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Ayn Rand's Anthem: The Graphic Novel

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A new Dark Age in this dystopian future imagined by Ayn Rand dramatizes the stark horror of a civilization destroyed by envy. The way Rand integrated this theme, with striking characters and a tight, compelling plot remains as relevant and arresting today as it did eight decades ago, when Anthem was first published.


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A new Dark Age in this dystopian future imagined by Ayn Rand dramatizes the stark horror of a civilization destroyed by envy. The way Rand integrated this theme, with striking characters and a tight, compelling plot remains as relevant and arresting today as it did eight decades ago, when Anthem was first published.

30 review for Ayn Rand's Anthem: The Graphic Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Susan Kennedy

    I loved this turned graphic nove; I thought it was well done. It was engaging and I enjoyed it. Not bad at all. I never read the novel, but believe this would be an easier read than the novel would be. It helps to bring the characters to life in a story that I would find would drag on for me I think.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stewart Tame

    For the record, I won a free copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Also for the record, I have never read Ayn Rand. I know her work purely by reputation and cultural osmosis. I suspect that I wouldn't care for it, and that supposition is largely borne out by this graphic novel adaptation of her work. So we’ve got a dystopian future. Society is uber collective, with no individuality being tolerated. Everything is mandated by the state for the good of all. So naturally our protagonist discover For the record, I won a free copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Also for the record, I have never read Ayn Rand. I know her work purely by reputation and cultural osmosis. I suspect that I wouldn't care for it, and that supposition is largely borne out by this graphic novel adaptation of her work. So we’ve got a dystopian future. Society is uber collective, with no individuality being tolerated. Everything is mandated by the state for the good of all. So naturally our protagonist discovers his individuality, and rebels. One gets the sense that his children will Change Society and end the evils of socialism forevermore. Certainly our hero seems convinced of this. It's a difficult book to take seriously. I found myself idly wondering whether Kurt Vonnegut was intentionally parodying Anthem when he wrote “Harrison Bergeron.” I don't know the publication dates of the respective tales well enough to say. Certainly our protagonist (referring to him that way seems cumbersome, but the alternatives are “Equality 7-2521”, which is too amateurishly Sci-Fi, or his self-chosen “Prometheus”, which is too pretentious for words) follows classic Ubermensch lines: tall, blond, muscular, smart. The setting seems like some weird take on socialism designed to frighten Republican children. It's a world designed solely to prove a point. I find it difficult to believe that human beings would willingly create such a system. Sure, there are echoes of current and past ideas, but amplified and exaggerated beyond ridiculousness. It's ultimately just too didactic to be enjoyable. The SF aspects are laughably bad, and the future it portrays is just too unbelievable to waste time on worrying about it coming to pass. There's a “forbidden word” in this imaginary society that you’ll undoubtedly figure out long before our protagonist does--I certainly did. Not recommended.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kitty Jay

    Anthem is an adaptation of Ayn Rand's novella of the same name. The story follows a man living in the oppressive, joyless society that has sprung from the remains of society falling into a new Dark Ages. In this new society, people live only for each other; the sin of Preference, even in having a friend, a preferred lover, or a vocation, is punished swiftly and decisively by the collective that rules this new world. He falls in love with a beautiful woman, however, and discovers an old railroad Anthem is an adaptation of Ayn Rand's novella of the same name. The story follows a man living in the oppressive, joyless society that has sprung from the remains of society falling into a new Dark Ages. In this new society, people live only for each other; the sin of Preference, even in having a friend, a preferred lover, or a vocation, is punished swiftly and decisively by the collective that rules this new world. He falls in love with a beautiful woman, however, and discovers an old railroad tunnel, where he begins to experiment with science. When he brings his new creation to the Council of Scholars, however, the reaction leads him to flee into the woods, where he discovers himself and what society has lost. I'm going to do my best to not even touch on Rand's politics. Devotees of Rand will not be swayed, and those against her already know all the many problems with pure objectivism. Instead, I'll try to focus this review as an honest look at how well this adaptation works. Namely, how it doesn't. The first is that this book seems very confused on what a graphic novel is. There is little dialogue or scenes with action; instead, it's very text-heavy, which makes me wonder what the point was of adapting it if you were going to reproduce an already very short novella into a graphic novel that is... mostly text. The blocks of text were long and quite honestly redundant at points. The ending, especially, suffered from the main character - renamed Prometheus - going on and on ad nauseum about his newfound individuality. I vaguely recall reading Anthem, the novella, in school, and I thought it was a fine story, but here it just feels like he repeats himself in what should be an epic declaration of ego. This isn't helped by the art, which is subpar. The character design is straight out of the Rob Liefeld playbook - overdeveloped, muscular men, and women with waists the size of their wrists. The other characters are so warped they hardly look human, which was the point, maybe? But seems a weird choice. Their expressions never change, at all. At several points, the man looked stoned out of his mind; even at the end, when he was supposed to be reclaiming his individuality, he looks grimly determined... in the same way he did before. The effect overall is static; there is no dynamism to the illustrations, no suggestion of movement. Honestly, this might have worked better as an abridged, illustrated children's version than a graphic novel. And finally, I know I said I wouldn't touch on Rand's politics, but I'm going to point something out that is, if not her politics, at least adjacent to: the treatment of women in this narrative. The premise, of course, is that the man and woman are the individualists of their community, fighting against the bonds shackling them by the oppressive collective. In reality, however, the woman is little more than a prop for the man. She doesn't actively walk into the woods; she follows him. She even says "Your will be done," like an obedient little house-elf. She stares at herself in the mirror for hours (because wimmin, amirite?). She doesn't even get the privilege of naming herself - he names her. Literally think about that. The whole plot is about rediscovering individuality and breaking free of other people telling them what to do... but apparently only for the menfolk. Women still are there to obey their husbands and don't even get to claim their own name. And when she becomes pregnant, he continues to say "my son" - unless he's figured out how to give ultrasounds, isn't there the possibility that it might be a daughter? Narratively, it's such a dissonance to the rest of the story, that it makes it almost laughable. All in all, a hard pass. If you're interested, read the novella instead. NB: I received my copy through a GoodReads giveaway program in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    ***Thank you so much Dan Parsons, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!*** Ayn Rand is the queen of hard-hitting dystopians. This one is probably my favorite! I read Anthem for the very first time three years ago, and fell utterly in love with it. The universe (and the publisher) blessed my life with this graphic novel edition. BOY IS SHE STUNNING! This artwork is just breathtaking! This story and the characters are brought to life beautifully. I really don't know if ***Thank you so much Dan Parsons, for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!*** Ayn Rand is the queen of hard-hitting dystopians. This one is probably my favorite! I read Anthem for the very first time three years ago, and fell utterly in love with it. The universe (and the publisher) blessed my life with this graphic novel edition. BOY IS SHE STUNNING! This artwork is just breathtaking! This story and the characters are brought to life beautifully. I really don't know if a better interpretation could happen! This is just perfect! I truly love the idea of making classics more accessibly to younger audiences by turning them into graphic novels. I highly recommend you pick this edition up! (There are some neat easter eggs within the drawings for you if you do!)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aless

