The Fountainhead

I must confess I don’t like this book anymore, however my dislike should not be a reason for not recommending it. I was a teenager when I read the fountainhead and perhaps too young to process the distinguished writing, warring philosophies, inscrutable characters, long speeches and the persistent bull fight which the personalities were engaged in. The fountainhead was Ayn Rand’s first major literary success (after having been rejected by many publishers – strangely seems like a mandate for cult status books) and a popular reviewer described it as ‘beautiful, bitter and brilliant’ which it is. The book is 700 pages long, it’s rich in detail and composition and breathtaking in context and emotion. The story revolves around Roark, I-will-do-what-want-man, Keating I-will-do-what-others-want-man, Dominique I’m-figuring-it-out-but-you-won’t-know-till-much-later-woman and Toohey i’m-your-inhouse-machiavelli. There are the primary figures who in soap-opera style create a canvas for Rand to craft a part non-fiction part philosophical treatise. Rand was a gifted writer, her ideas, imagery, description and plot progression make this an entertaining and enlightening read. However as a young reader I was washed away as if in a downpour as I was drawn in by ideas & values which felt alien. Only to start relating to conflicting points of views despite finding them disagreeable to begin with. It was a really tough and hard book to get through, one which I liked when I read it but don’t anymore. I’d still recommend it, it’s powerful, controversial and worth picking up to decide for yourself.