Customer Reviews for

The Good Earth

Average Rating 4.5
( 263 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(150)

4 Star

(68)

3 Star

(32)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

An Easy Classic to Master...

This was my first Pearl S. Buck book and I have to say I would have no problem reading another. I particularly enjoyed the way Buck portrayed China, its class systems/struggles, and family cultures. When reading the story it was obvious Buck was very knowledgable of Chi...
This was my first Pearl S. Buck book and I have to say I would have no problem reading another. I particularly enjoyed the way Buck portrayed China, its class systems/struggles, and family cultures. When reading the story it was obvious Buck was very knowledgable of China and the time setting in which the story occurred. Although there were many times I had a strong dislike of the main character there were times when the reader could not help but be impressed with his resolve. The saddest moments in the book involved those dealings with his wife. We should all be very thankful not to be a laboror's wife in revolutionary China. For those readers afraid of the classics do not be afraid of this one. It reads very quickly and easily

posted by pjpick on April 24, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Cultural Masterpiece

The Good Earth is truely a timeless classic. I originally read it for my 8th grade language arts course and fell in love with Buck's gritty realism and expression of the naturalistic style pioneered in the early 20th century. To those who have not yet read it, the novel...
The Good Earth is truely a timeless classic. I originally read it for my 8th grade language arts course and fell in love with Buck's gritty realism and expression of the naturalistic style pioneered in the early 20th century. To those who have not yet read it, the novel won both the Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize for Literature, for its unmasking of pre-revolutionary China to the eyes of Western culture. Wang Lung's wit, quirk, and personal flaws makes him such a lovable character, and none can help but to have pity upon the submissive O-Lan. The facts of poverty, wealth, love, and family are so true to life, even more than a century later. A must-read!

posted by Anonymous on January 2, 2013

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  • Posted April 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An Easy Classic to Master...

    This was my first Pearl S. Buck book and I have to say I would have no problem reading another. I particularly enjoyed the way Buck portrayed China, its class systems/struggles, and family cultures. When reading the story it was obvious Buck was very knowledgable of China and the time setting in which the story occurred. Although there were many times I had a strong dislike of the main character there were times when the reader could not help but be impressed with his resolve. The saddest moments in the book involved those dealings with his wife. We should all be very thankful not to be a laboror's wife in revolutionary China. For those readers afraid of the classics do not be afraid of this one. It reads very quickly and easily

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2004

    A 13 year old who wrote a book report and got an 89!

    AN EXTREMELY GOOD BOOK! My English teacher recommened this book, and I figured it would be boring. Yet it was a grand book. I loved it, and am ecstatic that I got to read this book!

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2012

    Still a masterpiece, after all these years.

    Brilliantly written. Clear, concise and easily understood. Buck weaves a timeless tale of ambition, family, poverty, riches and land. We follow the fortunes of a not-so-simple Chinese peasant and his father, his wife, and subsequent sons and daughers. From the most mean poverty imaginable to the splender and life of ease of a very wealthy landowner, this tale will remain with you well after you finish the book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2012

    Really liked it

    I had to read this for my AP lit class, i thought it would be really bad but it's really well written, it makes you want to keep reading

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    The Good Earth was on my list of books to read someday...

    For over 40 years, I had always meant to read The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. I remember my sister-in-law reading it years ago and how impressed she was and how she had tried to tell me what a great story it was.

    The Good Earth is a simple story. It is beautifully crafted. It is one of those books that will live in your heart forever. It is no wonder that the book and Pearl S. Buck are/were award winners.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Fantastic read

    I first read THE GOOD EARTH at age 16--Now, forty years later, the story is still impossible to put down!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 17, 2012

    Gorgeous. My new favorite.

    I bought this novel on a whim because of personal interest in rural Chinese culture and a long-passed recommendation by a friend. Since reading it, I've come to realize how widely respected it is and how often taught in schools. I understand why. It's wonderful epic story telling. The plot moves forward through decades, somehow making you feel invested at every twist of fate. So beautiful. Highly recommend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Satisfying read.

