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Sons (The Good Earth Trilogy) [Kindle Edition]

Pearl S. Buck
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The second installment in Pearl S. Buck’s acclaimed Good Earth trilogy: the powerful story of three brothers whose greed will bring their family to the brink of ruin

begins where The Good Earth ended: Revolution is sweeping through China. Wang Lung is on his deathbed in the house of his fathers, and his three sons stand ready to inherit his hard-won estate. One son has taken the family’s wealth for granted and become a landlord; another is a thriving merchant and moneylender; the youngest, an ambitious general, is destined to be a leader in the country. Through all his life’s changes, Wang did not anticipate that each son would hunger to sell his beloved land for maximum profit.
At once a tribute to early Chinese fiction, a saga of family dissension, and a depiction of the clashes between old and new, Sons is a vivid and compelling masterwork of fiction.  
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Pearl S. Buck including rare images from the author’s estate.

Editorial Reviews


“[Buck] did for the working people of twentieth-century China something of what Dickens had done for London’s nineteenth-century poor.” —Hilary Spurling, author of Pearl Buck in China

“[With Sons] Buck has enriched her wide canvas.” —The New York Times

From the Author

"Now Sons, of course, is a purely Chinese book. It is modeled on the plan of the orthodox Chinese novel, the material is altogether Chinese, the characters are less like ourselves that in he first book [The Good Earth], and the situations are medieval to the American mind."

--From a lecture by the author

Product Details

  • File Size: 14144 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (August 21, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008F4NSTS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,383 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting story! April 6, 2003
This second volume to the "House of Earth Trilogy" takes off right where "The Good Earth" ends. I was fortunate enough to find a copy with all three books in one so for me there was no space between the two. Written in the same style of the first novel, this story begins with the lives of three sons of Wang Lung: Wang the eldest (Landlord), Wang the second (Merchant) and particularly, Wang the third (The Tiger). By far the most important and interesting character in this book is Wang the Tiger, who became a powerful war lord. Much was written about his life and how he longed to live the life of a soldier, having nothing but disdain for the farmer's life his father wanted for him. It's an interesting irony, how none of the sons respected what Wang Lung, their father, had left for them. The eldest only interested in the façade of the rich life, the second only interested in money, and of course, the Tiger, whose main purpose was to be a strong and powerful leader.
It's an exciting and sad novel. Reading the evolution of the Tiger's rise to power made the Merchant's and Landlord's lives pale in comparison. Wang the Tiger was a most fascinating character, always obsessed with control not only of others, but of his own inner feelings. It was as if he was driven to be more than human...strong and willful, void of any weakness, void of any softness of heart, setting impossible standards for himself.
Once his son was born, he transferred all of his focus from warring, to raising his son as a warrior like himself. His love for his son, like his love for power, was unwavering, unbending, and suffocating. For example, this was evident in the times when the Tiger noticed that his little boy was so grave and quiet for one so young.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Sequel, but I like The Good Earth best June 17, 2006
After devouring "The Good Earth," I was dying to read more and see where Pearl Buck would go next with this dynamic family. I found that "Sons" was a good read, but a little slower and not as exciting and thrilling. But true to the original, right as I starting losing just a little bit of interest she would introduce a new twist or turn which made me always come back for more. She is an amazing writer and her insights into the culture are always fascinating. If you really liked The Good Earth, Sons will probably be a fun, quick read, but I don't feel that it is as vital of a work as The Good Earth.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 2nd in the good earth trilogy March 28, 2008
The Good Earth follows the life of a farmer by the name of Wang Lung as he suffers life's trials and successes to build a dynasty that will span through many generations.

Sons picks up where THE GOOD EARTH leaves off and opens on the end of Wang Lung's life as he prepares to die and his sons inherit his properties and possessions. As the story progresses Pearl Buck no longer refers to the sons by their names but instead begins to call them names based upon their character and occupation. The eldest son becomes known as Wang the landlord because he makes his living by renting out his father's lands. The second son becomes known as Wang the merchant because he makes his living as a merchant. The youngest son becomes known as Wang the Tiger as he becomes a soldier and War Lord. SONS contains aspects of all of their lives but in particular follows the life of Wang the Tiger.

