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Comment: # GOOD condition hard cover with ACCEPTABLE dust jacket, but has foxing on boards, end papers and cut edges. The text is still good though.
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Sons Hardcover – January 1, 1948

4.1 out of 5 stars 115 customer reviews
Book 2 of 6 in the Good Earth Trilogy Series

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: World Publishing Company; First Printing of Forum Ed. edition (January 1, 1948)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000KCUWFQ
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,312,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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