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The Good Earth

(House of Earth #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  209,031 ratings  ·  9,153 reviews
Pearl S. Buck’s timeless masterpiece, the Pulitzer Prize–winning story of a farmer’s journey through China in the 1920s

The Good Earth
is Buck’s classic story of Wang Lung, a Chinese peasant farmer, and his wife, O-lan, a former slave. With luck and hard work, the couple’s fortunes improve over the years: They are blessed with sons, and save steadily until one day they can
ebook, 357 pages
Published August 21st 2012 by Open Road Media (first published 1931)
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Kat Solheim Tanvir Ahmed, I'm sorry, but I must disagree with Kenny Fisher. This cannot be compared to ear piercing! The foot was not just wrapped to keep it from…moreTanvir Ahmed, I'm sorry, but I must disagree with Kenny Fisher. This cannot be compared to ear piercing! The foot was not just wrapped to keep it from growing. The bones were actually broken so as to fold the foot in half, bringing the ball of the foot to the heel of the foot. I know, it doesn't even seem possible, but after reading a novel that talked a lot about it, I decided to research it. It's actually pretty horrifying. It was used to make the foot more "attractive", but it also had a hobbling effect. The women literally could not run or move quickly at all. It's gross, but if your stomach can take it, you should look it up.(less)
Katie Yeah I think they were believable enough. I think O-lan was the most believable. She was just what I imagine from back then.
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3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  209,031 ratings  ·  9,153 reviews

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Celeste Ng
Jul 07, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's difficult for me to explain how much I hate this book, and even harder to explain why. I don't think it's just because I hated the main character so much, and in this case at least, I don't think it's because of the weirdness that arises from a Westerner writing about a colonized country.

I do know that *part* of my intense dislike for this book comes from how it is viewed by other people (usually non-Chinese). Read the reviews and you'll see one word come up over and over again: "portrait."
Jr Bacdayan
Sep 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is a gush of red, marvelous, and mysterious blood running through my veins. I am part Chinese. A race that has given me these small eyes and this yellowish complexion. A race that I have associated with frugality, hard work, mass production, internet restrictions, and Jackie Chan. China, I've only been there once as a tourist when I was a bit younger. And as much as I'd like to think that I am familiar with the Chinese culture, I have to admit that my knowledge about that is limited and my ...more
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is almost spiritual in it's beauty and simplicity.

First published by Pearl Buck in 1931, this later won the Pulitzer Prize and had a significant affect on Buck’s winning the Nobel Prize for literature in 1938.

The author displayed her genius ability to observe and relate the cultural and day-to-day lives of Chinese peasants at the turn of the century. This American Christian missionary told the story of a rural Chinese man and perceptively embraced vast cultural differences, while at the sa
Books Ring Mah Bell

سالم النقبي
شخص بلا أرض، شخص بلا جذور
من الروايات التى شعرت بكم هائل من المشاعر و انا أقرأها، بداية من التعاطف مع ذلك الفلاح البائس في صراعه مع حياة قاسية ،صراع مرير يبدو بلا نهاية مع ظروف أقوى من قدرته البسيطة على مقاومتها، مروراً برحلته الشاقة للحفاظ على أرضه بعد أن أبتسم له القدر أخيراً لينتقل من الفاقة إلى عالم الثراء دون أن يفقد جذوره كفلاح يعرف قيمة الأرض و يقدسها
وصف الكاتبة كان أكثر من رائع و بخاصة في الفصول الأولى من الكتاب و الذى ذكرني برائعة عبدالرحمن الشرقاوي"الأرض" و يبدو أن معاناة البشر مع الارض
Mar 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I really, really wish I hadn't google-searched 'foot binding' after reading this book.

In the tradition of a beloved college professor, I give The Good Earth a subtitle which reveals more of the moral stuff which fills it. Ahem. :
The Good Earth: Mo' Money, Mo' Problems.

The Good Earth is packed with cautionary tales of wealth and idleness, tradition and progression, and lust. Wow, the character studies one could do in this book! Just things I noticed:

- The very thing Wang Lung detested, O-lan's
Treasure of the Rubbermaids 6: Made in China

The on-going discoveries of priceless books and comics found in a stack of Rubbermaid containers previously stored and forgotten at my parent’s house and untouched for almost 20 years. Thanks to my father dumping them back on me, I now spend my spare time unearthing lost treasures from their plastic depths.

