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.


Nikki in Niagara said...

Glad to hear you like this! This is one of my favourite books ever. In fact, I've read almost all of her books and haven't read one I didn't like.

Lezlie said...

If it makes you feel any better, "Pillars of the Earth" was an Oprah book, and if I remember correctly you hated it so much that you threw it across the room. :-)

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Kristin said...

Ha, Lezlie, you're right. I did throw that book across the room. Relief!

Nicola... have you read the rest of the trilogy? I was so disappointed in the sons... and I think the next book is "Sons." I'm afraid I'd want to slap them.

SSQuo said...

This is one of my favorite books. I own it and no matter where I go I plan on taking it along with me. It was a sad day when I read the last page on this book, I wish Wang Lung's story continued forever...Ok, I guess not coz else I'd be reading nothing else!

Truly a keepsake.