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The Good Earth (The Good Earth Trilogy Book 1) by [Buck, Pearl S.]
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The Good Earth (The Good Earth Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews

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Product Description

Review

"Pittsburgh Post Gazette" One of the most important and revealing novels of our time.

"The New York Times" A comment upon the meaning and tragedy of life as it is lived in any age in any quarter of the globe.

"Boston Transcript" One need never have lived in China or know anything about the Chinese to understand it or respond to its appeal.

Synopsis

Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck traces the whole cycle of life: its terrors, its passions, its ambitions and rewards. Beloved by millions of readers, her brilliant novel is a universal tale of the destiny of man. Though more than sixty years have passed since it 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 should be mandatory reading for those who would fully appreciate the sweeping changes that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese people during this century.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 16657 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (21 Aug. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008F4NRA8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 104 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,464 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book years ago and it has stayed with me ever since.
Originally published in 1931, it won the Pulitzer prize the following year.

The setting is in China, right before the revolution. Wang Lung is a poor farmer in a village and the book starts with his wedding to plain O-lan. They have four children together, three boys and one girl. He is a very hard working farmer and bit by bit, thanks also to O-lan's skills, he builds a fortune by buying land from the House of Hwangs's family, landowners in a nearest village whose wealth declines dramatically due to their relentless spending.

We are dipped into Chinese culture, taken from the seemingly bottomless poverty of the early days throughout the rise to wealth, only to be propelled downwards again due to a terrible draught and subsequent famine, when everything seems lost and the family has to move to the city, starting all over again.

We are reading spectators of the rise and fall and twists & turns of Wang Lung's family. Many touching episodes have moved me throughout the book, especially the ones connected with hard-working, silent, subservient O-lan and later on, the ones related to their mentally retarded baby girl.

The story is absorbing and mesmerizing, exquisitely written. Page after page, truly unforgettable. A must-read classic.
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Format: Paperback
I also came to Pearl Buck via Hilary Spurling's excellent biography, Burying The Bones: Pearl Buck in China, and for those interested in Buck's life and experiences in China, it makes for a perfect counterpart to this novel. The novel reading experience is enhanced, I think, by a more detailed knowledge of China at the time.

The Good Earth is, on the surface, a simple novel about simple people. A small cast of characters and the development of a family through several generations are revealed through the eyes of farmer Wang Lung. The earth of the title is the lifeblood of the farmer: "this earth which formed their home and fed their bodies and made their gods.... Each had his turn at this earth." In times of flood and drought, the cyclical disasters that revisit Wang Lung, he is forced to give up everything and must even abandon his home and move his family south; but he will not relinquish his land. Bands of marauders may strip his home bare, yet the land is "that which cannot be taken away ... it is mine."

O-Lan is Wang Lung's wife, a servant purchased from a town family: the only bride a poor farmer could hope for. She is, to Wang Lung, a "faithful, speechless serving maid ... he was ashamed of his own curiosity and of his interest in her. She was, after all, only a woman." The reader will perceive her as a power of goodness, honesty and silent strength. She is thrifty, adept, and hard-working, hoeing the fields side by side with her husband, bearing her children alone, and never complaining. Together with their land, prudence and hard work, the couple raise a family and slowly become rich.

The material comfort that money brings the family is cold.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
The Good Earth is basically the story of a low born Chinese peasant who, through a combination of hard work and fortunate circumstances becomes a rich landowner.
The depths and richness of this novel arises from the author's portrayal of family life in pre-revolution China. The protagonist's relationships with his father, his wives and his children show him to be an essentially flawed yet compassionate human being, and reveal the cultural influences that shaped his
family, and ultimately the society in which he found himself.
The plot progresses slowly and consistently,and the main theme of the novel; the cycle of life, of the new coming to take the place of the old, is established and developed in a subtle manner, through the use of simple yet poetic language.
A very enjoyable read - highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This is my favourite book because it was the first novel that I read and fell in love with when I was little. It was a battered old copy I found from my dad's old school days, and for me it was like discovering a rare forgotten treasure. It was also what got me into Chinese and Asian literature, and later all kinds of fiction. The story is simply beautiful, and my words can't do it justice, as it's such a special book.
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By lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Jan. 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This 1932 Pulitzer Prize winning novel is still a standout today. Deceptive in its simplicity, it is a story built around a flawed human being and a teetering socio-economic system, as well as one that is layered with profound themes. The cadence of the author's writing is also of note, as it rhythmically lends itself to the telling of the story, giving it a very distinct voice. No doubt the author's writing style was influenced by her own immersion in Chinese culture, as she grew up and lived in China, the daughter of missionaries.
This is the story of the cyclical nature of life, of the passions and desires that motivate a human being, of good and evil, and of the desire to survive and thrive against great odds. It begins with the story of an illiterate, poor, peasant farmer, Wang Lung, who ventures from the rural countryside and goes to town to the great house of Hwang to obtain a bride from those among the rank of slave. There, he is given the slave O-lan as his bride.
This is a potent story, brimming with irony, yet simply told against a framework of mounting social change. It is a story that stands as a parable in many ways and is one that certainly should be read. It is no wonder that this beautifully written book won a Pulitzer Prize and is considered a classic masterpiece. Bravo!
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