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Showing 1-10 of 577 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,212 reviews
on May 10, 2015
I am a well-read male, sixty-five years old. I have read perhaps a thousand books in my lifetime; some fiction, some non-fiction. I recall setting down The Good Earth as a teenager after turning the last page and thinking, “This is the greatest book I have ever read”.

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.
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on April 19, 2015
Very compelling and satisfying in its telling. Gratifying to discover this book I overlooked in my youth. Covers the life of a Chinese peasant farmer and his family - from poverty to extreme wealth, from youth to old age and death. It is rich in detail of life in rural China in the late 19th and early 20th century. Wang was a man passionate about the land he farmed who was on his own in sorting out the changing needs of his family, doing the best he knew how. He was a basically honest and moral man but as he made more money (sliver) from farming his expanding lands with hired laborers, his life became more complex. Women were considered inferior to men. He gave very little attention or thought to his wife who bore his three sons and a daughter, served them as a slave in all their needs, and without whom the family might not have survived a horrible famine. As the story evolves, Wang can afford a concubine and the wife and mother dies. Later the family moves to town to live in a palace-like house with many courts and grandly furnished rooms. Many woman slaves come to serve and care for the three sons and their growing families in their town house. Wang begins to yearn for and strive for peace as various family dramas and jealousies transpire. He only receives any peace as he is much older when he takes his second concubine who is sweet and serviceful out of gratitude for his protection and gentle way with her. She comforted Wang during his old age and death and remained devoted to his memory after death.
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on December 29, 2015
This was the only book I remember reading in high school because it WAS the only book I read in high school. It's a good one. I guess it's a classic so everyone knows that so I will talk about the pages. Good pages with words. I bought this for my mom and got her some Chinese tea and house slippers and a tea pot because I'm pretty thoughtful at times. It was a nice change for her bible. Sometimes you need to expand your horizons.
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on April 20, 2017
No wonder this book is a classic. We read it for our Book Club this past Monday. Everybody was very impressed in how the impact of the famine and Wang Lung's attachment and love for his land resonates in every culture and country. We felt sorry for O Lan who devoted her life to her husband and his dream of keeping his piece of land and later helping him acquire more land. She bore stoically three boys and two "slaves" (girls) without ever complaining
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on July 17, 2016
Excellent author. I have read this book many times. She is a classic. Required reading in high school. My son, who attended the same high school, read it too. We both enjoy Pearl S. Buck. I have read all of her books. This story takes you through several generations and gives you an angle of Chinese living that has not been presented before. This is from a farmers point of view. His prosperity is forwarded by his new wife. She is a diligent worker and money saver. Women's rights should promote this story for women's equality.
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on August 30, 2016
Several of my friends read this book in high School but it was never part of my curriculum. I was thrilled to find it on one of the Kindle Deal Days!
This book was riveting from the first page. I was dismayed at the handling of the Olan character because to me, she was clearly the hero of the story. But to praise a woman so highly would not have been in keeping with the time and setting.

This was a very pleasant read. Highly recommended for any ago group 12+ yr old. It is by no means a children's book but is not inappropriate fro young people.
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VINE VOICEon July 27, 2016
I recently reread this magnificent novel after many decades, and as is typical, it spoke to me in an entirely different manner than it did thirty or more years ago. At that time, I recall being shocked and yet fascinated by the many cultural differences between China and America.

This time, I noted the similarities between Buck’s characters and those in American novels. While people might eat diverse foods, wear unusual clothes, worship different deities, and have radically opposing views on filial responsibilities, all humans are similar “under the skin.” We love, strive, hope, dream, fear, envy, and pass through cycles of life in amazingly similar and predictable ways.

Wang Lung, at one time a poor farmer, becomes a wealthy landowner and father of sons and grandsons. He has daughters too, but they, except for the “poor fool,” don’t figure largely in his culture…nor in the novel. Throughout the better part of his life, O-lan, his wife whom he bought from the House of Hwang, is his steady, hard-working partner who is responsible for much of his success. Not until her sickness and subsequent death does Wang Lung realize her worth. O-lan remains my favorite character, and I'm glad her husband felt remorse about giving her two precious pearls to his mistress, Lotus.

What I admire about this book is Pearl Buck’s ability to describe characters, scenes, emotions, sensations, family drama, culture, and life’s cycles in a vivid, stirring manner. She even manages to weave in the seven deadly sins so cunningly that the reader doesn’t even realize it at first. I must admit that I wasn’t sorry to see Lotus succumb to gluttony but was saddened to see Wang Lung give in to lust, pride, and sometimes anger. But then, these are people, humans like the rest of us.
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on March 27, 2017
This is a reread, or re-reread for me. It is set in rural China before the revolution, and follows the life of a farmer and his family. It's a wonderful character study that has universal appeal.
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on July 24, 2012
The Good Earth should be required reading in every American school. At a time when so many young people seem to believe the world owes them a living, the quiet and heroic efforts of a farming family from the early years of 20th Century China serve as a reminder of real courage and the value of work and frugality. In addition, the difficult lives of girls born into poor Chinese families provides stark illustrations on the tremendous freedoms and privileges enjoyed by Western girls throughout the last century and especially today.

There is nothing sugar-coated in the images provided by Pearl Buck. The author gives names and faces to Chinese people and provided an honest, human view of life. Without question, this work by the author caused many Americans to come to the aid of China as it was assaulted by the immoral and inhuman forces of the Empire of Japan beginning in 1931. I recommend this haunting book to everyone with some sense of decency and historical reality.
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on June 26, 2016
I am so glad I finally picked up this book. It is a gem. Pearl Buck lived in China with her missionary parents for many years and has shared her insight into the life of the people in the remarkable body of work she left behind. "The Good Earth" won a Pulitzer Prize and it is set in the early part of the 20th Century. When all is said and done the life and times of Wang Lung and his family could be that of just about any man in any time, but it is only through the eyes of this author that we are given this insight.
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