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The Fountainhead [Kindle Edition]

Ayn Rand
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,509 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $9.99
Kindle Price: $6.52
You Save: $3.47 (35%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

When The Fountainhead was first published, Ayn Rand's daringly original literary vision and her groundbreaking philosophy, Objectivism, won immediate worldwide interest and acclaim. This instant classic is the story of an intransigent young architect, his violent battle against conventional standards, and his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who struggles to defeat him. This edition contains a special Afterword by Rand's literary executor, Leonard Peikoff which includes excerpts from Ayn Rand's own notes on the making of The Fountainhead. As fresh today as it was then, here is a novel about a hero—and about those who try to destroy him.

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Editorial Reviews Review

The Fountainhead has become an enduring piece of literature, more popular now than when published in 1943. On the surface, it is a story of one man, Howard Roark, and his struggles as an architect in the face of a successful rival, Peter Keating, and a newspaper columnist, Ellsworth Toohey. But the book addresses a number of universal themes: the strength of the individual, the tug between good and evil, the threat of fascism. The confrontation of those themes, along with the amazing stroke of Rand's writing, combine to give this book its enduring influence.


A writer of great power. She has a subtle and ingenious mind and the capacity of writing brilliantly, beautifully, bitterly. -- The New York Times

Product Details

  • File Size: 1354 KB
  • Print Length: 724 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0451191153
  • Publisher: Plume; Reissue edition (April 26, 2005)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,657 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
566 of 633 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant despite stilted dialogue March 9, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the fastest paced books I have ever read. Ayn Rand's characters come to life as she paints very clear pictures of who they are and what they represent. She does this in spite of the fact that the dialogue is sometimes a bit wooden and stilted. In this novel, she sets forth her philosophy of "objectivism." She exposes those, such as a character named Peter Keating, an architect, who seemingly achieve greatness by copying others but somehow give the illusion of originality and creativity. In order to achieve "greatness," Keating was literally willing to sell anything, including his wife. Thus despite wealth and apparant achievement, his life was empty. Rand begins to formulate her values that altruism is an evil because a society which seeks to achieve this must do so at someone's expense and therefore leads to collectivism. In the person of Ellsworth Toohey, a flamboyant newspaper columnist, she shows how the power hungry manipulate the masses by setting a standard of mediocrity which fosters collectivism.
This book is full of passion, including a flaming, complex romantic affair between individualist architect Howard Roarke and socialite Dominique Francon. Their relationship develops from one in which they each seek to assert power over the other while achieving sexual release to one of true love between genuine soul mates. Roarke also has a passion for his work and is uncompromising in his creativity in accomplishing his professional goals. He will not ever compromise these goals despite enormous pressures to do so. Rand believed that there is only black and white in moral issues; there is no gray. Therefore, giving in a little is not compromise but rather, selling out your values and giving in to evil.
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145 of 169 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One small voice, mine. October 4, 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Read just about any four or five star customer review and you have a fine summary of this book. It is not necessary for me to repeat what has already been said. I myself would like to talk about the individual characters which keep me rereading this book as much as the philosophy does. Roark, Keating, Toohey (shudder), Dominique, etc., all represent facets of humanity, good and evil. But characters like Keating and Wynand are more complex than the characters in Atlas Shrugged. Yes, they are Randian archetypes but they have taught me much about human nature.
Keating, had he a little more backbone, might have actually been able to make something of himself. Unlike the villains of AS, he was somewhat sympathetic. He was in love with Catherine, a woman who may not have possessed the glamor and poise of Dominique but who was right for him simply because they were happy when they were together. Fool that he was, he instead opted for what he thought he was supposed to, just as he chose architecture over his true calling, painting. His story is a lesson for all of us. To detractors of the book who call it contemptuous of people I say you don't HAVE to be this way. Don't be a Peter Keating. It is up to you.
Ellsworth Toohey is a villain for the ages, somebody you just love to hate. I won't even describe him as a man. I relish the creepy, slimy feeling I get rereading the passages about him. Every patronizing, smarmy sentence that comes out of his mouth is designed to make one cringe. The fact that he DOESN'T seek out wealth, or even happiness, makes him all the worse.
It is through him and this book that I learned what is evil: holding society and "the greater good" over the individual.
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614 of 733 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Funny how most of the reviews are either unqualified adulation from Rand worshipers or slams from Rand haters. IMO, "The Fountainhead" is neither a prophetic work of great genius nor a piece of evil tripe. It is a brilliant work, perhaps even with flashes of genius -- but as flawed as its author.
I think Rand had the potential to be a great novelist, which she largely ruined when she decided she was the world's greatest philosopher since Aristotle. Any dogma is the enemy of art. If you read Rand's three major novels -- "We the Living", "The Fountainhead", and "Atlas Shrugged" -- you can see her dogma becoming more and more rigid, and her characters less and less human. "The Fountainhead" is a novel you can still appreciate even if you don't agree with the philosophy (and I think the philosophy has some excellent points, just taken to an absurd extreme).
Unlike some reviewers here, I don't find Howard Roark to be completely inhuman. He does feel pain -- not only the pain of his own struggle but of his mentor Henry Cameron and his friend Steve Mallory, the sculptor. It's just that, as Rand says, the pain "only goes down to a certain point" because it can't touch the core of his independent soul. But consider this passage when Dominique tells Roark she has married Peter Keating: "It would have been easy, if she had seen a man distorting his mouth to bite off sound, closing his fists and twisting them in defense against himself. But it was not easy, because she did not see him doing this, yet knew that this was being done, without the relief of a physical gesture." Clearly this is a man who feels and suffers. He can feel sympathy as well: for Gail Wynand, even for Peter Keating.
At that stage, Rand herself was still capable of sympathy for less-than-perfect characters.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A must read
Published 3 hours ago by Sagar D.V
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I could write like that.
Riveting. I wish I could write like that.
Published 1 day ago by iridethejaz
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book!
Ayn Rand is a wonderful writer that reminds us that being an egoist is perhaps the only way one can achieve their full potential.
Published 3 days ago by Hillary
5.0 out of 5 stars Teriflying things rand wrote about 60 years ago
Fountain head is clasic. Almost as good as atlas shrugged. When I first started reading her stuff I never dreased it could happen in this country only in Russia. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Pamela Patrick
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ayn Rand Institute: For Advancement of Objectivism
Howard Roark, struggling architect, has to compete with meritocracy and the system. He has no intention of corrupting his principals. Read more
Published 5 days ago by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 days ago by Ronak Patel
5.0 out of 5 stars thought provoking
Ahead of her time. Love the characters. Some things I will never understand (rape scene) but all in all one of my favorite books.
Published 6 days ago by alliety45
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A challenging but worthwhile read.
Published 7 days ago by Allen Kern
5.0 out of 5 stars If more read this, we all can live among actualized people
This book opened my mind to the world where people pursue what matters to them and abandon the guilt of thinking you are supposed to live for someone else. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Christopher Hodges
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Excellent book about man and power over his fellow man.
Published 7 days ago by Brian Cox
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More About the Author

