Customer Reviews for

The Good Earth

Average Rating 4.5
( 261 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(149)

4 Star

(68)

3 Star

(32)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(5)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2
  • Posted December 17, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Book Review Of The Good Earth

    I thought the book, The Good Earth was a very intense book filled with love, hope, determination, family and scandal. In my opinion, this book was okay. It started out very slow and the first 15 chapters took a long time to put together and the book took a long time to get started. I think the author; Peal S. Buck could have done a better job with transition between new parts through out the story. On a whole though, the story was just satisfactory.
    My favorite part in the book was when Wang Lung went from being dirt poor to the richest man in the community. It made me feel good when I was reading to know that a man that has worked his whole life has finally made it to where he wanted to be. This part reminded me of my grandfather because of his dedication and hard work. He and my Grandma make a good living in their retired days but they worked very hard for it. This connects with Wang Lung's situation as well. I also like the part in the book where O-Lan comes to live with Wang Lung. I find this very bizarre because, Wang Lung is meeting his new life partner on chance. When e shows up at the Great House, he doesn't know what kind of woman to expect. He gets lucky that his wife is normal though and they are happy for a little while until Wang Lung gets the urge to cheat. This makes me sad for O-Lan because she is a great wife that just isn't good enough for her snobby husband.
    If I had to recommend this book to high school students for a pleasure read, I would tell them to skip it. It is chopped full of great information about the Chinese culture but it's not necessarily the most exciting book to read. I would recommend this book to people who want to learn more about the ancient Chinese culture and get a sense of how hard life was. You almost have to be into the subject to read this book. I think the action lacked in this book. There was a lot of dialogue in this novel and not enough accomplishment from the main characters. The most action packed part was when Wang Lung cheated on his wife with Lotus Flower. This part made me sad for Lotus Flower and angry at Wang Lung for thinking just because he was a man, he could be unfaithful.
    On a whole though, the book was okay. If you are into these kind of books, this one is for you!

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

    Posted May 22, 2008

    A reviewer

    The Good Earth is a novel that takes place around the early 20th century in a small destitute village where the protagonist, a farmer named Wang Lung, lives on a piece of land with his father. Wang Lung being a poor farmer has to live off of the land he cultivates daily so he is very dependent upon it for survival. Whenever he has the opportunity he saves a bit of the money he makes so that he¿ll be able to purchase more land. He then goes over to the House of Hwang where he meets a slave, Olan. In the novel Olan appears to be stoic and expressionless, so when she must do the daily chores that Wang Lung used to do she does not protest and endures the hardship. For most she was nothing but a plain and simple creature. Lacking what most women had, such as beauty (based on Wang Lung¿s perception) Olan never had her feet bound. This was an ancient Chinese custom that would grant women wealthy husbands and all that they wished for. The reason she didn¿t have bound feet was because as a child she was sold before the process was started. Around this time it wasn¿t uncommon for a married couple to have more than one child. So as Olan continues to bare Wang Lung¿s children a horrible famine comes upon the village and the family is forced to move to the south, where there it was the complete opposite to the life Wang Lung knew in the north before disaster struck. Eventually the famine ends and the family is able to move back. After the return Wang Lung is able to buy land thanks to his penny pinching days. He was now so rich he was able to hire laborers to work on his fields. His constant struggle to reach his wealthy status has detached him of his spiritual values, where as before he used to go to the temples of the gods and pray for his land. Now, every novel has an antagonist and in this novel that specific role takes its turns and twists. Wang Lung¿s uncle is a sly, deceiving old man who tends to threaten his own nephew when he doesn¿t get what he wants. I very much enjoyed reading this novel because of the way Pearl S. Buck gave each character his/her own introduction. This novel contains many of the Chinese customs and traditions and so I recommend this novel to anyone interested in Chinese culture. Pearl S. Buck¿s writing made it so that the novel wasn¿t some brief overview of the Chinese culture. She included characters and how they each interacted with each other to vividly describe how at the time China was going through major changes to paint a picture of how difficult it was to adapt. Although I found The Good Earth an incredible read there was one aspect in the novel caught my attention the treatment women received. During this time women were often devalued and so that one aspect goes to show how different our cultures are and even though I was in disagreement with it I was able to accept that it was a custom in their culture through this novel. In conclusion, I loved the reading this novel by Pearl S. Buck and hope to find another novel as great as this one.