I bitch about having to mow my lawn, but when I’m done, I usually sit on my deck and have a few ice cold beers. Then I take a hot shower and get in
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Good Earth (House of Earth #1), Pearl S. Buck
The Good Earth is a novel by Pearl S. Buck published in 1931 and awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1932. The best-selling novel in the United States in both 1931 and 1932 was an influential factor in Buck's winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. It is the first book in a trilogy that includes Sons (1932) and A House Divided (1935). The story begins on Wang Lung's wedding day and follows the rise and fall of his fortunes. The Hou
Henry Avila
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wang Lung on his wedding day gets up at dawn as usual, a poor Chinese farmer's son, who lives with his widowed old father, but is a very hardworking, strong, and ambitious young man, they occupy, a three room house made of dirt bricks, with a straw thatched roof. After getting his ill father hot water, feeding the ox and doing the rest of the chores, Wang for the second time in the year, takes a bath secretly, with the precious water , ashamed to waste it, for such an unnecessary thing, hiding f ...more
Peter Tieryas
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be an incredibly moving and humanistic story, full of anger, tragedy, joy, and the elements that make for a great novel. It's a story any person in any country can relate to. The writing is beautiful and reads like a parable more than straight documentation or history, which was her intent, and a tribute to many of the old Chinese tales I've read (now reading it at an older age, I see a lot of references and tributes to other Chinese works I had not known of before). That is also ...more
Aug 24, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Written by Pearl S. Buck, an American citizen who spent most of her childhood and much of her adult life in China, in 1931. It was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1932. I've heard much about it, mostly about a moment in the story when a woman gives birth and then goes back to work in the fields the same day, and have wanted to read it for quite some time.

I think it's always intimidating to read a classic. They are usually reserved for English classes or intellectuals and I worry that my understand
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2016
It's not easy to explain how someone feels when they read a book that feels like it's a part of them, as if it will weave itself into the fabric of a soul and walk with someone through their life.

I save 5 stars for books that move me this deeply. Perhaps that's a bit unfair to all the other awesome books out there that might deserve it, but oh well. That's what 4 star ratings are for; besides, there has to be a way to acknowledge a book that is an all-time favorite and give it the respect it des
This is one hell of a classic. I kept thinking of The Grapes of Wrath during the first half of this read this and kept wondering at it. Poverty, want, great toil, and then even more want filled these pages. The Good Earth came out 8 years before Steinbeck's masterpiece and yet my biggest wonder is why the Good Earth isn't better known, more well known, than Steinbeck.

Is it because it happens to Chinese characters rather than Okies from Oklahoma?

Let's let that question pass on by for a moment be
بسمة الجارحي
ملحمة روائية رائعة ذكرتنى برواية عبدالرحمن الشرقاوى " الأرض "
و كأن معاناة الفلاح واحدة فى كل مكان
رائعة و تستحق القراءة
Apr 16, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر، نویسندهٔ این کتاب <پرل بک>، دورانِ کودکی خویش را در چین گذراند و در همانجا نیز درس خواند.. او عاشقِ سرزمینِ چین است و چین را قلب و روحِ خود میداند... وی توانست فرهنگ و زندگیِ مردمانِ چین را به آمریکاییان و اروپائیان شناسانده و با داستانهایش فرهنگهای این مردمان را به یکدیگر پیوند بزند و در این راه جایزهٔ نوبل را نیز کسب نمود
در این داستان، <وانگ لونگ> دهقانی است که خود را از زمین میداند و تمامِ زندگی خویش را فدایِ زمین کرده ا
Aug 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When the earth suffers, women suffer-- when women suffer the earth suffers. I think this is what Buck captured so beautifully in her book. She is a brilliant feminist writer!

Through her character O-lan, Buck makes the argument that all of man's (in the story Wang-lung)increase and prosperity comes because of his reliance on the "good earth", which refers not only to his land but also to his good woman. Without his woman he would have had none of the prosperity he enjoys! The tragedy is that he d
Jan 26, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put this book down. It was very informative about pre-revolutionary Chinese culture. But even more than that, it was an interesting emotional journey. In the beginning, Wang Lung's character seems so simple and kinda static, albeit respectable. But as the novel progresses, his character becomes more and more complex, more and more human. It was hard for me to really define my opinion of him when it was all over. It wasn't as simple as just hating him because there was also a part of h ...more
منال الحسيني
رغم الطول النسبي للرواية، لكني لم أستطع أن أتركها إلا بعد الأنتهاء منها
رائعة و تستحق الخمس نجوم
Clif Hostetler
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
At one level this book contains the story of a hard working farmer (i.e. peasant) in old agrarian China who together with his wife survives famines and floods and manages to raise a family, expand his land holdings, and in the end become a rich man. Many of the hardships faced by the characters in this story are caused by widespread poverty and flukes of nature. But some hardships are the result of traditional social customs which western readers will find cringeworthy—oppression of women, foot- ...more
دعاء ممدوح
من الكتب التي يبقى اثرها طويلاً في الذهن و الروح بعد الانتهاء من قراءتها، و رغم طول الرواية إلا أني لم أشعر بالملل أطلاقاً في أي جزء منها
رائعة و تستحق الخمس نجوم
China. 1880's. Wang Lung is getting married today.

