Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
A superb narration makes this classic well worth listening to and enjoying.
Anthony Heald does this gem of a story much justice! His voices are spot on, and it is magical the way the voice of Wang Lung gradually changes with his age. The narration is done with all the flavor, pathos and gentle humor that this marvelous book contains. The characters are gorgeously expressed, be they young or old men, quiet or clamorous women, or naughty or nice children. You will love this story and the storyteller equally!
Even though this book was written over 80 years ago, there are certain underlying themes, dreams, and events that remain true today.......the more things change, the more they remain the same.
A man of humble beginnings raises a family and rises in wealth and power, only to watch his sons abandon the family business when he grows older and longs for nothing more than peace in his home. The family business is owning land and farming, the home includes not just a wife and children, but a concubine and servants, and there are other particulars specific to the time and place (rural China early 1900s), but it's all still about recognizable hopes and dreams.
Yes, the pacing is slow, but I'm pretty sure life was slow in rural China in the early 1900s, so that's appropriate. It helps to set the tone and feeling for Wang Lung's life and times. Yes, there are prejudices on class and gender lines, but that's also appropriate for the times. This was a slow, subtle road that was, in the end, ultimately very worthwhile.
The narration was wonderful. This is the second audiobook I've heard by Anthony Heald, and he's done a great job each time.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This book was written in 1931 as the first book in a trilogy. Peal Buck won the Pulitzer Prize for this book in 1932. She was also the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. She was born and raised in China of American parents. She was a professor at the University in Nanking when the Japanese attack. She kept trying to return to China but the communist government refused her.
The other books in the trilogy are "Sons" and "A House Divided".
This book is a tale of Wang Lung a Chinese farmer in old agrarian china. He survives drought, famine, floods, locust invasions, war and family problems. Though it all he manages to succeed in building his farm. Buck brings the story to life and paints a picture of China in the 1890's. Anthony Heald does a great job narrating the story. When you read this book you will understand why Buck is considered a master story teller. I am glad to see Audible offering her books and hope they will offer all of them.
I'll admit this is well written and the narration is good but about a quarter of the way through I started to really dislike the main character. I listened all the way through and liked him less and less. By the end I was glad to be done with him. An interesting look a pre-communist China but I wouldn't listen to it again.
What a timeless piece of work, so masterfully written by Ms. Buck and equally performed by Mr. Heald. I so thoroughly enjoyed listening to this reader bring this book to life; I so completely savored the lovely way in which Ms. Buck wove the language around even the tiniest perceptions of characters who, to a large degree, were extremely conservative of spoken words.
I would highly recommend this book. It was a joy to listen to; and I'm sure I will listen to it again.
I enjoyed the Machiavellian nature of the book, in that no one was spared, even those in a position to dominate and oppress others. The take home message was that nature itself is a cruel beast who will take many forms, generation after generation. But ,there were too many predictable contrivances for me to really enjoy the story. I found it more annoying than anything else.
There's a good reason why this book is often referred to as a classic. It's the wonderfully written story of a Chinese man from his early adulthood to his death. Ms. Buck makes you part of his life: you experience his life and feel his joys and sorrows. Engrossing.