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The Fountainhead

By: Ayn Rand
Narrated by: Christopher Hurt
Length: 32 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (139 ratings)
Non-member price: $46.09
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Publisher's Summary

One of the 20th century's most challenging novels of ideas, The Fountainhead champions the cause of individualism through the story of a gifted young architect who defies the tyranny of conventional public opinion. The struggle for personal integrity in a world that values conformity above creativity is powerfully illustrated through three characters: Howard Roarke, the genius who is resented because he creates purely for the delight of his own work and on no other terms; Gail Wynand, the newspaper mogul and self-made millionaire whose power was bought by sacrificing his ideals to the lowest common denominator of public taste; and Dominique Francon, the devastating beauty whose desperate search for meaning has been twisted, through despair, into a quest to destroy the single object of her desire: Howard Roarke. Dramatic, poetic, and demanding, The Fountainhead remains one of the towering books on the contemporary intellectual scene.
©1943 The Bobbs-Merrill Company; 1968 Ayn Rand; 1993 Leonard Peikoff (P)1994 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Ayn Rand is a writer of great power. She has a subtle and ingenious mind and the capacity of writing brilliantly, beautifully, bitterly." ( New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Performance makes perfect

So well read! One of the best audiobook experiences I've had. Prompted me to look at other books performed by Christopher Hurt just because of his style

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyed the book and the underlying message

I enjoyed how thorough the characters were and how they represented several of the most common egos. Rorke inspired me a lot to live my life for myself. I found myself shocked how relevant this book from like 80 years ago is still so spot on to today’s world. I strongly recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I wish more people.woukd read and understand

Loved it..good story along with a message well told. I hear the terms Fat Cats all over the world today. tax the rich, increase pay, give us more! Read this book and stop needing...start abilitying...

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  • KB
  • 13-02-2018

Great book!

I loved everything about this book including the themes, the characters and the story. I highly recommend it.

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A timeless book of our time, a great read.

The nature of Man revealed with clarity through lifelike and attractive characters. The Fountainhead has been beautifully written. Passion; envy; elation; despair; charity; greed; folded into a story with originality and style. A book I will keep and recommend.

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  • Chris
  • Austrailia
  • 24-12-2017

Changed My Life

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. I will recommend it to some of them, although many are not ready for the truth, which is hardly surprising if you read the book.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I like Katie, because she is probably one of those characters many of us can relate to.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The scene where Katie confesses to her uncle about her negative emotions when people did not want her assistance when they learned to help themselves.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

unapologetically great

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More important now than ever

Beautifully written prose, coupled with deep insight. The ideas found within will no doubt challenge; but nothing important comes easy.

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Riveting

This book expressed everything I felt but could not find the words for them .

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  • Dr.
  • 14-11-2016

Ayn Rand is such an important author

Ayn Rand is such an important author- if you have not read her books you are not really educated - this is a brilliant version

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Ayn Bland.

hated the novel. the reading was fine but the text is a load of twoddle

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Zachary
  • 04-06-2010

The Fountainhead

This was my first brush against anything Ayn Rand ever did, and it was fantastic. Much of the enjoyment came not only from the elements of the story itself, but from the narrator; he is no Christopher Lee, but the particular voicing of so many various characters was brilliant. Whether it was the slyly pompous Ellsworth Toohey, the ever-stoic Howard Roark, the sad Dominique, or the brash Gail Wynand, hearing their dialogue spoken with such talent was the extra treat to the what they represented within the story itself. If you're looking for a story that transcends mere political philosophy with a philosophy of humanity, one that makes one think and enjoy at the same time, then I highly recommend this particular audio book.

70 of 72 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Christopher Collett
  • 23-05-2009

One of the Best

One of the best narration's, if not the best that I've heard. Apparently, Christopher Hurt is very familiar with the book and captures the tone and attitude of the characters perfectly.
On top of that, Ayn Rand presents her philosophy incredibly effectively in the story. This makes for much better comprehension when you have the characters to exemplify the spectrum of attitudes towards life that exist around us. I personally saw pieces of myself in most of the characters and it has helped me recognize when I am thinking independently and truthfully, and conversely, when collective thought dominates my mind. A very good read for those trying to approach life in a pro-active, self-motivated, and independently chosen way.

