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Extended Audio Sample The Art of Fiction: A Guide for Writers and Readers Audiobook, by Ayn Rand Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 53.88 out of 5 3.88 (33 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ayn Rand Narrator: Marguerite Gavin Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455180134
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In 1958, Ayn Rand, legendary author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, gave an informal course to friends and acquaintances on the art of reading and writing fiction. Now the edited transcripts of these sessions are available to readers and aspiring writers.

Ayn Rand discusses how a writer combines abstract ideas with concrete action and description to achieve a unity of theme, plot, characterization, and style, the four essential elements of fiction. She explains why “You cannot borrow another man’s soul, and you cannot borrow his style,” and why “Every writer is a moral philosopher.” Here, too, are Rand’s illuminating analyses of passages from writers like Victor Hugo and Thomas Wolfe, as well as fascinating rules for building dramatic plots and characters with depth.

Clear, concise, and accessible, The Art of Fiction is an invaluable gift from one of our most enduring authors and an indispensable resource for all lovers of literature.

Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff Yoak | 2/20/2014

    " I'm not an aspiring fiction-writer. I imagine that this book would be extremely helpful to someone who is. It provides conceptual frameworks for understanding fiction-writing that were new to me, and useful even in understanding and appreciating fiction. I suspect it will help me to better understand some of my reactions to things I read, and perhaps even to anticipate them. That would be really useful. :-) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ilyn Ross | 2/11/2014

    " Ayn Rand is an excellent teacher. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christopher | 2/5/2014

    " This book is based on private lectures given by novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, author of "Atlas Shrugged", "The Fountainhead", "Anthem", and "We the Living". It is an amazing guide to learning the principles of how to write fiction and dispels the arbitrary myths commonly taught about how the mind works when writing. A fascinating read recommended to both readers and writers seeking a better understanding of the books they read or how to become a professional author. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jon Britton | 2/1/2014

    " Oddly enough, one of the worst writers in history gives some of the greatest advice to writers in history. If only she had followed her own advice, Atlas Shrugged would've been 300 pages, introduce its main character before chapter 25, and not contained a ham-fisted 50 page soliloquy! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rae | 1/27/2014

    " I really don't care for Ayn Rand or her ideologies. That being said, I managed to end up loving this book. Yes, Rand is opinionated to the max, but there's good information about the craft of writing to be found here. She gave me a lot to think about and I will be a better reader now. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Erin | 1/15/2014

    " I used to love Ayn, now I'm starting to hate her. She is so arrogant that I found it hard to get through this book, even though it is of great interest to me right now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yaroslav | 1/14/2014

    " The book was written over 60 years ago, but it hasn't lost any of its currency. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 conor | 12/18/2013

    " Interesting to see an author explain why they made the choices they did and to defend their overall views on literature. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Efseine | 5/22/2013

    " Interesting stuff, but Objectivism morally offends me, so parts of this were useless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fredrick Danysh | 4/26/2013

    " Transcripts of informal lectures by Ayn Rand on fiction writing. While the book bears her name as author, the transcripts were edited by Tore Boeckmann with some content deleted. There is still some rambling but gives Rand's views on writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Summer | 3/17/2013

    " The single most important book on writing I have ever read. It changed my writing and my life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carmen | 1/22/2013

    " Ayn Rand gives focused advise on how to write. It is not how to start, but how to punch things up, how to show vs. tell, etc. Well-organized, easy to read, a great tool for authors. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renee | 5/19/2012

    " I still make reference to it when I write. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teri Anderson | 5/13/2012

    " An amazing "left-brained" approach to writing fiction. Rand was a writer who began with her themes in mind, and then wrangled her stories to fit them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joseph | 4/21/2012

    " Although I don't agree with a lot of her views on fiction, Ayn Rand was a woman ahead of her time. I like how she thoroughly explains her ideas and provides reasoning for them. We need more thinkers like her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dean | 3/11/2012

    " One of the two most insightful books ever written for readers and writers of fiction. The second is "The Romantic Manifesto," also by Ayn Rand. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dan | 2/24/2012

    " When people asked why I was reading this I told them that I wanted to learn what not to do. Actually, it's a great primer for how to construct conflicts, plot, and other elements. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roger | 1/1/2012

    " I'm not a big fan of Ayn Rand's philosophy, but this book offers a few good insights into fiction writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Taylor | 8/31/2011

    " Whether you agree with her or not, Ayn Rand is a master of the written word. Both The Art of Fiction and The Art of Nonfiction are excellent resources for any writer of both genres. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leekwhittle | 6/30/2011

    " Should be required reading for all Americans! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 6/30/2011

    " I feel honored to have stepped into Ayn's world and to have experienced her passion for capitalism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick | 6/30/2011

    " So far a good read and interesting! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Steven | 6/30/2011

    " I dont care who John Galt is!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chi | 6/29/2011

    " So many bad reviews from the liberal end of the political spectrum, and I can understand why (myself leaning towards the left). I might not fully agree with her views, but I found the book strangely absorbing and thought it was a good read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Westonia1989 | 6/28/2011

    " Intellectually bankrupt and outright offensive piece of trash. Never have I seen a straw-man so artfully constructed. Dangerous to impressionable teenage girls and oafish Republicans. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jan | 6/27/2011

    " I really liked it. "Who is John Galt?" This book has a lot of political theory, and a lot of common sense that people seem to have lost today. Enthusiastic recommendation for any patient reader! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurie | 6/27/2011

    " This book changed my life back in college. I've since changed a lot of my opinions about Ayn Rand's life philosophy, but I still love her writing and think she has valid points about a lot of humanity's condition. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 6/27/2011

    " Way too long. Offers the best case for radical libertarianism I've encountered. But of course, the book is fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brenda | 6/26/2011

    " While I don't agree with her philosophy, this has always been one of my favorite books. I am planning a re-read this year. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Devi | 6/24/2011

    " Enjoyed the characters but would not want to live in such a world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kay | 6/24/2011

    " It's a good story, captivating, well written. I couldn't disagree more with the philosophy it espouses. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Luanne | 6/24/2011

    " It's quite possible that this is the book got me interested in reading! I read it for a second time a couple of years later and loved it just as much then. Dagny, Reardon, and John Galt are forever etched in my mind. It was a pivotal book for me. Thank you Ayn Rand. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 6/23/2011

    " Loved first half of book. Second half was frustrating. The characters started betraying their own ideals in their own unique ways. "

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About the Author
Author Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand (1905–1982) was born in Russia, graduated from the University of Leningrad, and came to the United States in 1926. She published her first novel in 1936. With the publication of The Fountainhead in 1943, she achieved a spectacular and enduring success, and her unique philosophy, Objectivism, gained a worldwide following.

About the Narrator

Marguerite Gavin is a seasoned theater veteran, a five-time nominee for the prestigious Audie Award, and the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones and Publishers Weekly awards. Marguerite has been an actor, director, and audiobook narrator for her entire professional career. With over four hundred titles to her credit, her narration spans nearly every genre, from nonfiction to mystery, science fiction, fantasy, romance, and children’s fiction. AudioFile magazine says, “Marguerite Gavin…has a sonorous voice, rich and full of emotion.”