We the Living

By Ayn Rand - Rating: 6/10

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m one of those nuts who actually likes The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. It has been years since I read those books and in the intervening decade or so I have discovered that a lot of people really, really hate those novels. They (they being mostly politically left-leaning types) understandably rail against the politics and idealogy, but the most bitter venom seems to be saved for Rand’s writing style. I started reading We the Living expecting to put aside my personal politics and finally pick up on just how bad a scribe she was. But, you know what, I think she’s a pretty darn good writer. She paints a really vivid picture of life in the shadow of the Russian revolution and this was the perfect book to read after having finished Pictures of the Socialistic Future. Now, that said, I’m still not giving this book high marks because the plot didn’t really grab me. It’s essentially a love story (not really my cup of borscht) that, despite the political backdrop, doesn’t really have the sort of philosophical backbone of her later novels. Should I go on to complete my socialism trifecta by reading The Gulag Archipelago?

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