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Publisher's Summary

Atlas Shrugged is the "second most influential book for Americans today" after the Bible, according to a joint survey conducted by the Library of Congress and the Book of the Month Club. 

This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world - and did. Is he a destroyer or a liberator? Why does he fight his hardest battle not against his enemies, but against the woman he loves? 

Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is Ayn Rand's magnum opus and launched an ideology and a movement. With the publication of this work in 1957, Rand gained an instant following and became a phenomenon. Atlas Shrugged emerged as a premier moral apologia for capitalism, a defense that had an electrifying effect on millions of readers (and now listeners) who had never heard capitalism defended in other than technical terms.

©1957 Ayn Rand, 1985 renewed Eugene Winick, Paul Gitlin, and Leonard Peikoff, Introduction 1992 Leonard Peikoff (P)1991 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What listeners say about Atlas Shrugged

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Strange Audio

This is one of my favourite stories. This version has some weird audio clips happening throughout.

3 people found this helpful

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audio issues midway through

the story is eerily prescient, you will find the similarities with today, written in 1957 being spoken aloud.

2 people found this helpful

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Runaway Train

I didn't know what to expect from the book. The beginning is slow, but as you continue to read and follow the characters your swept away as your beliefs and doctrine are challenged over every mile of track. A must read for the youth of today, a glimpse into a world that could very well come to life!

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

A enjoyable novel but with some deep low points.

Firstly, this is an enormously long novel. The print copy is 1168 pages (usually put into 3 volumes), and this audiobook is 52 hours long. It is almost comical to say that I mostly enjoyed the first 40-some hours. 52 hours is like 6 seasons of television and most tv series are in obvious decline by the 6th season, so what are the chances that any person would write such an immense novel that doesn't wane in parts? Let's have reasonable expectations and accept some natural human variance, nobody can keep up a pace for this long.

Atlas Shrugged is an interesting 1957 period piece and American dystopian novel in which Ayn Rand paints a picture of American declinism from her own laissez-faire, classic liberalist, objectivist perspective. I don't think a reader needs to sympathize too much with Rand's beliefs to enjoy this exploration, but late in the story Rand sets down a soap box and goes on a speel takes the relatable themes that had been established over so many chapters and distills them all into a narrow, yet convoluted and strawmanning diatribe that lasts 2 hours. I found the novel to be a cheesy slog from the climax onward, it's like the story's facade fell away, leaving bare the thin caricatures Rand wrote as characters to populate a laborious and drawn out conclusion.

I wouldn't say that Rand totally spoiled her novel by launching into her sermon on rational and ethical egoism at a critical narrative moment but it is a low point, but the last leg of the marathon that is Atlas Shrugged is by far the weakest part of the novel. Where she could have used her cleverness and aptitude, Rand undermined her novel with self indulgent philosophical preachiness, static characters, and tacky action sequences.

Still, it is quite a story. Rand writes from an interesting angle, she supplies a compelling protagonist (a young and prodigiously industrius woman), a healthy amount of mystery, and well captured settings. The romance is not quite salacious but there is an emphasis on sexuality and desire that some readers may rather do without.

I would say that I am glad to have read, or rather listened, to Atlas Shrugged; it was a thought provoking and mostly enjoyable read ... until the end. Like many books, I will enjoy having read it more than I enjoyed actually reading it.

The narrator does an excellent job, and plays the characters rather distinct from one another.

2 people found this helpful

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very relevant

This classic is very appropriate for the time we are living in. It's the best dystopic novel because it plants the seed of hope.

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Pivotal Read for Me!

This book was one of the catalysts that helped me understand the world we are living in much better. It left me feeling much less confused as to why everything has unfolded the way that it had recently.

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I promised a friend I’d read it

I was criticizing Rand’s work without having read it. A friend encouraged me to at least read it. I have now read it and can criticize Rand’s work after having read it. :)
Ok, it wasn’t as bad as I expected but it was so much worse than what I had hoped. This work is so characterized it’s laughable in most circumstances ( although there’s more than one moment in this book that is downright chilling).
About half way through reading Atlas, it occurred to me that if Rand were writing today, it would likely be for the Babylon Bee.
Was it all bad, no but there are far more effective and efficient ways to get a lesson on personal accountability and work ethic.

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don't appreciate the narrator

really should have paid more attention to the narrator. this is a fantastic story, but I can't focus with this narrators voice.

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Essential reading

What an amazing piece of fiction.
A real adventure, somewhere between Indian Jones and 1984. I like this title due to its backbone of industrial dialogue and diagrams. Inventors and hero’s, who’s unmatched energetic prowess shape /change landscape and culture all while being arbitrarily marginalized by the marginal.
A must read for anyone wondering where socialist ideology terminates.

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wow.

this was an amazing listen. alot to think about after spending a few weeks listening

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 2009-03-19

Atlas Shrugged - Christopher Hurt

Atlas Shrugged is in and of itself an amazing work. Christopher Hurt's vocal interpretative reading brings Rand's work to life. Hurt is head and shoulders above other readers available on audible.com. His subtle vocal charecterizations of the various roles is excellent.

