About Buildings + Cities
Luke Jones & George Gingell Discuss Architecture, History and Culture
4 years ago

13 – Ayn Rand's 'The Fountainhead' – 1 of 2

This isn't one of those book reviews where you're expected to read the book first – we did it so you don't have to.

Ayn Rand's 'The Fountainhead' is a 750 page long novel which at times is physically painful to read. It's a supposedly 'philosophical' book in which none of the motivations and actions of the characters make any sense. People have long conversations which are nearly impossible to follow. Rand maunders on about apparently random bits of mise-en-scene for pages. Even if you were going to live for a thousand years, it would still be an outrageous misuse of your time.

In spite of this, it's probably the most successful and influential depiction of an architect in fiction – the indominatable will of one (orange haired) man, Howard Roark, pitted against the entire resources of a corrupt and servile society, determined to try and make him care about other people's well-being.

Millions of people have read (and claimed to enjoy!) it.

We've had a moderately good time making fun of it.

Expect bad language and worse politics throughout.

Features music by Chris Zabriskie – 'Heliograph' from the album 'Divider', 'The Dark Glow of the Mountains', 'I need to start writing things down' and 'We always thought the future would be kind of fun' from the album 'The Dark Glow of Mountains' and 'Cylinder 3' from the album 'Cylinders'. All at the Free Music Archive

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