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

    Posted May 5, 2008

    AP World History

    For AP World History I read The Good Earth written by Pearl S. Buck. I hate all books that have to do with history usually since I think that most of history is extremely boring. This book does well showing how the inequality of women and men was present during this time period. It also does well to show the effects westernization had on the populations in China. It also shows how agricultural based economies were declining. I liked the book for a good read but not for the history references. I liked how it showed the difference between the different kinds of people in the village. It showed how the poor lived and then it showed how the rich lived. The only thing that I didn¿t like about the book was the little amount of historical events. To me it felt more like an English read than a history read.

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

    Posted December 11, 2007

    Honors English 9 Book Project

    ''The Good Earth'' Setting: The Good Earth is in the early 1920¿s a small village in China. During this time, China was facing large financial problems. Most people in Wang Lungs village were peasants who worked all day everyday just to make a living. Farming was really the only thing there was for men to do in Anhwei at the time. Wang Lung lived in a small three bedroom house with his father. At the beginning of the novel, Wang Lung spends his time farming and looking for a wife to call his own. Characterization: One thing I did not like about this book was the way Pearl S. Buck introduced his characters. The first few characters like Wang Lung, his father, and O-lan were very well introduced and described. After a while Pearl started brining in too many characters and I became confused with what was going on. I don¿t think it¿s good to have so many characters and keep switching between settings and characters. I really liked the way Buck introduced the Old Mistress, the keeper of the tea house near his village. The way he describes her movements and looks, it is the most vivid description of a character I have ever read. He starts out by saying how many wrinkles and pockmarks she has on her face. I also like the statements that are used to portray the way she looks at Wang Lung when he walks in to the tea house. Another character I feel was developed well is O-lan. She sounds like a very sweet woman. She deals with so much having to grant all of Wang Lung¿s wishes and having to take care of his father all at the same time. During most of the story O-lan is a quiet wife who doesn¿t really complain about anything, but once Wang Lung starts to become a greedy, selfish man she starts to show her true feelings for the way that Wang Lung had been acting, especially when he started taking O-lan¿s money to buy Lotus Flower as his concubine. Plot: Wang Lungs struggles throughout the story were all very different. One example is person vs. person, Wang had a lot of conflict with his uncle. He was lazy and loved to mooch off relatives, but mostly Wang Lung. Even though Wang continues to help his uncle though the famine, his uncle continues to tell the other villagers to invade Wang Lung¿s house. Another example of Wang¿s struggles is person vs. self/society. Wang has a hard time dealing with poverty and being an unimportant person in his society. Theme: How has the main character changed? Wang Lung changed a lot from the beginning to the end of the book. I think he changed for the worse. He transformed from a humble, caring man to a self centered, unloving husband. What is the central conflict in the work? On a symbolic level the protagonist would be the traditional way of Chinese living, which symbolizes Wang Lung. The antagonist would be the new way of Chinese living, not carrying out the traditions of the old way of living, which would symbolize Wang Lung¿s sons. Point of View: The point of view is a third person narrative. Everything is described as Wang Lung would see it. Personally I think Pearl chose to do the story in this narrative way so readers would focus more on Wang Lung, the main character instead of the minor characters. This also shows that Pearl wanted his readers to learn a lesson, or find the moral in Wang Lung¿s story instead of another view on the same situation. Personal Review: I would recommend this book to anyone who liked Farewell to Manzanar, because it has some of the same conflicts dealing with the change in culture. I would rate this book a three because I didn¿t really like it. I thought it was an interesting read for a book about the 1920¿s but not something I would regularly read.

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

    Posted September 30, 2007

    Not a bad book for a summer assignment

    The Good Earth was indeed an interesting read, however, there were parts where you just could not stand it. The beginning started off fine and it looked to me like a laid-back, easy read. I have always wanted to know about other cultures and their lifestyles, so reading the book from a farmers point of view was certainly something that i found interesting. My favorite character in the book is definitely O-Lan. She is really persistent in her actions and makes sure that everyone is happy and content. She is a very hard worker and a perfect role model to any woman. Wang Lung, i thought, was some one who is not satisfied with what he has and wants more and more. On the other hand,O-Lan is the complete opposite. She is content with what she has- a place to live, food to eat and a family to bring up. If you compare her to Lotus, you will like her better. Lotus reminds me of a 'cranky baby'. She too is never satisfied with what she has and when there is money to splurge, she makes sure she uses as much of it as possble. She gets what she wants whenever she wants it. All she has to do is woo Wang Lung and you can bet your money she's got what she wants. The book was simple yet it shows the ups and downs in life that some people go through. I thought that the book was a little too long. There were a number of points in the book where the author could have ended it and it would still have been a good book. Personally, i thought that the book started to go downhill after those few points and the book just became a chore which you just had to do and could not get out of. The last hundred pages or so were dragged and the book lost its air. Overall, the book was interesting according to the situations the family goes through but i may not read it again and definitely not for pleasure.

