"Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand - Chris Leading This Discussion

Let the controversy begin!

One of the larger books selected, and certainly one of the more polarizing. A long time favourite of mine that I haven't read in years that I would love to re-read discuss with the group if everyone's willling.

Love her or hate her, Ayn Ran's works are sure to generate a good discussion. And apart from the political or philosophical aspects of the book, I find it a great story.

Hope to see you all there.

Chris

-------------------------------

Atlas Shrugged

by Ayn Rand

DUTTON ADULT | April 26, 2005 | Hardcover

This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world - and did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most, and his hardest battle against the woman he loved? What is the world''s motor - and the motive power of every man? 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 characters in this story." "Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life - from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy - to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction - to the philosopher who becomes a pirate - to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph - to the woman who runs a transcontinental railroad - to the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels." This is a mystery story, not about the murder of a man''s body, but about the murder - and rebirth - of man''s spirit. It is a philosophical revolution, told in the form of an action thriller of violent events.

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  • Ann

    I am SO sorry I missed it. I even went out and bought my own copy. I will definitely keep reading

    August 9, 2013

  • Caroline

    Hear, hear it was a most excellent location and I enjoyed reading something i would normally not have picked up. Always love the groups discussion and where it goes. All I can say I wish I was not next up as you have raised the bar pretty high!!!!! I will give a location. As soon as I have finished reading And we know what the weather is like. Cock n bull otherwise. Oh and 6.30 is good for me too. Thanks again. Enjoyed it? I did.

    1 · August 9, 2013

  • Michael B.

    Excellent choice of location Chris, some great discussions about a sometimes frustrating book! :)

    2 · August 9, 2013

  • Marie

    Chris, I wanted to add that the setting for last night's discussion was brilliant. btw:
    I prefer the 6:30 meetup time.

    1 · August 7, 2013

    • Jennifer

      Hi Chris, I also wanted to say that though the book lost me a little with its lack of editing, i do feel its a classic, have had several people spontaneously react when they heard I was reading it. I feel the ideass are so relevant . I will go back and tackle it. Thanks for an enjoyable night!

      1 · August 7, 2013

  • laura r.

    I enjoyed last night, especially the quiz at the beginning.thanks Chris for a great night. As we discussed, shall we try 6:30 for September meetup?How does that time suit others who were not there last night? until then, on to Greta...

    1 · August 7, 2013

  • Antonia

    It was good to meet new people, and discuss such an interesting book! Hope to see you all again. I carried on reading the book after getting home (and getting warm) last night, and was struck by how lame Rand's "bad" characters are. Get a bunch of them together, and they sound like whiny, petulant children -- spouting nonsense about "sharing" and "giving the little guy a chance." A writer as good as Rand ought to be able to give her villains some internal consistency, instead of fobbing them off with such ridiculous dialogue & motivation!

    1 · August 7, 2013

  • Shelley

    ....and NOW I'm done!

    3 · August 7, 2013

  • Caroline

    Great time. Very well thought out by Chris

    1 · August 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I did not care for the book (polite understatement), but the get-together and discussion was enjoyable, as always.

    1 · August 6, 2013

  • Ann

    Yet again am missing a get together. Hope u don't throw me out!!. Away for weekend and just coming back. Won't get into town in time.

    August 6, 2013

  • laura r.

    OMG I am John Galt according to that quiz!!
    On to more serious subjects, does anyone have a copy of Greta wells they can loan me? i had if from the library, but couldnt renew it because there are too many holds .....

    August 3, 2013

    • Caroline

      Laura that will be fine and yes I will bring it with me Tuesday.

      August 4, 2013

    • laura r.

      thanks Caroline I appreciate it! see you tomorrow

      August 5, 2013

  • Antonia

    Awesome book, would love to join the club and talk about it! I know it's short notice, but look forward to meeting people.

    August 5, 2013

  • Daniel M.

