Anthem by Ayn Rand

Anthem via Love at First Book

Photo Credit: Goodreads

Anthem by Ayn Rand is a fabulous dystopian-era read.  Reminiscent of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian reads, this one will hook you from the very first page.  And at 105 pages, you’ll speed through Anthem!

Equality 7-2521 is a member of society and seems to be too smart for his own good.  The society focuses on unity, instead of the individual, a collective “we.”  But this doesn’t work for Equality 7-2521 because he has goals, wishes, hopes that seem to place him on the outskirts of society.

When he discovers an opening to a closed-off and unused sewer, he takes it for himself as a sort of laboratory.  Highly illegal to do so, but Equality 7-2521 spends much time in his underground lair, writing in a secret journal (which is how we know what’s going on in the story) and conducting scientific experiments.

Will Equality 7-2521 break away from the collective and become an individual during this novel?

Ayn Rand has some strong societal views hidden among the pages of this story.  I’m only going to briefly delve into them.  Ayn Rand believes in the power of individual thinking and the negative possibilities of Groupthink leading people off track.

I also think that Groupthink can be dangerous at times (Look at WWII!) but that groups have also accomplished some amazing work.  However, the most important thing is that if your group is going off track, do not just let them go!  Be an individual within the group – stand up for what is right!

Being 105 pages, Anthem can be read quickly with little thought to the political, or totally analyzed into a great book club discussion.  It’s up to you, but I recommend you getting a copy of this dystopian novel.

Are you a fan of dystopian reads? What’s a favorite of yours?

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Interested in getting your own copy? Check it out on Amazon & Indiebound. I get a small percentage if you purchase from those links, and it doesn’t cost you any extra.

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34 thoughts on “Anthem by Ayn Rand

  1. I thought I knew all Rand’s books, but it’s the first time I hear about this one! I only agree with some of her ideas, specially those about individual thinking (I found the others to be too extreme), but, even when I differ from her, I like reading her books. They are thought-provoking.

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    • I haven’t read anything else by her. This is my first one, and I honestly grabbed it because I needed a super quick read in between a couple of chunksters! But I thought it was a great one, and at 105 pages, you can’t go wrong.

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    • Exactly – so it’s a good thinking read if you wanted to go deep, but if you wanted to stay surface-level, you could just read it as a “nice” dystopian. I can’t believe I described a dystopian novel as “nice.”

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  2. I taught Anthem to 9th graders one year and it definitely made them think. And, educators, the Ayn Rand foundation will send you free classroom sets of Anthem, The Fountainhead, or Atlas Shrugged. I had a few teachers fill out the form and we received 100+ copies of Anthem free!

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    • That’s amazing!!!!!! I didn’t know that!!! Anthem would be sooooo good for high schoolers because it’s all about the power of thinking for yourself. You could relate it to sooo much: bullying, the Holocaust, being an individual, peer pressure, just for starters!

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  3. I looooooove this book!!! It was my first taste of dystopian lit. Rand’s “We the Living” is really good, too. Kind of depressing, but not horribly long like some of her others (ahem). 😉 Riffle Fiction did a little interview with me back in May, and asked me to choose my favorite hero in fiction. Equality 7-2521/Prometheus was it! 🙂

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    • Um awesome!!! Equality 7-2521 is such a great character because he shows just what you can accomplish with a good heart and individuality. It’s a fabulous read, and I have to fully credit Allison for talking nonstop about Rand and encouraging me to pick up some of her books.

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  4. I don’t think I’ve read anything by this Ayn Rand, though this sounds like something one of my book clubs might pick up. Controversial books like this can be fun to discuss, but they can also be difficult to read.

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    • This one actually isn’t difficult to read at all. It’s written in a way that you can either read it and gloss over the message behind it or you can delve into the deep concepts if you wanted to. For a book with a deep message, it is one you can read without feeling overwhelmed for sure!

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  5. This book has been on my TBR list, but I have to be honest that I didn’t know what it was about! It was a book that was on all of those top 100 books you should read. Now that I read your review, I am much more curious to read it. I am excited to know that it is a dystopian tale. Great review.

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  6. From what I remember, I have only read ONE dystopian novel! Thanks for the recommendation, I think for a 105 page book this is definitely something I can pick up and read in an afternoon.

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  7. I have Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged on my book shelf. They are quite the tome size and I haven’t had the umph to get to them yet. Maybe I should try Anthem to give me a little taste of her writing. Then maybe I’ll get to them, or decide I don’t like her writing and pass them on.

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  8. I’m so glad that you read this! As you know, I love Ayn Rand because she writes so well and makes you think, even if what you think is in complete opposition to what she says 🙂 This is a great intro book to her philosophies, too, because not only is it so short but it’s a lot less in-depth (surprisingly).

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  9. I need to read, Rand, I hate her philosophy, but her fiction intrigues me. Glad you enjoyed it, it’s always good to find a book that makes you think about the authors political messages.

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    • And I think this one is an easier one to deal with politically, too, at least in some aspects. I chose to stay “shallow” with the depth of her thoughts and believe that she’s teaching of the dangers of GroupThink and the power of individualism. She might be stressing it to an extreme, but with this one, it’s not preachy and it’s an easier topic to tackle.

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  10. I don’t read many dystopian, but they are always interesting in the way that this books make you think about human nature, and I like it.
    I don’t know if I’m going to read it because first I have to give a try to Atwood’s novels 😉

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  11. For me, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead were exercises and shudder. Typically I see the name Ayn Rand and shudder, but at 105 pages, this one is an actual possibility.

    I don’t know, but I would guess my favorite dystopian novel is We. I suppose it would depend on the day you asked me, but I feel like We is the original (note: I’m not including the author’s name because I have no clue how to properly spell it – sad but true!)

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    • I haven’t even heard of We. . . I’m going to Goodreads Google it now. I haven’t read either of those Rand books but yeah. . . she’s usually such a chunkster writer. So that’s why I think I was so impressed with Anthem. Not only was it good but it was quick and easy, yet still thought-provoking.

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