    won a copy in a goodreads giveaway nice graphics, makes me think of old superhero comics.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    The story lost nothing in this retelling in a graphic novel. Liberty and Equality move through this story with illustrations that really bring these two to life.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Coleen

    This graphic novel is very dark, both figuratively and literally. I do not recall ever reading Ann Rand's Anthem, but I could never forget Atlas Shrugged or Fountainhead which I read in school many years ago. Anthem is along the same lines of a destroyed civilization and rebuilding. While I used to enjoy graphic novels immensely, it seems as I have gotten older that either I have changed or they have changed or both. Nevertheless, it was a quick and easy read, despite the darkness and my having This graphic novel is very dark, both figuratively and literally. I do not recall ever reading Ann Rand's Anthem, but I could never forget Atlas Shrugged or Fountainhead which I read in school many years ago. Anthem is along the same lines of a destroyed civilization and rebuilding. While I used to enjoy graphic novels immensely, it seems as I have gotten older that either I have changed or they have changed or both. Nevertheless, it was a quick and easy read, despite the darkness and my having to squint at the dark pictures to see what they were! I won this Graphic Novell in a Goodread's giveaway.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Fort

    Anthem is a weird enough novella, but the graphic novel presentation of Ayn Rand's work somehow works for me. I like having this graphic novel, which I won in a giveaway, alongside the novella - it might let me teach it to regular English 9 students or more advanced English 9 students, using the two side by side. One of the scenes is about as racy as the Leonardo DiCaprio movie adaptation of Romeo + Juliet so there is that.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Luis Cuesta

    I received a copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway. It is not easy to turn a book into a graphic novel and Dan Parsons achieves that in a good way. "Anthem" , Ayn Rand´s original novel, has been a valuable reminder of what happens when ideology trumps humanitarian concerns adn we can see also that in Parsons` work. Seeing the text with the imagery and action sequences makes it flow and makes it more accessible to the modern reader. I received a copy of this book as a Goodreads giveaway. It is not easy to turn a book into a graphic novel and Dan Parsons achieves that in a good way. "Anthem" , Ayn Rand´s original novel, has been a valuable reminder of what happens when ideology trumps humanitarian concerns adn we can see also that in Parsons` work. Seeing the text with the imagery and action sequences makes it flow and makes it more accessible to the modern reader.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Fredrick Danysh

    Ann Rand's Anthem has been adapted to graphic novel [comic book] format. The "reader" will miss many of the story's nuances. The font is extremely small making the book difficult to read. The story is about man's struggle to not become part of the herd but to maintain individuality. This was a free review copy obtained through Goodreads.com

  11. 4 out of 5

    Samson

    certainly an odd, yet necessary take on communism and restriction of the press.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Linda Quinn

    A great adaptation of yet another classic that still is relevant in today’s society.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Richard Dominguez