    A high school history teacher assigned this book to our class, back in '76. It didn't seem like my type of read, but quickly became a favourite. Has a nice even pace; I like to refer to it as an intellectual soap opera. Pearl Buck has a way of helping the reader understand and relate to characters from a different culture and era. I especially like how the character of Wang Lung changed over his lifetime. The situations he and his family go through mirror the changes happening in China, but are presented on a more personal level through Wang Lung's view. Recently, I purchased the audio book and the paperback, to enjoy having it read to me while I followed along. Thank you, Ms. Kasper:)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2008

    Good Earth Review

    The Good Earth was an excellent book. The beginning started kind of unhurried but The Good Earth started to get really interesting as I kept reading the book. The main character in the book was Wang Lung. Wang Lung was a real character that showed how it was living in China during the 1900¿s. My favorite character was O-lan. O-lan was Wang Lung¿s wife that did most of the work around the house. I favored O-lan because she was very strong through the whole novel. The reason I saw her in this way was because no matter how hard things got with the family and with Wang Lung¿s lack of love and affection, she still did what she had to do and took care of the family. She also worked long hours in the field alongside with Wang Lung. Wang Lung was a really intriguing character as well. Wang Lung was very interesting because you never knew what to expect from him. In one point of the story he said he would never do something that at the end he eventually did. Wang Lung went from being a poor man to being a very wealthy man over the years. Even though there were a few problems that happened through the novel I stilled loved it because that was what made it great and what made The Good Earth so real. One person that I just despised through the novel was Wang Lung¿s uncle. I despised Wang Lung¿s uncle because he didn¿t care about anybody but himself. Wang Lung¿s uncle¿s wife and son were also a headache in the book. The uncle¿s son brought a lot of trouble to Wang Lung¿s house and he had no respect for anyone in the house. The uncle¿s wife didn¿t really play a big role in the novel until the end of the book. I think the best idea Wang Lung had through the novel was when he gave the uncle and his wife opium. So in conclusion, I really loved the book. At first I thought I would dread having to read it because I¿m a very picky reader. Yet, in the end, I couldn¿t stop reading it, the book is amazing!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    One of the best classic books

    I first read this book in high school and could not put it down. You feel as if you are living in pre revolutionary China and the characters are your family and friends. Read this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Most entertaining read

    This is a generational saga that I felt was powerful reading because I was completely drawn into the inner spirits of the characters. The plots seem driven by non-contrived occurrences that would spring up in real life and the resolutions to the problems were overwhelming at times. On my personal rating scale of 1-5 I gave this book a 4.5.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    One of my all-time favorite classics!

    I think I've probably read this book at least 5 or 6 times since my youth and it never gets old. It's a beautifully written book that portrays the human struggle through the eyes of a Chinese farmer during the time of the Boxer Rebellion. The determination not only to survive but to succeed amid such obstacles as poverty, predjudice, and starvation during a time of instability is extraordinary. The cultural and historical aspects of the book are so rich with such accurate description; it is though the reader is tanscended into an actual scene from history as it unfolds in life of a Chinese family, struggling to succeed during an evolution of political, social and cultural change.

    I have been waiting so long for this trilogy to become available as an ebook! I was pleasantly surprised to see it was now finally listed for my Nook.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck is a story of a family in China

    The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck is a story of a family in China who struggles during a famine and drought in the 1890's. This novel illustrates the harsh life of farmer, Wang Lung and his wife and former slave, O-lan. Wang Lung was told he could not marry an ugly woman. When Wang Lung and O-Ian get married, Wang Lung doesn’t know if his wife even likes him. They had 2 sons and 2 daughters but O-Ian strangled the 2nd daughter born because there was not enough food to feed another mouth. The famine got so bad that Wang Lung killed his ox to have food. Also people across the land were getting so hungry that they started eating human flesh. Gross. 




