I shot John Galt
November 9, 2007 3:45 PM   Subscribe

What book is the opposite of Atlas Shrugged?

A friend is reading Atlas Shrugged. I couldn't put my finger on why Ayn Rand's stuff makes me uncomfortable, but I told her I'd try to find something that showed the other side. Now I'm at a loss. Help!
posted by atchafalaya to Writing & Language (77 answers total) 70 users marked this as a favorite
 
Notes From Underground?
posted by shadow vector at 3:50 PM on November 9, 2007


Maybe The Grapes of Wrath?
posted by mhum at 3:50 PM on November 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


The Communist Manifesto
posted by willnot at 3:52 PM on November 9, 2007


Crime and Punishment, while not exactly the opposite of Atlas Shrugged, would provide a good counterpoint. Actually, a lot of Dostoevsky would work.
posted by granted at 3:54 PM on November 9, 2007


The Bible
posted by caddis at 3:56 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Catch 22?
posted by doctor_negative at 3:56 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


more specifically, the New Testament.
posted by caddis at 3:57 PM on November 9, 2007




Anything at all written by Emmanual Kant.

I would strongly recommend Critique of Practical Reason or Critique of Pure Reason. Especially Practical reason. If you want the tools with which to deconstruct any infinitely egoist argument (as most of Rand's are), Kant is the man for it. Rand has a fascination with free will and the nature of subjective beings; Kant is so over it and moves on to set up a framework for how to operate in an ethical way in a universe with no actual right or wrong.

For an entirely different reason, I'd suggest reading stuff by Frank Herbert. Dune is cool. The Santaroga Barrier is about dropping acid. Herbert has a really really contrasting viewpoint to Rand.
posted by judge.mentok.the.mindtaker at 3:58 PM on November 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


I don't have a book to point you to, but I think one of her axioms is wrong: There are no conflicts of interest between rational beings who do not demand the unearned.
posted by cmiller at 4:03 PM on November 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


The Man Without Qualities. I realize it takes a lot of gall to recommend a 1000+ page book, but you'll really have to trust me on this one.
posted by roll truck roll at 4:06 PM on November 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Illuminatus trilogy?
posted by advil at 4:06 PM on November 9, 2007 [4 favorites]


The Brothers Karamazov, if you believe my Harvard admissions essay.
posted by ikkyu2 at 4:07 PM on November 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


I read this when I was in high school; it isn't bad at doing what you want.

There was another novel sort of like this one, written a bit later, which was about meat packing in Chicago, but I'll be damned if I can remember the name of it. That's probably also pretty good.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:08 PM on November 9, 2007


(I was googling around to see if anyone agreed with me, and found this comment by someone on goodreads, which expresses it rather well:

The thing is, the book saved my soul. I say this because I read the Illuminatus! trilogy the very first thing after stumbling into reading Ayn Rand's Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged in high school, as a fairly bright and moderately-creative geek, which qualities looked even more exaggerated by relative comparison to a very small class size. That's like getting injected with concentrated live-culture viruses after your immune system has been taken out by heavy radiation blasts.

But the Illuminatus! trilogy is like a gene-tailored antidote to that. Who knows what abyss I would've fallen into otherwise?


Also, it provides a much sillier counterpart to the very many serious recommendations so far in this thread.)
posted by advil at 4:11 PM on November 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


There was another novel sort of like this one, written a bit later, which was about meat packing in Chicago, but I'll be damned if I can remember the name of it.

Upton Sinclair's The Jungle.

I'm not sure that it's actually anti-Randian. It just shows you what you get for being a whim-worshipping muscle-mystic, that's all.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:12 PM on November 9, 2007


Any great moral philosopher:
Plato; Aristotle; Kant; Hume; Mill; Rawls; and so on.

