Just to give some background info, I was fascinated by the concept of objectivism by playing through Bioshock so I ended up getting the book to learn more about the Philosophy. I also did not finish the book but got pretty close. First the length, if you want to read this in a reasonable period you would want a REALLY comfy chair, I can read fairly fast but being well just over 1000 pages (at least in my version) its a daunting read so prepare for a literary marathon. Now as a source to learn the Philosophy of Objectivism its really good, the speeches while are incredibly informative and really helps you understand the concepts involved. I never got to the massive speech by John Galt, but I did enjoy the one which was more or less 'greed is good'. As a novel this book is damnable annoying, the characters are inherently unlikable for one their 'sue-ness' makes them almost totally unable to sympathize with. To give a example of the terrible characterization would be Rearden, now you can kind of sympathize with him because he fights to protect his life's work but its impossible to like him for the most part because put simply he's a jerk. He does show some respect to other entrepreneurs but often is unnecessarily cruel, mostly to his family who seems to some reason spend all their time insulting him but still, he seems to go overboard in breaking his family to get them to stop, and he still maintains their lifestyle for some bizzare reason. Now there are besides my irritation at the characters (who I may be a bit fuzzy on the details on their actions since it's been a while since I was reading the book, there are some more flaws, such as the two dimensional nature of most of the villians, the fact that apparently The U.S is the world (it only does some throw away lines suggesting that Europe is now a communist hell hole) and yet its economic collapse affects no-one else. There are also wallbangers such as the train incident which enraged me and also confused me mostly because I didn't have the required knowledge to work out how a railway networks. In summary, not a great book if you enjoy well written fiction, however if you can abide the characters and the paper thin setting you will find a very approachable and fascinating book.
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