Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand -- A Recommendation by Melanie

Ayn Rand's story of Howard Roark, a brilliant architect who dares to stand alone against the hostility of second-hand souls. First published in 1943, this best-selling novel is a passionate defense of individualism and presents an exalted view of man's creative potential; it is a book about ambition, power, gold and love.


  1. It's hard to describe just how much I love this book. The main character, Howard Roark, was created to be Ayn Rand's idea of the perfect man, and perfect he is. He is an architect who lets the land and building materials speak for themselves; he is so passionate about his work that he would rather destroy it than see it tainted by those who can not appreciate it for what it is. For Roark, the greatest insult is to be given a hand-out and to be robed of the chance to earn that thing for himself. He also provides mental eye candy (He is a strong, muscular, red-head who works shirtless at the rock quarry). Anyway...this is a book about human potential, capitalism, passion for life and beauty, and self-reliance.

    It is impossible not to love Roark for his passion, his refusal to let anyone or anything get him down, and for always standing up for what he believes in. The book also follows the life of the antithetical Peter Keating who, like Roark, is an architect but lacks the passion and drive that make Roark so noble. Instead Keating is content to let others do his work for him and take all the credit. The third notable character is Dominique Francon. She is the heroin of the story and is as beautiful as she is intelligent and noble. I couldn't put the book down the first time I read it and found myself equally intrigued the second time.

    Ayn Rand is also the author of "Atlas Shrugged" which is another great idealist book, but I only recommend reading that one if you loved "Fountainhead" and are up for a challenge.

  2. This book answered questions I couldn't put into words.

    It is one of my all-time favorites. It's an honest portrayal of how we (humans) behave. How some of our behaviors are so … so … wrong. To completely understand you have to read this book. It is amazing.

    It is a fatty (is that a fat-book joke?) so; make sure you have a bunch of chocolate and time!

    And ditto to everything Melanie said!


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