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Red Sorghum: A Novel of China Paperback – Mar 11 1994


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (March 11 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140168540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140168549
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 1.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #115,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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THE NINTH DAY of the eighth lunar month, 1939. Read the first page
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Crossfit Len on Aug. 17 2000
Format: Paperback
The Japanese Invasion of China in 1937 is a dark period in history. The Japanese committed many horrible crimes and atrocities on the Chinese population. Red Sorghum in very graphic graphic detail describes some of these atrocities and their impact on the Chinese civilian population.
But the book is much more than that. WWII does play a major role in the book, but the book is also a look into Chinese culture, family, and is such a moving window on China during this time period.
This is not an easy read. The translation is very good, but the book is very detailed and again at times very graphic. I do not like to bash books like the Good Earth or The Single Pebble as many people do. I agree that neither book was written by a Chinese person and I understand some of the criticism that orginates from that fact. I enjoyed both books and think they are valuable. HOwever, if you are from the school that demands a Chinese author and a Chinese voice to Chinese literature you must read Mo Yan. He is a gifted writer and he brings to life some very difficult times in Chinese History.
This is a very powerful book and parts of it will stay with you long after you have read the book. Again, this is not an easy book to read but well worth the effort.
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By Eric J. Wrinkle on April 25 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is both incredibly beautiful and incredibly tragic. The things that people endure and overcome, or at least endure is amazing. I think most of us modern day American's, or at least first world folks, can't even begin to imagine such a world as is depicted in this book.
I had to struggle with an impulse to throw this book out the window, but I did not put it down until I was finished with it. This book has changed me as a person, and the way that I view the world. This book reinforces my beleif that the world is not so difficult because it is so terrible, but rather because that it is so beautiful. The world is so beautiful, that it is sometimes more than one can take.
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Format: Hardcover
Red Sorghum is a great book tat shows you what is was like for some of the chinese people when they were invaded by the japanese in the 1930's. Mo Yan,although very explicit at some times, gives you some detail on what it was like for the chinese to be either slaves of the japanese or what it's like to be at war with them. He does this by using characters in the book and gives them different roles whether they are soldiers, farmers, women, or just other people involved in this crisis. Yan shows what happened to the chinese if they did not obey the japanese and did this by using some detailed, but graphic language. He paints a very good picture in your head is what I mean. Yan though also showed what what would happen to you if you broke the law and Yan also added some cultural items to this book. For example the chinese womens' binding of the feat and also showed how a couple fell in love.
I would reccomend reading this book if you are someone who is either interested in chinese history or someone who just enjoys reading a great book.
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By M. Van Buijtene on Jan. 3 2000
Format: Paperback
A masterpiece of the calibre of One Hundred Years of Solitute and The Unbearable Lightness of Being - according to the covertext of the Dutch translation. So not exactly light reading material, but rural Chinese horrors so accurately descibed that I think the book should have a warning the plot is gripping and the prose flows easily - not as heavy on the reader as the long sentences and philosophical reflections of the above mentioned masterpieces can be. The fact that the end of the story leaves one wandering can be either good or the only bad thing about the book - I am still wandering. This book should be read by anyone who is interested in history and the dark side of humanity in general.
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By A Customer on Feb. 5 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most vivid, gut-wrenching books I have ever read. It is so utterly real that it can't really be thought of as fiction. Of course, it really isn't. All of the horrors the author describes were actually perpetrated by the Japanese in China.
The closest experience to reading this is Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood". Both leave you shaking.
The translation is very, very well done. I can only assume that the original Chinese writing is this good!
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