The Fountainhead

The Fountainhead
Ayn Rand

While backpacking in Vietnam I took advantage of long bus rides to read Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead (1943). For some reason I was expecting a stuffy novel, painfully pretentious and philosophical. I could not have been more wrong. The book follows two protagonists, Peter Keating and Howard Roark, both budding architects throughout their dynamic careers. Keating perfectly personifies the old ways of business and architecture, phony and stale. Roark is the perfect foil of Keating, a modernist, principled and disconnected from the insincerity of those who surround him. The introduction of the novel’s only important female character, the daughter of Keating’s boss, Dominique, drags the reader deeper into the story and provides for some intense drama. I HIGHLY recommend this book. The plot moves quickly and Rand creates a context in which you’ll appreciate the drama and excitement while, eventually realizing the deeper message.

Currently Reading: Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

  1. Sean
    February 17, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I haven’t read the Fountainhead but I read Atlas Shrugged last year, which turned out to be one of the best books I’ve ever read. The Fountainhead is supposedly the “overture” to Atlas Shrugged according to Rand. It’s definitely worth it if you’re willing to tackle 1,000+ dense pages.

    • February 17, 2010 at 3:51 pm

      I’m actually reading Atlas Shrugged right now–about halfway through.. great so far. As of now, I prefer the Fountainhead. You should definitely read it so we can compare 🙂

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