introducing readers to writers since 1995

December 07, 2004

Joey Goebel's Holiday Gift Suggestion

by Ron Hogan

goebel.jpgJoey Goebel was a punk rocker, a lead singer with the Mullets and the Novembrists, until his college English teachers "helped him to realize that writing, not music, was where his future lay." (It says so on his website!) His first novel, The Anomalies,started out as a screenplay, and when he repackaged it as prose, he sold it to MacAdam/Cage without an agent. His second book, Torture the Artist, just came out in October.

This holiday season, I think anyone would benefit from receiving All the King's Men as a gift. Written by a fellow Kentuckian, Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men is my favorite book, and according to the New York Times, it is "the definitive novel about American politics." After one of the most exciting political years in our country's history, the novel resonates just as much now as it did upon publication in 1946 as it tells of the rise and fall of Governor Willie Stark, based on the real life Louisiana populist Huey Long. I love the novel for its eloquent language, its unique narrator, Jack Burden, and the evolution of Willie from an innocent, idealistic country boy to a corrupt, powerful ruler. And I'd recommend people read it before next year, so they will know the novel before it becomes inseparable with the upcoming movie version starring Sean Penn and Jude Law.
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