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Dragon Seed by Pearl S Buck Book Review

Updated on September 17, 2016

Dragon Seed

I have to tell you about this wonderful book called Dragon Seed which was written by Pearl S Buck in 1941. It is a story of China at war, and she definitely does a great job telling this story. instead of hearing about battles that occur in bloody gruesome detail, the reader learns about the troubles concerning the chinese. The people in China have an extremely hard time when the enemy siezes control over their land, claiming more than they should have. You will become fantastically involved in many characters lives, and be pulled right in, somehow making you see clearly so many different feelings coming from an array of characters. Even though the author tackles many almost separate stories, she somehow combines them, making a smooth transition every time.In this book you will read about both love, and hate at the extreme, as tragedy closely follows behind happiness; as soon as you think things couldn't be worse for them, something more happens. Although there are reasons for them to celebrate occasionally, the evil always seems to prevail.

I think that is why I enjoy this novel so much....this sad kind of drama, gets me right to the core of my soul, leaving me aching for more, maybe searching for something that will change the character's lives for the better.

I also have to mention the ending, as I wondered how this book would conclude, and am thoroughly satisfied with how it turned out. In a way, this story could keep going, but it did need to end at some point, and Pearl S. Buck found an excellent way to do this. I wonder if it's possible to be disappointed in Dragon Seed .


About the Author

I first read The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck when I was in middle school, and I was entranced from the beginning. Even now, there doesn't seem that there is many writers that can compare with this great authoress. Maybe it is just my great interest in other heritages (all her books are about the chinese), but I think that her style is wonderful in itself. Because it was written in the 1940s, the writing seems old-fashioned, and I am always drawn to these kinds of books.

After reading a little bit about her, and learned that she lived in China for awhile, I can see how she became so intelligent and well versed. It would make it easy to write novels about China, if you lived there. I wonder if she found China as interesting as she makes it seem in her novels? I still believe however, that it isn't the location of these stories, but the way Pearl Buck tells them, that is so effective.

She wrote eighty-five books! How can you not be amazed at this? Not only has she written so many, but has also received the Pulitzer Prize, the William Dean Howells Award and the Nobel Prize for literature.There is much more to learn about her, just check out some links I have here.

An Excerpt

Page 66

These were the only differences. He went out and while the sun moved upwards he pushed the plow from the back and his third son pulled the unwilling beast from the front and so the work went on. In the next field his sons went through the rice, pulling the weeds and hoeing the drying earth. When his eyes wandered up and down the valley he saw in every field men like himself and his sons. They were his neighbors and his friends at like work. The year was good. Rain and sun were in proportion to each other, and already the harvest was in full promise. He had nothing to wish for which he did not have, and what he had was enough for any man.

Then how could he be prepared for what he saw? It was at mid-morning that he heard the noise of flying ships. He knew the noise, for now and again he had heard it, but never had it been so loud as this. He looked up and he saw the sun shining upon the silver creatures in the sky, not solitary as he had always seen them before this, but many of them and moving with such grace as he had only seen before in wild geese, flying south across the autumn sky. For one moment he thought these were wild geese out of time. But they came not from north to south, but from east to west, and theycame too swiftly for geese.


Mrs. Buck is....quite ruthless in showingus what the unprepared common people of China had to endure from their conquerors, and. deeply acquainted with the nation she writes of, she is able to let us share their fears and weaknesses as well as their extraordinary dignity and courage.       -The Spectator

In this, as in all her best work from China, Pearl Buck writes in power and illumination from her identification with her subject; so we, too, feel and share simplicity and ancient wisdom, as the human greatness of simple men and women meets each day, in occupied China with deathless tenacity.    -The New York Times

Pearl Buck's new novel is the strongest and most instructive story yet written of China at war. As literature it edges the first-rate. As discreet and powerful propaganda, it makes tangible the living, the suffering and the bravery of a great and obscure people under four years of hermetic tyranny, in a defeat which refused to stay put.     -Time

A trailer of the movie made in 1944

I actually am disappointed in this video, even though one of the stars is Kathrine Hepburn; she isn't chinese, is she? Well, if you read the book you will discover that most likely, there will never be a movie that can compare to the book Dragon Seed . If you are interested in watching the movie, it will probably be more exciting  if you watch it before you read the book.


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    • erinb62 profile image

      Erin Buttermore 3 years ago from Laconia

      I am happy that I could help you find a book to add to your list! I have read Memoirs of a Geisha also, and I think Dragon Seed is even better than that! I will have to look into the other one.

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      Emie 3 years ago

      This sounds like a great book, going to add it to my "must-read" list. I have found that I enjoy reading a good book which provides not only facts, but also insight into other cultures. Other good books I would recommend along these lines would be: Memoirs of a Geisha (the book, not movie) and Shanghai Girls.