All the King's Men

Rating: +

Robert Penn Warren

I read this book for a high-school class and thought it was okay and then re-read it later and liked it more. The politics in this book were very interesting. I don't know how accurate a portrayal they are, but they seem compelling to me. The plot and the characters are both well written and developed.

If you're not familiar with the book, here's a short summary: a speechwriter (the narrator of the book) is hired by a southern small-time politician to help with his campaign. The speechwriter starts out as a reporter covering a speech by the politician. The politician is very idealistic and enthusiastic and not entirely savvy about the entire political process. Over time, the politician becomes more successful and rises up in power. The politician's relationships, both with the speechwriter and with his wife, change over time. But the focus of the book is more on how the narrator changes because of his relationship with this man and what he learns about both politics and human nature/society.

For those who were interested in literature about the south, this is a good book to read. The politics of the south are focused on more than the everyday life of the south, but some of the latter comes through as well.

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