I certainly can't agree with dmhenderson that _Atlas Shrugged_ is a "case of bloat;" I think the novel brilliantly renders Rand's unique vision and philosophical point of view: objectivism. However, I think the two novels are difficult to compare. _We the Living_ is, of course, her first work and a reaction against communism. Rand has explained that this novel is as close to an autobiography as she ever wrote. _Atlas Shrugged_ was published more than 20 years later, after she had time to mature as a novelist, essayist, philosopher, and lecturer, and I think this work reflects this sense of growth.