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A long interval
on May 10, 2015
I am a well-read male, sixty-five years old. I have read perhaps a thousand books in my lifetime; some fiction, some non-fiction. I recall setting down The Good Earth as a teenager after turning the last page and thinking, “This is the greatest book I have ever read”.
I purchased The Good Earth on Kindle recently because it was $3.00 and I recalled it having an effect on me. It moved me as it did fifty years before. It is simply, and yet powerfully written, stirring the same emotions in me as it did before. As I re-read it, I kept reminding myself “This is just fiction about Chinese peasants”. But it is far more than that. Much as Shakespeare transcends the sixteenth century to tell stories about people, so Pearl S. Buck transcends the foreign mores and privation of turn-of-the-twentienth century China in telling her spellbinding story.
This may still be the best book I have ever read. The Good Earth was then, and remains now, a classic of English literature.