Well folks, it is time to talk about the first third of the behemoth Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. Going into this post, I am going to try to stay away from just giving summary, but instead talk about some of the deeper issues in the book (I say this because I find myself merely summarizing in my readalong posts-I think I feel, that as the host, I should only be forming a starting point for other bloggers to comment on-know what I mean?).
In any case, I went into this book with a lot of apprehension. I don't know a great deal about Rand, but the pieces I do know are unsettling. I'm not sure how I feel about her, even after looking around for answers. I was also intimidated by Adam, who finished the whole shebang rather quickly. His post, which is linked below, really dove into the depth of this book far more than I hope to.
At the time when I read his post, I was only two chapters in. I hadn't formed a real opinion, but was finding myself annoyed with Rand.
That feeling has gradually disappeared. While I don't agree with her philosophy of Objectivism, I get it. I mean, I can understand why some would feel that way. And as a vehicle for her philosophy, Atlas Shrugged really seems to shove those ideas down the readers' throats.
I didn't really mind once I got going. In fact, I read the rest of this section, 8 chapters, last night in a long reading spurt. Of course there were pieces that made me a little angry. I have thrown my copy of the book a few times at the wall (I'm serious-one side is dented). I don't like it when writers shove things down my throat. It irritates me. I hate that there seems to be no middle ground-that things are black or white, right or wrong. Life can't function that way and examples of that just serve to piss me off as I am reading...
But I kind of like what Rand is doing. Since this is my first read and I know little about Rand and the story, I don't know where this is going. It is certainly a bit of mystery and I am enjoying that. I like going into books not knowing the story. They catch my attention far more.
I also really like the character of Dagny. She is spunky and ferocious, which I love in a female character. At times I feel like we don't know enough about her, but I can fill in the blanks. I think that if I were ever to be in the business world, I would also be a bit spunky and ferocious. I'm like that with my students (restrained of course), but I don't take nonsense.
Some of the other characters are a little...one-dimensional at this point so I am curious how Rand, or if, she develops them more. I can't stand Reardan, but who really can? He seems to be rather cold-hearted. In fact, a lot of the characters seem to share that trait. That is hard to relate to as a reader, so I must struggle through some of those sections.
I am curious, and anxious, to see where Rand will take me. I am curious about what else she has to say and how she'll get it across to me. I wonder how many more times I will throw this book to the ground in frustration, and how many times I will wonder if Rand has a point. All of that has happened in this first section, and I am just curious.
I will say that this is not as bad of a read as I was expecting. I thought I would be sucked into a novel with horrible writing. And while Rand isn't a great writer, she is easier to read than I though. The language isn't complicated.
Anyway, I will see you all again on April 8th!
If you have your post up, please comment and leave a link to your post below!
Adam (his post covers the entire book)