- Paperback: 752 pages
- Publisher: NAL; Reprint edition (November 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0452273331
- ISBN-13: 978-0452273337
- Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.5 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,073 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Fountainhead Paperback – November 1, 1994
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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.
Ayn Rand is a writer of great power. She has a subtle and ingenious mind and the capacity of writing brilliantly, beautifully, bitterly. -- The New York Times Book Review, Lorine Pruette
Top customer reviews
Nominally the novel is about an emerging movement of modern architecture. Architects of the classic style are resisting this change. I think the story may serve as an allegory for any individual who is trying to proceed along "the path least traveled". Having spent time in a lumbering bureaucracy, it was easy for me to recognize the validity of the author's observations about individualism. At the same time there were many portions of this novel that I did not agree with philosophically, and other parts that were too obtuse and opaque for me to easily comprehend.
I do not in any way wish to do anything to spoil a perspective reader's reading experience. Without being specific I feel it is a good thing that he author is a female. There is some rather strange interaction between two characters of different genders that appeared to me to be inexcusably violent, but did not seem to be considered so within the context of the storyline. Speaking as a retired police detective specializing in violent felonies, the philosophical aspect of that episode was lost on me. Speaking as a father, there is no way I would allow an adolescent son to read his novel without serious parental discussion and guidance.
Similarly there was an apparent crime that occurred followed by a criminal trial which appeared utterly disconnected with my personal experiences or reality.
I have previously read two novels by Ayn Rand, "Anthem" and "Atlas Shrugged". Both of those novels are dystopian novels. I really wish I could have met Ayn Rand. I have a feeling she must be a very interesting person. I wish to reread Atlas Shrugged for study purposes, but not right away. I need a break from Miss Rand.
In summary, I am very glad to have read this fine novel. It required a real commitment. It is lengthy and it was not always a fun read. It did provide much fuel for thought. I took the time to read other reviews, many of which are excellent. One reviewer stated this was a novel they could read more than one time. Although I completely respect that point of view I can't say that for myself. There are novels I read more than once for the pure enjoyment of it. This is not one of them. I would need a good reason to read this novel again. Thank You...
I've read a few other books by Ayn Rand - many favor Atlas Shrugged, but for me, The Fountainhead is the best. Many of the major characters do not grow or change their views as the timeline of the book progresses. They know they should, but they don't have the courage to change. The few that do change,even slightly and to their own surprise, find what they're looking for.......
If you have a background in architecture (I do) you might enjoy the story for a variety of reasons, such as matching the characters with real life architects. But that is a game. These characters are too shallow and/or one dimensional, the world view is too self-consumed, for me to recommend this book as a great work of literature.