Re: Atlas shrugged

E. Shaun Russell (
Tue, 24 Jun 1997 00:36:53 -0700

Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:

>> I started reading "Atlas Shrugged" a few weeks ago, and just couldn't
>> bring myself to finish it. It is so badly written that I am not going
>> to waste any more time on.
>> The concepts that Rand tries so heroically to convey in her novel should
>> have been left to her mentor, Nietzsche.
>Or a real writer like Heinlein. "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" gets the
>ideas across, and is a real page-turner.

I frequently hear complaints about Rand's apparent "inability" as a
novelist and I can never understand quite why. I can honestly say that I
find "Atlas Shrugged" to be the best book that I have ever read (though "The
Illuminatus! Trilogy," "Stranger in a Strange Land" and "Neverness" are
quite close as well). What exactly is it that people dislike about her
writing style? To me, the obvious passion she puts into the plot and
character details is beautiful and very genuine --alright, I'll agree that
there is a definate dichotomy between the "good guys" and the "bad guys,"
but I think that that is only indicative of the strength of her philosophy.
"TMIAHM" *is* a great book as well, but it is certainly focused a lot
differently than "Atlas Shrugged."

A suggestion for anyone who is either repulsed or intimidated by
"Atlas Shrugged" is to read "Anthem." As well as being told beautifully
(IMO of course) it is a tenth of the size of "Atlas Shrugged." Probably
some of the nicest words ever written (again, IMO) are in the book.

"I do not surrender my treasures, nor do I share them. The fortune
of my spirit is not to be blown into coins of brass and flung to
the winds as alms for the pure of spirit. I guard my treasures: my
thought, my will, my freedom. And the greatest of these is
freedom." (p. 95-96)

I don't know about others, but such words to me are the epitomy of
beauty: the greatness of man's potential summed up in one hundred pages.
It's worth a read.

E. Shaun Russell Poet, Musician, Atheist, Extropic Artist.
=========================> Transhumanities editor for Homo Excelsior:
Kineticize your potential.