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

    Posted November 8, 2007

    The Good Earth

    The book was okay. I mean i read it and enjoyed it. Maybe because I had to read it but yeah, I guess you could say I liked it. My teacher Ms. Collins had us read it and we had to do a novel packet on this whole book. So if you wanted to pass her class you'd better have a bood and you'd better read it. If I didn't clear things up, I enjoyed the book as far as enjoyment goes but it could've been better.

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

    Posted November 6, 2006

    The average Earth

    Pearl S. Buck's 'The Good Earth' is supposed to be one of the bestselling novels of the twentieth century. This book made a ton of bucks for Buck, and it was even awarded what is perhaps the highest praise in literature, the Nobel Prize. So, it must be good, right? After being forced to read the novel as a literature assignment, I can say that it definitely does not live up to the praise heaped on it. However, at the same time, it's not bad for a required book. The plot concerns the fall and rise to power of a family of farmers during the early 1900's in China. It's difficult to call the stucture of the story a 'plot', however, but more of a series of interconnected events. The book opens with the main character, Wang Lung, buying a wife named O-Lan. From there, the book takes the family on a rocky ride to prosperity. The family faces famine, a riot, a flood, a second wife named Lotus, and a plague of locusts. The book has a very slow pace, for one thing. As I mentioned earlier, it also has a very loose plot. It also goes on for waaaaaay too long. I felt like the last hundred pages were pure 'filler', and could have been shortened or cut off. It was a wise decision on the part of the makers of the film version of the book to leave this tepid storytelling out. Above all, it just wasn't that compelling. I have several problems with Buck's writing style. For one, the book is crammed with run-on descriptive sentences. There were several times when an entire sentence took up a quarter or even a half of a page, because Buck stuffed too many complete thoguhts into the space between the opening capital letter of the sentence until the period at the end. The book is also lost in translation. Though we are supposed to believe the characters speak Chinese, Buck wrote the dialogue of the characters in English in order for us to understand it. Unfortunately, The dialogue comes off at times as laughably corny, with lines like 'There is a way, when the rich are too rich', and my favorite, 'There is a fire in my vitals'. With that said, it's still possible to make it through this book without throwing it against the wall. The descriptions of farm life, though run-on sentences, are fairly fascinating. Buck fills every scene of her book with immense detail, really painting vivid pictures of China in the reader's mind. Wang Lung and O-Lan are the two most developed characters in the book. I'm not enitirely sure if wer're supposed to 'like ' Wang, becuase he turns into a concieted person in the second half of the book. O-lan, though her character is somewhat flavorless and boring, is also the key character in this story. If I was to have to write an essay dissecting one of the characters in this book, for certain, it would have to be O-Lan. She helps Wang lung on his rise from rags to riches. And, strangely enough, she actually makes the book sort of compelling before the 'filler' part hits. There are also five children that the couple have, but their development is limited, especially Wang Lung's retarded daughter. Some of them are so underdeveloped that they have no names at all. Is the book worthy of high, high praise? Probably not. Is it still sort of worth reading? Yes it is, due to the richness of the setting and culture.

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

    Posted July 20, 2006

    Interesting Read, Though Can Be Like Pulling Teeth. . .

    I was forced to read this book for summer preparation for an English class, and being an avid reader was ready to give it a shot. This novel is considered a modern classic, and rightly so--it's carefully written and sometimes stunning portrayals of pre-revolutionary China contain some great imagery and detail, almost like a painting. But, the novel at times caused myself to question what I'd read, and sometimes I read passages more than thrice through to fully comprehend. I don't think it's my intelligence at fault, but some of the book is too carried on and dry for what should be a smooth and satisfying read. The ending, while a bit of a letdown, was a wry and sour hint of what was to come and I liked the final passage very much for its quiet inferences. I wouldn't recommend this to the casual reader, but to the more avid reader who is very interested in historical events. Also, as a male, I would recommend this to both boys and girls, men and women, to show how different the cultural dynamics of gender are and how far the human race has come. (B-)

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

    Posted June 23, 2005

    Beginning of the book is soooo slooow

    I almost quite this book about half way through it. It just dragged on and on. The rain, the crops, more rain more about the crops. I'm glad I continued reading because the story really picked up. It was a struggle of a man trying to provide for his family. His kids grew up with money that father labored for and saved for years. I think I could relate to this story personally to some level. My parents are immigrants and worked labor jobs and saved so that my siblings and I could go to college and have nice jobs and nice stuff. Reading this story made me appreciate how hard my parents worked. The actions of the children as they grew older made me more aware of my values and beliefs about life and money.