You find it unsatisfying because it's drivel. Ayn Rand has an incorrect view of human nature and human motivation, which is appealing to people who wish to be seen as "hard-headed" and "willing to face tough realities". (Many people have brief infatuation with Rand when then are between ages of 15 and 30, and then later they grow out of it. Some people continue to find her thought appealing; this is rarer in my experience.) Contrary to Rand's view: Humans are not wholly selfish in their motivations. Humans love other people and usually want to be loved; they cooperate and help others even at cost to themselves. Any philosophy that ignores this, or tries to weasel out by saying "oh, it looks like they're acting altruistically but really that's selfish because it makes them feel good to be altrustic, so they're still acting purely from selfish motives" is necessarily going to be unsatisfying. (This goes for oversimple versions of "evolutionary psychology" too.) Any philosophy that says people who are selfish are morally better is necessarily going to be unsatisfying, because that's just not what morality means, and humans do care about morality.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:12 PM on November 9, 2007 [13 favorites]


I don't want to bring in all the Randroids, but the problem with Atlas Shrugs is that it's a very silly, shallow book.

Any great nineteenth-century novel -- heck, any great novel in that sort of grand, sweeping novelistic tradition -- is going to deal with questions of individualism in the context of society in a more thorough and subtle way. So: Dostoyevsky, Zola (esp. Germinal) even something like Middlemarch.

Or you could go with Les Miserables, which apparently served as an inspiration for Her Aynness, but is actually good.

The answer to your question (how to deal with the nagging unease you have with Rand) won't come through a shallow collectivist or communitarian work -- not least because they're thin on the ground, given that the novel is inherently the literary form of modern individualism. Instead, treat yourself to a beefy grown-up 19th-c European novel.

Though Steinbeck isn't a bad substitute at all.
posted by holgate at 4:15 PM on November 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


And seconding Illuminatus! since it appeals to the same age-mindset that Rand does. (It's a brilliant suggestion, since other great works of literature that are about the messy reality of the human condition might be too serious to be appealing. Some Harlan Ellison -- Repent Harlequin -- or other anti-authoritarian stuff from the late 60s and 70s might be good as well.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:16 PM on November 9, 2007


I believe you are thinking of The Jungle by Upton Sinclair?
posted by zennoshinjou at 4:17 PM on November 9, 2007


sigh... people post so fast here.
posted by zennoshinjou at 4:17 PM on November 9, 2007


I agree with LobsterMitten's diagnosis. The main problem with Rand is the psychology, not the economics or philosophy. Which I think is why a few different people have recommended Dostoevsky, perhaps the greatest literary chronicler of human nature to have ever lived.
posted by shadow vector at 4:18 PM on November 9, 2007


Not that the economics and philosophy are any great shakes.
posted by shadow vector at 4:18 PM on November 9, 2007


Some Kurt Vonnegut, in the same vein?
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:19 PM on November 9, 2007


how about jane jacobs' the death and life of the great american cities.
posted by alkupe at 4:27 PM on November 9, 2007


Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress. See this review, which gives away pretty much the first fourth of the book (by reviewing the novella the book was based on) and discusses the Rand connection.
posted by mistersix at 4:27 PM on November 9, 2007


With respect to Atlas Shrugged, there is no "other side" — only Rand's view.

For which specific tenets of her views are you looking for opposition?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:27 PM on November 9, 2007


I second the Brothers Karamazov, and also recommend Sewer, Gas, and Electric by Matt Ruff, a kind of futuristic dystopian critique of Rand's philosophy accomplished by creating very engaging and oftentimes comic characters who themselves defy Randian analysis. Best of all, Ayn Rand (or a miniaturized holographic version of her) is a character, who is constantly at odds with the ethic of the novel. Really well done; it was offered at my university in a class on Rand as a kind of literary critique. Also an excellent and highly readable novel- one of the few that made me laugh out loud.
posted by farishta at 4:32 PM on November 9, 2007


sartre's play 'no exit'
http://www.nyu.edu/classes/keefer/hell/sart.html

Or sartre's "the wall" or "being and nothingness"

I 2nd dostoyevsky's 'crime and punishment' as well.

Oh wait but he's asking for "the opposite" ... So, I'd go with any winnie the poo story :P (or "Tao of Poo")
posted by albatross5000 at 4:37 PM on November 9, 2007


"The Dispossessed" by Ursula K. LeGuin portrays what some call libertarian socialism -- turning objectivism on its head.
posted by JackFlash at 4:39 PM on November 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


The book you want is Gladkov's Cement, . It's an absolutely dreadful book written in a very similar style to Rand, but all about heroic factory works and communists. It's laughable and overblown (and mostly unreadable) in the same way that Atlas Shrugged is.