    This is a marvelous comic (graphic novel) adaptation of Ayn Rand's "Anthem". The mood for the story is set from page one with the use of dark and deep colors (indicating to me that anything near "light" is far away). "Anthem" The story of a dystopian society where "we" is more important than life itself. The art work does a wonderful job of depicting a village that appears to be everything it should be and yet populated by the living dead (no I don't mean zombies). The story moves along at a great This is a marvelous comic (graphic novel) adaptation of Ayn Rand's "Anthem". The mood for the story is set from page one with the use of dark and deep colors (indicating to me that anything near "light" is far away). "Anthem" The story of a dystopian society where "we" is more important than life itself. The art work does a wonderful job of depicting a village that appears to be everything it should be and yet populated by the living dead (no I don't mean zombies). The story moves along at a great pace while capturing all of the critical points in the novel. As a faithful reader of Ayn's work I was thoroughly entertained by this adaptation. Like much of her work the story revolves around the "individual" and not always the individual's ability to overcome their circumstances but more importantly their refusal to submit to the idea that the individual is of much lesser importance than the whole. This would be an excellent way to introduce anyone (young or adult) to the works of Ms Rand. Highly recommended to all readers across the scope of Genres ... Thanks to Dan Parsons, Goodreads and The Atlas Society for hosting the giveaway which won me this copy

  14. 4 out of 5

    Derek

    I received a copy of Ayn Rand's Anthem: The Graphic Novel, by Dan Parsons and Jennifer Grossman as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for writing this review. I'm never sure about the appropriate way to evaluate a book like this. In particular, how much weight should I give to the story itself, rather than the execution of rendering the story in graphic novel form. After all, Anthem was written in 1938 by an author well known and long dead. It seems somewhat unfair to give Parsons and Grossman cred I received a copy of Ayn Rand's Anthem: The Graphic Novel, by Dan Parsons and Jennifer Grossman as a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for writing this review. I'm never sure about the appropriate way to evaluate a book like this. In particular, how much weight should I give to the story itself, rather than the execution of rendering the story in graphic novel form. After all, Anthem was written in 1938 by an author well known and long dead. It seems somewhat unfair to give Parsons and Grossman credit for the tale itself, whether good or bad. They didn't come up with it. At the same time, though, the story is critical to one's enjoyment of this book. It's, well, kinda the point. Shouldn't Parsons and Grossman's choice of story be afforded some amount of weight? They chose to render Anthem into a graphic novel over any of the thousands of other novels out there. Is a merely "good" production of Hamelt superior to a perfectly executed production of...I dunno...whatever terrible shit came out of my college creative writing class? Does the answer change if the audience has no prior experience with either work? I think it's fair to say that Anthem is not as widely known as The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged. For what it's worth, I read Anthem when I was in the 10th grade. Depending on whether it was during the Fall or Spring semester (I don't recall), that might place it in the previous century. I'm not exactly coming into this one fresh. That's a rather lengthy and anticlimactic introduction because all of this is...okay. Anthem is Rand's anti-collectivist novel of a dystopian future in which society has collapsed under an authoritarian collectivist regime that has eradicated the notion of individuality and, apparently, outlawed singular first-person pronouns. The bleak society is fleshed out decently enough (though it's a bit difficult to believe that there isn't some super-elite cabal of leaders that still live in relative luxury. There's always got to be someone at the top who is profiting) and the art sells it pretty well. The story is a bit too "moving character from point A to point B"; it all feels very predictable. I suppose that's not really the point, of course. When the main character refers to himself as "we" at the start of the story, it's pretty clear where things are heading. As a graphic novel, it's a bit text-heavy. There's a lot of not letting the "graphic" part speak for itself, though toward the end, when Prometheus has discovered his individuality, it's definitely necessary. It's been too long since I read the original, so I'm not sure how abridge (if at all) this version is. It definitely didn't feel like anything was lost. So...yeah. It's a totally competent rendition of Anthem into graphic novel form. I think it makes the leap from medium to medium well enough. I wouldn't say it's required reading by any stretch, and Anthem is a bit of a mixed bag, as neither the story nor the philosophy are as developed in this novella as they are in her other works. On the flip side, it's also about 1,000 pages shorter. If you prefer to consume your novels in illustrated format, sure, go for it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susan The Book Dragon Campton