61 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rich
  • 2008-02-04

Epic in Scope, Simplistic Characters

Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged both come with a lot of baggage. Some people love it, others loathe it.

Bottom line, this story is epic in scope. I've read the book before, and now my wife and I are listening to it together every chance we get. We discuss the ideas, talk about the characters, and often laugh at the two-dimensional characters.

Yes, it's true. This book's plot is amazing, and thoroughly enjoyable on a lot of levels. It truly is a classic. However, a lot of the writing makes us laugh out loud. Especially in discussing sex and relationships.

Selfish business people are held up as heroes. They have no faults. Sensitive, empathic business owners and gov't types are all portrayed as sniveling losers. Everything is black and white; none of the characters are complex, although many are fascinating. I find myself wanting to chat with Hank Reardon or Dagny Taggart, or bounce business ideas off them.

If you've got the patience, this book is worth the listen. Even if you consider yourself to be liberal and fear big business more than big government, this book is a fascinating read.

Although I don't believe in the absolutes that Rand puts out there, it did "rewire" my brain, and allowed me to view current events through an additional point of view. It challenged me to defend some of my deep-seated beliefs, and even discard a couple.

And isn't that the kind of challenge that's worth your time?

176 people found this helpful

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  • Dan Connors
  • 2007-09-24

Stop and smell the roses

When I read this book 40-some years ago, I rushed through the long-winded speeches. One benefit of having it read to you is that you cannot. I was surprised to discover how much Ayn Rand's philosophy seemed to develop during the book. I really enjoyed looking for things that dated the book--like driving 200 miles to find a long-distance phone! It is a wonderful story, albeit with a pretty heavy message. If you've not read Ayn before, start here!

61 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • 2008-04-19

Over before you know it

Clocking in at 50+ hours, some might think the length of this audiobook is prohibitive. Believe it or not, I can honestly say that it is such a riveting and compelling novel and philosophical discussion that it truly is over before you know it.

Highly, highly recommend this book to all readers. Also, if you're wondering which Ayn Rand to start with, start here. Her philosophy is best summarized in Atlas Shrugged.

73 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Zed
  • 2008-10-26

Didn't know what I expected, but wow...

I normally read sci-fi, fantasy, etc. Something to escape the day to day. This book had been on my 'to read' list for a long time, but I was always put off by it's length (1200 pages), and that it was old (1950s). I mean, how good could that be? Woah was I wrong. I so wish I would of read this book earlier! Incredible page turner with some of the most amazing writing I have ever read. Without question the story will cause you to look at the world differently. Truly a MUST READ/LISTEN. I just finished listening to it, and now I have the book and I'm going to read it again as well. Simply an amazingly engaging, suspenseful, and moving book.
As for the audio-book: This book was wonderfully read/performed. There is a bit of background 'noise' at a few points... but nothing serious.

54 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kuldeep
  • 2009-01-19

Outstanding book, outstanding narrator

The narrator, Christopher Hurt, does as much for this audio book as the book itself. Being such a tome containing sophisticated and complex ideas, it would have been a disaster if the narrator was weak. He is simply outstanding. Never falters once in a book of 645,000 words. Yes, it's that big. Uses intonation to anticipate 2 sentences ahead, and does a marvelous job of using different voices without crossing the line to being cheesy. I recommend this book highly.

65 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jay M.
  • 2008-01-23

Excellent Book, minor issue

This is an excellent book, with a very good narrator. My only issue with it is that it appears there was poor sound insulation between the studio this book was recorded in, and another studio. I would often hear quiet murmurings from (I assume) another audiobook reading. It was a bit distracting at times. However, I reiterate the quality of the material and the narration. I often found myself sitting in a parking lot for an additional 10-15 minutes, not willing to turn the book off and get out of the car.

93 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rob
  • 2009-02-16

Love the book, funny echo in the audio

Great book, exceptionally well read by the narrator. I especially liked the clarity of voice when changing characters. In spite of few written clues, the narrator's changing voice always made clear who was speaking dialogue.

Unfortunately, a distracting echo or some other audio effect was present throughout the audiobook. Not bad enough to ruin the book, but noticeable enough to distract the listener.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew Raymond
  • 2008-07-08

A Classic Well Told

At first blush, the length of this work, combined with how dry it can be in print made it daunting.

However, this reading made a very viable presentation of the material. Mr. Hurt has good pacing and intonation. He makes reasonable character voicings, and does a really superb job of keeping the long monologues and introspections interesting.

The reading was also very well paced. I was particularly impressed that the length of the summary speech near the end of the work matches almost exactly the times in the text which reference it.

Overall, this is a very accessible and insightful presentation of subject matter which could under other circumstances be particularly onerous.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rohit
  • 2008-04-17

The best defense of capitalism- Rohit Soans

This is a long listen. However, this is a true classic and one of the best defenses of capitalism ever written. Although Rand's objectivism philosophy may not appeal to all, the ideals of free thinking and evils of unsolicited government interference/control are all well illustrated. The book as a whole is good, but some of the rants these characters make are absolutely brilliant. A book that truly makes you want to be productive.
The length is the only real drawback, the pearls are some times muddled in too much narrative and this can sometimes get old, but overall this was a great listen.-Rohit Soans

9 people found this helpful