Ayn Rand's first novel, We the Living, was published in 1936. With the publication of The Fountainhead in 1943, she achieved spectacular and enduring success. Through her novels and nonfiction writings, which express her unique philosophy, Objectivism, Rand maintains a lasting influence on popular thought.

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Up from $5.95 All of a Sudden?
Probably publisher gouging that Amazon was recently forced to allow. No way would I buy this in ebook format for $18. The former $6 sounds reasonable, though.
Jul 21, 2010 by J. Rice |  See all 6 posts
Will Ayn Rand's works be available on Kindle?
They were there for a few days, and now they'll all been removed - I was refunded the money, and the items were pulled remotely from my kindle.
Jun 26, 2009 by C. Suelzle |  See all 12 posts
fountainhead or atlas shrugged?
I recommend starting with The Fountainhead. It's far more engaging a read, and the characters are fascinatingly complex. I can't say that for Atlas Shrugged.
Jan 10, 2008 by Shadfox |  See all 38 posts
I would wait until at least 17 or 18. The book is less about architecture and more about philosophy - i think it is worth reading when you've had more of life's experiences. Plus the rape part might be a bit much for a 14 yr old.
Nov 15, 2012 by Robin Lapre |  See all 3 posts
if you like The Fountainhead, you will love The Transhumanist Wager
Zoltan, I can understand the passion driving you. Believe me, I wish that we had more transhumanist firebrands and obsessives in the real world like your fictional Jethro Knights, at least effective ones who can get results. But if you keep spamming people to read your novel, that will just turn... Read More
Apr 30, 2013 by M. A. Plus |  See all 3 posts
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