    Welcome, my fellow Book Dragons to Whimsical Wednesday. This week’s Gem is unique. A pure crystal light bulb that lights up when held by a freedom loving being. Put it in the hands of one who seeks to take away freedom or to give their freedoms away and the crystal goes unnaturally dark. This is Gem Maker Ayn Rand’s “ANTHEM: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL”. It was adapted by a subset of Gem Maker’s in their own right: Jennifer Grossman & Dan Parsons on Rand’s Novel and Illustrated by award winning artist and Welcome, my fellow Book Dragons to Whimsical Wednesday. This week’s Gem is unique. A pure crystal light bulb that lights up when held by a freedom loving being. Put it in the hands of one who seeks to take away freedom or to give their freedoms away and the crystal goes unnaturally dark. This is Gem Maker Ayn Rand’s “ANTHEM: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL”. It was adapted by a subset of Gem Maker’s in their own right: Jennifer Grossman & Dan Parsons on Rand’s Novel and Illustrated by award winning artist and illustrator Dan Parsons. I’m am going to say this right up front. This was absolutely delicious and delightful. This was my first graphic novel and I loved it. Everything important in Rand’s novella “ANTHEM” is here. Rand understood better than most the importance of loving one freedoms. That to give them away is a fool’s errand. To hold on to them like a life preserver in a roiling sea was the smartest thing anyone could ever do. Let me tell you a bit about her. She was born in Russia. She was a child during the Russian Revolution and survived it. She witnessed first hand the horrors of Socialism, then Communism in action. She watched as people lost their property, their positions, their livelihoods and their lives. She saw family and friends persecuted, witnessed as they disappeared and even though her family fled Russia, they still received the reports about the extermination of millions by Josef Stalin. Rand did not sit idly by while intellectuals and scholars sat about arguing and later fawning over the supposed merits of both National Socialism (Fascists in Germany) and Communism. She was frightened and extremely concerned when she began hearing American Leaders talking about how wonderful the “noble experiments” of the Fascists and Communists were. Especially admired by these people were both ideologies ideals that mankind existed only to serve society..never the individual. She had fled to the United States herself, because she considered it the main bastion of freedom on earth. And so in the 1938 she published “Anthem”. Grossman and Parsons have taken Ayn’s work and made it easily readable and attainable for everyone. Parsons illustrations are works of art, using characters faces to show every emotion and making the society exactly the way Rand described much of it. The print is a bit small for my old eyes, but I am sure all of you younger beings will have no problem with it. I would strongly encourage you to get this graphic novel as soon as you can. It would make an excellent addition to any library and is a great resource on the subject of Freedom and the loss thereof. It is currently available at book sellers everywhere. And some used books are out there as well, but this is so well done, I’d pick up a new one if possible because this is definitely a keeper. Until tomorrow I remain, your humble Book Dragon, Drakon T. Longwitten I received this copy in a Goodreads drawing, thanks to #atlassociety books

  16. 4 out of 5

    MD

    So, first of all I should probably mention that the book started falling apart almost as soon as I started reading it. The pages completely separated from the front cover and spine, and mostly from the back cover. Many pages separated from the other pages and are completely loose (and there are no page numbers). So if you are thinking of buying this you might want to keep that in mind. And yes, this is reflected in my rating. So content: Readability is less than ideal. Pretty much the entire boo So, first of all I should probably mention that the book started falling apart almost as soon as I started reading it. The pages completely separated from the front cover and spine, and mostly from the back cover. Many pages separated from the other pages and are completely loose (and there are no page numbers). So if you are thinking of buying this you might want to keep that in mind. And yes, this is reflected in my rating. So content: Readability is less than ideal. Pretty much the entire book is written as a diary or train of thought. Dialog is practically nonexistent. There are several abrupt time and/or place changes that would benefit from a frame or caption for transition. The art didn’t blow me away, but I didn’t hate it either. But Ayn Rand is all about the message, right? And that’s why I was interested in reading the book. So I am not a fan of the current populism, but I am not a fan of unchecked capitalism (or libertarianism) either. So I guess I wasn’t won over. It sounds like this is a reaction to the communist “from each according to his ability; to each according to his need.” I guess I have a more pessimistic view of human nature than Ayn Rand does. What communism in the USSR and China seems to have shown is that communism does not result in an egalitarian society (or as depicted here, an egalitarian dystopia), but in a complex black market economy, graft, and corruption. Not to imply that these don’t exist under other types of government as well. So, communist utopia? Libertarian utopia? I’m very skeptical that there will ever be any type of utopia. Unfortunately dystopias are not uncommon. Also, the sexism did get to me. I was surprised it was so strong given that the author is female, but yup it sure is - “I and my sons”. Only men have ideas of their own in the book. Apparently females’ sole contribution is love (and possibly consumerism). And then there are the characters’ physical attributes. This is something that bugs me in many books of all types. The main protagonist is blond blue-eyed, white, and a perfect physical specimen. The main female character is too. Yeesh. It does mention that people (well, actually “men” of course) should be free regardless of their birth, kin, or race; and the art does depict some non-white men among the “chosen friends” (but still with perfect physiques), so if overt racism exists in the original text there has been at least some effort to temper it here. I expected a graphic novel to be a more accessible introduction to Ayn Rand than picking up one of her novels, and it probably is. The main reason I wouldn’t recommend this book is the poor quality of the physical book itself - primarily the binding. I’m glad I read it, but I’m also very glad I received my copy for free via Goodreads.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Devyn

