- File Size: 16521 KB
- Print Length: 212 pages
- Publisher: Open Road Media (August 21, 2012)
- Publication Date: August 21, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008F4NRA8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,230 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Good Earth (The Good Earth Trilogy Book 1) Kindle Edition
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From the Publisher
From the Illustrated Biography
Portrait of Pearl S. Buck
Johann Waldemar de Rehling Quistgaard painted Buck in 1933, when the writer was forty-one years old-a year after she won the Pulitzer Prize for The Good Earth. The portrait currently hangs at Green Hills Farm in Pennsylvania, where Buck lived from 1934 and which is today the headquarters for Pearl S. Buck International. (Image courtesy of Pearl S. Buck International.)
Buck Addresses Poverty in Asia
Buck addresses an audience in Korea in 1964, discussing the issues of poverty and discrimination faced by children in Asia. She established the Orphanage and Opportunity Center in Buchon City, Korea, in 1965.
Buck and Family
Buck with her husband, Richard J. Walsh, and their daughter, Elizabeth.
“One of the most important and revealing novels of our time.” — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“One need never have lived in China or know anything about the Chinese to understand [The Good Earth] or respond to its appeal.” —Boston Evening Transcript
“[Buck] did for the working people of twentieth-century China something of what Dickens had done for London's nineteenth-century poor.” —Hilary Spurling, author of Pearl Buck in China
About the Author
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I purchased The Good Earth on Kindle recently because it was $3.00 and I recalled it having an effect on me. It moved me as it did fifty years before. It is simply, and yet powerfully written, stirring the same emotions in me as it did before. As I re-read it, I kept reminding myself “This is just fiction about Chinese peasants”. But it is far more than that. Much as Shakespeare transcends the sixteenth century to tell stories about people, so Pearl S. Buck transcends the foreign mores and privation of turn-of-the-twentienth century China in telling her spellbinding story.
This may still be the best book I have ever read. The Good Earth was then, and remains now, a classic of English literature.
Wang Lung begins his adult years as a poor, nearly poverty-stricken farmer. He is so poor that he can only afford to marry a slave. But that slave, O-Lan, however ugly she may be, is strong and hardworking and together they beat the odds—until nature wins. But don't count these two out quite yet. They turn their lives around, albeit not so honestly, and become fabulously wealthy. While there is much joy in their lives, there is also heartbreak and tragedy. Wang Lung is a dear man, prone to great anger but with such a soft heart that he gives in to every request made of him. He is a loveable character, and that makes the book a true pleasure to read. (Best of all, this book is quite amusing. The way Wang Lung reacts to his children reminds of a clueless, but well-meaning, father in a 1960s-era sitcom. There were times I was grinning or even laughing out loud!)
"The Good Earth" is one of those important books that should go on everyone's "to-read" list. Nearly 90 years after it was published, it is still relevant and vital.
Besides that, this story was flat. Nothing exciting happens after the main character has a turn around of his life (by stealing). It was dull and predictable. The ending was a total deflated let down.
The writing was choppy and condescending, almost like the author was trying to write with broken English - but this was set in China at a time where nobody in this story was speaking English. So I have no idea why it was written to read like this.
How the author won a Pulitzer for this is beyond me. There must have been some bad literature that year as competition.
Top international reviews
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.
Although Wang Lung and his wife work hard other things conspire against him and his life is a continual struggle against poverty and destitution. Buck writes in a very simple and lucid way - which somehow makes the issues that she raises even more shocking. The story is interwoven with infanticide, murder, drug-taking, prostitution, greed and betrayal. But throughout it all Wang Lung is convinced that it is the land which will offer them salvation. For much of the narrative Wang Lung and many of the other characters are far from flawless - but the author doesn't judge them. Instead she relates their actions and attitudes and leaves the rest to the reader.
It is not made absolutely clear when the book was supposed to be set. Slavery was abolished in 1910 so it is probably supposed to be set about that time. By 1912 the Republic of China had been created although there were many internal factions leading to the era of the warlords. The Good Earth was first published in 1931 - so the story was written without knowing the massive upheavals that were to occur in China a few years in the future. But already the country was in a state of flux with the mention of distant wars and gangs of local robbers.
A brilliant book - a true classic.
Some of their past ways may seem shocking to us, such as not bothering to name their children, especially the girls, and the way they referred to a daughter with learning difficulties as 'Little Fool'. This story is also set at a time when the practice of foot binding was just starting to disappear. I will keep this to read again one day, and will read more of her books.
Sadly, not available for Kindle, so I had to buy a hard copy.
Her biography 'Burying the Bones' is also well worth reading.
A very interesting account of a poor farmer living at some point in China's history. It's written quite matter of factly and this leaves room for the reader to consider the world and society of the story. I thought it exposed a deep emptiness throughout the characters' way of life and beliefs, which was sad to witness.
It's an interesting book, worth reading.
Maybe but outdated, but beautiful story
I’d highly recommend to anyone and everyone. It has such a powerful message about greed, envy and social climbing and the ultimate consequences and downfall.
This book is fascinating from start to end. It describes a life gone by but is written in a form that has a very modern appeal. It pays attention to detail so that you feel you understand the environment and it presents the views of a poor Chinese farmer in a way that makes the reader involved. It also gives one a very good understanding of the making of modern Chinese attitudes.
I read it straight through over a couple of days from start to finish and am now looking for other works by Pearl Buck.