“All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren

Stephen King on Reading 

“Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everyone doesn’t carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life?”

Let’s see, where have I seen people reading books: In church: one Sunday morning I walked into church and a lady was sitting in the pew reading a mystery novel. When she saw me, she laughed and said, “I couldn’t put this one down; so I brought it with me.” However, with her hand resting on it, she put it down when the worship service began.

In a ladies restroom at a restaurant: To me this one was even weirder. Pretty often I see folks bring a book with them and read in a restaurant while they ate. I notice this woman reading a couple of tables from mine. Slowly she lifted the fork up to her mouth with food. Her eyes never left the book. Now if that was me, the food would be on the front of my shirt instead of in my mouth. Mouth full after mouth full — I found it quite entertaining. When she finished her meal she got up and left, or at least I thought she left. Shortly after that I went to the restroom before leaving. To my surprise, the woman was leaning against the counter intently reading her book. “That must be a great book,” I said. Her eyes left the page and turned to me, “Uh huh!” she said. “That must be a great book your reading,” I repeated myself. “What this old book?!” she said. Before I got out the door, the woman was back to reading her book. Now this is truly a new view on “loving to read.” She literally took Stephen King’s words to heart!!!

“All the King’s Men” by Robert Penn Warren

(Published by A Harvest Book – Harcourt, Inc., Copyright 1949 and renewed in 1974, 661 pages)

One of my new “favorite reads” is Robert Penn Warren’s book “All the King’s Men.” I enjoy reading books with a southern theme, and “All the King’s Men” is that and more. Robert Warren fashioned his main character, Willie Stark, after the well know and corrupt Governor of Louisiana (1928-1932) Huey Long. The book follows Willie Stark along the political, campaign trail of the Depression era. During a time of power and corruption that rule the Governor’s office.

I think Orville Prescott said it best in his book review on August 19, 1946 in the New York Times: “Robert Penn Warren’s “All the King’s Men” is magnificently vital reading, a book so charged with dramatic tension it almost crackles with blue sparks, a book so drenched with fierce emotion, narrative pace and poetic imagery that its stature as a ‘readin book,” as some of its characters would call it, dwarfs that of most current publications. Here, my lords and ladies, is no book to curl up with in a hammock, but a book to read until 3 o’clock in the morning …” I didn’t make it to 3 o’clock in the morning, but I did make it to 2 o’clock in the morning. 

“All the King’s Men” may be too big to carry around with us for “those inevitable dead spots in life,” but it is a book worth staying up late to read. This book gets 4 stars from me. Read and enjoy!!

Robert Penn Warren won the Pulitzer Prize for “All the King’s Men” in 1946. Warren is the only writer who won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction and poetry. A movie was made from this book in 1949 and was reworked in 2006. Until next week …

Today do something that challenges you!