(26 Reviews)
Anthem by Ayn Rand









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(26 Reviews)
"A dystopian fiction novella by Ayn Rand, first published in 1938. It takes place at some unspecified future date when mankind has entered another dark age as a result of the evils of irrationality and collectivism and the weaknesses of socialistic thinking and economics."--Wikipedia

Book Excerpt

hey reach their fifteenth year. Then they go to work. In the Home of the Students we arose when the big bell rang in the tower and we went to our beds when it rang again. Before we removed our garments, we stood in the great sleeping hall, and we raised our right arms, and we said all together with the three Teachers at the head:

"We are nothing. Mankind is all. By the grace of our brothers are we allowed our lives. We exist through, by and for our brothers who are the State. Amen."

Then we slept. The sleeping halls were white and clean and bare of all things save one hundred beds.

We, Equality 7-2521, were not happy in those years in the Home of the Students. It was not that the learning was too hard for us. It was that the learning was too easy. This is a great sin, to be born with a head which is too quick. It is not good to be different from our brothers, but it is evil to be superior to them. The Teachers told us so, and they frowned when they looked upon us.

So we fought against thi


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(1938) Sci-fi (Future world) / Adventure (Escape) / Romance

R: * * * *

Plot bullets

It is a future time when the Earth has reverted to a socialistic dark ages, after war.
Independent thought and action is forbidden.
A boy rebels, and he and a girl flee the city for what ever new life awaits them.
This boy finds that you can empathize with but not just live for others. He declares his independence and and in a single word, his 'Anthem'.

I loved this book. It is a great treatise on the rights of the individual. A must read for everybody who is unsure of his/her individuality.
Utter twaddle from beginning to end. Unfortunately, it's quite well-written twaddle and led me to believe that some profound revelation was perhaps coming at some point, rather than the facile and stupid 'rousing' ending. The "we" thing quickly became tiresome too. Even though Anthem is short, I still found it a total waste of my time.
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Lyrica Silvan
I love this book. My first time reading it was in my sophomore English class, and ever since I have been trying to find it again.

This book provides a very unique view of a futuristic society. True, the "live and think as one" concept has been done before, but every author has their own style, and I believe Ayn Rand's rendition is spectacular. Not only does it reach out to those who feel outcast in their own societies because they are different, but also to the strength of one's own dreams, and the power of the individual to rise up against oppression. This is a beautiful work of literature, and I highly recommend it.
An interesting read by an intelligent woman, but let's be perfectly clear: one cannot cherry-pick the notions of self-interest and self-sufficiency from the Ayn Rand tree of atheist thought. All religions are based on the principles of community support and aid for the poor which Rand found absolutely repellent. If you are a religious person who is attracted to Ayn Rand's philosophy you must question either your religious allegiance or your comprehension of her writing.
I loved this book. It is a great treatise on the rights of the individual. A must read for every teenager who is unsure of his/her individuality.
A rather weak short story. Orwell's 1984 is a much better view of a totalitarian culture. The book relies on coincidence too much (finding a tunnel, finding a house in the wilderness,) and the characters are two dimensional, the only woman existing just to bear him his sons (daughters seem not to matter to him.) Rand seems never to have slept outdoors in the woods.

The polemic at the end just repeats her theme that social virtues are evil and the only true virtue is selfishness. It reminded me of a hillbilly explaining why he has no need of g'ummint.
Ayn Rand did a pretty good job of presenting a society where individual initiative and expression are repressed to a severe degree, but her portrayal would have benefited by showing why the ancestors of these people rebelled against and eventually tore down the previous civilization.

People just don't wake up in the morning and decide to break machines and turn off the electricity. Why they decided to overthrow their previous rulers and do away with technology is never explained.

Profile picture for user sparklefairy
I first read this as a teen recommended by my independent-thinking parents (thanks, Mom & Dad!), and now I'm so pleased to have an e-copy of it. And especially happy that it is required reading for my daughter's 10th grade class! Maybe hope for the world, after all?