Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Every day in April (except Sundays), I’ll be sharing a short bookish memory with you.
What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? For me, it’s probably some horrible textbook that I no longer own and have blocked from my memory. But, I do remember the longest book I’ve ever read willingly. It’s Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. My copy is 1,168 pages. I read it way back in the olden days of 2011, and it took me three months to finish.
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand
This is the story of a man who said that he would stop the motor of the world—and did. Was he a destroyer or the greatest of liberators? Why did he have to fight his battle, not against his enemies, but against those who needed him most? What is the world's motor—and the motive power of every man? You will know the answer to these questions when you discover the reason behind the baffling events that play havoc with the lives of the characters in this story. Tremendous in its scope, this novel presents an astounding panorama of human life—from the productive genius who becomes a worthless playboy—to the great steel industrialist who does not know that he is working for his own destruction—to the philosopher who becomes a pirate—to the composer who gives up his career on the night of his triumph—to the woman who runs a transcontinental railroad—to the lowest track worker in her Terminal tunnels. This is a mystery story, not about the murder of a man's body, but about the murder—and rebirth—of man's spirit.
Did I like the book? Um . . . yes and no. The reason I read it is because of its cultural significance. It’s on many “books that changed the world” lists. I liked the dystopian elements of the story. The characters both intrigued and annoyed me. I was pulled in by their strong personalities, but I hated the tedious speeches they gave. Some parts of their philosophy made me cringe.
The thing I liked best about Atlas Shrugged was the sense of accomplishment I had when I read the last page. Like many people, I often have problems finishing what I start. When a project gets boring, I abandon it. Reading Atlas Shrugged was occasionally dull or intellectually challenging. There were times when I seriously considered giving up. But, I was curious about this book. It has influenced American society, and I wanted to know why. Finishing it was a small way of proving to myself that I do have the stamina to complete projects. If I have questions about the world, I can find the answers. Even if the answers mean reading a 1,168-page book.
What’s the longest book you’ve ever read? How did you feel about it?