on Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged” (the book):
Contrary to her detractors’ claims, Rand was a writer of high and unique talent. “Atlas’’ is among the worst of her books. Most of the characters are either demigods or vermin. The plot suffocates under endless speechifying, with every point hammered over and over. The earlier novels “We the Living’’ and “The Fountainhead’’ advance Rand’s ideas but allow for shades of gray and sympathy for flawed characters. In “Atlas,’’ the ideologue has all but crushed the writer.
Hub Blog actually liked ‘The Fountainhead.’ But I could barely read ‘Atlas Shrugged’ for the reasons Cathy cites. Naturally, ‘Atlas’ is the favorite of ideologues precisely because it provides them with an answer-for-everything philosophy that comes in so handy when arguing with others. There’s a gene in all of us that craves finding an answer-for-everything philosophy (or religion etc.), but most of us come to realize in adulthood that life isn’t so simple. It’s actually intellectually exciting to reach this stage. It’s even liberating. Ideologues never understand this. They cling to their dogmas, assuming others don’t get it.