Novel: Atlas Shrugged
Author: Ayn Rand
First published in: 1957
This story is essentially about the ideal virtues and ethics that must be upheld to keep the motor of world running.
Story revolves around a business woman, Dagny who is leading the family business of railroads. She is a smart, hardworking woman who is passionate about her work and is an exception not just because she is woman in the male dominated world of industries but also because she is one of the few ethical people out there. Though towards the later part of book, you will see the protagonist is actually the person who was determined to ‘stop the motor which runs the world’.
In the corrupt world of high handed politicians and some unethical industry people, the few people like Dagny who are true to their work and principles start getting out of the limelight gradually and in sometime are nowhere to be found. The finest of all fields are missing, leaving the whole country confused. Remaining people are not able to keep up and economy starts to collapse.
Later it is known that everybody has moved to an isolated spot and have setup a town on their own where everybody is skilled in respective fields to make it is self-sustainable town.
I think the above outline is the maximum I can tell about story without giving too much away. Among all the books I have read, this one has been the most intriguing. Reading this book, you will wish to be best in what you do. It will give you the motivation to be determined to achieve the goals you set for yourself. This book definitely left a lasting impression on me. It conveys the real meaning of Utopia.
Apart from the main premise it has some drama and romance which also keeps the reader hooked as the romantic angle develops into a love triangle and much more. So, it combines mystery, romance and philosophy.
The book is more than 1000 pages and that too in the finest print possible but apart from few stretched monologues it is not at all boring.
I have this on my must-read list. Ayn Rand is a great author. I have read Ayn’s ‘Fountainhead’ as well which is a widely acclaimed novel but ‘Atlas Shrugged’ rates higher in my list. This is the type of book which I feel must be part of curriculum of high schools.