Price Rs 350 (I got it for 228 from Flipkart.com)
This is a kind of book that breaks all the conventional philosophy about selfishness, atruism, individualism...If you can uncomfortably read through them all without being shaken and not getting deviated then this book is for you...
Like the author's many theories the book has an unlikely start where Howard Roark (protagonist or our hero) is expelled from his college for not standing by traditional way of work while Peter keating (other main character) who graduates being the best student....Now you know what to expect from rest of the book...There is a sharp contrast drawn between the two characters throughout..Howard Roark a hard core dreamer who considers his work to be superior and is indifferent to others taunting and demeaning, he is pathetically honest and loyal to himself driven by wild passion for his work while Peter Keating is driven by the desire to reach on top by any means..Predictably Peter Keating is an instant success with his spirit of flattering after joining a prestigious firm in New York, Howard who joins James Cameron (an architect who Howard admires but now degraded) lose out of work in spite of beautiful work they create. James Cameron retires financially broke while Howard finds a job at granite quarry to unable to find business.Its after this familiar plot the book differs where he meets Dominique Francon (female lead) for she would never fit into the regular stream of heroin. Roark is attracted to her and their vigorous love affair where they are a couple in secret but though she admires his work sabotages his career and work publicly..
Ellsworth Tooley is an architectural critic considers talent a threat to society finds Roark a threat to himself...Tooley convinces a business man to hire Roark to design a temple dedicated to human spirit . After the work is completed Roark is sued for his unorthodox work .In trial all but Dominique testify against him. Domique declares that the world doesn't deserve a gift like Howard..Howard loses his business again...What makes him fight for his principle and move onto supremacy with love,emotional turbulence, philosophical theories with high class drama with other main character like Gynyard and others makes up the rest of the book..
Throughout Howard is indifferent to any kind of life that he leads by, for him its his work that gives him utmost satisfaction and not the accessory things like great house, car ,high rank that come by.. His unwillingness to compromise on his designs to please anybody at any stage of his career gets him a full on thumbs up..
The final testimony of Roark in courtroom about the importance to remain true to oneself, the art of selfishness is worth mentioning.. He describes the price that legendary creators have to pay at the hand of crooked society will last in you even after you complete reading the book..The philosophy that Ayn Rand puts forth through Howard or Dominique will make you ponder upon the existing line of thought we are in....This book is a great read for anyone creative no matter what his/her area be..Though books stand on altruism and creation be jolting but after thoughts would make sense..
This quote by Roark will stood with me for long..
"The creator stands on his own judgment. The parasite follows the opinions of others. The creator thinks, the parasite copies. The creator produces, the parasite loots. The creator's concern is the conquest of nature - the parasite's concern is the conquest of men. The creator requires independence, he neither serves nor rules. He deals with men by free exchange and voluntary choice. The parasite seeks power, he wants to bind all men together in common action and common slavery. He claims that man is only a tool for the use of others. That he must think as they think, act as they act, and live is selfless, joyless servitude to any need but his own. Look at history. Everything thing we have, every great achievement has come from the independent work of some independent mind. Every horror and destruction came from attempts to force men into a herd of brainless, soulless robots. Without personal rights, without personal ambition, without will, hope, or dignity. It is an ancient conflict. It has another name: the individual against the collective."
This long one is I loved it because it tells all about Dominique's love for Roark and the conflict she is onto...
"Roark, before I met you, I had always been afraid of seeing someone like you, because I knew that I’d also have to see what I saw on the witness stand and I’d have to do what I did in that courtroom. I hated doing it, because it was an insult to you to defend you–and it was an insult to myself that you had to be defended… Roark, I can accept anything, except what seems to be the easiest for most people: their halway, the almost, the just-about, the in-between. They have their justifications. I don’t know. I don’t care to inquire. I know that it is the one thing not given me to understand. When I think of what you are, I can’t accept any reality except a world of your kind. Or at least a world in which you have a fighting chance and a fight on your own terms. That does not exist. And I can’t live life torn between that which exists–and you. It would mean to struggle against things and men who don’t deserve to be your opponents. Your fight, using their methods–and that’s too horrible a desecration. It would mean doing for you what I dod for Peter Keating: lie, flatter, evade, compromise, pander to every ineptitude–in order to beg of them a chance for you, beg them to let you live, to let you function, to beg them, Roark, not to laugh at them, but to tremble because they hold the power to hurt you. Am I too weak because I can’t do this? I don’t know which is the greater strength: to accept all this for you–or to love you so much that the rest is beyond acceptance. I don’t know. I love you too much.”
Though there are many more quotes I loved , adding them would be too long to go..No wonder it took seven years for the author to complete this novel..Like Roark she had her struggle with her unconventional writing to get the book published.. But finally she too triumphed when her book became an international best-seller.
For me this book is a classic tale of Horad Roark a hard working ultimate dreamer, unaffected by anything around him...I loved the author for her boldness and utter ease of questioning existing theories..You take it for pass it on is upto you...