People, the opposite of Atlas Shrugged is not a good book. It's another bad book but from the opposite political spectrum. That's how you show a Randroid what's terrible about Atlas Shrugged.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:41 PM on November 9, 2007 [5 favorites]


THE GIVING TREE
posted by mr. remy at 4:44 PM on November 9, 2007 [3 favorites]


The Golden Notebook, by Doris Lessing -- although it's a little like sending Ali in his prime to take out the all-city peewee Golden Gloves Champ of Moline, Illinois.
posted by jamjam at 4:44 PM on November 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


After reading several of these answers, it suddenly becomes odd to me that no one's mentioned Franny and Zooey. It's also written to be extremely appealing to 13-24 kids who think they are, and may well be, smarter than everyone around them, but (SPOILER ALERT) it teaches how awesome it is to be unselfish and nice to people.
posted by roll truck roll at 4:46 PM on November 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Walden Two
posted by Rykey at 4:59 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Interesting question ... first thing that came to mind as the opposite of Ayn Rand was the phrase "warm humanism", and I thought of Vonnegut too.

There's lots of warm humanist type writers but Vonnegut especially seems to really be trying to prove a point, which I think fits the bill of an anti-Rand.
posted by 31d1 at 5:01 PM on November 9, 2007


War and Peace. It's actually pretty similar in form--really long, lots of characters (but just a handful of major ones), epic scope, and lots of essays/arguments mixed in (although where Rand uses John Galt, etc. to make her points, Tolstoy usually uses his own voice). But the argument is the exact opposite: Rand talks about great men making their mark on the world, while Tolstoy says that the masses choose who becomes "great"--e.g. Napoleon didn't rise to power because he was a unique individual, but because his people were in the mood for empire, and he was in the right place at the right time; if it hadn't been him, it would've been someone else, and so on.

on preview:
People, the opposite of Atlas Shrugged is not a good book. It's another bad book but from the opposite political spectrum.

This is exactly why I think War and Peace fits. I actually liked Atlas Shrugged as a novel--the philosophy is silly, and the world depicted bears no resemblance to the real world, but the plot is exciting, the dialogue is snappy (when not expounding the philosophy), and so on--if you just think of it as a fantasy novel, I think it's pretty good, actually. Similarly, War and Peace is a great novel with some bad philosophy tacked on. (Well, okay, maybe not as bad, but still.)
posted by equalpants at 5:02 PM on November 9, 2007


Beggars in Spain by Nancy Kress.

Really only the first book though. By the end of the series Kress is much more philosophically in line with Rand than responding to her.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:06 PM on November 9, 2007


walden.
posted by thinkingwoman at 5:10 PM on November 9, 2007


Lots of good recommendations in this thread.

Nietzsche is a far more interesting philosopher (and a much better writer) than Rand. In my opinion, one of Rand's foremost flaws is that she does not take into account the depravity of human beings. Nietzsche understood that depravity.

His philosophy and his writings may not be perfect but they are far more practical than Rand.
posted by hellhammer at 5:20 PM on November 9, 2007


Ishmael
(though it kinda sucks too)
posted by scruss at 5:32 PM on November 9, 2007


I was going to say Ishmael - by Daniel Quinn - as well. (N.B. It works much better if you think about it as a parable, a teaching story, rather than a novel. Because it is NOT a good novel, but it's an interesting presentation of a sort of wacky philosophy. I liked it, particularly as a teenager - and I liked Atlas Shrugged, too, although I think Rand's philosophy is bizarre.)
posted by restless_nomad at 5:55 PM on November 9, 2007


Don Quixote.
posted by thinkpiece at 6:32 PM on November 9, 2007


The opposite of objectivism is subjectivism (roughly speaking). As a philosophy and fiction, the engagement-positive existentialists and quasi-existentialists are the best sources for radical subjectivity.

