Beyond the Spine: Atlas Shrugged

   I had actually planed to write this post a month ago but 645,000 words took a little longer to read than expected.  This is my first book review for this blog, and I hope to do more.  Of course reading takes time, but I should find more time for it because reading is important to developing as a writer.  As you read you are observing another writer as a reader.  You see how their words move you, entertain you, or bore you.  Taking note of their techniques you can develop your own writing skill.  Anyways, on with Atlas Shrugged.  Note that there won't be any spoilers.
   I am so happy I read this book.  Thought it was very long, it was worth it.  If I had to denounce anything it would be that Ms.Rand does preach quite a bit about her philosophy, Objectivism.  It's very thought provoking, but the occasional six page long speeches given by the characters about it gets somewhat dry and you start to skip sentences or paragraphs to get on with the story.  The book isn't a heart pounding action, but my attention was held through out the whole story.  There were chapters where I couldn't put the book down.  The biggest test of how well a story is told is if you feel emotion for the characters and their situations.  I definitely had emotional moments through the book.  I sighed during the romance, I yelled at the morons, I frowned at the mysteries, I laughed at the humor, and I smiled at the success. 

Writing Observations:
+This book had a huge cast of characters.  Generally that would be a bad thing, but Ms.Rand pulled if off very nicely.  The problem with having a lot of characters is getting them confused or forgetting them.  Yet, the characters in Atlas Shrugged were very memorable.  They had unique personalities, traits, names, and professions.  Particularly in this book what made most of her characters easy to remember was their professions.  Why is that? A profession, what they do, or hobby gives a sort of symbol or title to remember a character by.  An example out of the book was one of the main characters, Dagny Taggart,  who ran the train company Taggart Transcontinental.  That's easy to remember, Dagny the Train Lady.  See how her profession becomes a part of her name and identity?  Pertaining to making unique characters, there was another thing I realized having to do with names.  The main characters had distinguishable first and last names.  I never focused on this before.  I just figured that long names were bad, but not anymore.  By giving a character a last name it makes them more unique.  John? John who?  Why John Galt the mysterious of course.

My simplified rating: 4.9 out of 5

Have you ever read Atlas Shrugged? If so, how did you like it?

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