I have been reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand for over a year now. I know, that’s kind of embarrassing, but it’s a long book, and it’s not exactly bedtime reading. I’ve been busy. BACK OFF. Mostly this post is to let the world know that I am finally finished. If Google directed you here because you need to know what happens because of a paper you’re BSing for class, you are going to be disappointed. You should probably pony up for the CliffsNotes or at least take advantage of Sparknotes. Look, I even provided links for you. I’m a giver.
I will say that I enjoyed this book, even though it did take me forever to finish. Yes, I think that she could have cut 200 or so pages. Yes, I saw the end coming a mile away. No surprises there. Yes, she names her characters so that she doesn’t have to dress them in black and white Stetson hats so that you immediately know who the good guy is and who the bad guy is. I don’t think that cowboy hats were fashionable in New York’s high society in the twenties, but she’s managed to work around this obstacle. (Roark=good. Toohey=bad.) Yes, Ayn’s very rigid in her ideals, and I know that some people don’t like that about her, or they don’t agree with her opinions and therefore aren’t interested in her writing, and that’s fine; for me, the idealism is what makes the book interesting. This isn’t exactly a novel you read for plot (see above re: heavily foreshadowed and unsurprising resolution). You read it because it provides insight into a specific worldview. I find that appealing. It’s the same reason that I enjoyed The World is Flat, I think – it’s a way of looking at things that I haven’t necessarily considered before, and I like to think that it helps me be a more well-rounded person. If not, I’ve just wasted 15 months of my life learning about individualism to the extreme, so don’t tell me. I’m happy here in my delusion.
Now I need a new classic to read in my continuing quest to be a well-read person. Suggestions? Be aware that I have read the entire Austen canon already, so you can mark those off of your recommendation list.