My recommendation is The Plague by Albert Camus, but I'll 2nd Walden, Notes from Underground, Crime and Punishment, and any fictional Sartre. But really you can't beat Camus for brevity and clarity among these novels. I also think he has the most constructive and digestible philosophy of relationships.

Full Disclosure: All I know of Rand I learned from wikipedia and Bioshock.
posted by cowbellemoo at 6:34 PM on November 9, 2007


If you can find it, an original, hard cover edition (ISBN 0-395-46107-3) of Nathaniel Branden's "Judgment Day: My Years With Ayn Rand" might be what you seek. Branden was the man to whom the initial dedication of "Atlas Shrugged" was made. He and Rand famously fell out in the summer of 1968, and his name was removed from subsequent printings of the book. According to Branden, he and his first wife Barbara, were the only people specifically barred by Rand's instructions from attending her funereal in 1982.

But be careful of later editions of this book, which drop the "Judgment Day" portion of the title, and are actually a revised version of the book, tamed down to satisfy the demands of the Atlas Society, in return for which changes, Branden was somewhat welcomed back to the fold of Objectivism, and did some talks at the summer Objectivist Center's series in the mid 80s. The original edition of the book contains a number of details about Rand's personal life, and in particular her affairs with Branden, that are completely missing in later editions.

Like Rand, Branden is more of a "cool polemicist" than a philosopher, or psychologist. As a writer, he's typically as manipulative, in a cheap Hollywood way, as was Rand. IOW, literature this ain't. But it is a unique look at the thin fiction Rand clumsily constructed as her public face, and her amorality otherwise, from a person with a unique, if vengeful, perspective on Rand's complete lack of personal dedication to her own philosophy.

After that, if you're still looking for something reasonably redemptive in fiction with which to contrast "Atlas Shrugged," I'd suggest "Arrowsmith" by Sinclair Lewis. From the same human motivations of greed, ambition, fear, sex and alienation that Rand uses to try to rebuild a utopia, from her conception of dystopia, which to sane folks seems, at her conclusion, instead, a worse dystopia, Lewis tries to rebuild just one man. And where Rand fails, Lewis succeeds.
posted by paulsc at 6:59 PM on November 9, 2007 [5 favorites]




Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land and Starship Troopers. The reasons why are complicated, but to sum them up: Heinlein believed (or at least, argued for) individual rights and freedom, but balanced these with duty and love.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 8:13 PM on November 9, 2007


Well, there's Jeff Walker's The Ayn Rand Cult but it's more of a heavily biased apologetic against Rand in general rather than a literary foil to Atlas Shrugged.
posted by brownpau at 8:14 PM on November 9, 2007


Second the Walden Two rec., but really, for me, the ultimate anti-Rand is Gilles Deleuze, and the ultimate Deleuze is A Thousand Plateaus (w/ Felix Guattari)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:22 PM on November 9, 2007




Dorothy Day's autobiography, The Long Loneliness. Day, who placed service and community above all other values, is pretty much Rand's anti-type.
posted by felix betachat at 8:25 PM on November 9, 2007


Summerhill

Walden Two
posted by JimN2TAW at 8:26 PM on November 9, 2007


Lentrohamsanin -- Cement may be enthusiastic socialist realism, but stylistically it's incredibly similar to Gladkov-- blunt, awkward allegories of totalitarian aesthetics. Even the pompous prose has the same precious cadence.

Personally, I preferred Cement. Come to think of it, Atlas Shrugged is probably the only novel I've read that I like less than Cement.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:27 PM on November 9, 2007


Okay, actually you make a really good point. It is an ideal antidote.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 8:29 PM on November 9, 2007


Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell is not particularly an opposite, but more of an antidote, plus it's really great.

You Can't Win by Jack Black, the great hobo story, full of the warmth of human kindness where there should be none.

Actually now that I think of it, almost any really gripping book that talks about human relationships and the value of love, isn't that what makes Rand so obviously invalid and boring?

Fuck, Confederacy of Dunces contains enough to dispel Rands shit notions, especially if you want to introduce your friend to irony. What about Cormac McCarthy's The Road which you can pick up at the Barnes and Noble paperback table? It starts out with a Randian notion of everyone for themselves and ends up in a perfect description of why all of us need each other for redemption even in the worst situation one can be in.

