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The Good Earth | [Pearl S. Buck]

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

4.3 (2015 )
5 star
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4.5 (1164 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ann Ithaca, NY, United States 06-22-12
    Ann Ithaca, NY, United States 06-22-12 Member Since 2011
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    "A Good Read"

    This book was pretty interesting. The beginning started of well. In my opinion this book
    started of very well and stayed quite interesting until about the middle where it sort of became still interesting but a little slow and depressing down to the slightly dissatisfying ending. I think that it would have been productive for the author to end the book at the end of part one. Despite the less enrapturing begging the good earth is still a masterful novel. It shows about how great wealth can only bring sorrows and to have a little over enough is ideal, that love is what's important. Although unlike many books about love vs. money it is not about one's love for one's family but love of the earth. Belonging with the earth which spawns undying satisfaction and the only true happiness.The good earth although not perfect sends a powerful message and begs of your attention. It translates an understanding deeper than bone it's not to be missed out on!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bob 06-12-12
    Bob 06-12-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Superb American Literature"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, for literary style and story


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

    The sacking of the rich man's house, resulting in a new direction for the story's main character.


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

    His narration brings the book alive. The characters seemed real and were much easier to follow through the progression of the story.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Good Earth and why?

    Unable to say . . . several were developed very well.


    Any additional comments?

    Most enjoyable book, with a strong moral on poverty vs wealth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Austinburg, OH, United States 05-24-12
    Andrew Austinburg, OH, United States 05-24-12
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    "Awesome."
    Any additional comments?

    Excellent story and narration - I had not read the story before this. There are apparently 2 additional books to this story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer Little River, CA, United States 05-18-12
    Kindle Customer Little River, CA, United States 05-18-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Remarkable!!!!!!!"
    What did you love best about The Good Earth?

    I will have to come back and do a formal review because I am only a quarter of the way into this book at this time. I am just so moved by it at this time, I had to stop and say something. It is beautiful. I remember reading it in High School and maybe again in college. When I saw it in the Trilogy Sale I thought WOW this would be delightful. Boy was that an understatement. The reader is reading this at such a perfect pace, with such respect for the work and the characters and the enunciation is lovely. The story of course is a classic. I will be back at the end of the trilogy, but I can't imagine it will go downhill. How could it?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan KERRVILLE, TX, United States 05-07-12
    Joan KERRVILLE, TX, United States 05-07-12 Member Since 2011
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    6
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    "Pearl Buck writes great books!"
    Where does The Good Earth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    At the top. She writes the way it was because she was there. I love history but most history is written by folks who weren't there. And it's dry. Pearl writes from experience and in noval form so it's enjoyable as well as a learning experience. I've read the Good Earth several times during my life and the copy that I've saved after my last reading I can't see to read anymore so this audio version was a delight. Anthony Heald read it so well I could close my eyes and be there, like a fly on the wall. I've only listened to several audio books at present but have loved every one of them, hard to pick a favorite because they are so different.


    What other book might you compare The Good Earth to and why?

    I can't think of one. Pearl Buck has a style all her own. Maybe the Memoirs of a Geisha. I know the spelling is wrong but don't have a dictionary handy, it's a crossed the room. I know that doesn't seem far but at 74 it is sometimes. ;)


    Which character – as performed by Anthony Heald – was your favorite?

    The first wife, plane with a flat face, dark from the sun working the fields with her husband, spilling the excess milk from her breasts into the good earth.


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

    Yes, it had many sad places for the first wife, and she didn't have many happy moments but when she took her first son, back to show him to the old mistress where she had been a slave was one of her high moments.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm going to buy more of the audios of Pearl Buck's books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth Cary, NC, United States 03-25-12
    Kenneth Cary, NC, United States 03-25-12 Member Since 2007
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    "I was expecting more"

    While this was not a bad story it was severely lacking on the action front. It was a story of a good man who worked hard, made some mistakes, picked himself back up and kept going. Nothing surprising happened. It meandered around until it came to a conclusion. Not a must read for me.

    The narrator did a fine job. His voice was slightly Asian sounding without an accent which made the story easy to listen to with a feel for the time and place.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben Melrose, WI, United States 03-11-12
    Ben Melrose, WI, United States 03-11-12 Member Since 2009
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    "fascinating and tragic"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    What a wonderful snapshot in time, beautifully written and crafted.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It offers insight into China's history and culture, translated by Buck into terms that a westerner can understand. There is foreboding also about the future.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Richland, WA, United States 02-23-12
    Ray Richland, WA, United States 02-23-12 Member Since 2012
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    "I like Pearl Buck"

    I enjoyed listening to this book. The narrator did a fine job. Thanks for making this available.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Santa Barbara, CA, United States 02-20-12
    Jane Santa Barbara, CA, United States 02-20-12 Member Since 2011
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    4
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    "AWESOME!!"
    Where does The Good Earth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?


    Any additional comments?

    Anthony Heald's voice brings Pearl S. Buck's 1930s Chinese agrarian society into your heart. This is a very moving and poignant story so well written that it is no wonder it garnered the Pulitzer. I strongly recommend you treat yourself to beautiful moving prose.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zu-Zu 01-03-12
    Zu-Zu 01-03-12
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    "Profound and memorable"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Good Earth to be better than the print version?

    The narrator is so excellent that this audio edition of The Good Earth is either equal to or better than the reading experience. It's like attending a performance with a complete cast of characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    We see the main character as an innocent youth with his dreams, as a hard-working young adult during good times and bad, in the burned out phase of middle years, etc. He makes mistakes and sometimes misses good things (such as his wife) right under his nose.

    I also love the descriptions of the earth itself--indeed the Good Earth is an essential


    Any additional comments?

    This audible book is worth owning. It's good to reread it at different times in life. Glad that my Book Group has decided to reread it after 20 years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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