    A short graphic novel of Ayn Rand's dystopian classic Anthem. In Anthem, Rand examines a future in which individuals have no name, no independence, and no values. Equality 7-2521 lives in the dark ages of the future in a purely egalitarian world where all decisions are made by committee, all people live in collectives, and all traces of individualism have been wiped out. But despite such a restrictive environment, the spark of individual thought and freedom still burns in him--a passion which he A short graphic novel of Ayn Rand's dystopian classic Anthem. In Anthem, Rand examines a future in which individuals have no name, no independence, and no values. Equality 7-2521 lives in the dark ages of the future in a purely egalitarian world where all decisions are made by committee, all people live in collectives, and all traces of individualism have been wiped out. But despite such a restrictive environment, the spark of individual thought and freedom still burns in him--a passion which he has been conditioned to call sinful. “It is a sin to write this.” Equality 7-2521 discovers an underground ruin from the Unmentionable Times and explores his forbidden passion for learning and rediscovers electricity. “And questions give us no rest. We know not why our curse makes us seek we know not what, ever and ever. But we cannot resist it. It whispers to us that there are great things on this earth of ours, and that we can know them if we try, and that we must know them. We ask, why must we know, but it has no answer to give us. We must know that we may know.” Equality 7-2521 attempts to share his discovery with the Committee of Scholars and is marked for death for the unforgivable sin of individuality. He flees to the Uncharted Forest where no man will follow and where men die from the corruption of solitude. Instead of death, Equality 7-2521 experiences the wonder of true, unrestricted freedom. “Today we have discovered the word that could not be said. "I” And where brave men fear to go, a woman roams freely. Equality 7-2521 singular love interest -another unforgivable, shameful sin- Liberty 5-3000 follows him into exile. And the rebellion for individual freedom is born. “To be free, a man must be free of his brothers. That is freedom. This and nothing else.” “At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled.” “But I still wonder how it was possible, in those graceless years of transition, long ago, that men did not see whither they were going, and went on, in blindness and cowardice, to their fate. I wonder, for it is hard for me to conceive how men who knew the word "I," could give it up and not know what they lost. But such has been the story, for I have lived in the City of the damned, and I know what horror men permitted to be brought upon them.”

  18. 4 out of 5

    Astrid Galactic

    In Ayn Rand's ANTHEM: The Graphic Novel, Jennifer Grossman and Dan Parsons have come up with a wonderful new edition of Any Rand's novel, Anthem. What they've done was to retell the story, complete with graphics. You could say that it's a comic book of sorts, beautifully illustrated in color with nice, thick pages. The story itself is based on an extreme dystopian society that has completely abolished the concept of the self as an individual. One could say that it is a sort of extreme Communism In Ayn Rand's ANTHEM: The Graphic Novel, Jennifer Grossman and Dan Parsons have come up with a wonderful new edition of Any Rand's novel, Anthem. What they've done was to retell the story, complete with graphics. You could say that it's a comic book of sorts, beautifully illustrated in color with nice, thick pages. The story itself is based on an extreme dystopian society that has completely abolished the concept of the self as an individual. One could say that it is a sort of extreme Communism where the whole is all that matters and any regard towards individualism is grounds for severe punishment. They are so entrenched in the idea of a group mindset that the word "I" does not exist within their language. Pure Collectivism all the way! Even the various characters have names that reference them only as machine parts or classification tags which includes numbers. The closest they get to any sort of concept of self is that there are various groupings of people but they are completely departmentalized as a company might be divided up. In some ways, they were almost like gangs. It was a little unclear of these divisions other than that they seemed to be classed by skills, character types or even races. As in any social settings, there are always those who rebel and go rogue. This is always met with some sort of public shaming and punishment, unless they can escape from their confines which they've been brainwashed would only lead them to danger and even death. Not only are they brainwashed but most knowledge is kept from them and discouraged, so any sort of personal learning must be done in secret for the sake of their own safety. Our protagonist, Equality 7-2521, is such a character. One day he discovers an abandoned underground room that seemed to have been some sort of scientific lab in many decades past. There he fiddles around and experiments with what has been left behind until he eventually discovers a means to create light. We would know it, essentially, as being electricity and batteries. Thinking that the overlords would be pleased that he had come up with a way to aid his society, he presents his findings to his overlords. Bad move! The light, symbolic of enlightenment, is one of the many things they want kept from their serf class. Of course, this leads to his punishment. Meanwhile, Equality 7-2521 had developed a secret bonding, of sorts, with a beautiful woman working the fields whom he thought of as The Golden One. She too had taken a shine to him though they each were aware that they had to keep their friendship secret from the others. As the story progresses, the two find their way together and out of the confines of their community and into the wilderness and the remains of the old world abandoned for the sake of the repressive world they left behind. In many ways, they eventually become sort of Adam and Eve figures for the beginning of a whole new world of enlightenment based on the original one left behind by their immediate elders. The graphics are very good and reminiscent of old Superman comic books as well as several images we've seen of other Fascist type governments. In some respects, some of it struck me as reflecting the old Constructivist Art posters from early 20th century Russia which is very fitting to the storyline. Besides being an important story, the book is a beautiful work of art printed on thick paper. My only real problem with the book is the binding. While reading the book, I found the pages would separate from the book itself, even with the gentlest of turning. I would very highly suggest to the publishers that they find a new method to bind the book in future publications. This book is too nice to read once and toss. It's a keeper! One other note of interest is that this would make for a great required reading for classes studying various forms of governments, societies or other philosophic movements. Possibly have the students do a comparison between this and what is often thought of as the "Me Generation" for the sake of balance. There are many possibilities of how the lessons from this book can be utilized to stimulate thought and encourage a healthy balance in one's life, as well as compare to other existing governments.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Randy M.

