I didn't actually finish reading The Fountainhead. After enduring one third of this appalling book I simply gave up. This is not because of my thoughts on Rand's self centred philosophy (I wouldn't have bothered starting it if that were the case, plus there are aspects of this philosophy that I subscribe to), but rather to do with the fact that it is poorly written, overlong to the point that calling it bloated would be an understatement, repetitive, one note both tonally and in a narrative sense, and features bland, self important, one dimensional characters.
There are many things in the world that I don't like that other people do. In most of these cases, however, I can understand the appeal - at least to some extent. This leaves me with one question about this novel (and presumably Atlas Shrugged) - what on earth do its fans see in it? What is there in this novel that is of value, that makes it worth reading, apart from the fact that it is famous (not a good reason at all). Perhaps reading it to its conclusion would enlighten me, but a quick read of the synopsis on Wikipedia suggests that the final two-thirds are as much an exercise in endurance as the first.
I can only imagine that the theme of unappreciated genius that perseveres in the face of an apathetic and sometimes downright hostile society holds some appeal to people, but in the case of this book that theme is presented with such precious little subtlety and with such an excess of childish simplicity that this theory seems unlikely; still, it's all I've got!
This marks my first and last foray into the writings of Ayn Rand.