Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Great American Novel

Robert Penn Warren Birthplace
Guthrie, Kentucky
Today, in a seven-hour reading marathon I finished All the King's Men. I truly think this is The Great American Novel. It has it all: greed; lust; violence; adultery; war; bribery and blackmail; political shenanigans; murder; love lost and found; friendship; sports; and, history. It also has the most compelling prose and plot-line to be found anywhere.

I can't tell you how many times I said to myself, "Oooh. I didn't see that coming."

I do believe Robert Penn Warren gave this novel everything he had.

I am so glad I didn't have but the vaguest of notions of what the novel was about. Anyone I have talked to about it says: "Oh, that is the book about the politician in the South, isn't it?"

Well it is and it isn't. Warren himself said that the book was never about politics. And I believe that. Politics plays a part but it is just the background against which all the action takes place. It could just as well have been Corporate America or the Wild West.

I am going to have to take some time to digest and absorb all that the book has to offer. It is quite a read.

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