Originally written as a novel and transformed by the author into a play, Ayn Rand's Ideal tells a story that underscores the need for "ideals" in life and how we turn our back on these if offered the opportunity to live from them. It tells of the events in the life of Kay Gonda, a larger than life movie screen goddess who is wanted for murder. She visits six different fans seeking shelter from police. A respectable family man, a cynical artist, an evangelist, a playboy, a far-left activist and a lost soul each have written her heart felt letters about the value she brings to their very existence and who provide Kay with a glimpse of their life. She asks to stay for one night in order to allude the police. All but one of the fans she visits can not or will not help her because she asks more of them than they can deliver. The end has a twist that while expected was not envisioned to be what occurred! It was very interesting to read the novel first and then the play because both literary forms evoke different responses from the reader. As the preface states, "a novel uses concepts and only concepts to present its events, characters, and universe. A play (or movie) uses concepts and percepts; the latter are the audience's observations of the physical actions, their movements, speeches et al.". Leonard Peikoff. The reader can experience each version differently with more activity and involvement in the play than in the novel. As only Ayn Rand can, she speaks for the artist in riveting prose that exites, devastates and challenges....the Idealist.
Reviewed by Karen