The Good Earth

The Good Earth

4.3 266
by Pearl S Buck
     
 

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The Good Earth is one of the most famous novels of all time. It won for the author both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature. It was the best selling fiction work in 1931 and 1932. The author has been honored with a 5¢ Great Americans series postage stamp issued by the United States Postal Service. So many millions of people have read it and have

Overview

The Good Earth is one of the most famous novels of all time. It won for the author both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature. It was the best selling fiction work in 1931 and 1932. The author has been honored with a 5¢ Great Americans series postage stamp issued by the United States Postal Service. So many millions of people have read it and have based their knowledge of pre-revolutionary China on it that it has influenced the course of future events.
Unfortunately, this may have had the consequence of some people supporting the 1949 take-over of China by Chairman Mao based on what Pearl Buck wrote about poverty and life in rural China.
Pearl S. Buck lived most of her life in China up until to the time she wrote this book. When Nixon went to China to visit Chairman Mao in 1972, Peal Buck wanted to go along too as translator. She was heartbroken when Mao's wife denounced Pearl Buck as an "American cultural imperialist". Mao whom Pearl Buck had initially supported would not allow her to visit. This book that Pearl Buck wrote had been banned in China and nobody had read or was allowed to read this book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9784871879408
Publisher:
Ishi Press
Publication date:
11/19/2014
Pages:
386
Sales rank:
862,690
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

