The Good Earth

Now here comes my review of “The Good Earth” . I had definitely heard of this book many times before, but last year I saw it in one of the book stores of Delhi and I bought it immediately. I started it and read only a page or two, when a very good friend of mine told me some negative points of the book. I like to form my own opinions, so I carried on. Its just 250 odd pages and it generally should have taken me a week only but this one took me a while, more than one year actually. Hence, writing a review has become important for me on this.
At first, Peal S Buck definitely knows her subject and her years and life in China reflects in her works. I will say I was not greatly moved by the story as I am reading it in 2014 .Its a universal story , told and retold various times in myriad formats taking shapes of different characters. But because the book still entices the readers after 93 years of its publishing date makes it a classic read. The story depicted the common emotions of a common man, the various turmoils and the story “from rags to riches” which everyone wants to hear. One thing I can vouch for is the pre revolution rural China is depicted meticulously .Not only the emotions and way of lives of people but the socio-economic conditions of the country as well .
But it will be myopic to think of this book representing entire history of China. Does War and Peace cover the entire Russian history, will you say after reading midnight’s children of Salman Rushdie that you know a great deal about India. No, I don’t think so.
The work of a writer is to project certain aspects of the subject and Mrs. Buck has done it with agility and with dexterity.
If the novel were to continue for a one more generation then I would have said that the saying that “wealth doesn’t stays past 3 generations” is true.
Also, I am familiar with some past works of Mrs. Buck, I think she had strong liking for 2 things, the name “Wang” and saying that one of the character has a “big feet” 🙂



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