Review: All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren

All the King's MenAll the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book took me a long while, indeed a lot longer than I would have thought originally. This stemmed from the author’s style which was rather complex and long-winded. I do not mind this, but I caution anyone going for the novel that if this does not sound like your thing, this book might be especially hard going.

The content, however, was thrilling. The author’s post-script description and comparison to Huey Long also put the novel into perspective – graft and political intrigue being at the forefront of this understanding. The viewpoint the book took in describing this was not direct, but this added to its charm. That the narrator is a close friend of the subject, and knows the history of the person adds considerable depth.

At the same time, we are not presented with a long and winding path of how one may succumb — rather, what we see is a charismatic personality doing what they are good at while also improving people’s position where and when that is possible.

Overall, I would not recommend this book for the style or the writing, but the content is superb provided one likes Civil War tangents (which was not at all the least interesting sub-plot for me, that of the narrator’s close friend being far more tedious throughout).

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