    I'll try and make it. I do so enjoy shooting down new incarnations of the Protestant ethic...That the poor are poor deservedly so, and that the "cream" rises to the top, seem to be the basic assumptions underlying Rand's work.

    1 · August 4, 2013

    • Chris R.

      But I will respectfully ask the question next week of anyone who is a staunch anti-Randian and feel she is a sociopath… have any of them ever walked the streets and asked a homeless person into their home to help them “get on their feet? Or as I said earlier, have any of them ever cancelled their vacation and sent the money to the local shelter? Or at what dollar value per year do you suddenly become obliged to help that man in the street? This is the corner I find myself painted in when I read her book. Just because Bill Gates makes 4 Billion a year, to take extra money from him simply because he “won’t be hurt by it” might be true and applicable logic. But then call it what it is… theft.

      August 4, 2013

    • Chris R.

      I can see I’m going to be the “Devil’s advocate” a lot on Tuesday. Looking forward to meeting you.

      I think we're OK to call it a philosophy as 2 of the dictionary definitions for "Philosophy" are:

      1) A set of ideas or beliefs relating to a particular field or activity; an underlying theory: an original philosophy of advertising.
      2) A system of values by which one lives: has an unusual philosophy of life.

      You’re correct in that she was not the first to extol some of these beliefs. She was heavily influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche. But it doesn’t make her work any less accurate (or inaccurate) or her ideas any less applicable. She is more published that Nietzsche and for the majority of people Ayn Rand is their first exposure to this ideology. As to the rest of your points, I hope to discuss on Tuesday that not all rich people are successful “John Galts”, just as not all general laborers, ditch diggers or poor people are not all lazy layabouts,

      1 · August 5, 2013

  • Daniel M.

    Ayn Rand is a stalwart fave of the Republicans. They use her "ideas" as justification for policies that essentially take away food stamps for the poor, to subsidize tax breaks for the wealthy. See Paul Ryan's economic proposals in the States...

    August 4, 2013

  • Caroline

    There is a What Atlas Shrugged Character are you quizz... if intersted here is the link
    http://www.selectsmart.com/FREE...­

    2 · August 3, 2013

  • Fanny M.

    I would have loved to come and am very interested in the book, unfortunately I will not be back from a camping trip. I'll be at the next one!

    1 · August 3, 2013

  • Chris R.

    PRIZES AVAILABLE for the Atlas Shrugged Meetup!!!

    Just wanted to let everyone know to bone up on your knowledge of the book, some of its characters, and even maybe some info on Ayn Rand herself as there will be a short edition of a "Jeopardy/Trivia" kind of game related to the book before the next meeting.

    So come prepared. ;-)

    Good weather = Museum of Science and Tech. bad weather = Cock and Bull. Check this website for confirmation if the weather looks "iffy".

    2 · August 1, 2013

    • Kate S.

      I LOVE THIS!!!

      1 · August 1, 2013

    • laura r.

      sounds interesting chris, still reading.....

      1 · August 1, 2013

  • Caroline

    I think "alms" is the new Moose!

    1 · July 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I think it's "superlative".­ Also, it seems as though Dagny has a closet full of thin white blouses. You'd think that a woman of her means could afford better fabric.

      1 · July 31, 2013

  • Marie

    Shelley: War and Peace AND Atlas Shrugged in the same year? I'm duly impressed!

    1 · July 20, 2013

    • Kate S.

      Yeah, what's with the heavy lifting!? We need to throw in a good beach read/ Oprah book from time to time too!

      1 · July 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Is War and Peace on our reading list?

      July 31, 2013

  • Marie

    Is everyone enjoying this book except me? I'm about 1/3 in and it's becoming an insufferable slog. I get it already. I understand what she is saying and I don't know if I can handle another 700 pages of her absurd cartoon characters bludgeoning me to death with her philosophy. I don't disagree with all her points by any means but I hate the way she is presenting it. Life is short. Canadian summers are extremely short. There are SO MANY much more fun things I could do with 60 hours of my life this summer. I really enjoy this fantastic group but I think I'm done with this book. I'm going to take Chris' suggestion. I found a website that has the entire text of John Gault's speech. I'm going to read that and call it good. See you all on August 3.