Sky's the limit in fact, just get her something by a non-hack. Sand Country Almanac by Aldo Leopold. The Monkey Wrench Gang by Ed Abbey. Any number of Noir detective books. All Quiet on the Western Front. Fucking Harry Potter.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:53 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Tressell's classic The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists was always a gateway drug to compassionate socialism back home.
posted by Abiezer at 9:06 PM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm going to second The Plague, since it's probably my favorite book...
but lobstermittens, I think you're wrong about people.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 9:40 PM on November 9, 2007


I came back to recommend, and hereby second: Sewer Gas and Electric by Matt Ruff.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:50 PM on November 9, 2007


BLF: ok. Good luck with that.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:50 PM on November 9, 2007


Sewer, Gas and Electric- what fun.
posted by pointilist at 10:21 PM on November 9, 2007


Yeah, Ed Abbey's The Monkeywrench Gang or Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle would be my choices for both a philosophical counterpoint and a direct antidote to Rand's ridiculously un-fun writing style. I'd also second The Ayn Rand Cult for a scathing look at how the major Objectivists handled their disagreements with near-Stalin-like purges and intrigues. It's truly disgusting stuff, as bad as anything between Trotskyites, et al, and a real eye-opener about the people who created the Objectivist movement. Also, thanks to rmd1023 for that interesting National Review link.
posted by mediareport at 11:21 PM on November 9, 2007


I second, third and Nth most above. It seems that if you generally read books that don't suck, you will easily refute Rand. Like shootin' ducks in a barrell.

If you're in a hurry, and just need a passage, I recommend reading the first chapter of A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway.

It's less than 500 words, and a thousand times more present on planet earth than Rand. Smart, beautiful, chilling and evocative. All from an "objective" journalist style that is still amazingly akin to poetry.
posted by metasav at 12:45 AM on November 10, 2007


Not much of a book, but Objections to Objectivism does a good job of taking on Rand's philosophy head-on.
posted by mjklin at 4:17 AM on November 10, 2007


I am amazed that nobody has suggested Jennifer Government yet. It is exactly the opposite of Atlas Shrugged: a novel that shows a dystopian future in an increasingly capitalistic world.
posted by giggleknickers at 6:56 AM on November 10, 2007


Not really books per se, but a philosophical perspective in direct contradiction with the egocentricity of Ayn Rand is Buddhism.

Enjoyably readable introductions can be found in Pema Chodron's "Start Where You Are" or her instructor Chogyam Trungpa's "The Sacred Path of the Warrior".

Both talk about the Buddhist emphasis on letting go of belief in and attachment to the ego, and replacing it with a striving to help release all other sentient beings from suffering and confusion.

The Buddhist saints the books discuss abandon their pursuit of power, glorification and wealth for the salvation of other beings. You might call them antitheses of John Galt.
posted by Gordion Knott at 7:50 AM on November 10, 2007


The Lorax.
posted by centerweight at 7:55 AM on November 10, 2007


I'm not as well read as the other posters, so I can't recommend a book that is philosophically the polar opposite of "Atlas Shrugged", but when I read your question I immediately started thinking of books that make me feel "warm". Stylistically, Ayn Rand's writing is cold and sterile, and my antidote would be to read something like "Their Eyes are Watching God" or "One Hundred Years of Solitude".
posted by Evangeline at 8:56 AM on November 10, 2007


I am amazed that nobody has suggested Jennifer Government yet. It is exactly the opposite of Atlas Shrugged: a novel that shows a dystopian future in an increasingly capitalistic world.
++
And a damn fun/funny read, to boot.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:18 AM on November 10, 2007


I'm here too late. Vonnegut and LeGuin, nthed.
posted by rokusan at 11:34 AM on November 10, 2007


And damn, yes, Jennifer Government, of course.

