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The Good Earth

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  446 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Pearl Buck’s 1931 Pulitzer Prize–winning classic about the rise and fall of Chinese villagers before World War I comes to life in this graphic novel by Nick Bertozzi.

In The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck paints an indelible portrait of China in the 1920s, when the last emperor reigned and the vast political and social upheavals of the twentieth century were but distant rumbling
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published July 4th 2017 by Simon Schuster
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+Digital copy gently provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review+

[Please note that my rating refers only to this edition.]

Wang Lung is a poor peasant in China between wars, the story begins with his marriage to a poor slave of a rich house - O-Lan -, and continues through three generations in his fight against poverty, hunger, droughts and plagues , meanwhile a revolution is mentioned in the background. O-Lan and Wang Lung work very hard on their lands, and their efforts bear fruit al
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
It was an interesting look at China during the time the author lived there, but it could be frustrating. I also did not know it was a trilogy and was frustrated when the book did not END. I had to get book 2 and read the first 2 chapters to come to a good conclusion.
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I received a free ecopy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a review of the graphic adaptation of The Good Earth rather than the original novel. The story is about a poor family in rural China that receives a change in fortune. It progresses through the life of Wang Lung with some great insight into the hardships these families face and ending off with the rise of communism.

I love how unapologetic this book is. It shows some of the difficult decisions that people f
Nicola Mansfield
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Good Earth is one of my all-time favourite books ever. After I read it, I finished the trilogy and then haunted used bookstores to read every Buck book I could get my hands on. There are only a couple I haven't read. This graphic novel adaption is excellent. The art has a Chinese feel to it and fits the atmosphere of the story. It's been so long since I read the book that I can't really say how true to the original this graphic adaptation is, however, it felt entirely right to me. This is a ...more
Apr 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley
No sé por donde empezar... Antes que nada aclaro que mi puntuación es para esta adaptación, no para el libro original de Pearl S. Buck.
En primer lugar parece un resumen (y demasiado extenso) del libro, segundo, las ilustraciones son tan malas que parecen hechas por un niño de primaria. No sé porque lo catalogan como cómic, si en realidad parece un libro ilustrado; la mayor parte está explicada en párrafos (que en ocasiones hasta son confusos de seguir) y muy pocos diálogos. Malisímo para mi gust
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I requested this from NetGalley I didn’t realise it wasn’t Pearl Buck’s novel as such but a graphic adaptation by Nick Bertozzi. I’m not a fan of graphic novels but now I had this one I gave it a try and I must say Bertozzi has done a grand job with it. He has kept the flavour of the book and his version will no doubt bring the book to a new readership. There seems to be some confusion on the review pages of Amazon, with the reviews mostly about Buck’s novel not Bertozzi’s. This is a shame ...more
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Finally got around to reading this classic novel about life for a Chinese peasant couple at the beginning of the 20th century, and am so glad I did. It paints a vivid picture of the time and place and has great insights about the rise from poverty to wealth. Treat yourself to a step back in time with this classic.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
A nicely done adaptation.
Nov 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
It’s comic books like these that I love writing about. Partly because it helps fuel the fire of the flame I’m stoking about how mainstream superhero comics are now irrelevant. Also, because The Good Earth is a fantastic book that I want to tell everyone about.

Yes, I know it was a novel long before it was a comic book, so hold your horses.

Instead of dealing with flying capes and ridiculous villains and circumstances, the Good Earth is about history, humanity, survival, the search for happiness, a
Mar 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Did you read The Good Earth in school. Yeah, me too. Do I remember anything about it? Not really. I thought it was the story of a farmer in pre-communist China, but it has been a long time, and so I was surprised at some of the aspects that were revealed to me.

I probably would have noticed them if I had read the original, so it might just be my maturity, but I had forgotten how belittled the women were, considered worthless, things to sell to make money, a slave, and not a real child, the way a
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
The art was very dramatic and emotional, made the story come alive.
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Ellen Klock
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it
It seems like everyone read The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck during their high school years and even if they didn't, they've at least heard of this book. Buck, as a Westerner, was criticized for daring to write a story about a family in China. Taking place in the 1920's it's a universal story about a man's struggles in life from his years as a young farmer through his old age, dealing with the numerous trials which come from overseeing a large extended family. He makes mistakes, lives through vari ...more
Heather Mize
Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I’ve waited a long time for this to come out because TGE is one of my favorite books ever. As I started reading it I was immediately wondering why I thought, or anyone else thought that a graphic novel version of this would be a good idea. It’s a lot of story to cram in. And it starts to really feel like that almost immediately and then again towards the end. Overall it’s played out well. I felt like there is a little skirting around how poorly Olan was treated, and a little extra emphasis on so ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
I never read the original of this book, so I can’t directly compare. I did look over the Sparknotes, and it appears that this comics adaptation is very faithful. However, even with copious text (seriously there is so much text) I imagine that this version loses the poetry and poignancy of the original.

The plot reminds me of Gone With The Wind and Things Fall Apart, and honestly, I think I would have hated it in high school. I preferred things with dragons in them back then. Even now, it seems s
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck and adapted by Nick Bertozzi is a free NetGalley e-comicbook that I read in mid-June.

Please notes that I use the term 'e-comicbook' very loosely, in that this book more resembles a Great Illustrated Classics novel (extremely familiar from my youth as appearing in a grocery store's magazine display with a colorful, glossy cover and black & white pulp pages as an adaptation of a classic novel, pared-down considerably for kiddie minds). With Buck's novel being ar
Audrey Adamson
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have never read the The Good Earth so this graphic novel is a great beginning for me.
Wang Lung stars poor and struggling and rises to riches because of his connection to the earth. He is a farmer that understand the wealth and power are hidden in these lots. But his life isn't easy and neither when he is poor or when he is rich.
The images are enjoyable and really seem to fit with the time period describing. The writing was concise and easily portrayed feeling and emotions of the majority of c
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Net Galley for an ARC of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review.

