welcome to my bookshelf

All The King's Men

Called the "definitive novel about American politics" by the New York Times, and rated the 36th greatest novel of the 20th century by Modern Library, Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize winning 1946 novel All The King's Men is centered around the corrupt political boss Willie Stark in Louisiana in the 1930s. The novel's fictional story is the based on the true story of Huey "Kingfisher" Long, a charismatic and popular governor and senator who was criticized for his demagogue-like tendencies. On the outside, the novel is essentially the story of the political rise and fall of Willie Stark, as narrated by Jack Burden. Yet truly the novel is the story of Jack Burden. In many ways, Jack is the novel's protagonist. He has no ambition or desire to do anything with his life; he falls easily into the role of Willie's right-hand-man. Willie comes into power by determination and hard work. I think Jack admires him for this - yet he can't accept the fact that he has responsibility to work in life. By working for Willie, Jack undergoes a remarkable transformation: he matures and begins to grasp what it means to have consequences for actions. Jack, trained in school as a researcher, uncovers people's deep dark skeletons for Willie to use - only until later in the novel does he realize how potent uncovering the truth truly is, narrating "For the truth is a terrible thing." The book starts off a bit slow, but stick with it. The ending gets very intense - you can't put it down! Plus, it's a nice classic book to have read. Rating: ★★★★★

The Dew Breaker

House of Sand and Fog