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Warren's Best Novel

  • Jun 22, 2010
Robert Penn Warren is an accomplished Southern novelist and poet. All the King's Men, probably Warren's best novel, has a compelling storyline, but drags in some chapters. Willie Stark, the main character of All the King's Men (not to be confused with All the President's Men, about the Watergate scandal), is modeled after a real Southern politician, Huey Long, once governor of Louisiana.

Willie Stark's story is told by his aide, Jack Burden. It is interesting that Warren uses a "side character" to tell this story. It is as if Stark is unable to tell this story himself. While the reader might be interested in some of Jack's background (for example, his tale of almost losing his virginity on a summer's night), the chapters dealing with his writing his dissertation may cause the reader to feel "bogged down." This novel skips around in time, breaking up Warren's narrative, for better or worse.

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June 23, 2010
Thanks for giving us a critique of this book, because I have never read it. It is always put on the greatest books of all time lists, and has been made into a movie a couple of times. You said what you liked about the book, but what do you think the elements are that make is such a renowned book?
June 22, 2010
While I do not usually do fiction this is definitely a book I would consider reading. If you ever had a chance check out the film from the early '50s starring Broderick Crawford.
More All the King's Men reviews
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
I ususally don't read books like these but thought this was a very good book. Shows the behind the scenes of a politician.
Quick Tip by . July 05, 2010
Well sdocumented tale of a southern political leader who wanted everything and would do everything, legal and not so legal, to get it. The story is made doubly interesting when you realize the author uses a real character for his novel and makes you guess which is real and which is nort
Quick Tip by . June 30, 2010
review by . March 18, 2009
All the King's Men
    Power and corruption go hand in hand in Warren's literary gem, set at the zenith of nineteen-thirty's Louisiana state politics. Mirroring the life of the infamous Huey Long, the novel's Willie Stark is ostensibly and outrageously a man of the people, shunning pretensions while appealing to the common man, capturing the attention of a mass audience, speaking in language they can relate to. While Stark cuts his political teeth on the betrayals of the wealthy and powerful, he …
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Elizabeth ()
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Member Since: Jun 22, 2010
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About this book


Portrays the dramatic political ascent and Louisiana State Governorship of Willie Stark (a.k.a. "the Boss"), a driven, cynical populist in the American South during the 1930s.
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