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The Good Earth 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 266 reviews.
pjpick More than 1 year ago
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
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I first read THE GOOD EARTH at age 16--Now, forty years later, the story is still impossible to put down!
MattCartwright More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
crumpetMD More than 1 year ago
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:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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. 
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
josgrevar More than 1 year ago
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.
alexphilAU More than 1 year ago
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.
Chilly11 More than 1 year ago
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!
CG76 More than 1 year ago
The Good Earth is a book that has many dynamic characters. This book is not meant to be entertaining. The book is a story of a man's hard life of work. The main character, Wang Lung, starts out as a poor farmer who has to take care of his sick father. Wang's life changes when he marries his wife, Olan, that bears him lucky sons. A famine comes over the town and kills the villagers' crops and cuts-off the food supply. Wang Lung has agreedy uncle who always asks him for food and money. His uncle is filled with jealousy because of Wang's success. Later in the story Wang tricks his uncle into becoming an opium adict. Though this sounds harsh, it was neccessary because Wang Lung became wealthy because of the Land that he farmed. He is then able to take care of his wife, sons, and mentally retarded daughter. This book show that success is achieved by smart decisions.
PhDrSeuss More than 1 year ago
i recently watched the movie the good earth (with paul muni) online & wanted 2 read the book. the movie was great so of course thats what i did (read the book) because it seemed 2 b an interestin movie. all i have 2 say is THAT ITS NOTHING LIKE THE MOVIE!!! i found the book 2 b better. i left comments about the movie online & some1 said to me that the movie is nothin like the book ----how rite they were. the book was more interesting. the movie left alot out. this is story that takes place in a chinese village durin the chinese revolution and is about a man, wang lung, who goes from rags - riches. His wife O-Lan was my favorite character. she may be quiet but she is also a thoughtful woman that was 1ce a slave in the Hwang house. O-lan is a very hard working woman --- the opposite of Lotus, Wang Lungs future wife. this book goes 2 shows what greed/money can sometimes do 2 a person especailly when he takes in Lotus, a spoiled concubine/former prostitute.
muttmomma More than 1 year ago
Very good read, kept me interested-sorry it wasn't mandatory in High School
Guest More than 1 year ago
Pearl S. Buck¿s Good Earth was a very interesting novel that takes place in the 20th century. In this novel, Wang Lung, a poor, simple Chinese farmer living with his father, has his life turned around when he gets married to a hard working slave named Olan. When things were beginning to look good for Wang Lung, his land turned on him. Having to take care of his own children and his wife plus the family of his greedy uncle, Wang Lung fled to the city and took his family with him. Once Wang Lung and his family came back home his luck changed Olan stole jewels from a rich man¿s house. Even the Earth was now on his side. But with all this money comes greed. With his money he hired men to work on his land, but without the land he needed something preoccupy him so he began to be rude to his wife. He even went to a teashop and found a woman named Lotus who later became his concubine, and he was careless with his money as he doted on her. Wang Lung¿s sons became very needy, Olan grew sick and lotus did not speak to Wang Lung. But the most important thing to him had been and always will be his land. I think Pearl S. Buck made ancient Chinese Culture very fascinating with this novel. It takes you through the life of a Chinese family and showed us the ups and downs of their life. I recommend this novel to everyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In the begging of the novel ¿The Good Earth¿ I thought this book was going to be very boring. Although after reading this very significant novel I realized that it is an awesome book not only if you would like to learn not only about a different country, but a different way of living and family traditions. Mostly all of the characters in this book were compassionate and loving except for a couple 'the uncle & his family'. I would recommend this book to anyone of any age. Wang Lung the main character of the book lived in a house with his father. Later on in his life he married a slave of ¿The Great House of Hwang¿ her name was O-Lan. Wang Lung and O-Lan made a great marriage couple even though Wang Lung treated O-Lan like the lowest of the low. Wang Lung cherished his land and crops 'including the dirt, which I would say was the treated O-Lan, but he did not cherish her'. O-Lan worked in the fields with Wang Lung, she cooked, cleaned and she did all of this while pregnant. Wand Lung and O-Lan 'mostly O-Lan' birthed 5 children into the world, 2 boys 'older', 2 twins, a boy and a girl 'third oldest' and 1 mentally challenged girl 'youngest'. After all of his working in the garden and trading of food Wang Lung and his family became wealthy. Now that Wang Lung has become wealthy he then realizes how ugly he thinks his wife is, since he has nothing else to do. So therefore he goes out and buys himself a concubine named Lotus and Lotus has a servant named Cuckoo. Wang Lung had an uncle that he thought he had to take care of. His uncle had a wife and a son, all of them did nothing but sit around all day and smoke opium 'a reddish-brown heavy-scented addictive drug prepared from the juice of the opium poppy, used as a narcotic and in medicine as an analgesic'. Wang Lung finally realized that he no longer wanted to take care of his uncle and his uncle¿s family, so therefore he bought them opium to get them to do nothing at all but smoke all day and not ask for anything else 'and he did this until they would all die'. I really enjoyed reading this book 'The Good Earth' and I would like to thank Pearl S. Buck for writing it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I started reading The Good Earth in my gifted class this year. Judging from the title I would not have chosen to read The Good Earth for my personal entertainment. I was mistaken The Good Earth is an amazing book. I was captivated in Pearl S. Buck's writing. The Good Earth shows the struggle one family goes through in 20th century China. The first couple of chapters in The Good Earth are introductions to the characters of Wang-Lung's, the main character, family and friends. . Olan, Wang-Lung¿s wife, is a very quiet, but caring mother. Olan tried her best to make the family live well, and Olan worked hard in the fields and house without ever complaining. Wang-Lung¿s father is elderly and usually sleeps and drinks tea in his room. The eldest son and the second son of Wang-Lung went to school to learn how to read and write. The eldest daughter of Wang-Lung was born mentally challenged, so she stays at home with Olan, Wang-Lung, and grandfather. The youngest son did not go to school, instead work on his father¿s land. The youngest daughter helped her mother around the house with chores. Lotus, Wang-Lung¿s concubine, lived in the inner courts of Wang-Lung¿s house. Concubines are second wives for men when they have lusty desire. Cuckoo, Lotus¿s servant, lived in the inner courts of Wang-Lung¿s house with Lotus. Cuckoo and Olan brought tension to the house. In the beginning of the novel, Wang-Lung is not wealthy. He lives with his father in a two-roomed house. Wang-Lung and Olan marry each other. Olan and Wang- Lung has three sons and two daughters together. When Wang-Lung desires more in his private life he gets a concubine named Lotus. Cuckoo is hired to tend to Lotus¿s pleasures because Olan refuses to work for Lotus. Olan becomes ill after having birth to the last two children. Wang-Lung and his family move to the House of Hwang, this action is a symbol that Wang-Lung is a wealthy man now. Wang-Lung is earning money from the land that he bought. Wang-Lung returns to his old house because he wants to die with his land. He tells his eldest and second son to take care of the land, but the sons will sell the land to build a train route. The Good Earth was a fantastic book. I would recommend this book to someone that is interested in historical fiction, suspense, and drama. I really enjoyed The Good Earth because Pearl S. Buck gave so much details for the readers to be able to make a mental picture of it in their heads.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a sixth grade student in a gifted class at a Preparatory Academy. In my gifted class because of the 2008 Olympics, we are studying China, so my teacher decided to lead us in reading The Good Earth. The Good Earth was one of the best books I have ever read. It is a very controversial story. This book took place in 21st century China and in fact, it has taught me a lot. One of the main characters Wang Lung is my FAVORITE character he is wise, works extremely hard and is successful in life. Wang Lung started off very poor and lonely, he rarely bathed and did all of the housework. Then he bought his wife O-LAN and everything changed she did the work and made him rich. But by the end of the book when he was rich and had many sons and grandsons, His life was never peaceful yet he still did everything he could to do the right thing to be honorable and have peace in his life. When he was poor he never wasted anything and me living in Florida I have to reserve my water uses and stay very resourceful because if not this resource could run out quickly. Wang Lung at first only cared about his land and peace, He thought that money could buy him peace but it just made things worse. Which taught me that I should always do what¿s right no matter how difficult it maybe. After a couple chapters Wang Lung Married a young girl named O-LAN. O-LAN was not the prettiest of all girls her feet were not bound and her hair was tangled. Wang Lung did not mind because all he wanted was a wife to clean, cook, bare children, work in the fields and take care of Wang Lungs father. Wang Lung had purchased O-LAN from the house of Hwang where she was a slave. When Wang Lung took O-LAN home she did everything she was told to do. She was efficient and even when she was sick she still did work. O-LAN would give birth to a child, at least once a year and yet she still would work in the fields and take care of Wang Lung. Wang Lung was grateful and would never think of buying new women. Unfortunatlly once he became rich he had bout a new girlfriend Lotus and Wang Lung started to realize O-LAN¿s lack of beauty. So Wang Lung started to yell at her and call her bad names. O-LAN had done nothing except work and work, but one sad day Wang Lung had found out that O-LAN had a tumor. I really look up to O-LAN she is smart, faithful, and sweet to all and very simple. She taught me many things. To be simple, and to be very faithful no matter what because what goes around comes around and if you stay simple an nice then all will be well. I think that is a great lesson to learn.