All the King's Men

All the King's Men

Book - 1996
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All the King's Men traces the rise and fall of demagogue Willie Stark, a fictional character loosely based on Governor Huey "Kingfish" Long of Louisiana. Stark begins his political career as an idealistic man of the people but soon becomes corrupted by success and caught between dreams of service and an insatiable lust for power, culminating in a novel that Sinclair Lewis pronounced, on the book's release in 1946, "one of our few national galleries of character."
Publisher: San Diego : Harcourt Brace, 1996, c1974
Edition: 2nd Harvest ed
ISBN: 9780156004800
Characteristics: x, 438 p. ; 21 cm


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The rise and fall of a corrupt politician, who makes his friends richer and retains power by dint of a populist appeal.

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Apr 26, 2016

The library should offer readers the original 1946 Pulitzer Prize-winning edition and make a clear distinction between that one (approved by Warren) and the later edition that was changed after his death.

Aug 27, 2015

Warren has mastered the art of vernacular prose better than any writer I know, and he puts it to good use, seamlessly blending small-town deep south patios with the polished lyricism of an accomplished poet, thereby creating a compelling sense of time and place.
This is a story of self-discovery, conflicting values, loves that go disastrously awry; and above all, it's about the many blurred lines between good and evil, as men's pursuit of their goals drives them to increasingly desperate actions, spiraling into violence, mayhem and ultimately into a degree of corruption no better than that which they initially sought to overcome.
A true American classic, unmatched by any political novel I've read, except for "Advise and Consent".

Oct 10, 2014

This is the "restored" edition from Warren's original manuscripts. It is not the edition that was published in 1946, and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1947. The editors at that time made a number of changes to make the book more palatable to the times. Bawdy passages were eliminated and crude references were softened. The narrator was made more sympathetic. The name of the hero was changed from Willie Talos to Willie Stark, to make the name sound less foreign and confusing. The editors adopted the publishing house style which negated much of Warren's stylistic flair. All of these changes have been removed for this restored edition. Still it would be nice if EPL had the original edition for comparison.

Nov 01, 2010

This book contains the most beautifully written poetic prose I've ever read. Not surprising: I discovered that the author was a poet and the first poet laureate of the US. You will reread sentences and paragraphs to marvel at their beauty and sensuality. The author has both an ability to capture a sense of place and a sense of character; you know these people. There are twists and turns in the plot that are not predictable. The book is considered one of the finest fictional accounts of politics ever written. Not surprising that it won a Pulitzer. The original movie based on it in the 1940's won best picture. I am now seeking out other books by this author.


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