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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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WoW

I visited Pearl Bucks house on her birthday and purchased other books and art pieces. What an amazing writer. I really could imagine what she was writing.. I turned off the tv and it felt like I was reading a kung fu movie.. It really made me understand kung fu movies and the lives of some people... Such a great read. Im glad they had this on audible.

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  • Kelly
  • Colorado Springs
  • 04-03-17

Beautifully Poignant Tale of Love for China.

Pearl S Buck loved China and it show in this book. She wrote this story with beauty, simplicity and poignancy. Every word is part of one long love letter to the land and the culture. As I read this book I found myself wandering across the globe and through time. My great-great aunt was a nun who lived in China from 1929 - 1949 and her letters described the people and the place with the same reverence.

I will revisit Wang Lung and O-lan again very soon.

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A parable for grown-ups

This book is nothing more than a parable for adults. The good people are too good be true, the evil people are monsters. There is no subtlety, no shades of grey, no nuance.
The sentences are strung together with a stupefying number of "and"s which gets annoying very fast.

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excellent

wonderful story. the finest of prose. the narrator is the best. this is the story that can be read over and over again

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I was glued to this story.

a man rises from the level of poor farmer to great landowner. over his lifetime he must endure famine, flood, death, family drama, cultural and generational differences. great voices and story telling.

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Can't go wrong with Pearl S. Buck

Where does The Good Earth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I can't rate that

What did you like best about this story?

It is Pearl S. Buck...nothing else to say. I would have loved to have met her

What about Anthony Heald’s performance did you like?

I must say that the narrator of this book was outstanding. I could hear the 'hero' aging in the orator's voice. His emotions came though so clearly and the poignant last line had me running re-run a dozen times. I have read the hard copy of all of her books but this was the second one of her books that I 'heard'. I am going on with the others.

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

I would never re-name a classic

Any additional comments?

If you like life in China pre-revolution please start with Ms. Buck's books.

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Tough Going

What disappointed you about The Good Earth?

I found the main character, who started out as an industrious and likeable personality, became increasingly shallow and downright unlikeable. The pace of the book was like slogging through molasses. I did't finish it.

Would you ever listen to anything by Pearl S. Buck again?

No.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Anthony Heald did a good job.

Any additional comments?

I wonder if this book was published today, would garner the awards it received. I suspect not.

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Powerful book

I read this book in the sixties and thoroughly enjoyed it. When I saw it was available on Audible, I just had to order it. Again, so many hours of listening enjoyment. My favorite stories are of family generations. This writer truly knows how to express this. I have already referred this book to friends & relatives. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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life story saga told with feeling and insight

if you like life stories you may like this. Well mannered story telling that doesn't patronize or scandalize difficult topics.

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Now one of my favorites!

Culture, meaning, vividness, endearing characters, and an engaging story--loved it in every way! Worth multiple readings!