Many moons ago, I was going through a particularly hard time in a certain living situation, feeling like I was the only one doing anything. In one long conversation with my parents, my dad suggested that I read the book Atlas Shrugged. I bought it the next day and after 100 pages, I kind of lost interest - I couldn't keep up with what they were talking about (something about a railroad? Someone making metal?) and there were too many characters to remember, so I put it back on the shelf, with the thought that I would eventually finish it...someday.
When my sisters and I traveled to Europe this summer, I decided that my "book" for the trip was going to be Atlas Shrugged. I started reading on the flight over, and continued reading throughout the entire trip (a lot of reading 'til the wee hours of the morning). Even though I read probably close to 500 pages during that week of traveling and sight-seeing, I was only halfway through the book (it's an 1000+ page novel). It took me all the way to the end of August to finish it (which, coincidentally, I finished it when I was on an airplane)...AND IT WAS AMAZING.
This book changed the way I view the world and myself. The story itself is very intriguing. And then you have Ayn Rand's philosophy of objectivism, which - take it or leave it - is worth pondering. The way my dad describes Atlas Shrugged is that it is "a socioeconomic treatise on what happens when the producers of the world remove themselves from society (ie: go on strike)." What would happen if Atlas, the Greek Titan who literally holds the world between his shoulders, decided to shrug?
It is an extremely powerful novel, and I highly recommend that everyone read it at least once during their lifetime. And after reading it, you too will be able to answer the question:
"WHO IS JOHN GALT?"