Book nook: ‘The Fountainhead’

Book+nook%3A+%27The+Fountainhead%27

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

Fiction

4/5 Devils

The look of dread my mother gave me when I entered the car with this small-font, 727 page book was quite amusing. She didn’t think I’d actually finish this book. Nevertheless, after over a month of fitting in reading time whenever I could, I finally proved her wrong. 

The Fountainhead’s message, and likewise Rand’s message, is quite unique. Rand preaches a philosophy called objectivism, which basically states that humans should be driven by self-interest and individualism. Though controversial, Rand’s philosophy gained quite a following during the Cold War period.

To support and describe this philosophy, The Fountainhead essentially follows the fictional stories of two young architects, Howard Roark and Peter Keating, as they make their mark on the architectural industry. Though this may sound bland at first, the depth of characterization that Rand goes into, and the large length of time that the novel goes though by far makes up for Rand’s and Keating’s seemingly boring career paths. As Rand plays out the lives of these two characters, friends, relatives, love interests, and nemeses all come in and out of their lives, making for a possibly confusing, though interesting plotline; Most of all though, I love the way Rand presented the character foils of Roark and Keating.

Additionally, the novel’s philosophy serves for some interesting food for thought. There are a number of passages that really make you rethink a lot of your conventional assumptions, especially toward the end. One passage in particular, spoken by Roark, describes how selfish people often aid society. This was something I would have never though about before, but the way it was written really made some sense, though I definitely not fully convinced.

Overall, The Fountainhead was a very different read from what I usually read, but I think I would definitely recommend it for those looking for an intellectual and long read. 

However, I want to warn anyone whose thinking about reading this book that it is definitely a commitment. It is a very, very long read, and it isn’t the easiest read either. You need to be concentrated when you’re reading to really get the full effect of the novels message.