Friday, May 09, 2008
39. "The Good Earth" - Pearl S. Buck
Again, I'm damned with an Oprah book. I never would have guessed it if I hadn't been shell-shocked by the fist-sized sticker on the cover.
Unfortunately, I have to give the woman credit. Each of the Oprah books that I've read I have enjoyed. And I wish I could put "until now" after that sentence.
Published in 1931, I can't imagine the craze over this novel about pre-revolutionary China. The story follows the life of Wang Lung, a poor farmer who creates his own fortune. The sensual language, the sexual references - all perfect for an American society who was still a bit uptight.
The story is intriguing enough - the farmer owes all to the good land that he buys and loves -but it is the language of the writing that is lovely. This is from the point where the family is starving:
"Only a few of these beans did Wang Lung hide in his own hand and these he put into his own mouth and he chewed them to a soft pulp and then putting his lips to the lips of his daughter he pushed into her mouth the food, and watching her lips move, he felt himself fed."
No wonder she won the Pulitzer for this book. Why it didn't make the "Novel 100" is a mystery to me.
4.75 out of 5.0 Sunny Vs.