50 of 53 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Eric Pietz
  • 25-07-2009

Powerful

The prose, philosophy and character development are simply brilliant. Its amazing to think that she was able to fuse these three things together to create such a timeless work at a relatively young age...mid-thirties. Its equally amazing to think this book was rejected by 12 publishers before one accepted it.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • virginia
  • 14-06-2008

Go for the unabridged

My 19 year old son is a great Ayn Rand fan and has read all her books, and I could tell he was influenced by her thinking and wanted to discuss it. I was never going to get the time to read the books. So I tested the waters with Anthem- a good, quick listen, and knew I wanted more. The Unabridged version of The Fountainhead seemed so daunting, but I took the chance and 32 hours later am glad I did! I echo the other reviewers in the riveting interest in the book and would encourage anyone interested in modern thought to go for the whole thing! Today I download Atlas Shrugged... Unabridged!

79 of 86 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gohar
  • 19-05-2009

Outstanding book....

This is one of the best fictional books I have ever read. Ayn Rand talks about individualism in a beautiful crafted fictional story. The main characters are so different from each other that Rand has dedicated every part of the book to their origin, beliefs and personality. You get to understand where every one of them comes from and their reasons for their decisions. Howard Roark is an emblem for creative minds and an individual who would stand for his own beliefs. Rand uses architecture as a profession to describe her objectivist theory but you'd see in every and specially your own profession so many times in the book. Great listen. And I would definitely recommend this book more than Atlas Shrugged, reasons for which I have already reviewed in that audiobook's section.

27 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Richard
  • 23-08-2015

A foundation book

There are books that should be read simply because they're important. Having read Atlas Shrugged, I had high expectations for Fountainhead. This exceeded them by leaps and bounds. Brilliant wordsmithing, exceptional characters, gripping story development are all brought together with great narration.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • 16-09-2018

Every American should read or listen to this book

I read this book in High School and it helped shaped my perspective on how to live a valuable life. I just listened to it again, 35 years later, and it reaffirmed that perspective. This is a great book with an important message; a message that is uniquely American. Find your own path, open your own doors. The story is dated, but still compelling. The message is still important and the audible performance is well done.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bruce
  • 15-07-2008

it's been 30 years

It took a little while to get into this. Ms. Rand's prose is thick. Her philosophy is as important to me now as it was when I was younger and I appreciated relearning it.

The story is dated (written in the mid 1950s with the scene set in the the 1920s in 1930s).

The narrator is excellent.

I gave this book 4 stars but I think that to enjoy this you have to appreciate "objectivism" or its close cousin "libertarianism". If you don't, I don't think you will be able to l make it through the entire reading.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • David Voelker
  • 28-12-2016

Contrived story of an individualism worldview

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes with some reservations. I know Ayn's books are very well regarded and I agree with much of her worldview myself but the storyline felt incredibly contrived at points. The lavish response to the inner workings of high-powered architects, even for the time period, was simply too grandiose to be believable. I followed along in order to get through the book but I found the glorification and of architects/architecture to be a distraction.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Much of the book seemed to move in slow motion with the ending suddenly lurching forward. The 2% monologue at the end was a thesis worthy of the price of admission alone but for which the listener had to languish through the other 98%.

What does Christopher Hurt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His enunciation of character dialogue helped to more quickly understand and build a solid mental view of the characters.

Did The Fountainhead inspire you to do anything?

Question whether I should plow through a 52 hour listen of Atlas Shrugged...

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • 07-05-2009

Worth it!

Over 32 hours for one credit should be reason enough. If it isn't, then know you are listening to one of the great existentialist pieces of our time. If that isn't enough, know that you will be hearing it through a great narrator who encapsulates everything you think the characters should be. Highly recommended.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful