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The Good Earth Audiobook

The Good Earth

This Pulitzer Prize-winning classic tells the poignant tale of a Chinese farmer and his family in old agrarian China. The humble Wang Lung glories in the soil he works, nurturing the land as it nurtures him and his family. Nearby, the nobles of the House of Hwang consider themselves above the land and its workers; but they will soon meet their own downfall. The working people riot, breaking into the homes of the rich and forcing them to flee. When Wang Lung shows mercy to one noble and is rewarded, he begins to rise in the world, even as the House of Hwang falls.
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Publisher's Summary

This Pulitzer Prize-winning classic tells the poignant tale of a Chinese farmer and his family in old agrarian China. The humble Wang Lung glories in the soil he works, nurturing the land as it nurtures him and his family. Nearby, the nobles of the House of Hwang consider themselves above the land and its workers; but they will soon meet their own downfall.

Hard times come upon Wang Lung and his family when flood and drought force them to seek work in the city. The working people riot, breaking into the homes of the rich and forcing them to flee. When Wang Lung shows mercy to one noble and is rewarded, he begins to rise in the world, even as the House of Hwang falls.

©1958 Pearl S. Buck; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A beautiful, beautiful book. At last we read, in the pages of a novel, of the real people of China." (Saturday Review)
"The Good Earth has style, power, coherence and a pervasive sense of dramatic reality." (New York Times Book Review)
"To read this story of Wang Lung is to be slowly and deeply purified; and when the last page is finished it is as if some significant part of one's own days were over." (Bookman)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (3039 )
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4.5 (2092 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joseph Somerset, Kentucky, United States 04-11-14
    Joseph Somerset, Kentucky, United States 04-11-14 Member Since 2011

    Tell us about yourself! Lifelong reader and passionate pursuer of knowledge. I love Audible because I never have to stop reading.

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    "This book is why I read"

    All you ever need to know about human behavior, from starvation to hubris, is described so well and so intimately, that I defy you not to enjoy this book. One of my five all time favorite novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 03-10-14
    Jodie Middletown, NY, United States 03-10-14 Member Since 2014

    I have a rather eclectic love of books. I know what I like and I tend not to be a severe critic. If I enjoyed it, it gets 4 or 5 stars.

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    "The narrator was wonderful!"

    I had not read this classic so I thought I would give it a try. I am not sure how well I would have done with it if it had not been read by this performer and I had tried to read it myself. He was truly wonderful and I marveled at the way brought the characters to life. The book reminded me on some levels of One Hundred Years of Solitude, although it was done over a shorter period of time. It really is about 3 generation of a family and the joys and disappointments that life brings. I found myself struggling with a lot of emotions while listening to the book: sadness, frustration, joy, relief, anger - it really brought out the gamut.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Lake Florida 12-23-13
    Margaret Lake Florida 12-23-13 Member Since 2015

    Historical Fiction/Romance Author

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    "Couldn't have asked for a better narrator"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Anyone who's ever read The Good Earth and loved it as I do, will be more than pleased with this audiobook.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    O-Lan has always been my favorite character. Because she rarely spoke, she seemed to be unintelligent, but it was very often her quick thinking that saved Wang Lung and their family.


    What does Anthony Heald bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Anthony Heald brought the book to life for me. I was a little reluctant to listen to the audio version because the book always drew me into Wang Lung's world. Heald's narration was beautifully suited to Pearl S. Buck's wonderful writing and also drew me in to that time and place..


    If you could rename The Good Earth, what would you call it?

    There isn't another name for it. Wang Lung was all about the land. He loved his land more than any person and from this Good Earth sprang the house he founded.


    Any additional comments?

    I know I'll listen to this audiobook again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. R. King 12-21-13
    D. R. King 12-21-13 Member Since 2012

    Complex realist

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    "A simple but wonderful story."
    What did you like best about this story?

    A wonderful tribute to the power of hard work, self-sacrifice and the meaning of true love. Rarely do you find yourself loving, hating, sympathetic to, disappointed in and admiring the same character in the same story.


    If you could rename The Good Earth, what would you call it?

    You wouldn't... It is the perfect title.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. 10-25-13
    M. 10-25-13
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    "Classic title with timeless themes."
    Where does The Good Earth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This compelling book ranks in the top 10 of any audiobook which I have ever listened.


    What does Anthony Heald bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The actor, Anthony Heald brings a clarity on each character's motives.


    If you could take any character from The Good Earth out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    O-lan. She is the most respectable person in the whole tribe. She is steadfast, and resourceful, in spite of her low position in the family.


    Any additional comments?

