#2015ReadingChallenge – A Book Made Into a Movie – The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

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This took me sometime to get into. Once I start, the book is great. Almost unputtdownable. I say almost probably because after having started this book after a week, I was still not even 100 pages. There are a number of logical reasons:

1. I get easily distracted by crappy daytime television – The Jeremy Kyle Show; Come Dine With Me; Three In A Bed; Four In A Bed – and of course Broadchurch, Doctor Who, Charmed… the usual.

2. It’s difficult to read when you can’t get comfortable. I’ve been suffering from severe sciatica – I can’t sit down, I can’t lie flat on my back or put any weight on my right side at all. And then when I do get comfortable, my left arm goes numb – it’s a catch 22.

3. I spend some of my time asleep as a result of my meds, intermittent bouts of insomnia, so if I can fall asleep for an hour evry so often watching aforementioned daytime television, I’ll take what I can get.

(I’ve grown accustomed to listening to David Tennant curse and shout while I fall asleep.)

But once I got my medication and sleeping routine under control, my reading ability was unstoppable!

As I said, The Fountainhead is a great read, and really enveloped me. Once I put my mind to it and made a dent in it. I was a little put off initially BECAUSE it was taking me so long to get into it. I’d seen the movie, loved it, LOVED Patricia O’Neal; thought the story was quite complex.

The Fountainhead (1949.) Dir King Vidor .  starring Patricia Neal, Gary Cooper

When I first watched The Fountainhead I was intrigued and enthralled by its complexity, something I thought would have been prevalent in the book.

Very rarely is a movie as good as the book and while I feel like the book was better than the movie, because there was so much there, the movie fought the battle in it’s own right – they each had their own strengths and weaknesses.

One of the main themes, the most dominant one, is that of individualism and conformity, and, for me, was one of the contributing factors to the comic element of the novel. Characters got all in a tizzy when the Howard Roark, or indeed anyone, decided to go against the norm.

Roark s indifference to everything except his pass ion was frustrating to both character and reader. He was simply telling others what they wanted to hear. While I found this mildly frustrating, I also found it equally comic and, as much as I hate to admit this, relatable- I have been that person who gives a response to either shut someone up or infuriate someone. It’s a tamely malicious side of myself that I’m not wholly proud of and that doesn’t come out too often.

At one point in reading this book, I had the bizarre feeling of standing in the middle of a spinning room with images surrounding me. I had an epiphany – Roarke and Dominique are the exact same only in different ways. They both strive for individualism but while Roarke wants others to embrace it, Dominique believes that the beauty in it should be destroyed so that it is not part of a society that wouldn’t appreciate it.

The character of Dominique makes the sex/rape scene so complex and indefineable – she admits that she derived pleasure from it. She has admitted throughout the boom that when she loves something she wants it destroyed – the statue she bought from a museum in Europe that she destroyed (which, may I add had the potential for filmic comedy – I thought that paragraph in the book was just wonderful!)

I initially loved the character of Catherine and thought she had such potential. But then she became insufferable: *SPOILER* Peter Keating married Dominique the night he becomes engaged to Catherine and there isn’t a single sentence about her reaction. I would be PISSED!

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Views on Integrity

 

Bottom line: I really like Rand’s style of writing – some of the imagery and metaphors she used left me with a smile on my face. I enjoyed the books, the views it expressed, the scenes, the way it’s left me, with a feeling of frustration of not really knowing.

I apologize if this post is a little jumpy and doesn’t have the wonderful flow that Rand could give to it. But I made notes as I was reading and couldn’t seem to get it all structured properly on my teeny tiny phone screen.

Next up: A Book Written By A Woman – A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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