The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck

Pearl Buck grew up a missionary's daughter in China.  So when she grew up and became a writer, she naturally wrote about China.
The Good Earth follows Wang Lung, the simple son of a farmer, who goes from rags to riches.  The storyline alternates between acquisition of land (and wealth) and his growing family and all their drama.  Some of the events involve the Xinhai Revolution, but much of the story seems as if it could have happened any time for the last millennium.

I wrote about the old movie version which was good.  But the book is even better.  I love the writing style.  It is almost like scripture in it's rhythm and tone. 

One thing I did like about the movie was that it cropped the story to end after O-lan's (the first wife) death.  For me this created a parallel between O-lan and the land.  In the book O-lan is very important for the first 2/3rds, and then she dies, and is remembered very little.  For some reason this feels asymmetrical to me.


No comments: