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The Fountainhead Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1996
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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).
[SPOILERS FOLLOW BELOW
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This might be my favorite book of all time. "No speech is ever considered, but only the speaker. It's so much easier to pass judgement on a man than on an idea. Read morePublished 9 hours ago by Careful_Icarus
a truly thought provoking personal,social, and intellectual construct that well illustrates an important dilemma of both the times of writing the book and still with us today,... Read morePublished 7 days ago by RICHARD COBBOLD
The characters and themes in the book are thoroughly developed, complex and relatable. The book pushes you to think about and question your own ideals, as you inevitably start to... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Jason Brown
Enjoyable, worth reading more than once if you enjoyed it the first time.Published 9 days ago by Robert Fulton