    Just to be clear, this is a review of the visual interpretation presented in Ayn Rand's ANTHEM: The Graphic Novel. I will not comment on the subject matter of the story here. Anthem, like Rand’s other works, has a strong ideological viewpoint in its presentation of a future dystopian society. Your enjoyment of the story will be heavily influenced by where your own ideology falls with respect to the author’s. I will also admit that I am not a graphic novel aficionado. I have nothing against them Just to be clear, this is a review of the visual interpretation presented in Ayn Rand's ANTHEM: The Graphic Novel. I will not comment on the subject matter of the story here. Anthem, like Rand’s other works, has a strong ideological viewpoint in its presentation of a future dystopian society. Your enjoyment of the story will be heavily influenced by where your own ideology falls with respect to the author’s. I will also admit that I am not a graphic novel aficionado. I have nothing against them at all and I have read a few; but only a few. Therefore, I can’t really compare and contrast this graphic novel with its peers. I can only impart my opinion on the Anthem graphic novel in isolation, without any frame of reference. With all that out of the way, I will say that I enjoyed the visual presentation of this graphic novel. Anthem is set in a dystopian future, so it would not make sense for the visuals to be bright and cheerful. The illustrations here are appropriately dark and gloomy and match the tone of the story very well. The text of Rand’s story is not contained verbatim in this graphic novel. However, it does follow very closely to the source and can be enjoyed without knowledge of the original story. One minor quibble with the graphic novel is that it is not separated into sections like the source material. Therefore, the settings in the panels can abruptly change as the illustrations shift from one section of the story into the next. I thought the illustrations themselves were nicely done. They visually captured the scenes and the mood of the story very well. Sometimes I felt the facial expressions were overly caricaturized, especially with regard to the suppressors in the story, but on the whole I quite enjoyed them. This graphic novel is a nice effort at presenting the work of Ayn Rand in a different medium to reach a wider audience. I think that is probably the main intent with this production and I am fine with that. No matter what one’s ideology is, nobody should fear or suppress differing points of view; lest you be the embodiment of this cautionary tale!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Angie

    Ok, first a disclaimer: I won this book in a goodreads giveaway in exchange (should I choose to) for a review. Now, as for what I thought of it. As I have never read the original or any other book written by Ayn Rand I cannot compare it to the short novel it is an adaptation of so for me it will stand alone. Ayn Rand's Anthem: The Graphic Novel tells the story of one man that lives as part of a society without individuals if and idea is not shared by everyone it doesn't exist. You are given a pl Ok, first a disclaimer: I won this book in a goodreads giveaway in exchange (should I choose to) for a review. Now, as for what I thought of it. As I have never read the original or any other book written by Ayn Rand I cannot compare it to the short novel it is an adaptation of so for me it will stand alone. Ayn Rand's Anthem: The Graphic Novel tells the story of one man that lives as part of a society without individuals if and idea is not shared by everyone it doesn't exist. You are given a place to serve as a meer part of the one. Speak, think and live as everyone else or be eliminated. Not satisfied with this he breaks away to gain the freedom of individuality and choice. It does come off a little "I can do whatever I want because I am the great and mighty MAN, everybody else who denies our power can F off." at times. Which I suppose is in the essence of Libertarian-ism of which Ayn Rand was an principle advocate for. I am a bit disappointing of how women were represented here (as were others of you) because though he approves of her individualism she is still not encouraged to be her own person she is subservient to him and he allows it and even chooses her new name for her. Other than that, I thought the art was good and I had no issue with the font, rather than being too small everybody seemed to think. I thought it was about standard and had no issue. Overall, I thought it was very well done. But as for inspiring me to read her books, no it doesn't simply because they are not my cup of tea.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brian Douglas

    I wavered between 4 and 5 stars for this book. I'm not a big fan of Ayn Rand's philosophy mainly because it is too extremist and all things must be balanced. Also, having read Fountainhead, I am not fond of authors beating the readers over the head with their philosophy through diatribes rather than letting the story carry the message. Anyway, the graphic novel was entertaining, sort of an Ayn Rand lite. It depicts an unbelievable (I hope) dystopian future in which mankind has destroyed civilizat I wavered between 4 and 5 stars for this book. I'm not a big fan of Ayn Rand's philosophy mainly because it is too extremist and all things must be balanced. Also, having read Fountainhead, I am not fond of authors beating the readers over the head with their philosophy through diatribes rather than letting the story carry the message. Anyway, the graphic novel was entertaining, sort of an Ayn Rand lite. It depicts an unbelievable (I hope) dystopian future in which mankind has destroyed civilization through war and the new civilization focuses on the benefit of society as a whole to the point of extinguishing individualism. The end result is that progress is slowed to a crawl as competition and individualism is squelched. No one person can be elevated above others in any way, to the point where even friendship, much less love, is forbidden as you would then think of the friend/lover with a higher regard than your fellow man. Decisions take forever because they must be decided by committee and everyone's rights considered (Okay, maybe I can see this bit happening today). For example, the hero of the story brings his discovery of the electric light to the council of the scholars and they reject it immediately because it would put all the candle makers out of work. In any case, I enjoyed the story (I might even read the book because it is supposedly short) and the artwork. I recommend this graphic novel.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jake Jeffries

