Thursday, October 21, 2010

Violent tendencies

Current book: All the King's Men
Pages read: 173 - 268

I honestly don't know how to relate to this book. It seems to be a series of confused recollections of various instances of corruption, but I don't feel like I'm really getting anything out of it or that it's moving the plot along.

I mean, for example, in this bit we see Willie Stark get his attorney general out of an impeachment scandal, and it's clearly underhanded, and then there's a bunch of reflection about it on Burden's part. At this point, I get that there are lots and lots of scandals, so listing each one isn't really doing a whole lot for me. His wife threatens to leave him. I guess that's new. Then we get the story of Jack Burden's doctoral dissertation, randomly, which is about the diaries of a guy named Cass Mastern, an ancestor of his, and his marital infidelities. He was a good guy, basically, who went to college and ended up sleeping with a friend's wife and then, eventually, killing the friend.

That's really all there was. I just...I don't know. I'm bothered by how often we're switching time periods and by how unimportant the information we're getting is. Everything just seems like a foregone conclusion, and it's obnoxious. If Warren hadn't started out with the utter corruption of Stark right at the beginning, it would be a lot better. The characters are all just so horrible. I want to punch everyone in the face.


  1. So when you've finished with the list, will you be providing the Internet with your own 100 Best Novels list? It seems like you don't think most of the novels on this list belong there.

  2. In theory, I will. I think it's a problem that this list was chosen by committee. I'm all for the combination of voices and ideas, but I'm pretty sure some of these votes were skewed by the desire to look smart.



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