The fictionalized account of Louisiana's colorful and notorious governor, Huey Pierce Long, All the King's Men follows the startling rise and fall of Willie Stark, a country lawyer in the Deep South of the 1930s. Beset by political enemies, Stark seeks aid from his right-hand man, Jack Burden, who will bear witness to the cataclysmic unfolding of this very American tragedy.
©1946 Robert Penn Warren; renewed 1974 Robert Penn Warren; (P)2005 Recorded Books
"The definitive novel about American politics." (The New York Times)
"Mr. Warren has employed vivid characterization and strong language combined with subtle overtones to write a vital, compelling narrative." (Booklist)
"Michael Emerson's performance brings the characters to life with verve and personality....Through a mix of understatement and intensity, Emerson clearly conveys the political turmoil underlying the book; his performance perfectly complements the story, which is as timely as it was 60 years ago....Emerson's reading does justice to a great work." (AudioFile)
I'm a country potter, gardener, flute player and tin tinker living with my husband, an electrical engineer & cabinet maker.
I must be sensitive to wording because the use of "for" in the way we say "because" much more often today made me crazy. It was like the constant use of "presumably" in Pillars of the Earth. Was it the time and place of the writer that made him use that term? Also, they spoke of sitting on the gallery. It took me hours to understand that's what I call a porch.
Still, the story, the intertwining of politics and humanity was interesting. There were a million similes in the book and the often made me pause to enjoy the comparison.
Listening was a good experience.
I have need read anything by Robert Penn Warren but I can say that I think this was to be the best work of art I listen/read and I felt apart of every moment.
You don't just hear Jack Burden, you relate. Michael Emerson does a great job Narrating the book.
Can't wait for my next chance to experience this book again.
I love Warren's writing and his beautiful turn of phrase, but dammit, this book needed a more judicious editing. If you can stand long passages that are incredibly well-written, but ultimately do little to move the story, then this might be for you. I found myself, for the first time, longing for an abridged version (and I've made it through some very tedious audiobooks). The two-hour sequence describing Jack's unconsummated love with Ann did me in. Just too much.
A few must reads: Mr. Mercedes, Narrows Gate, Cop Town, Bomb Proof, Wayfaring Stranger, The Son (Nesbo), Dept Q series...
I could never have read this novel. It is of course a classic. The plot is engrossing, but I found the author constantly drifting, chasing bunny trails in endless narrative.
I can't believe people give this such a high review. Yes, the language is beautiful but about 80% of it is totally off the story line. It's like you have to hunt the story amongst the words. There are many wonderful books out there with fantastic prose and I just can't slog my way through this one.
I started listening to this book and switched to another because of the continuous use of the word nigger, I just don't feel that was necessary even with the era. It is a great disappointment to me but for those who don't mind listening to the continuous expletives more power to you. I would advise those of Christian and moral values, you could not possibly get through this book.
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