    I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. It was ok. I really enjoyed the artwork. It took me a minute to get used to the speaking style but then I kind of enjoyed how the author limited the speech patterns to emphasize the brotherhood and loss of individuality. An individuality which is eventually discovered. The message it was trying to send was loud and clear, government control can have negative consequences which in cases of excessive control can be true. However, I do not subscribe to the social I won this in a Goodreads giveaway. It was ok. I really enjoyed the artwork. It took me a minute to get used to the speaking style but then I kind of enjoyed how the author limited the speech patterns to emphasize the brotherhood and loss of individuality. An individuality which is eventually discovered. The message it was trying to send was loud and clear, government control can have negative consequences which in cases of excessive control can be true. However, I do not subscribe to the socialism is evil mentality that is a common belief in Rand's philosophy. From what little research I have done, Anthem does not dive as much into that as some of her other works. There are cons to both pure socialism and pure capitalism. It would be nice if a middle ground could be found where individuality still exists and the many are not trampled on by the few. Suffice to say, after doing some research into Ayn Rand I do not think I will be exploring her other works simply because life is too short and there are many other books to read. I also revel in the irony that I won this book in a giveaway. Ayn Rand was such a champion for capitalism yet I received this book for free.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Glen

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received this book through the Goodreads giveaway contest. I use to love reading graphic novels growing up and after reading this one, I remembered why. The story, in itself, is fantastic. It really makes the reader think about a person's own identity. The book tells of mankind's future, where man has almost destroyed himself through wars of mass destruction. What is left is a ruling class that dictates each lower class individuals role in life. Every person under the ruling class is told when I received this book through the Goodreads giveaway contest. I use to love reading graphic novels growing up and after reading this one, I remembered why. The story, in itself, is fantastic. It really makes the reader think about a person's own identity. The book tells of mankind's future, where man has almost destroyed himself through wars of mass destruction. What is left is a ruling class that dictates each lower class individuals role in life. Every person under the ruling class is told when to eat, sleep and work. They are taught that their very existence is for the group as a whole and that there is no such thing as individual thinking, or actions. The story evolves around this theme until one man decides to think outside the box. This man comes to understand that there is more to life than the word drilled into them since birth..."WE". Through individual thought process and constant questioning of his surroundings, he finally can identify with another word..."I". A very thought provoking story that I highly recommend reading.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This was a decent illustrated classics version of Anthem. It was not that great of a graphic novel. The art seemed static and did not progress enough to make the connection to the plot progression and revelation of the end. The panels were also extremely text heavy without a good flow of dialogue. It just seemed to miss the mark in transforming completely from a novel to graphic novel, it didn’t have the genre feeling. The art was ok and got some plot points across well. The physical binding is k This was a decent illustrated classics version of Anthem. It was not that great of a graphic novel. The art seemed static and did not progress enough to make the connection to the plot progression and revelation of the end. The panels were also extremely text heavy without a good flow of dialogue. It just seemed to miss the mark in transforming completely from a novel to graphic novel, it didn’t have the genre feeling. The art was ok and got some plot points across well. The physical binding is kind of poor as mentioned by other reviewers. My copy lost a page while going through the first read. Also as someone else stated, there are no page numbers and the narrative does not have a clear sequence in all places so there can be confusion when a page falls out. Overall, it was not great but not horrible. It was a decent shorter version of a short novel. It should be an easily accessible version for those wanting a refresher or introduction to Rand. I received this graphic novel for free through Goodreads giveaway program.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brent Soderstrum

    I won this book through GoodReads First Read program. I will start out with the negative parts. The book was falling apart as I read it. The binding didn't keep the pages connected and as a result many of the pages were sticking out by the time I was done. I am also not a big fan of graphic novels, although it works well with high brow classic books like Anthem. Now the positive. The graphics were good and helped tell the story Ayn Rand wanted to tell in the futuristic tale of the negative sides of I won this book through GoodReads First Read program. I will start out with the negative parts. The book was falling apart as I read it. The binding didn't keep the pages connected and as a result many of the pages were sticking out by the time I was done. I am also not a big fan of graphic novels, although it works well with high brow classic books like Anthem. Now the positive. The graphics were good and helped tell the story Ayn Rand wanted to tell in the futuristic tale of the negative sides of communism and socialism. So this novella is very pertinent today for the younger generations who fall in love with the gushing tales of sharing all for the good of all. Rand tells the tale of a future in which we don't have individual names. We do all and give all for the good of society, not ourselves. The government makes all decisions for us. One man and one woman, the Golden One, rebel and escape to live in the wild in a house like we have today. I enjoy Rand and tend to agree with her views on communism and socialism.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I read Anthem years ago and didn't remember much about it. I think it was too strangely worded for my brain to grasp at the time, though I remembered enjoying it. (That whole 'we' instead of 'I' thing.) This graphic novel makes it easier to understand by using pictures to support comprehension and short lines of text that are the most meaningful. I enjoyed this book and have a better grasp of what it means. I teach 4th grade and am required to read "The City of Ember" to my students. I couldn't be I read Anthem years ago and didn't remember much about it. I think it was too strangely worded for my brain to grasp at the time, though I remembered enjoying it. (That whole 'we' instead of 'I' thing.) This graphic novel makes it easier to understand by using pictures to support comprehension and short lines of text that are the most meaningful. I enjoyed this book and have a better grasp of what it means. I teach 4th grade and am required to read "The City of Ember" to my students. I couldn't believe the parallels between the two books. Had I not read this graphic novel, I might not have seen that connection. I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I am happy that I did. I did not know that there was a society dedicated to Ayn Rand's philosophy of objectivism: www.atlassociety.org I have just begun to look at the site, so I cannot say whether I recommend it for readers, but if you really like Rand's work, you may want to check it out.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sonya Huser

