Ayn Rand Wrote A 135-Page Novel

Shocking, but true!
Author:
Publish date:

At least it will be a relatively quick read.

Also surprising: She wasn’t particularly satisfied and turned her attention to writing similarly unreadable works at 10 times the length, focusing on great men of vision instead of characters based on Greta Garbo. Surely, Alan Greenspan and Paul Ryan will be lined up together at a Washington-area Barnes & Noble at midnight on July 7. Luckily for them and for you, the Journal got its hands on some of the precious prose to whet your appetite. Or, more likely, not.

He had other debts: his hotel bill, Lalo’s new Packard, his tailor’s bill, the diamond bracelet he had given Hughette Dorsey, the bill for that last party he had given—and cocaine was expensive, the sable coat for Lona Weston. And although he had repeated it to himself for the last few months, he knew suddenly, for the first time, that he had nothing left.

He had felt it vaguely, uncertainly, for the last two years; but a for­tune of several millions did not disappear without a few last convul­sions; there had always been something to sell, to pawn, to borrow on; always someone to borrow from. This time, the fortune lay still, dead in the fearful silence of a few hundreds in some bank, of closed safe de­posit boxes, and unpaid bills. Tomorrow, Count Dietrich von Esterhazy would be called upon to explain the matter of a bad check. He would not be there for the call. Count Dietrich von Esterhazy had but one night left to live.

Read an Excerpt of Ayn Rand’s Novel ‘Ideal’ [WSJ Speakeasy blog]

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