Mauve Cabinets and a Bottle of Red

My two passions–Food and books

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand February 22, 2010

Filed under: Book — hmills96 @ 8:31 pm

I have been dreading this review all day, probably as much as I dreaded reading this book every night. Does that tell you how much I did not enjoy The Fountainhead? I know I’m going to get a lot of objection to this opinion, but this book just was not for me. The fact that it took me almost two weeks to read this book is really saying something, as it usually takes me a week at most to finish a book, even something of this length.

At first, I felt the characters were very well-developed. I really loved a few of them. Especially Dominique. For the first half of the book, I LOVED her. She was fierce, and different. I related to her on a level that I can’t relate to most heroines. Unfortunately, after her marriage to Peter Keating, and finally Gail Wynand, that One Thing that was so spectacular in her seemed to disappear and her character basically fell apart or disappeared it was disappointing. Toohey was interesting, although I never really liked him, and that developed to pure hate by the end of the book. Peter Keating was just boring. Seriously, he was so predictable and irritating. Obviously that was purposeful but frustrating.

Howard Roark was a constant throughout the book. His character never wavered, never changed. However, he was very hard to get a grasp on. For being the hero, I felt that so little time was spent developing his character. Maybe that was the mystery in him, but he was the most interesting person in the book. I wish there was more of him, or that we could have gotten to know him a little better.

Something that really frustrated me in this book was the fact that everyone was out to destroy each other. Yet they pretended to be friends. The deep seeded wars between Dominique and Keating and Toohey and Roark were all just so complicated and juvenile. I almost felt like I was back in middle school!

Still, I could handle all of that, they could even be interesting, if the book MOVED at a pace faster than a snail. This book felt like a Quentin Tarantino movie, only without the added benefit of a movie screen. There was so much dialogue that at times it felt like NOTHING was happening. And even worse than the dragging dialogues were the eteeeeeeeernal monologues! I just wanted SOMETHING to happen, for there to be a scene or action or for someone to trip and fall on their face or for a bird to fly into a window or ANYTHING. Three pages of one person talking is enough to make even my long attention span fall apart.

Basic point–I think the characters in the book are well-developed in the beginning, but were destroyed by the forever long monologues and lack of event.

Next up:  It Happened at Midnight by Cait London


4 Responses to “The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand”

  1. cindi Says:

    The Fountainhead was not really written to be a novel about people so much as it was a vehicle to express and explain Rand’s philosophy of objectivism. (That by pursuing personal or “selfish” endeavors and staying true to those goals and one’s own ideals, a person can best contribute towards society’s betterment.) The characters are actually rather basic in nature and used mostly towards the purpose of presenting a “theme” or aspect of a philosophy as it would “play” against the central protagonist (Howard Roark) of her story. Are you going to read “Atlas Shrugged” next? (-:

  2. randifity Says:

    Rand is hard to get into, especially if you do not share an interest in Objectivism.

    I enjoyed reading her works when I was studying Philosophy in college. I particularly was fascinated by her thoughts on the self. I agree with her that people are inherently selfish and that the term selfish gets a bad wrap.

    However I agree with your sentiment that Fountainhead starts out great but then drags on and on like she’s trying to make a wordy point that no one is grasping. In the end, I’ve become disenchanted with her and the gritty and soulless industrial world she paints.

    • hwall1018 Says:

      @Randifity That’s exactly how I felt. I only had a vague understanding of what she was talking about, like when you’re hungry in church and the preacher just goes on for waaaaaaaaaaaay too long. I think her point could have been made in a much simpler manner and would have gotten across to more people.

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