Lord of the Rings versus Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged after reading Tolkien?

Did you read either of these books as a teenager?  I did.

This review by author John Rodgers sums it up pretty well.

“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged.

One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world.

The other, of course, involves orcs.

[Kung Fu Monkey — Ephemera, blog post, March 19, 2009]”

I have enjoyed and remembered these lines from the Tolkien series:

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Now, Ayn Rand.  The author, in hindsight, I wished I had never read. The influence of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged impacted me greatly as a young adult – in a negative way. I destroyed a relationship that meant everything to me, because I believed her hard-ass philosophy of going it alone.

Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosphy, looking back at it, is and was, at odds of who I am as a person.  I would never suggest that any young person read her books, or for that matter, anyone read her books.

I won’t even go into the horrific screen adaptions of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. They are truly, unwatchable.

If I had read and understood Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, as a youngman, I would have been much further along in understanding people, career and what is important in life.

Quote  about reading Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.  I found this on Good Reads.

“This book is the equivalent of a drunk, eloquent asshole talking to you all night at a bar. You know you should just leave and you could never explain later why you didn’t, …….”