Hard times come upon Wang Lung and his family when flood and drought force them to seek work in the city. The working people riot, breaking into the homes of the rich and forcing them to flee. When Wang Lung shows mercy to one noble and is rewarded, he begins to rise in the world, even as the House of Hwang falls.
©1958 Pearl S. Buck; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"A beautiful, beautiful book. At last we read, in the pages of a novel, of the real people of China." (Saturday Review)
"The Good Earth has style, power, coherence and a pervasive sense of dramatic reality." (New York Times Book Review)
"To read this story of Wang Lung is to be slowly and deeply purified; and when the last page is finished it is as if some significant part of one's own days were over." (Bookman)
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.
It took me a long time to finish this book because I never got that feeling that I get with a book I really love. That feeling that I absolutly have to know what happens next. None of the characters ever had much personality that endeared me to them or made me dislike them.
It was interesting to learn of life in China during that time period.
Was it good?--- it's not too bad.
Was it bad?--- it's not that good.
The Good Earth is a story about a man, a farmer, and his family. Ok, look... take your grandfathers life, perhaps add a few higher highs or perhaps sprinkle in a few lower lows, and then dip the whole thing in rural turn-of-century chinese culture. There's your story. It just was not that exciting. Nor was it that emotional or that inspirational. Basically something good happens to the farmer, then something bad happens.... then he gets lucky, then he has bad luck.... and it goes on and on. The entire story seems to be constantly building up to something that never really occurs. You never get to know any of the characters in depth, not even the main character. Your just told the things that happen to them.
The writing is clunky... it has the feel of a shorter story into which odd bits and pieces were wedged to create a novel. It lacks the flow of emotion that may have made this book a beautiful tale about a normal life filled with struggle and success... instead it just comes across poorly maintained dairy which sometimes includes emotion and sometimes just chronicles events.
The narration was disappointing. It might be a little thing, but I felt that a true asian accent would have added greatly to the experience.
Overall this is a 'safe' listen. You'll be able to listen to it without getting upset or too bored.... but if someone asks you how that book is your listening too, I'm afraid you'll just answer "its not that bad, but it's not that good either."
This is not an action packed book, it is about a peasant who rises from nothing, about his hardships and dilemmas. The main character has a personality and I could relate.
Interesting story and well narrated. Enjoyable for sure.
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