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All the King's Men | [Robert Penn Warren]

All the King's Men

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.
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Publisher's Summary

Robert Penn Warren, America's first Poet Laureate, penned one of the most widely read works in American literature with the Pulitzer Prize-winning All the King's Men. An unrivaled novel of American politics, Warren's masterpiece is a classic tale every bit as relevant today as it was upon its release more than 50 years ago.

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

What the Critics Say

  • Audie Award Finalist, Literary Fiction, 2007

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (889 )
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4.3 (495 )
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4.4 (495 )
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Performance
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  •  
    lynn lubbock, tx, United States 09-28-13
    lynn lubbock, tx, United States 09-28-13
    ratings
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    2
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    "This classic never gets old"
    If you could sum up All the King's Men in three words, what would they be?

    Intriguing. Captivating. Enthralling.


    What other book might you compare All the King's Men to and why?

    Ayd Ryan's writings are a great complement to All the King's Men because the political intrigue will get you every time.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    While the scene in the middle when Jackie Boy is recalling his love affair with Ann Stanton is long -- it is key to the story and in the end becomes a favorite.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Yes -- but I don't want to be a spoiler.


    Any additional comments?

    This is an excellent book -- all it's hype is genuine -- a great political intrigue and worth the hours. Don't miss this classic. Excellent reading -- keeps me coming back and back even though I've spent my designated time listening for the day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan C. S. Eastern Pennsylvania, USA 09-17-13
    Susan C. S. Eastern Pennsylvania, USA 09-17-13 Member Since 2015
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    "How have I not read this book before?"
    Any additional comments?

    In a long life of reading, I have always known of this book, but thought it wasn't for me. Pegged as the Great American Political Novel, it sounded limited to me. If I want to read about American politics, I'll read non-fiction. I have had just the wonderful experience, at 69, of reading one of the most interesting novels of my life for the first time! And better yet, it comes from my own country, in my own language, and written not long before I was born. I'm saying all this to convey how personal this book feels. I feel my parents, myself, and my children in this book, even though our personal details have no similarity to anything in the book. And beware, there is NOTHING comforting here. What a book. And well read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Micheau San Ramon, CA USA 02-15-13
    Jill Micheau San Ramon, CA USA 02-15-13 Member Since 2015

    JMM in CA

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating look at southern politics"
    What did you like best about this story?

    The language was beautiful. The author spent time describing facial features, gestures, landscapes... and it all contributed to fantastic characters. Warren was poet laureate of the U.S., and his exquisite prose has more than a little poetry as its foundation. Delicious.


    What about Michael Emerson’s performance did you like?

    The narrator did a nice job with all the characters. I wasn't keen on his voice at first, but as he hit his stride in this long book, I got quite comfortable with it.


    Any additional comments?

    This book has inspired me to find a biography of Huey Long...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Brooklyn, NY, United States 12-22-12
    Mark Brooklyn, NY, United States 12-22-12 Member Since 2002

    Writer, economist, stand-up comic

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unmatched, timeless classic"
    Would you consider the audio edition of All the King's Men to be better than the print version?

    The audio edition brought this semi-history to life and made the political lessons real. We continue to be fooled and sucked in by politicians who crave power and are corrupted by it.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jack Burden who was reluctantly reduced by Willie Stark.


    What does Michael Emerson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Giving life and emotion to Robert Penn Warren's excellent character development


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Stark send Burden to find "something" on the judge knowing he will.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Venice, FL, United States 11-29-12
    Andrew Venice, FL, United States 11-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Excellent story and storyteller"

    Like Spielberg's movie Lincoln, this story shows how well meaning people employ ignoble means to achieve noble ends, suffering their own human foibles along the way.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill St Charles, IL, United States 11-12-12
    Bill St Charles, IL, United States 11-12-12 Member Since 2015
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    17
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    "Good Story"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    It jumped around.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    it told the story of the time.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    No it was done well with accents and all.


    Did All the King's Men inspire you to do anything?

    Elect better politicions.


    Any additional comments?

    none

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Larry 11-07-12
    Larry 11-07-12
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    "If only I knew...."

    I had always heard this was a fictionalized account of Huey Long.....but it is much, much more than that...but because that is what I had heard, I waited many decades to read what turned out to one of the the top ten best books I have ever read. ..it is stunning story with more levels than the first time reader can possibly guess. Just when you think you understand the plot, you are taken into a deeper layer, and again, and again until, just like Jack Burdon, you find yourself wondering if you have enough air to reach the surface and yet also not caring if you do. From the opening, the author's command of the language leaves you paralyzed with wonder..."how did he find those words to fit together?" It is obvious, the author is also a celebrated poet.
    There a those rare books that when you see someone reading them, you become envious because you know what they hold and you lust for that virginal experience that the reader is immersed in....this is one of those books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Greenwood, MS, United States 09-17-12
    Charles Greenwood, MS, United States 09-17-12 Member Since 2008
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    "a great book"
    Would you listen to All the King's Men again? Why?

    very good book


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is a good read.


    What does Michael Emerson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It is exciting.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I could not put it down.


    Any additional comments?

    none

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr Clyde 06-23-12
    Mr Clyde 06-23-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Had to Quit - Could not get interested"

    I had such hopes when I purchased this book as it sounded interesting. No such luck. I had to quit after three tries and about two hoursof listening over several days. Boring and uninteresting. I did not think it was well red- would not hold my interest or attention. A shame too, as it could have been much better done.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nell NASHVILLE, TN, United States 06-12-12
    Nell NASHVILLE, TN, United States 06-12-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A Real Masterpiece that I Had Somehow Missed"
    Would you listen to All the King's Men again? Why?

    Yes. There was a depth to the philosophy that I would like to explore further. The language is magnificent. His skill as a poet creates a need to reread.


    .


    What was one of the most memorable moments of All the King's Men?

    It is impossible to select just one. All the characters develop and evolve with each incident.


    What about Michael Emerson’s performance did you like?

    He felt the energy of the story and understood each of the very diverse characters.


    Any additional comments?

    It is an artistic accomplishment that Robert Penn Warren creates a flawed character to be his first person narrator. The reader wants to reason with him as he weaves his own ironic philosophy into his account of the story. He not only reveals the true nature of the other characters, but his own struggles to understand his own existence. As a result, the reader comes to new conclusions about his own philosophy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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