Friday, October 24, 2008


Two years ago I was tagged to submit the five books that had influenced me the most.
I have done two of the five so far, (VOLTAIRE & DICK GREGORY)
Consider this the third, and take points off for being so late if you like.

There may not be a book any more loved by its readers or hated by those who claim to have read it than Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. If you surf the blogshere that will become very quickly evident.
The Ex-Mrs Bulletholes will tell you that she never did like me much after I read this book.

Way back when I was in High School, I picked up a copy. It had been on the list of books suggested by my Philosophy Class.
In fact, this Philosophy class was the first one introduced in the State for High School students. Myself and three other students actually did a 15 minute presentation at the Teachers Association that year on what we had learned in the class.
Complete with Moody Blues music going in the background.
It was great!

Anyway, I tried to read Atlas Shrugged that year but after about 100 pages I had no idea what the hell the damn book was about.

Fast forward 12 years.
I am having a garage sale and I see my old unread copy sitting on the table to be sold. I picked it up and started reading. Within two pages I had a good sense what this book was going to be about and I was hooked. I spent the next three weeks totally submerged in it. It was difficult reading at times. There were sentences, paragraphs, even pages that I had to re-read several times over. The ideas expressed, the concepts involved were just so sharp, so pointed and written so intensly and intelligently that to get the full force shock of it, it had to be re-digested over and over again. There were passages that I would feel a certain disagreement with, only to have to change my mind within the next few pages.
Such is the nature of the story.

I left a comment on a blog one day that may have helped to start my blogging ‘Career”.
Grizzbabe saw it and she became my first blog buddy, with apologies to my pal Broken, whose Blog shut down as mine opened.
The comment was an excerpt from Atlas Shrugged:
‘We seek in others that which is the deepest reflection of ourselves. To the extent in which we value that reflection we will either experience-or fake- a sense of self esteem”

For anyone about to try to read this book (Gewels) I make one suggestion- get the jumbo large paperback edition. The small version is really hard on the eyes. If you get through the first Chapter and are not into it, you might trade it in for something else, perhaps Candide.
This book may be for all time but it is not for everybody. Ayn Rand's husband, while being very supportive had this to say:
"I never understood a word of it"


petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

I have yet to read it, Steve. I've
just entered it on my reading wishlist which is literally a few pages long. I'll give you my critique sometime during the next year or so. I mean what's another two years, eh?! Have a wonderful weekend!

GrizzBabe said...

I dunno. Those 1000+ pages are still scaring me.