Why isn't that a film yet? The thing reads like a screenplay.
posted by rokusan at 11:35 AM on November 10, 2007


Part of the problem is dealing with the tendency of others to be intrigued by things you aren't... I looked at the first few pages of Ayn Rand novels at some point or other and the writing was just so completely awful by my standards that I have never read anything of hers. And when I've talked to people about the ideas at other points, I just don't really understand why they'd find it that exciting. My sister was into some of it for a while, and we had some quite intense arguments over it (referred to here) but basically, I always found different inspiration. So you don't necessarily want something completely different, like Dostoyevski, because you want something that someone intrigued by Rand would be intrigued by... You have to try to understand what it is that your friend likes in the book to start with.

Contrary to Rand's view: Humans are not wholly selfish in their motivations. Humans love other people and usually want to be loved; they cooperate and help others even at cost to themselves. Any philosophy that ignores this, or tries to weasel out ... is necessarily going to be unsatisfying.

I do not think this is the reason that Ayn Rand is unsatisfying. I think a lot of skeptical, existentialist, psychoanalytic and post-modern philosophy has a more complex view of human nature than creatures who simply love and need to be loved. Or at least, we have to make sure it's well understood that the definition of "love" here is extremely messy. Humans need sociality, but it's not just a question of warm feelings. We seek validation, power, influence, and all sorts of other experiences as well - but all of them are based on social interactions. The point is that nothing is meaningful without a social construct - reason itself must be a reflective mind, and the reflective mind is the self seeing itself through the other.

THe simple notion that we are just conscious beings in an objectively real world skips all the complicated story of how we came to understand our world at all, how it came to have meaning, and when you investigate it, it all came to have meaning through our interactions with each other, which means even the most simple "objective" statements are imbued with metaphor and assumption that reflect society.

So we can be loners, violent, angry, hate-filled people, and some of us are, but even those who are, are produced by our social reality and are interacting with it, desiring things from it, and responding to it even when doing so in a negative manner. The idea that we're completely individual separate rational minds who can interact in a purely "economic" manner, cleanly and simply & for entirely egoistic purposes without any psychological messiness or underlying drives, is the part that's crap. Love is not the only way human beings are tied to each other.

As for what to read, my instinct is to keep suggesting all the basic greats of literature and philosophy - but I don't actually know if your friend would be interested. So I'd follow the advice of those who actually read and liked Rand at one point, rather than those of us who never got her and like a bunch of other books... But feel free to email me if you want lit & philos titles :)
posted by mdn at 12:14 PM on November 10, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think Sinclair Lewis's Babbit is a real antidote to the ideas in Atlas.
posted by feloniousmonk at 12:36 PM on November 10, 2007


mdn: What I said was Contrary to Rand's view: Humans are not wholly selfish in their motivations. Humans love other people and usually want to be loved; they cooperate and help others even at cost to themselves. and that to found a moral system on selfishness is unsatisfying because it goes against everything we want from a moral system.

This doesn't imply, at all, that humans are solely motivated by love, or that human motivation isn't complex and messy.

You suggest that, "contrary" to my claim, we need a: more complex view of human nature than creatures who simply love and need to be loved. Ok, yes, duh. I never said otherwise. Human motivation is, of course, complex and messy in the ways you describe and the ways (you correctly point out) Rand ignores. It's exactly her oversimple view about humans that makes her unsatisfying.
posted by LobsterMitten at 1:57 PM on November 10, 2007


I would strongly recommend Critique of Practical Reason or Critique of Pure Reason.

here's a free copy in a couple of formats.
posted by tarheelcoxn at 9:45 PM on November 10, 2007


I'd also recommend the Illuminatus Trilogy! as an excellent neutralizer to Ayn Rand. It even satirizes Atlas Shrugged with a mention of a fictional book titled "Telemachus Sneezed" which was written by a character named Atlanta Hope.
Enjoy!
posted by archae at 11:14 PM on November 11, 2007


I think Illuminatus is definitely the right answer--I can't think of much of anything they have in common, beyond both containing pseudo-mythic characters and having an apocalyptic angle; the philosophies in the two seem as distant as they could possibly be.

But if that happens to be too long or too bizarre, perhaps Cosmic Banditos, or The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
posted by zebra3 at 8:04 AM on November 12, 2007


Seuss' "The Lorax", or the collected works of Flannery O'Connor.
posted by anildash at 4:07 AM on November 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


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