    1 · July 18, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm with you, Marie. I am having a difficult time plowing through the novel, and am wistfully looking at all my other books on my "summer to-read list" piling up. I'm interested to hear what everyone is enjoying about this book. I have faith that our discussion will not sound like the conversations heard at one of Lillian Rearden's insufferable soirees.

      July 31, 2013

  • Ann

    Are we inside or outside for this? And do we need to bring a chair? See everyone Tue!

    1 · July 31, 2013

  • Chris R.

    Just finished!!!! Life got in the way a little bit this month but I just finished the last page of Atlas Shrugged. Loved it even more the second time around. Can't wait to discuss it next week.

    2 · July 29, 2013

    • laura r.

      I still have 200 pages to go, loving it! Talking to my local librarian, did you know there are 2 DVDs out, the third and final part of the story to come out in 2014, a movie of Atlas Shrugged in 3 parts. She had just watched the first , and is on hold for the second part/DVD. I hope to see you all on Wed night for the play at Stathcona, lets hope there is no rain!

      1 · July 29, 2013

    • Caroline

      Thanks Laura. I would be interested to see that. Is there continuity between all the parts? Cast etc?

      July 30, 2013

  • Jessica

    Thoroughly enjoying this book right now! Having a very hard time putting it down! Question to pose: Not "Who is John Gault" but "What is John Gault?"

    July 24, 2013

    • Kate S.

      We can definitely add those other "W's" and the single "H" too.

      July 24, 2013

    • Caroline

      I'm hooked too... I have it in audio form and it's like listening to an old fashioned film.\

      July 24, 2013

  • Kate S.

    Wow, I was just looking at our upcoming books and we'll soon meet our one-year anniversary!

    1 · July 23, 2013

  • Kate S.

    I DID IT!!!

    Okay, now onto bigger and better things.
    Scratch that.
    *Shorter* and better things.

    1 · July 23, 2013

    • Chris R.

      Ok. I have listened. I am bumping next months book choice and replacing it with a 42 page comic book "Hulk vs Iron Man".

      2 · July 23, 2013

    • Caroline

      What no Thor :( I am half way now... looking like I am going to make the station on time, just.

      2 · July 23, 2013

  • Caroline

    Did anyone else have a Titanic moment with the Ruby????

    July 20, 2013

    • Caroline

      In Titanic Rose wears only the Heart of the Ocean.... in A S there is the Ruby necklace. I seem to go off on a tangent. Another one was at a party where Mrs Reardon was talking to Dagny and Dagny reminded me of Spock with her short logical replies. really not knowing how to interact with human females.

      1 · July 20, 2013

    • Shelley

      I did get the reference, but can't say I felt it. This is why book club is so great - so many different ways to see the same material :)

      1 · July 20, 2013

  • Shelley

    Officially cracked the half way mark! Very pleased I've made it this far and have kept on schedule ;) Marie, I can completely appreciate your comment about the author "bludgeoning (you) to death with her philosophy" but at the same time I'm really enjoying the part of the story that is purely character driven. I attempted my first Tolstoy earlier this year (War & Peace) and keep having the same feeling about this book that I did about that one - Author, spare us the philosophical pontification and just stick to the story! It's great all on it's own. I get that it's important that we understand the world in which these characters exist, but at this point I get it!! Just tell me the *story*!

    2 · July 20, 2013

    • Shelley

      Eww, this is just like facebook used to be - no edit, annoying.

      1 · July 20, 2013

  • laura r.

    So I am not even at page 300, but I am hooked! when I watched the news regarding Detroit's bankruptcy last night, it was spookily like the abandoned factory tour Hank and Dagny just went on....when did she write this book? Not sure I can finish it in time but really trying now.....thanks to Chris for suggesting this one.

