Srinath Ravichandran is a guy I`ll never forget in my life. We meet only twice or thrice but he influenced my thinking drastically! The reason – he introduced me to the world of Atlas Shrugged. Since then, this book has changed my entire philosophy of life! Its that powerful!
Atlas Shrugged presents through fiction, through the lives and actions of its protagonists, the philosophy of Objectivism. This philosophy is so striking that few can read it and not be affected by it. You might love it, you might hate it, but its impossible to ignore it. Some of the things that struck me as amazing –
“Only the guy who does not need it should be allowed to inherit a fortune” – Though this statement may seem cryptic to you at first glance, it has a world of meaning in it. The guy who does not need a fortune is the one industrious enough to make a fortune himself. If such a guy is given a fortune, think what`ll he do with it! As i thought more on this, i felt most of life was of this paradoxical nature – the only guy who`s worthy to be followed by others is the one who stands fast in his beliefs even when alone. The guy who deserves admiration and awards is the one who doesnt go in search of it. So much from a single statement!
There is a speech made by John Galt, one of the main characters in the book – that explains Objectivism and the meaning of it. If you have patience, do read it! You can find the entire speech here. For the lazy slobs, here`s the mini-edition ( warning : it does no credit to the actual speech ). The speech is amazing! I love it not only for the content, but also for the clear style of speech – I wish all books were written like that, I`d lap them up! He deals with some of the most abstract philosophical theories, yet explains them so clearly! It is unbelievable!
I`ve often heard complaints that the book is too boring and too dull. I partially agree with you – it is like that, until a character named Francisco comes onto the scene. I was blown away when i first read the chapters involving his childhood, and returned to it again and again. From that point on, the story never sags.
I believe you can tell much about a person`s character from their reaction on reading Atlas Shrugged. If you like it and you meet another person who does, you can straight-away tell what kind of personality traits he/ she would have. Atlas Shrugged is not for those who seek to idle away time ( though it is a hefty book ) or seek simple pleasure, but if you have an open mind and patience, read on!