    This timeless theme, while set in a primitive Chinese culture marks the time tested reality about younger generations' attitudes about their senior counterparts. While listening to this book, I was experiencing senior citizen issues with an aging parent. I was STUNNED by Pearl S. Buck's insights about the changing roles and relationships, and aging generations. Post modern Americans are no better than these more primitive peoples in managing our families' estates.Additionally, the degradation of characters as wealth built up and boredom came in was also a timeless truth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hervian Rose 09-14-13 Listener Since 2009
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    "Excellent story and performance."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Good Earth to be better than the print version?

    Actually I didn't notice the performance so it must have been perfect. I love the book in print also. I've both read and listened multiple times.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 09-04-13
    Jeff Pickering, Ontario, Canada 09-04-13 Member Since 2015

    54 yrs, ,memb 12yrs,library -75%nonfic 10% fiction,15% classics. History, all sciences, bio, classics,diverse other interests.

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    "BE TRANSPORTED TO ANOTHER PLACE AND TIME"

    I read this some time ago now- but I can still remember how captivating it was for me. It stuck to the background of my mind for a long long time= like all great reads do.

    The story is set on a farm near a small village in china in the 18th or 19th cent . A farmer experiences all the challenges of family and of depending on the land in an unforgiving and unforgettable time and place .

    The author's ability to completely transport and immerse you in this fascinating foreignes makes reading it feel like time travel. The story lines universal themes take on an interesting duality experienced in the context of this very unique culture as compared to our own.. I've been reading a lot of Steinbeck lately and I find Bucks writing reminds me very much of Steinbeck's. Simple, sparse, and even seems to have a similar rhythm= and like Steinbeck she manages to convey the stories personalities and atmosphere with such depth , fulness and character, it belies the seeming simplicity of the writing. It's like magic. The narration is fine- Anthony Heald does the book justice.

    I enjoyed this book so much-It was sad to end it. It was so rewarding in so many ways,and on so many levels. I've yet to read the other 2 books in this trilogy. When I got this title the other 2 were not available on audible. Writing this review has rekindled my fancy, I'll have to get the other 2 now Jeez ! So many books so little time.

    This book and it's author deserve all the awards and accolades bestowed on them. HIGHLY- RECOMMENDED

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    He who knows, knows. North & West Hemispheres 07-02-13
    He who knows, knows. North & West Hemispheres 07-02-13

    Let Him Teach You

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    "Anthony Heald, stellar reader. You made it alive."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a great classic. I have read it three times, once each in English, Portuguese and Spanish. The story moves along at nice pace and describes the lives of both peasant and wealthy Chinese just before the Communist party starting making inroads into China. I could read this story five more times and get something new out of it each time.

    Nevertheless, since The Good Earth is such a celebrated classic, I would prefer to comment on the reader Anthony Heald.

    I have been listening to recorded books for nearly forty years. In all that time, I have heard readers who captivated my attention, even when the material was not interesting, and readers whose skill was so lacking that they ruined good books.

    Anthony Heald sets the standard of good reading. The inflections in his voice, the modulation, the precise pauses, the emotion, the range of voices according to character, etc. all work in concert to make Anthony Heald the most outstanding reader I have ever had the pleasure to listen to. So very well is his rendition of The Good Earth that I could not begin to imagine another reader doing better. I repeat: Anthony Heald sets the standard to which others need aspire.

    I have avoided some audiobooks based on their readers, but I have never purchased audio books based on their readers. Now I shall. I want to listen to other works Anthony Heald has recorded. If he repeats the skill he demonstrated in recording The Good Earth, I will be pleased.

    I just searched other books Anthony Heald has recorded. I can't wait to purchase a few more.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda WISTER, OK, United States 06-17-13
    Linda WISTER, OK, United States 06-17-13 Member Since 2013

    Wister

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    "Great read"
    If you could sum up The Good Earth in three words, what would they be?

    poor, determined, rich


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Good Earth?

    When O-lan goes to the fields to help Wang Lung. Him seeing her as a help mate.


    What about Anthony Heald’s performance did you like?

    I liked the way he would articulate different people. Allowing me to know who was talking.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me sad to be placed in each characters position. Knowing how O-lan felt when Wang Lung saw her ugliness for the first time. For drought, rain, famine, and family that would suck the life out of anyone, but Wang Lung stood strong and learned to manage his money.


    Any additional comments?

    Pearl Buck is one great writer. I have had her books in my collection for years and unable to read it because of time restrictions. Now with Audiobooks, I can listen as well read and enjoy my books as I travel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oliver 04-30-13
    Oliver 04-30-13 Member Since 2010
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    "The good earth"

    I would recommend this book. Very easy listen, but very introspective. It made me look deep into human nature, child rearing, and self contentment. Very good book though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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