It was great to revisit this classic that I haven't seen since high school in graphic novel form. The Good Earth is one of the few classics I remember enjoying and it was a pleasure to reread it in this format.

The illustrations were strong (and appropriate considering some of the subject matter of this text) and the plot line fairly easy to follow. It's interesting to view this from both a cultural, generation
Steven Xu
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the read. Being the son of Chinese immigrants from the North, I can almost imagine my ancestors being some of the farmers in this book. I put a lot of emphasis on my own filial piety so it was good to read about a pre-Revolutionary perspective on it all. Some of it seems damn backwards from more liberal opinions today, but just the glimpse into the behaviors at the time are interesting to contrast with my own upbringing. It brings your imagination along the wild journey of a poo ...more
Dec 06, 2017 rated it did not like it

This is not the conventional edition of Buck’s novel. This is a heavily edited and reduced version accompanied by the drawings of Nick Bertozzi. Buck’s abridged story is interesting enough, as we take a trip into the grim world of desperate and starving peasants in 1920s China. Though I’m not sure what Bertozzi’s art work does to enhance or help the story?...

The highly appealing art work on the cover is misleading and no reflection of the art work inside. I am really not fond of this kind of sty
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
**I received a digital ARC of this book through NetGalley; no monetary compensation for review**

I remember trying to push through The Good Earth in high school. I didn't hate it or love it; I just suffered through it. Perhaps because of this, I didn't retain any of the plot. This graphic novel adaptation, however, conveys the story without making the reading feel like a struggle. The illustration style is spare but I could still understand the emotions on the characters' faces. At first, I thoug
Beck Frost
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Graphic Novel Version:
The art is terribly ugly in places (as in muddy, washy, forgettable, and without solid form - not the type of art you would want to transfer to a print and put on your wall as art)....but I think this is expressing the mood at those places. And if it was expressively beautiful art then we may have more sympathy for the characters and gain our own love for the land. The love of the land is for Mr Wang Lung and not us. His love for the land overshadowing his relationships lea
Tabby Shiflett
3.5 Stars
A graphic novel interpretation of the classic novel, The Good Earth.
4 Stars - the narrative
The writing reflects the original storyline and its themes well. The text was easy to follow and comprehend.
3 Stars - the artwork
The illustrations did give off the overall feeling of the characters and plot, but for such a long graphic novel, I would have liked more variety or perhaps some color to offset the tone of the art. In short, the artwork was appropriate for the story, just not my cup of
Emilia P
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comic-books
Yeah, this was pretty good. I did read it just a couple weeks after the real thing, so it was kind of interesting to see that it focused so heavily on the political and economic aspects over the personal dramas of the novel, but basically it was a totally faithful, point by point retelling, which ...would serve you well if you were hard pressed for time on the real book? But the real book isn't that long! But like...yeah, it's cool. The illustrations were small, simple, and deliberate, not super ...more
Boots S
Feb 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Although I am sure I read this in high school I did not remember this book. Farmer Wang is very poor and his father finds enough money to buy a concubine from the "rich house" for a wife for Wang. She is not attractive, speaks very little, but works hard. Olan bears three sons and two daughters. Wang saves his money and one day is able to buy some land from the "rich house" Although many setbacks come his way, he holds on to the land and after many years, he becomes rich and buys the "rich house ...more
Kathy Barter
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story is about a farmer in China that has a small farm, takes care of his elderly father and marries a woman that was a slave in a rich mans place. She is plain and simple but a treasure.
They have children, there's a famine in the land, but this farmer ends up owning the biggest
house and then turns from his wife who bore his children and sets another woman in the household as his other wife. Interesting
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reread this one for book group. I had read it in between high school and college and remembe being frustrated by it. I truly didn't remembe the storyline as I read it again, but the feeling of annoyance was the same. It is an interesting glimpse into the pre-revolutionary Chinese culture. The role and status of women is abysmal. The pride cycle of the protagonist is heartbreaking. There are good lessons that learn and discuss.
Therese Clark
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorites. I always tell people that it reminds me of the book of Ecclesiastes, that "all is vanity," and that one day, everything we have will be owned by someone else. It's very sad to see the happy young man in the beginning of the book have all his dreams come true, only to find that he became so unhappy. It's also a wonderful glimpse into Chinese culture and politics of the past.
Rod Brown
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
This pedestrian graphic novel adaptation barely hints at the greatness of the source material. My joy in revisiting the characters and story was muted by the clunky artwork and that clunkiness possibly causing an overreliance on caption narration instead of a show-don't-tell approach to the adaptation. I feel sorry for anyone who is using this an introduction to Pearl Buck's classic, because they are missing out on so much.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, graphic-novels
I wanted to like this more. But it felt ... unclear maybe. Unfinished?
I wanted more historical context. It was so isolated in time and space it could have been a fantasy novel.
Why are women basically property? Why this obsession with farming over every other profession? What was that 'revolution' and why didn't it's political change filter down to the farm?
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“Some do it for a good deed for the future, that by saving lives they may get merit in heaven, and some do it for righteousness that men may speak well of them. Nevertheless it is a good deed for whatever reason, and some must do it out of a good heart.” 0 likes
“Day by day beneath the opulence of this city Wang Lung lived in the foundations of poverty upon which it was laid.” 0 likes
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