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All The King’s Men – Robert Penn Warren



Posted August 11, 2016 by

All The King’s Men – Robert Penn Warren – 1946


Reviewed by: Pete C.         Date: 13 July 2003

Excellent book–I strongly recommend it. Although the subject of politics plays a notable role in the story, the book is about much more than that. So, even if you dislike politics, I still think you will enjoy reading this novel. Warren tells the story of Jack Burden, an aide to the governor of a Southern State in the first half of the twentieth century. Reading this novel you are drawn into Jack Burden’s intriguing life, including not only his job, but his family, friends, and relationships. The story of his life is fascinating and, as you read, you look forward to turning the pages and finding out what happens next.

Reviewed by: Rachel Peterson         Date: 20 March 2002

Although I was supposed to have read this back in high school American lit class, or maybe it was college American lit, I had not remembered it at all. I ate through it during a couple of weekends of lazing about the patio on sunny afternoons. To someone with a certain interest but not fascination with American politics, this was still an incredible piece of writing. It deserves to be considered one of the quintessential Great American Novels. It was also surprisingly timeless. Written by the Pulitzer Prize-Winner Warren in 1946, with the exception of occasional allusions to current events, this novel was as relevant and readable today as it must have been over fifty years ago. The novel traces the rise and fall of a fictional governor of Louisiana whose profile, most recognize, is that of the infamous Huey Long. I came away from it with two impressions: Robert Penn Warren’s prose is absolutely beautiful (he was the country’s first Poet Laureate and I see clearly why), and two, I have never spoken to anyone or read anything that would encourage me to travel to Louisiana, and this book drove the last nail in that coffin.

ReadLit Team


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