Silver's Reviews > All the King's Men

All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
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's review
Aug 15, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: 20th-centruy
Read in March, 2009

have just finished reading All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren and I found it quite tedious and laborious to get through. I think the only reason why I was able to finish it is because I had agreed to read it for a discussion group but if I was reading it just on my own I might have been tempted to just put it down and forget about it. There were a couple of interesting aspects of the book and a few passages of note and quality but on the whole I found the story to go by slowly and to be relatively uninteresting. I also felt for the most part neutral about all of the characters. None of them really struck out at me or drew my attention. Nearly all of them I had found disfavor with in one way or another, but I did not really dislike any of them any more then I liked any of them. They felt distant and impersonal to me. You did not really get to know any of them.

There were various problems I had with this book. First of all I felt that it was the kind of book that just does not carry over very well through the generations. I did not find it very relatable ore relevant and did not see why I needed to be reading this story. Yes it is true that there are always corrupt politics and that is something we can all relate to but I did not feel the story brought anything new to the table on that issue. I did not feel he offered anything very enlightening on the subject. As far as corrupt politics go it felt like nothing new under the sun.

With that I did not really see what was so special about Willie Stark. I disagreed with some of the things he did but relatively speaking it did not seem as if he did anything especially horrible. He was no different then the rest of them. He seemed to be your run of the mill average politician. At least it seemed he had some good intentions to start with even if went about them in questionable ways, but I was left wondering, why did I need to know his story? Why was he singled out? He was not doing anything different then what anyone else was doing. This is not a justification but it just left me with the feeling of so what was the big deal?

Warren's style of writing also gave me a headache. He had many long drawn out very detailed and descriptive passages which I felt in some cases were not necessary. At some points it was hard to keep myself from just sort of skimming over these as they seemed to drag on without any real purpose. Some of his paragraphs felt like one long run on never-ending sentence. I also did not care for the way in which he used repetition in the story because it always made me feel as if I was just reading over the same sentence twice and I would think wait a minute I already and then it would be....oh no it is a new sentence just repeating itself over again.

Other then the painful experience of trying to get through this book I did not take much away from it.


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