    When the famine got worse than it was people in his town broke into his house and took whatever food he had left. People started selling their furniture and land. After the famine got so bad he decided to move his family south. On the train some men taught Wang Lung how to beg, he needed experience to live in the south. Wang Lung doesn't like the idea of begging and hopes to find work. 
    I recommend this book because it shows the hardship of life and shows the history of China. This book is a great read for people who want to learn about Chinese culture. This novel is a fictional story but the experiences of the characters in this time period actually happened in Chinese culture. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended

    A beautiful book! A "must-read" for anyone interested in Oriental culture. Very inspiring too; it teaches you the importance of hard work, saving, family, and tradition.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A GLIMPSE INTO ORIENTAL LIFE

    The Good Earth is a vivid story about a chinese family in pre revolutionary China. Pearl Buck carefully weaves the values of a Chinese family into the core of their lives as a social entity. It is a careful telling about the family's ascent from peasanthood to a rich and comfortable family. Pearl Buck is indeed an expert in Chinese culture and way of life, as seen in this great story. For those whose interest is oriental culture and marriage customs as well as chinese life, this Pulitzer winning work is a must read. It is a classic on its own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Never had to read this in high school

    Very good read, kept me interested-sorry it wasn't mandatory in High School

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Well written, detailed and believable story

    The story is full of rich detail and brings to life the fascinating characters of this Chinese family before the communist revolution.
    The author Pearl S Buck, lived in China and her personal experiences and knowledge of China and its people and customs help her to delve into the complex relationships and emotions of her characters. The story is compelling and intimate from the first page, and you are sorry to leave behind Wang Lung and his family when you get to the last page. Fortunately, this book was continued into a trilogy and you can choose to follow the offspring of the family if you want to see what happens to them as China begins to change, however, The Good Earth is a complete and satisfying story all by itself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2008

    good earth review

    I enjoyed reading 'The Good Earth' it was compelling, and kept me craving for more. In gifted were studying the Chinese lifestyle, and culture. While reading this book i gained more knowledge about the Chinese world, and the way they use to live. From reading the compulsive novel, I learned how women was treated and the hardship and pain the experienced. Some things such as having their feet binded, and being slaves, and concubines. The main character Wang Lung who owned land came from a humble, poor man into a greedy, wealthy man who put his desires before everyone else's. In the story Wang Lung has to decide whether he should continuing fulfilling his needs, and wants, or to begin loving someone that¿s about to perish. Olan which is his wife catered to his every needs, cooked, cleaned, took care of their children, worked hours in the fields even before birth was about to begin and never once complained. While Olan was the last thing on Wang Lungs mind he devoted his life, and time to his land. Throughout the middle of the story Wang Lungs lust gets the best of him. He falls in love with one of his concubines, which are a woman who lives with a man but has lower status than his wife or wives. Lotus, the concubine which he lust after had a strong aversion for him in the novel. It was a lot of events taking place in this novel, but you have to read it to love it. I Could not sleep because of this book! Clearly it was a great book to read. I would recommend EVERYONE to read it! I enjoyed reading 'The Good Earth' it was compelling, and kept me craving for more. In gifted were studying the Chinese lifestyle, and culture. While reading this book i gained more knowledge about the Chinese world, and the way they use to live. From reading the compulsive novel, I learned how women was treated and the hardship and pain the experienced. Some things such as having their feet binded, and being slaves, and concubines. The main character Wang Lung who owned land came from a humble, poor man into a greedy, wealthy man who put his desires before everyone else's. In the story Wang Lung has to decide whether he should continuing fulfilling his needs, and wants, or to begin loving someone that¿s about to perish. Olan which is his wife catered to his every needs, cooked, cleaned, took care of their children, worked hours in the fields even before birth was about to begin and never once complained. While Olan was the last thing on Wang Lungs mind he devoted his life, and time to his land. Throughout the middle of the story Wang Lungs lust gets the best of him. He falls in love with one of his concubines, which are a woman who lives with a man but has lower status than his wife or wives. Lotus, the concubine which he lust after had a strong aversion for him in the novel. It was a lot of events taking place in this novel, but you have to read it to love it. I Could not sleep because of this book! Clearly it was a great book to read. I would recommend EVERYONE to read it!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2006

    Spare yourself.

    This is honestly the worst book I have ever had the displeasure to read. The characters are beyond dull, the writing is horrible, and the story, while it could have had some potential in a true novelist's hands, was just plain boring. Save your time and money.

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2004

    What can I say except GREAT!

    What a great book. I am so glad it made it on Oprah's list. If you like reading as much as I do (I don't even own a TV) then you will love THE GOOD EARTH. I also recommend A YEAR SINCE YESTERDAY by George Edwrad Zintel. I hope this one makes Oprah's list as well. Happy Reading.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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