I generally avoid modern "philosophiers" so I never read any of her books.
But I recently ran into the BD release of ATLAS SHRUGGED, pt1 (cheap!) and took a flier on it out of curiosity: professional critics savaged the movie yet audiences that actually saw it loved it (86% rated it highly).
I was... impressed... by the movie. (Looking forward to the sequel.)
A very nicely done SF dystopia.
As a movie it is extremely well made; good casting, acting, and pacing. I can see why the Hollywood establishment *needs* to see this movie project destroyed.
Very dangerous ideas clearly and entertainly presented.
"Mediocrity despises excellence." "Takers vs makers".
Can't let the serfs realize they are property and all that.
Based on that, I read ATLAS SHRUGGED, the book.
Yes, it is preachy and strident. Overlong.
But there is a good SF dystopia in there; there is a coherent storyline and memorable characters. It has something to say and its ideas are relevant to the present world. Taken as an alternate universe story it holds up better than mst 50's SF.
It can be argued that, to a large extent, we are living in the world she postulated: A lot of the attitudes she decried can be seen daily in the traditionalists' war against ebooks and against Amazon. (And before, against Microsoft.)
Mediocrity despises excellence and hates success. This we are living.
I intend to give Anthem a look one of these days but I do have a few other (gift) books ahead in the TBR list. I do hope it is a bit less strident but if the writing is comparable to ATLAS... It'll be worth my time.
For 50's era SF, there's a lot to be said for Rand *as a writer*.
Now, this isn't to say I actually buy into her philosophy.
I'm not all that comfortable with her prescription but I do agree with her diagnosis and prognosis. We are all of us fighting Salamis all over again, every single day; some on the "Athenian" side, some on the "persian" side.
And the "persians" are winning.
If Rand were alive I suspect "strident" wouldn't even begin to describe her attitude.