I found this novel to be one of the most amazing literary experiences I've ever had. I concur with another review, there's nothing I can add to what has been said of this wonderful novel. I will compliment Michael Emerson here, as have others. His reading was compelling, draws the listener into the story, and brings the images to life. If I were to recommend only one audiobook to a friend, this would be it.
Yes, this is a classic political novel, but it is so much more than that. It is about the South and America in the early 20th century, coming of age and life in general. A good book and a good audio production.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
No wonder this book is on every "Best Books of the 20th Century" list you see. It's brilliant. I knew it was based loosely on Huey Long, so I expected politics. What I didn't expect was the shift about a third of the way into the book into life: love, loss, betrayal, disappointment, loyalty and more. I can't say more than the thousands of reviews already say. It's beautifully written and the narration suits it perfectly.
This is one of the best books I have ever listened to or read about politics. It is gripping from the first word to the end. It would have made the last election even more interesting. The nuances with which the writer illustrated the story made it very powerful and insightful into human nature at it's core.
This is a fabulous novel of life and love even more than it is of politics or the south or an era.
Apparently some feel that the language and morals in the book is offensive; I strenuously disagree. This is moral artistry of the highest order, with a richness of portrait and reflection on its themes that is superb and subtle.
Wonderfully written, excellently narrated, this is a great book that is greatly underrated.
There's a reason Robert Penn Warren was named Poet Laureate. This is the great American novel. As a Louisiana native, the story made a lasting impression on me. I'll never think about my home state again without remembering Willie Stark & Jack Burden. Top notch production and narration bring out the beauty and rhythm of the language.
This is a great book, a classic of American literature. I have read it before, but this audio version adds a whole new dimension. The reader captures the book perfectly, bringing extraordinary life and color to Warren's poetic words.
This is a good book. Perhaps a great book. But the reader has to be in the proper frame of mind before taking it on. Author Robert Penn Warren was a poet. A Southern poet. A Pulitzer Prize winning Southern Poet Laureate. And as a Pulitzer Prize winning Southern Poet Laureate, he has a particularly Southern way of telling a story. Any Southerner will understand. There are no short cuts for a true Southern story teller. You just have to sit back, relax, maybe pour yourself a cool glass of sweat tea and breathe out… breath in… breath out… There. Now you're ready. No. Wait. Let me turn on the porch fan. It can get a bit sticky up here on the porch in the late afternoon. Better? Good. Now we can begin. Hold it. What's that dog gotten into now? Oh. Never mind. The dog's right here, asleep under the chair. Must be a opossum under the porch again. We can worry 'bout that later. Now where was I? Oh yes. The book review…
Now imagine 500 pages of that. Yes, it's long, long-winded and sometimes it seems to take forever to get anywhere. But there is a good story here, full of politics, sex, intrigue, murder and a big, heapin' helpin' of Southern culture thrown in for good measure. Sensitive readers should be aware that the "N-word" is casually tossed about in the dialog of many characters throughout the book—Not for the purpose of supporting any racist agenda—but simply to accurately portray how many Southerners talked and thought at the time and place of the story. (Early 1920's-'30's Louisiana.)
So there you have it. This is a book for the literate, those interested in artful prose, Southern history, Southern sensibilities. It is a book that has and will undoubtedly stand the test of time. The themes and issues contained are themes and issues that human beings will always face. Lust, greed, sex, power, religion, influence, manipulation. Ultimately, it's a tale about the human condition, told in a slow, easy manner by a consummate Southern story teller. Enjoy.
Oh, and darlin'? My tea could use a little refresher. Thank you kindly.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
Nowadays the idea that there could be a backstory building up behind the main story is so commonplace that we hardly notice it. But there was a time when that was a relatively new idea. Willie Stark is such a towering figure in this story that it can be easy to overlook that there are other plotlines going on. What Warren does with the narrator in this book is so masterful and subtle that it takes a while to appreciate. Then again, if all you want is a fictionalized biography of Huey Long, you can enjoy it that way too.
I did not like the narration! Too phony of an accent. Maybe I gave up too soon but I tried twice. I really wanted to like it as the book was so famous. I guess I will have to read this in the printed version.