    1 · July 19, 2013

    • Caroline

      I don't know how far in I am except the book is divided into 8 and I am at the beginning of part 3. Think I did 50 Shades :) There is so much food for thought. I hope to finish too.

      July 19, 2013

  • Shelley

    Finally picked up my copy from the library last night and cracked this sucker. I think Chris hates us - that's some *small* print.

    1 · July 9, 2013

    • Caroline

      :)..... yes I did wonder about Chris motives. Sure shakes it up a bit though.

      1 · July 9, 2013

    • laura r.

      he's like that inspirational teacher who is stretching our minds......

      2 · July 19, 2013

  • Fanny M.

    I am new to this group but looking forward to reading this book, I've been planning to read this for a while now!

    July 18, 2013

    • Chris R.

      Welcome Fanny!

      July 18, 2013

    • Kate S.

      You'd better start right away! This is only doozy of a novel- my edition is almost 1100 pages! I'm really enjoying it though. I recommend making a quick plan of attack in terms of how many chapters you need to read each day.

      1 · July 18, 2013

  • Chris R.

    CHAPTERS TO READ IN LIEU OF ENTIRE BOOK

    IF for whatever reason the size or topic of the book is a barrier to reading it in its entirety, there is a chapter called "The Aristocracy of Pull" where Fransicso D'Anconia is speaking to Hank reardon about the value of Money. In my edition it is about the last 10 pages of this chapter.

    The other speech to read is the chapter called: "The Is John Galt Speaking". It's a 50-60 page radio speech given by John Galt and it is the crux of the book and the main points about Ayn Rand's philosophy that I would love to discuss/refute/adopt.

    Even if you disagree with Rand's philosophy, I would still love to have you at the next discussion! I am trying to decide if and where her philosophy fits, where she is right or wrong etc. Chris

    July 11, 2013

  • Kate S.

    I am really enjoying the novel so far. I love allegory and intertextuality- and the novel is riddled with both. I also enjoy sagas and Chronicles and the like, and so this is really right up my alley.

    1 · July 9, 2013

  • laura r.

    Ok , so now I want to start reading! I really like the new location too btw!

    2 · July 7, 2013

    • Caroline

      Me too, I never read 50 Shades so this will suffice :0)

      1 · July 7, 2013

  • Chris R.

    In 1959 (2 years after "Atlas Shrugged") Ayn Rand did a famous (Infamous?) interview with Mike Wallace. Interesting to hear her own words and answers.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...­

    Also many years later she interviewed with Phil Donahue. This is only clip 1 of 5 but you can follow the links if you like the show.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...­

    Chris

    July 7, 2013

  • Chris R.

    I just hit the 300 page mark and would like to warn new readers that they are about to hit a portion of the book, a small one, where it gets very "50 shades of grey" for a while. Ayn Rand, though very forward thinking and opinionated, also felt that women, ultimately, should be submissive to men. She creates a character like Dagny Taggart and then also made public statements that the USA would never be respected on the world stage if they elected a female President. She definately had a kinky side as her first book "The Fountainhead" also had a controversial pseudo-rape scene with a main female character. She also had a many-year love triangle relationship with one of her most dedicated students and her husband.

    So... be warned!!

    1 · July 6, 2013

  • Caroline

    Sounds great Chris

    July 5, 2013

  • Chris R.

    I just changed the location to the Museum of Science and technology. We can't do an inside event (Minimum cost is $800 for an inside function!!) but they said we could set up chairs outside near the large locomotive they have on their front grounds! So this will be an outside event if the weather is good. And the Cock and Bull will be backup if the weather is bad. As with last time, please bring chairs/blankets or extra chairs if you have them.

    2 · July 5, 2013

  • Chris R.

    Yes! Thanks Michael. Just moved it to the Tuesday.

    June 30, 2013

  • Caroline

    For those who like audio this is available. 63 hours of it :)

    June 30, 2013

  • Michael B.

    Chris, will this actually be on the Tuesday as the Monday is a holiday?

    May 9, 2013

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