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

    Posted September 29, 2004

    It was alright

    I thought The Good Earth was alright. It's a great classic, no doubt about that, but, personally, I didn't find it as engrossing as some other people I know did. I had to read the book this year as part of a summer reading program for 9th grade. It's not incredibly boring nor is it incredibly exciting. It's a book you can read without throwing it at the wall, but sometimes you'll want to take a break from it. Then again, this is coming from someone is likes to read books about war and mystery.

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

    Posted January 2, 2003

    IT WAS GOOD......BUT NOT GREAT

    I thought that it was a little to boring and drawn out. It did offer alot of usefull info about their culture. I dont think that the main character is exactly a smart guy after all of the decisions he made.

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

    Posted July 2, 2002

    A Mixed review

    The Good Earth was good if you view it like an English teacher: well-written, a classic, and descriptive for the most part, and I understand why it was on my Honors English summer list. I found the story to be rather dull, but it moved. Each transition was smooth, sometimes so much so that you don't recognize it. I prefer modern writing, which this isn't, but it was fair, for what it was. Not something I'd read for plesaure, but it was not a chore to read.

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

    Posted April 15, 2001

    An interesting book.

    When I first began reading The Good Earth I felt it was a little boring but as I continued on I was actually shocked at how interesting the book became. Pearl Buck is a very creative and thoughtful author. This book was written in such a way that I have a different perspective on certain things that I normally would not have paid much attention to. I think The Good Earth is a very interesting and meaningful read.

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

    Posted December 4, 2000

    **Disliked**

    Being a frshman in a 9A liturature class I was forced to read this noveland iwas very dissapointed in it. It was nothing like I expected.My whole 9A lit.class disliked it. In a way it was a sad story full of meaning.I totally disagree with the way they treated women back then. Read if i have truly persuaded you but, I would not reccomend it to anyone.

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

    Posted April 28, 2000

    In my opinion this book was rather boring and a little on the depressing downer side.

    I read this book for a project in Honors English on economic crisis. This book was helpful in seeing economic crisis such as: flooding, drought, lack of money, and loss of family members. I like how descriptive this author was. I felt like I could see smell and touch everything that was in the book. I was shocked in how the men in China in this book treated the women. they just used them for work, to give them children, and fulfill sexual needs. I found it rather disgusting. I don't really think this book was written at my reading level because it was not something I enjoyed reading at all. i thought it was boring and hard to get into. I would recommend this book only to people who want to learn about other cultures.

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

    Posted April 15, 2000

    The Good Earth - from a freshmans point of view

    I read this book for Honors 9 English. This book helped me understand economic crisis in China. I learned alot about China also by reading this book. The book was descriptive which I liked but the ending was poorly done. I was told what the book after this one was about and it makes more sense. So if you are going to read this book read more than one and read them in order. If you don't read the sequal, you will be disappointed with the ending. I felt that this book was written at my reading level because I could understand most of it. I wouldn't recommend this book to people if you are not a big book reader. You also need to have a high attention span.

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

    Posted April 12, 2000

    The Good Earth Is Good

    In my English 9 Honors class, I was required to read a novel. I didn't have much of a choice, but went with 'The Good Earth' by Pearl S Buck. It was not my first choice so I didn't look forward to reading it (to be honest). However, I thought that the story was interesting. Set in China, before communism, the story follows to a poor farmer (wang lung) from his wedding day to his dieing day. From his ups and downs in fortune, through personal triumphs and failures, to relationships with his family and close friends. It took me a few chapters but I finally got into it. Although I'm only 14, I understood it perfectly, so that wasn't an obstacle. The problem was, many things in the story lacked my interest, and it took a while to unfold. It is still a well written novel that I would recommend for anyone because the conflicts between characters were interesting, as well as informative discriptions.

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

    Posted January 24, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 2