In THE GOOD EARTH Wang Lung made his living upon the land, and it was very important that his land be protected. He had seen the fall of the great house of Hwang as the family had ceased to value the land and the sons had become spoiled little princes who spent their money on Opium, women and gambling. Wang Lung wanted his sons to value the land but then gave his sons everything his newly acquired wealth and position could afford, and they too became spoiled little princes who did not know the value of the land. He charged them fervently never to sell the land. Upon his death in the book SONS Wang Lung's son's almost immediately begin to sell off the land and go through the inheritance that their father had left to them.
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Is Wang Lung Spinning in His Grave? May 9, 2005
SONS is the sequel to the famous (and thanks to Oprah - newly popular) THE GOOD EARTH. The story begins just where the previous book left off, with Wang Lung a dying old man, hoping his sons will handle his legacy wisely. Of course, they do not.

The oldest son, Wang The Landlord, turns into fat, greedy man who sells off much of the land to pursue hedonistic pleasures. Wang the Merchant, the second son, sticks more to the letter of his father's wishes, but is an opportunistic skinflint who loves silver above all else. These two think always of their position in society and how to advance it, and care more about how they appear in others' eyes than the actual substance of their lives. Their children are spoiled and worthless, just as Wang Lung saw the old lord Hwang's sons become in THE GOOD EARTH. The reader gets the feeling Wang Lung would be disgusted.

The majority of the novel follows the wild, rebellious third son, who becomes known as Wang the Tiger. He ran away from home as a teenager to be a soldier, and this book finds him a young man planning to escape his master and establish his own dynasty in the north. With his trusted companions, Wang the Tiger fights his way to becoming the controlling warlord of a region in the north, and he finally falls in love with a fierce robber girl. (These scenes painted vivid pictures in my mind reminiscent of the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.) Much to his bewilderment, the years go by and his life does not work out as he plans. He ends up with a son he does not understand, just as his father did not understand him.

Pearl S. Buck's plodding, biblical phrasing is not so easy for the modern reader, and I confess that while it was a good story, every page seemed like two or three, and I found myself groaning aloud "Isn't it over YET?"
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
sohard to follow, too many charactors to remember
Published 17 days ago by gail martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
my second time reading Pearl s Buck series
Published 19 days ago by TJ#
4.0 out of 5 stars I liked this book a lot, and will read the last in the series.
I liked this book, but at times it lost my interest ..the first book of this trilogy (the Good Earth) was great, and worth five stars however it was not till the mid to end of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Rae Bookgirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great sequel to the good earth
Published 2 months ago by stefano magaddino
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
all three were great. She presented a clear, personal view of Chinese life at that time.
Published 2 months ago by KarenH
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
You will have to enjoy history!
Published 2 months ago by Robert T. Chambers
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I loved this book!
Published 3 months ago by Jessie S. Inouye
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Read - 2nd in the Good Earth Trilogy
This second book following The Good Earth tracks the lives of the three sons of the humble farmer who worked to become wealthy and respected. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tim F. Merriman
5.0 out of 5 stars well illustrated rural china
Nice story, i am impressed by the vivid descriptions of the poverty in the rural China and conflict between the generations by Mrs Buck
Published 4 months ago by horrible
5.0 out of 5 stars The book has a wonderful feel to it
The book has a wonderful feel to it, old but very nice. Put me in the right frame of mind to read and feel what Ms. Buck was trying to deliver with her writing.
Published 4 months ago by curiouskc
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More About the Author

Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker was born on June 26, 1892, in Hillsboro, West Virginia. Her parents were Southern Presbyterian missionaries, most often stationed in China, and from childhood, Pearl spoke both English and Chinese. She returned to China shortly after graduation from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1914, and the following year, she met a young agricultural economist named John Lossing Buck. They married in 1917, and immediately moved to Nanhsuchou in rural Anhwei province. In this impoverished community, Pearl Buck gathered the material that she would later use in The Good Earth and other stories of China.
Pearl began to publish stories and essays in the 1920s, in magazines such as The Nation, The Chinese Recorder, Asia, and The Atlantic Monthly. Her first novel, East Wind, West Wind, was published by the John Day Company in 1930. John Day's publisher, Richard Walsh, would eventually become Pearl's second husband, in 1935, after both received divorces.

In 1931, John Day published Pearl's second novel, The Good Earth. This became the bestselling book of both 1931 and 1932, won the Pulitzer Prize and the Howells Medal in 1935, and would be adapted as a major MGM film in 1937. Other novels and books of nonfiction quickly followed. In 1938, less than a decade after her first book had appeared, Pearl won the Nobel Prize in literature, the first American woman to do so. By the time of her death in 1973, Pearl had published more than seventy books: novels, collections of stories, biography and autobiography, poetry, drama, children's literature, and translations from the Chinese. She is buried at Green Hills Farm in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

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