Reading -- Atlas Shrugged

I'm currently reading Atlas Shrugged, the novel by Ayn Rand.  First published in 1957, the novel has been the topic of much discussion and debate over the years.  It is currently coming into greater consciousness as its message -- some would say "Prophetic Message" -- seems to be echoed in our modern times (circa 2012.) 

From the back cover:  "The astounding story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world -- and did.  Tremendous in scope, breathtaking in its suspense, Atlas Shrugged is unlike any other book you have ever read.  It is a mystery story, not about the murder of a man's body, but about the murder -- and rebirth -- of man's spirit."

"With this acclaimed work and its immortal query Who is John Galt?   Ayn Rand found the perfect artistic form to express her vision of existence.  This is the book that has made her not only one of the most popular novelist of modern times, but also one of its most influential and controversial thinkers."

"From inside the front cover: "Who Moves the World? Who is John Galt? When he says that he will stop the motor of the World, is he a destroyer or a liberator?  Why does he have to fight his battles not against his enemies, but against those who need him most? Why does he fight his hardest battle against the woman he loves?" 

"You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the amazing men and women in this book.  You will discover why a productive genius becomes a worthless playboy . . . why a great steel industrialist is working for his own destruction . . . why a composer gives up his career on the night of his triumph . . . why a beautiful woman who runs a transcontinental railroad falls in love with the man she has sworn to kill."

In paraphrase -- Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand's perennial bestseller and modern classic provides the spectacle of human greatness, depicted with all the poetry and power of one of the twentieth cetury's leading artists.

I have to agree, with the teasers on the covers. Ayn Rand delivers as promised.  Having read the first two thirds of the novel at this writing, I've been very intrigued by the story and impressed with Ayn Rand's power as a writer.  She does not hold to strict rules of form, but even then the story is very clear and very compelling.  I have owned a copy of the book for years, and tried to read it many times, but always seemed to get bogged down and confused in the first few chapters.  Finally, after viewing the first film of Atlas Shrugged on DVD, I finally understood what was what and who was who, and since starting over one more time.  Now I get it.  I'm thoroughly enjoying the book and can hardly wait to get back to my next opportunity to read further.

Since the movie Atlas Shrugged Part 1 was released on April 15th, 2011 to moderate notice, the 2nd film Atlas Shrugged Part 2 is scheduled for release in October 2012.  With each installment I expect the films, following the progression of the book will get more and more interesting.  And as the blogosphere debates rage on over Socialism vs. Capitalism, and stongly held opinions color the flavor of the debates more than facts or truth. It all depends on who you believe to be the more credible. How many times have we witnessed the so-call experts to be completely wrong?  For me -- Art will continue to make it's point long after all the political rhetoric has faded away.  The theme of the book, written in the mid 1950s still seems relevent to our times here in 2012. 

May you live in interesting times . . . We certainly do. 

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