don't count, obviously. The book wasn't boring, actually it was pretty difficult to put down once you started reading, but for some reason it not only took me 6 months to finish but also broke my reading record of two books a month (I could only manage to finish 2 others on the side).

What did I think of the book? It was... hmm... okay, I guess! I don't agree with a lot of the objectivism principles and feel very little of them have relevance today. (I definitely don't think comparing it with the bank bailout situation makes much sense). So reading 1000 odd pages that emphasized those principles as the be all and end all of human existence is a little hard to digest, especially when the author decides to re-emphasize the same point every 10 pages! I lost count of the number of times I must have thought "Ayn Rand, I get it. Now, go on will ya?".

A note for those planning to read the book - this is NOT a novel. It is just Ayn Rand's objectivism theory disguised as a novel. The characters are pretty much "good" or "evil" and stand to drive home the theory with their words and actions. For example, one main character's "speech" (in a radio broadcast) lasts close to 100 pages. I would strongly recommend that you read "Fountain Head" first and then take a big gap (a year or two at least) before returning to "Atlas Shrugged".

PS: How much of a dubious honor is it to be awarded the "Least edible book" in an edible books competition?

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