Soon Atlas Shrugged, a new movie version of Ayn Rand's angry novel, will be showing opposite the movie adaptation of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas. Rand extols the virtues of utter selfishness, while Mitchell's novel stresses the interconnected nature of human existence.
Some will see this as selfishness and ego versus altruism and compassion and, indeed, that's the way the novels read.
Here's a link to David Mitchell's take on the adaptation of his difficult novel into film link.
“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” --John Steinbeck
You should read Thomas Frank on the Ayn Rand Fantasy at this link.
Robert Wilson, author of A Small Death In Lisbon and other fine novels, on his love of reading:
What value does reading have for you?
"I used to just love it. There is nothing like the grip of a great book, one where you put life on hold because you have a whole alternative world in which to live. Now I find that that experience is very rare and that being a writer has made me more aware of the artifice. Once you become aware of that, the experience is diminished and it becomes more like study than an alternative world. I do still get it, though. The last book to do that to me was Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian."
--from Len Wanner's excellent interview with Wilson, link.
What do you look for in crime fiction?
"Not to get political, but capitalism doesn’t work on so many levels, it’s frightening … but it’s mostly frightening because it facilitates crime like no other economic system. America’s social structure is burdened by the disparities inherent in capitalism, and in some segments of our society we’ve returned to the Wild West (except now they use Uzi’s and AK-47’s in place of six-shooters). I tend to favor crime fiction that deals with organized crime (which at one time was a response to the injustice of corrupt policing—probably why it was first so easily romanticized). Organized crime is nothing more than capitalism without restraints; essentially what we’ve just witnessed in the banking world; sometimes we really do reap what we sow."
--from Len Wanner's interview with author Charlie Stella, link.
Stella is the author of the crime novel, Rough Riders, and several previous novels (Amazon link). Noted detective novel blogger Peter Rozovsky calls him "my favorite American crime writer" at this link.
I've yet to read any of Charlie Stella's works, but after reading the interview and seeing his blog, I'm going to have to give him a try.