I remember the time when i had first heard about Ayn rand,It was my friend who was reading Atlas shrugged( Do not remember exactly) and he had said that it is difficult to comprehend the Philosophy in her books. I thought it would be interesting to read a mix of Fiction and philosophy.
Few weeks ago i came across the book Fountainhead in my friend's place and borrowed from him.
I check out the number of pages of book before starting any book,when i checked this one it was 680!! I knew it would take long time to finish considering my phenomenal speed in reading!!
First few pages done,I did not know what was happening! I got confused but then i tried to comprehend and then started understanding the difficult style of writing of Rand. Difficult because it is different from the contemporary writers we read nowadays. I had heard from different sources that Fountainhead is about some kind of philosophy called "Objectivism"
In the middle of the book i was in inspired by some characters and the kind of philosophy which was being explained was Timeless! The book was published in 1943 and its been 67 years since and the philosophy seems so relevant to present! The book was so ahead of it times.
It is difficult to comprehend everything at one read,it surely requires careful re reads so as to grasp each and every concept which is so beautifully explained. The book comes alive because of its amazing characters. So i shall try to give a short description of each character.
1] Peter Keating: Very similar to every common individual you see in daily life. Has great interest in painting but his mother forces him to utilize the talent in Architecture.He attends the best institute for architecture and is the best student there but he doesn't have any originality. Because the college itself doesn't encourage originality. Goes to the best Firm for work,makes his way to top by some clever plans which also involves causing a death of a person! He becomes famous but it is short lived. He loves a Girl Catherine but they never marry.
2] Dominique Francon: Very difficult to comprehend her nature. She does not believe in the World'y concepts. She writes a column for a Newspaper "Banner" on Architecture and makes no effort to appreciate her father's work. She criticizes most of the work until she meets Roark and falls in love but their love is the most weird i have ever seen. But the understanding and passion is amazing.
3] Ellsworth toohey: A man who preaches Altruism. He is the representative of good in the society. Encourages Unions to fight for their rights. An architecture critique who's views are very important. A man to whom everyone looks up to. In the starting i was so inspired by this character but then he was too good to believe. He actually is actually after power and wants to rule the world! His explaination of how he goes about this work is very interesting and made me think a lot. How he encourages self sacrifice,selling of your soul. Amazing insight into some real concepts of Altruism.
4] Gail Wynand: Rags to riches story. Started his life as a Hooligan but later becomes a billionaire by building Wnand enterprises which has newspapers,tabloids,newsreels etc Even he is after power and iys termed as a Capitalist who runs the most vulgar Newspaper "Banner". He is inspired by Howard roark and they both become friends. He at the end goes all out to support Roark but ultimately loses out to the pressure. But he does not allow Toohey to take over his paper because he shuts the newspaper itself!!
5] Howard Roark: He is the soul of the book. His ideologies rule the book. His Egotism which is showcased in such a wonderful manner that you can't hate him. You will end up being inspired by this man. He is a brilliant Architect who believes Bulidings have their own life and is a Modernist which the world does not like. Very few individuals like his work and give him commissions. But all his commissions make huge furore in the Architecture world. Toohey keeps on ridiculing his work.Roark and Keating are classmates but not necessarily friends! Roark helps keating in designing his work and keating gets away with all accolades which Roark does not even care for. At the end roark blows up the building he designed because it not being erected as it was designed!! He faces trial in which he defends himself by giving a long speech which is thought provoking. Actually it is difficult to write about Roark!
This might be a amateur's review since i couldn't grasp the entire concept but it is one book which you cannot afford to miss!!
Just to tell you the significance of the book, read the comments on this blog by different people who have read it.