Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Atlas shrugged and so did I

This is meant to be a blog about my writing life. Almost every 'how to write' book, article or interview by an author advises that the novice author read voraciously. For this reason (voracious reading is part of my writing life) it seems appropriate to include those experiences here.

My inaugural post-reading post is Ayn Rand's Atlas shrugged.

It's been long in coming.
It was a long time in the reading.
And I'm left with an ""

As with most famous works, I was familiar with it before I read it. In fact, before reading the book I had read more about Ayn Rand's objectivism than I had ever read of Rand directly. I think as a work meant to pontificate a world view, in it's time it was probably great. But for just took long to do it. The characters were either one of three people; 'looter', 'noble industrial egoist' or one of the masses with his/her hand out. No middle ground, they all sounded the same. They all gave one or the other monologue. For a long time. Didn't really care for the characters, couldn't buy into the dystopian world. I tried, honest.

The parts I really did enjoy were the datedness. The hunt for a long-distance phone connection (as I flick open my black berry), the obsession with cigarettes, the very 1950's ish-ness. That for me was fun (though I don't suspect this was the author's intent).

Glad I read it, because I have felt like a phoney all these years for reading about it, but not reading it. It will be a while before I dig into the vault of great tomes, I paid my dues for the near-term.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks. It would serve to ask everyone we know to read Atlas Shrugged not only because of Rand's accurate prophecy, but because of the solution she offers. See the article "Ayn Rand, 20th Century Prophetess":