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The Fountainhead

The Fountainhead [Kindle Edition]

Ayn Rand
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

When The Fountainhead was first published, Ayn Rand's daringly original literary vision and her groundbreaking philosophy, Objectivism, won immediate worldwide interest and acclaim. This instant classic is the story of an intransigent young architect, his violent battle against conventional standards, and his explosive love affair with a beautiful woman who struggles to defeat him. This edition contains a special Afterword by Rand's literary executor, Leonard Peikoff which includes excerpts from Ayn Rand's own notes on the making of The Fountainhead. As fresh today as it was then, here is a novel about a hero—and about those who try to destroy him.


The story of a gifted architect, his struggle against conventional standards, and his violent love affair.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1354 KB
  • Print Length: 724 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0451191153
  • Publisher: Plume; Reissue edition (26 April 2005)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
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More About the Author

Ayn Rand's first novel, We the Living, was published in 1936, followed by Anthem. With the publication of The Fountainhead in 1943, she achieved spectacular and enduring success. Rand's unique philosophy, Objectivism, has gained a worldwide audience and maintains a lasting influence on popular thought. The fundamentals of her philosophy are set forth in such books as Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, The Virtue of Selfishness, Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal, and The Romantic Manifesto. Ayn Rand died in 1982.

(Image reproduced courtesy of The Ayn Rand® Institute)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "The projection of an ideal man" 24 Feb 2013
By Nicholas J. R. Dougan TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So says Ayn Rand in the forward to this edition, words written 25 years after The Fountainhead was first published in 1943. It's hard to imagine that many people read this book today without being aware of Ms Rand's philosophy of "Objectivism" and that she is the novelist of choice for so many from the libertarian strand of right-wing political and economic thinking, as exemplified, but perhaps also over-simplified, by the Tea-Party in the USA. So it was for me, certainly, although I made a conscious decision not to read any more commentary about the book before I read it so as to be able to experience it, as far as possible, simply as a novel.

So maybe you should stop reading here and read the book first?

As a story it is well constructed, albeit a little slow paced. We have a protagonist, architect Howard Roark, a heroine and love interest, Dominique Francon, and several antagonists who seem determined either to put him down or steal his ideas and energy. He perseveres, maintains his integrity, wins through, gets the girl...and the final scene depicts him silhouetted against the New York skyline and the Atlantic. Ms Rand spent much of her early writing career in Hollywood, and cinematic influences on her scene descriptions become quite obvious once you're aware of this.

It's hard not to be aware, however, that almost all of the characters are archetypes for certain ways of thinking or behaving, and in many cases that they are probably modelled on historical personalities. As a result, they do seem somewhat extreme or unlikely characters even in the context, and I found it difficult not always to be thinking about what they represented rather than who they were as people.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking yet entertaining classic 22 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I started reading the Fountainhead because I came across the author's name and the term "Randian" a number of times during a short time. (I am from Finland, where Rand is not well known.) I was intrigued by her reputation as a die hard defender of individualism and capitalism and thought that reading her would be relevant amid all the debate over bankers' bonuses, bailouts and the future of the welfare state. I also sometimes wonder about the virtues of individualism on a personal level, which made me all the more interested in reading about Rand's characters, who symbolise individualism and its rival "ideologies." The lives and fates of the characters reveal Rand's take on the merits, implications and outcomes of the thought systems that they each embody.

The novel's hero is Howard Roark, an architect who is the archetype of individualism. Career-wise he is talented, passionate, and uncorrupted: he will not compromise his artistic vision in order to get a lucrative commission no matter how dire a financial strait he is in. He is similarly pure in all facets of life, refusing to feign friendship with anyone, or to sacrifice himself for anyone even though this often causes him much trouble and suffering. Roark's life is noble and contrasts sharply with that of his peer since college, Peter Keating, who symbolises the spinelessness that most people possess to some degree. Unlike Roark, Keating lives for everyone but himself: as an architect, he has no style of his own and craves recognition rather than self-expression. Even in his love life, the most personal thing of all, he lets the opinions of others dictate his actions.
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115 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you read one book, make it this one. 2 Dec 2002
This book was recommended to me by a friend who described it as a life-altering work and the best book he had ever read. I greeted this with the cynicism that such emotive comments often deserve. Nevertheless, I bought the book and have bought it for many more friends since. No book (or other art form, for that matter) has influenced me, encouraged me, excited me and criticised me as much as Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead".
I find it impossible to describe precisely what I took away from the book other than an overwhelming desire to meet the protagonist, Howard Roark. I compared myself (somewhat unfavourably) to his inspirational character; a man of complete integrity (in the sense of being whole and unimpaired) and, above all, a man who remains incorruptibly faithful to himself (odd though that sounds - read the book!). I fell short in almost every respect because he is, of course, a work of fiction living in a stylised world. However, I have since found that in some small measure we can attempt to lead our lives in a manner which more closely resembles Roark's philosophy (or, rather, his way of being). I agree with another reviewer that this is not The Answer, but I believe it is some small part, without which the remainder may be unobtainable.
This book will not be universally liked. It polarises opinion because its message is not to everyone's taste. Nor is it the most beautifully crafted prose (it was the author's second language, after all). And, Ayn Rand sometimes verges on being self-consciously clever. However, if the measure of a book is how often you refer back to it, how heavily you rely on its message and how vociferously you recommend it to others, it is clearly the best book I have ever read (and the only book I have felt obliged to review online).
Just my thoughts - I hope you enjoy it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book
Long book, but really entertaining. Im not much of a reader so I was surprised that it kept my attention for so long
Published 33 minutes ago by Niall K.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Oh my god, can't put the book down.
Published 7 days ago by Sona Salami
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Megan Watts
3.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite books ever
One of my favorite books ever. I bought this one because my old one was worn out. The quality of the bookbinding is very poor though. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lone Norgaard
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't stop reading it
I must say, I can't stop reading this book since I have got it - free delivery and it was very fast, btw.
It's made me want to fall in love! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ms. C.C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrible print
The print on this edition is so small one needs a magnifying glass to read it. a very disappointing outcome to the purchase.
Published 4 months ago by Hurtle
4.0 out of 5 stars A must-read.
Love it or loathe it, Fountainhead is one of those rare books that inspires incredible amount of discussion; I don't think I've read any other book that has sparked quite as many... Read more
Published 5 months ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great works
There are books and there are great books. This is a book of power, a depression era tale of rival architects that becomes a Nietzschean retelling of the Jesus myth. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr. F. I. Dudaniec
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply one of the best books ever!!!
I read this book years ago and would love to read it again, one of best ever written, superb and meaningful.
Published 6 months ago by R
5.0 out of 5 stars Unputdownable.
The quality of the writing was outstanding and the characters were vividly drawn. I hated the villains and admired the hero. They were real people. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Joseph McGourty
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