It's an arranged marriage. He's never actually met his fiance, but he's excited to have a woman in the house to do the chores. O-Lan, his bride, is plain-looking, an unwanted slave sold by her poor family at the age of ten to the Great House of Hwang.

“Then Wang Lung turned to the woman and looked at her for the first time.... Her eyes were small and of a dull black in color, and were filled with some sadness that was not clearly expressed.... She
Jan 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a very unsentimental look at life in rural, pre-revolutionary China. Though she is American, Pearl Buck maintains an objective stance regarding Chinese cultural practices from the time, including foot-binding and the enslavement of women. Yet one encounters the unspoken torment of countless generations of women. The wife O-Lan is particularly well-drawn; in her rough-hewn features and ox-like devotion to the earth, the reader intimately feels her tragic solitude.

In Chinese society, she
Mostafa Galal
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
من الروايات القليلة التي تترك اثراً في نفس القارئ من الصعب أن ينسى، و رغم النهاية الحزينة للرواية إلا أنها نهاية واقعية جداً أضافت مزيد من الثراء إلى العمل
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What to make of so famous a book; Pulitzer Prize winner and Buck went on to win the Nobel Prize, the first American woman to do so. There are study guides galore and Oprah revived interest in the book when she selected it for one of her book club reads. The plot is well known and is set in the early part of the twentieth century in agrarian China. It is a family saga and is the first of a trilogy. It tells the story of peasant farmer Wang Lung from day until his death, covering about 50 years. I ...more
Michael Finocchiaro
Pearl S Buck lived in China on several occasions and thus her story of Wang Lung feels real. The book is a sort of bildungsroman in which we see the life of Wang Lung from his mariage to the young slave O-Lan to his success and passing on of his legacy to his snickering sons. There is plenty of drama here and there are times that you want to slap Wang Lung for being an ass, but the story is very entertaining and one can easily see the talent of Buck in her writing. I wonder if the other two book ...more
I noticed right away when I began the book that Pearl S. Buck's writing style was special. The language is simple and clear, but at the same time emotive. There isn't a wasted word. There is a quietness in the lines that fills you with emotion. You watch a traditional, hard-working family, one very much tied to the soil, struggling to make something of themselves. The historical details are diffuse; I would guess that the story is set in the first decades of the 1900s. The book was published in ...more
Magrat Ajostiernos
Aunque me ha gustado mucho 'La buena tierra', he sufrido más que disfrutado con su lectura. Los personajes que aparecen en este libro son (practicamente todos) odiosos, mezquinos, crueles y egoístas, por lo que pasé casi toda la lectura enfadada.
A pesar de todo, es un libro que se ha quedado conmigo, esta autora tiene una manera muy sencilla de narrar pero que consigue que te lleguen sus palabras... Será difícil olvidar esa descripción de la pobreza más extrema, de la ingnoracia, la situación de
Nice touches on the struggles and resilience required of rural families in early 20th century China, but overall all this saga was too much of a morality tale for me. We follow a poor farmer, Wang Lung, as he is steered by his elderly father to buy a slave for a wife, O-Lan. She is a quiet saint and applies her hard work to help them make a success of their farm and delivery several children by herself.

The following schematic plot summary can benefit the potential reader with an idea of the boo
Jun 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cina, saghe-familiari
"Ah sì, ho sentito parlare di una rivoluzione, ma sono sempre stato troppo occupato in vita mia per farci caso. C'era sempre la terra".
Queste parole di Wang Lung possono riassumere il romanzo. Il legame strettissimo, materno, con la terra da quando si nasce fino alla morte rappresenta il filo conduttore delle vicende dell'esistenza del contadino Wang Lung e della sua famiglia. La storia prende il via dal matrimonio di Wang Lung con la schiava O Lan e trascorre poi narrando, con scrittura piana e
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Pearl Sydenstricker Buck was a bestselling and Nobel Prize–winning author. Her classic novel The Good Earth (1931) was awarded a Pulitzer Prize and William Dean Howells Medal. Born in Hillsboro, West Virginia, Buck was the daughter of missionaries and spent much of the first half of her life in China, where many of her books are set. In 1934, civil unrest in China forced Buck back to the United St ...more

Other books in the series

House of Earth (3 books)
  • Sons (House of Earth, #2)
  • A House Divided (House of Earth, #3)
“Now, five years is nothing in a man's life except when he is very young and very old...

- Wang Lung”
“The rich are always afraid.” 69 likes
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