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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 (807 )
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4.3 (422 )
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4.4 (424 )
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Charles Greenwood, MS, United States 09-17-12
    Charles Greenwood, MS, United States 09-17-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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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    32
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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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Elizabeth 11-16-11
    Elizabeth 11-16-11
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    "Enthralled from start to finish!"

    I am not sure what I loved more, the wonderfully spun tale by Robert Penn Warren or the exceptional interpretation and reading of Michael Emerson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine 05-26-11
    Elaine 05-26-11

    I'm a country potter, gardener, flute player and tin tinker living with my husband, an electrical engineer & cabinet maker.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting story"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 01-03-11
    Charles Atkinson Greensboro, NC, United States 01-03-11 Member Since 2014

    Don't miss the Bino Phillips series by AW Gray. They are largely unknown, but as good as any ive read!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Glad I Listened"

    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.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Fresno, CA, USA 04-30-10
    David Fresno, CA, USA 04-30-10
    ratings
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    13
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    "Robert Penn Warren"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A Concerned Reader Wine Country, USA 04-01-11
    A Concerned Reader Wine Country, USA 04-01-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Amazing and unique use of language but tedious"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ls Paterson, NJ, USA 07-29-07
    Ls Paterson, NJ, USA 07-29-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Put my family to sleep"

    Fantastic prose, very poetic, very interesting, but not enough action to keep the family engaged during a long car ride

    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggie Lansing, KS, United States 06-15-10
    Peggie Lansing, KS, United States 06-15-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Only If you want prose without much of a story"

    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.

    1 of 8 people found this review helpful
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