Red Sorghum

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Arrow, Jan 1, 2003 - Literary Criticism - 377 pages
151 Reviews

Spanning three generations, this novel of family and myth is told through a series of flashbacks that depict events of staggering horror set against a landscape of gemlike beauty as the Chinese battle both the Japanese invaders and each other in the turbulent 1930s.

As the novel opens, a group of villagers, led by Commander Yu, the narrator's grandfather, prepare to attack the advancing Japanese. Yu sends his 14-year-old son back home to get food for his men; but as Yu's wife returns through the sorghum fields with the food, the Japanese start firing and she is killed.

Her death becomes the thread that links the past to the present and the narrator moves back and forth recording the war's progress, the fighting between the Chinese warlords and his family's history.

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5 stars
39
4 stars
53
3 stars
29
2 stars
21
1 star
9

The writing was choppy, not contextual. - Goodreads
Beautiful and poetic writing. - Goodreads
Liked it but difficult to read... - Goodreads
Magnificent writing. - Goodreads
Red Sorghum was full of plot twists and turns. - Goodreads
Mo Yan's ground-up depiction of thi - Goodreads

Review: Red Sorghum

User Review  - Catherine - Goodreads

Violent and lyrical, Mo Yan's "Red Sorgham" depicts the turbulence and horror of China in the 1930s as the Chinese peasants battle one another and the invading Japanese. The novel is awash in human ... Read full review

Review: Red Sorghum

User Review  - Imanol - Goodreads

Definitely, one of the best books I've ever read. Its crude descriptions of war contrasted by a Chinese paradisiacal landscape gave me the feeling of experiencing the book's events first handedly. I ... Read full review

All 60 reviews »

About the author (2003)

Mo Yan was born in 1956 in Shandong, northeastern China. The author of over forty short stories and five novels, he is the most critically acclaimed Chinese writer of his generation, in both China and the West. The critically acclaimed film version of the novel, Red Sorghum, won first prize in the Golden Bear Awards at the Berlin Film Festival in 1988.

He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2012.

Bibliographic information