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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

Critic Reviews

  • 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)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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Fantastic

A masterpiece. Incredible character development. Terrific performance by the narrator. Colorful, warm, funny, sad, exciting.

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A grand story and remarkable philosophy

Remarkable work of poetry in prose and yet classic noir. Starts slow as the south and is just as compelling

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Strange Tale

Meandering tale of people & politics in 1930s southern U.S. 2 stories really: one of the narrator & another of a populist governor said to be based on Huey Long. (I didn't research him.) In the end seemed nihilistic & pessimistic. Interesting characters, though. Some stereotyped. Others multifaceted. Not gripping. Takes a while to get into.

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A new favorite

I'm amazed when I read a book that's 4 generation old and the language and issues feel like they could have been written today.

This book was different than any book I have read in that I had to really struggle to like the main characters. I love books that show the good and bad in characters and still have you rooting for them to choose good.

The author deserves every award he received. Snot only were there great characters and a great plot, but his style and tone were fantastic. I'm not a fan of the overuse of metaphors and words for the sake of words. The author was never ambiguous, and just when you though he was going too far, he knew when to cut it off and move on.

The narrators slight accent and fantastic timing made the story even better.

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A captivating performance of my all-time favorite novel

I have loved this novel since I first read it in high school. No book more purely captures human nature and each person's quest for meaning. The narrator Jack Burton takes the reader on a dispassionate tour of the heights and depths of his human passions, from Machiavellian politics to periods of depression to lifelong friendships to falling in love. The audio version provides an added dimension of serenity to the reader's experience with the novel. Though this recording is many hours long, I will listen more than once.

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  • FL
  • 05-28-15

Excellent!

Excellent writing by an excellent reader. Robrt Penn Warren's apt descriptions of summer in the South, pre-air conditioning, made me laugh as they brought back memories of my youth spent in Alabama. Warren's similies and metaphors are wonderful and the story, though thoroughly southern, transends region.

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Top notch audiobook!

Superb performance from Michael Emerson for this classical literature based in the south. Well worth the credit and listening time!

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Good listen

Very intetesting story, the language was harsh for my taste. Mr. warren did a wonderful job narrating.

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Beautifully written

Writing is beautiful and the narration spot on. This was my first time with story and it was fascinating throughout.

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Really enjoyed it!

I really didn't know what to expect but it was awesome. The story was interesting and the narration was great.