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The Good Earth
The Good Earth
Author: Pearl S. Buck
Pearl S. Buck's epic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of a China that was -- now in a Contemporary Classics edition. — Though more than sixty years have passed since this remarkable novel won the Pulitzer Prize, it has retained its popularity and become one of the great modern classics. "I can only write what I know, and I know nothing but C...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780743272933
ISBN-10: 0743272935
Publication Date: 9/15/2004
Pages: 368
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 512

4 stars, based on 512 ratings
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Leigh avatar reviewed The Good Earth on + 378 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
Beautifully rich in writing, this epic novel tells the tale of man you'll love and hate, and love again. You'll feel for him as he struggles, cry with him as he despairs, and cheer with him as he triumphs. It's a good comment on the class system in place in China at the time, but also a comment on perseverance of spirit and integrity of character.
reviewed The Good Earth on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
I hadn't read this book since 8th grade. Now, 25 years later, I read it again and weep with the beauty of this book. Love, tolerance, deception, greed, pride all flowing as poetry. If you haven't read this book since high school, you, now as an adult must re-read to truly appreciate what makes this book the classic it is.
reviewed The Good Earth on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I read this book for a book club that I was participating in. I found it to be very thought-provoking, and a great choice for a book club. One particular topic of interest to discuss in our club after reading the book is the perception of and treatment of women in the time of the book vs today.
bup avatar reviewed The Good Earth on + 165 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
You know, I've never lived on a farm - in fact I think I'd hate it - but I'm finding I love novels about farming and communing with land. They're very...(shudders) grounding. I really wish that weren't a pun, but it's the best word I know to describe it, and I suppose it helps explain the metaphor of spiritually settling things being described as grounding. The point is, I feel very settled at the moment.

Buck writes in a very stylized, almost awkward English that helps set the mood. It works, of course, in the subconscious expectation (at least I have) to hear about life in China in a stilted language, but it also evokes an almost biblical feeling, especially in her heavy use of repetition of the same words for the same things, over and over, and the repetition of phrases close together in a limited vocabulary.

Anyway, I don't want to spoil anything for anybody, but you're going to get Wang Lung, the simple farmer made good, and you're gonna get him warts and all, and you're gonna like him and you're gonna like him more and you're going to want things for him and you're gonna be sorry when the book ends.

And you're not going to be surprised that the book is called The Good Earth.
Ladyslott avatar reviewed The Good Earth on + 113 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I read this book many years ago, probably for school. I really liked it then, so when it was chosen as an Oprah book and I saw it in the store I picked it up to glance through it. Imagine my surprise when I was drawn in from the first page and so I bought the book. It was a nice surprise to reread this classic book and enjoy it as much as I did.

The story of Wang Lung, a poor farmer, and his wife O-lan is set in the time of the last Emperor and moves up to the start of the People's Revolution. It is a story filled with drama, love, loyalty, betrayal, perseverance and more. We come to care about Wang and O-lan and their extended family as they struggle with famine, drought, flooding, plague and more and yet always persevere, until achieving success beyond their dreams. This book was published in 1931, yet it doesn't feel dated at all. I am very glad I chose to read this book again.
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buzzby avatar reviewed The Good Earth on + 6062 more book reviews
I remember reading this in elementary school, and it left quite an impression (along with the sequel, SONS). It tells of the rise of a young farmer, Wang Lung, from rags to riches (without giving too much away, it's not quite an Horatio Alger story). I can't tell exactly where it takes place, but, based on hints in SONS, this story appears to start in about 1870.
reviewed The Good Earth on + 58 more book reviews
One of several books in my high school required reading that I enjoyed.
reviewed The Good Earth on + 27 more book reviews
The author of the book obviously had great respect for her subjects. I adore this book and the characters will always remain with me.
reviewed The Good Earth on
Masterpiece by a Nobel Prize winner - - This was one enjoyable read! I didn't want it to end although it pulled at my heart strings and made me teary-eyed in parts. The book offers a great historical account of pre-revolutionary China. When examining pre-revolutionary China, the American reader will develop an appreciation of our blessings in this life. The book depicts all kinds of love (marital love, parental love, friendly love, physical love). The book also follows the progression of life from youth, to adulthood, to the elder years. One of the best that I have read in quite some time. Should be on every college student's required reading list and every adult's to-be-read list if they missed it in high school or college.
reviewed The Good Earth on + 18 more book reviews
One of the greatest classics of our time, this is a powerful story of a peasant, Wang Lung and the dynasty he founded based on the acquisition of land and the importance of family. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
reviewed The Good Earth on
"Though more than sixty years have passed since this remarkable novel won the Pulitzer Prize, it has retained its popularity and become one of the great modern classics. "I can only write what I know, and I know nothing but China, having always lived there," wrote Pearl Buck. In The Good Earth she presents a graphic view of a China when the last emperor reigned and the vast political and social upheavals of the twentieth century were but distant rumblings for the ordinary people. This moving, classic story of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his selfless wife O-lan is must reading for those who would fully appreciate the sweeping changes that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese people during this century."
reviewed The Good Earth on
I reread this book. I really enjoyed it the second time around more than the first. You really get a feel for the time and place of China. Peal Buck did an outstanding job on this most famous book
reviewed The Good Earth on + 69 more book reviews
A modern classic. The book shows graphic view of a China that was before the vast political and social upheavals transformed a agrarian country into the world power it is today. This touching story is a must read for those who would fully appreciate the remarkable changes that have occurred in the lives of Chinese people during the last half century.
reviewed The Good Earth on + 120 more book reviews
One the the greatest classics of our time.

Moving story of peasant Wang Lung.
reviewed The Good Earth on + 7 more book reviews
One of the great classics of our time, the moving story of peasant Wang Lung and his wives, the family they founded that would one day become a powerful dynasty and of the earth that sustained him and that he made to prosper against the ravages of nature and the violence and upheaval of 19th century China.
BrookeB avatar reviewed The Good Earth on
Very good with a surprise ending I was not expecting.
reviewed The Good Earth on + 2 more book reviews
I loved this book
reviewed The Good Earth on + 7 more book reviews
The first part of this book is a wonderful depiction of a newly married poor man. He and his amazing wife are dedicated to their land and family, working hard together. The next part is gut wrenching as it shows terrible poverty and famine but the last part is worse as the reader witnesses how low humanity can get when wealth and lack of constructive activity are combined. The characters were happiest living a simple, honest life of labor on their bit of "good earth". Well worth reading for it's cultural perspective as well as it's lessons but it ends on a low note.
Parent info: I find it odd that this book was required high school reading since it's a bit sexually explicit.
reviewed The Good Earth on + 16 more book reviews
This book was wonderful...and wonderfully written.
reviewed The Good Earth on + 110 more book reviews
Though more than sixty years have passed since this remarkable novel won the Pulitzer Prize, it has retained its popularity and become one of the great modern classics. "I can only write what I know, and I know nothing but China, having always lived there," wrote Pearl Buck. In The Good Earth she presents a graphic view of a China when the last emperor reigned and the vast political and social upheavals of the twentieth century were but distant rumblings for the ordinary people. This moving, classic story of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his selfless wife O-lan is must reading for those who would fully appreciate the sweeping changes that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese people during this century.

Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck traces the whole cycle of life: its terrors, its passions, its ambitions and rewards. Her brilliant novel -- beloved by millions of readers -- is a universal tale of the destiny of man.

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