I’ve started to read “Atlas Shrugged” to follow Conor Friedersdorf’s bookclub on Atlantic Online.
I haven’t read it before, probably put off by the intimidating 1,200 pages or what I know of the underlying Objectivist philosophy, but like most folks, I certainly have heard plenty about its new relevance in the recent political press.
Anyway, I have just completed the first three chapters. My god, what an awkwardly written “great book”. Didn’t she have an editor? Was she paid by the word? Ms. Rand’s prose reminds me of a final essay for an ESL class.
The philosophical theme is already pretty clear. Her’s is a pretty black and white world. There are those who accomplish great things, and all of the rest of sniveling, parasitic humanity who deserve whatever befalls them. Any feelings of common cause with your fellow man is a sign of weakness and charity is an abomination. There has yet to be a single moment of ambiguity. Either you are a great man or you are beneath contempt.
But once you force yourself to not dwell on the writing style, it’s not a terrible read. Lots of funny names [Dagny Taggart] and, written in 1957 but set in 2016, the world she foresaw is interesting. I shall slog ahead. I have only 96% of the book left.
And I’m working on the rules for an “Atlas Shrugged” Drinking Game©.