    Can see how this novel is as relevant today as ever, but Ayn Rand's treatment of female characters continues to bother me and keeps me from going all in with her. (Think: rape leading to an epic love story between Howard Roark and Dominique in The Fountainhead.) In Anthem, the main character and narrator, a man, resisists his programming, has his own thoughts, and questions. The woman who becomes his mate is not a genius like him (of course), and has no other interests besides to follow him. Als Can see how this novel is as relevant today as ever, but Ayn Rand's treatment of female characters continues to bother me and keeps me from going all in with her. (Think: rape leading to an epic love story between Howard Roark and Dominique in The Fountainhead.) In Anthem, the main character and narrator, a man, resisists his programming, has his own thoughts, and questions. The woman who becomes his mate is not a genius like him (of course), and has no other interests besides to follow him. Also, this book is dystopian, but it's a conservative's dystopia. Political correctness runs so amok that no one uses pronouns except the collective "we." Equality is placed above all else, to the point of punishing characters whose intellect exceeds that of a secondary mentally handicapped character. I can't figure Ayn Rand's work out and continue to feel like maybe I'm not smart enough to "get it."

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vancie

    I was provided with a free copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. So. I had never previously read 'The Anthem', so I cannot compare the graphic novel to the original. Just putting that out there to start. That said, I greatly enjoyed this graphic novel! It was intriguing, beautifully drawn, and thought-provoking. While parts of the story were predictable, it was great for a short read. It only took me a few hours, but left me pondering life and people and the way we behave. Exactly what I was provided with a free copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway. So. I had never previously read 'The Anthem', so I cannot compare the graphic novel to the original. Just putting that out there to start. That said, I greatly enjoyed this graphic novel! It was intriguing, beautifully drawn, and thought-provoking. While parts of the story were predictable, it was great for a short read. It only took me a few hours, but left me pondering life and people and the way we behave. Exactly what I think it was supposed to do. I definitely recommend it for anyone into dystopian novels, as a shorter kind of binge read. The only thing I could say is that while I understood how the writing style related to the story, it also felt very childish at times. Many words were bolded (not sure if it's just my eyes or that's true) somewhat randomly, and others for emphasis. Although the story was a bit repetitive and seems a bit cliche, for a quick read I cannot really fault it. Give it a go!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Bagato

    The graphic novel format makes thick material approachable and appealing to modern audiences. As for Ayn Rand's story, I am conflicted about its timeliness. On the one hand, it's an obvious cautionary tale about the dangers of the lowest common denominator taking over and not wanting anyone to be better. On the other hand, it is obviously aimed at communism as an unsustainable social model, which seems dated. Today's society is obsessed with the individual at the expense of consideration for the The graphic novel format makes thick material approachable and appealing to modern audiences. As for Ayn Rand's story, I am conflicted about its timeliness. On the one hand, it's an obvious cautionary tale about the dangers of the lowest common denominator taking over and not wanting anyone to be better. On the other hand, it is obviously aimed at communism as an unsustainable social model, which seems dated. Today's society is obsessed with the individual at the expense of consideration for the good of the whole, so a parable promoting individualism seems less necessary than it did when fascism was on the rise. (Then again, is it not on the rise now under a certain administration?) The scholars, however, are a bleak reminder of the current congress in its stalemate, and the drawbacks of a democratic system. What is the answer? I didn't find it here, but it was certainly food for thought.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I was interested to read it because I have heard of Ayn Rand and her philosophies, but had not read any of her works. This was a decently interesting story, but I found it to be generally quite predictable despite not having read the book or other of Ayn Rand’s novels. I think if you have read any dystopian novels, you can see where it is going very quickly. Additionally, this book is very preachy at times. Basically the last 1/4 of the book I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I was interested to read it because I have heard of Ayn Rand and her philosophies, but had not read any of her works. This was a decently interesting story, but I found it to be generally quite predictable despite not having read the book or other of Ayn Rand’s novels. I think if you have read any dystopian novels, you can see where it is going very quickly. Additionally, this book is very preachy at times. Basically the last 1/4 of the book is just telling you what’s right and wrong from the main character’s perspective. I also found the lack of agency of the main female character to be very sad, when you consider that in light of the other philosophical ideals presented in the book. The art of the book is fine, but, as other commenters mentioned, the layout could also be improved - the font was small and difficult to read.

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