I don’t usually hate books. I like most, love some and want to marry a chosen few. But The Fountainhead, oh how I detested that book with every new sentence I read. But I still went through the entire thing because I can’t leave a book (no matter how mind-numbingly aggravating) unfinished. And I was surprised because everyone around me, whose opinions I generally agreed with, seemed to love the book and absolutely idolised Ayn Rand. The friend who lent me The Fountainhead also lent me Atlas Shrugged, a book I just can’t bear to tackle at the moment. Maybe ever. Reading this take-down of my least favourite book was an excessively satisfying experience.

The Red Pen of Doom

THE FOUNTAINHEAD

by Ayn Rand

Howard Roark laughed. (I approve of this. It asks a narrative question – who is this guy, and why did he laugh? – and I like short sentences anyway.)

He stood naked at the edge of a cliff. The lake lay far below him.A frozen explosion of granite burst in flight to the sky over motionless water.(Whoah, whoah, hold up. So far, it was all tight and Hemingway-esque. “The pants fit him. They felt good.” Now you suddenly switch to purple prose, with granite bursting in flight? I didn’t know that granite rocks flew, or exploded when they did decide to take wing. No.)The water seemed immovable, the stone flowing. The stone had the stillness of one brief moment in battle when thrust meets thrust and the currents are held in a pause more dynamic than motion. The stone glowed…

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