The Fountainhead has become an enduring piece of literature, more popular now than when published in 1943. On the surface, it is a story of one man, Howard Roark, and his struggles as an architect in the face of a successful rival, Peter Keating, and a newspaper columnist, Ellsworth Toohey. But the book addresses a number of universal themes: the strength of the individual, the tug between good and evil, the threat of fascism. The confrontation of those themes, along with the amazing stroke of Rand's writing, combine to give this book its enduring influence.
* * * *. Literature. A student of architecture is expelled from school for clinging to his beliefs regarding innovative architecture. He then begins amassing his own clientele who are aligned with his beliefs, while others are determined to ruin his career and livelihood. It's the independent thinker versus the comformist. There are no guns used here, but it is a war as idealists on one extreme hold their beliefs against those on the other end.
I just wanted to soak up every aspect of this book. I could not consume it quickly enough. Rand is a genius, and she can express ideas like nobody else can. I underlined passages throughout the whole book, and I kept finding myself exclaiming, "Yes! That's exactly how I feel!" Her wording and use of language is beautiful and profound.
Not only did I fall in love with her writing style, I absolutely fell in love with the characters. In no other book have I ever felt so drawn to and fascinated by the characters. I just want to marry Howard Roark. He is my favorite literary character of all time. And Dominique Francon. Good for her!
I come across very few books that I feel are worth the time to reread, but this will one day be the novel I've read more than any other.
I feel like I can't find the words to describe my love for this book, so, I'll just end by saying that as someone who has a degree in literature and has read countless books, I can easily say The Fountainhead is my favorite.
The worst novel in the English language by the worst writer who ever tried to write a novel. Trivial detail upon trivial detail; predictable story; interruptive expostulations of poorly-thought-out "philosophizing"; characters who finally become quite boring in the length of 700 pages. Praised mostly by corporate capitalist centrists for its selfish, arrogant, insulting philosophy of "look-out-for-yourself-and-screw-the-rest" -- the only reason to read it is to be reassured in the reason to resist.
This book was highly recommended to me by my brother. I have to admit I did not love this one. It tells the story of two architects, the woman they both are interested in, and a newspaper writer. The book has an interesting plot line, and the characters are unique. It's an interesting read.
Rand's writing is thought-provoking, and for the first part of the book, I was compelled to read further. But I did grow weary of Roark and several other of the characters by the time I finished the book.
It has many similarities with Rand's other book (Atlas Shrugged) which I have also read and liked better. I even had to check the journal entries to make sure the character names were not the same. This time Howard Roark is an architect which is kicked out of school and fired from jobs. Dominique loves him ... yet marries 2 other men instead.
It seems it is possible to enjoy someone's work if you wouldn't enjoy his/her company. I love the philosophy Rand presents here. Inspiring, bold, brilliant. The characters are memorable; Rand brings philosophy to life and makes it accessible. Plus, it's a great story with one of the world's best, most visual endings. Gives me chills every time I read it (and yes, despite its bulk, I read it about once a year). Worth it.
Twenty-nine years ago, THE FOUNTAINHEAD createda public furor and a world-wide interest in its brilliant author. It is the story of a gifted young architect, his violent battle against conventional standards, and his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who struggled to defeat him. Ayn Rand's daringly original philosophy, Objectivism, first presented in THE FOUNTAINHEAD, has won her an enthusiastic following and international acclaim as one of the most towering figures on the contemporary intellectiual scene. "A writer of great power. She has a subtle and ingenious mind and the capacity of writing brilliantly, beautifully, bitterly...This is the only novel of ideas written by an AMerican woman that I can recall." NY Times
Absolute garbage. Mrs. Rand's writing is contrived and at times corny. If you're passed the age of 25 and still like this trash, you should really take a good look at yourself and reevaluate what's important in life.