Title: Good Earth, The
Authors: Buck, Pearl S
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 357
Year: 1931
Language: English
Description: The classic story of Wang Lung and his wife O-Lan. This remarkable novel depicts the suffering and hardship of poverty and the struggle to achieve prosperity, as well as the strictures of tradition that shaped and controlled daily life in rural pre-revolutionary China. Pulitzer Prize winner. [Larger font]

Comments from Groups:

A wonderful read. Full on discussion. Some members decided to buy a copy to have on the book shelf. Te Pahu001

We loved the book. It's magnificent in its sweep and humanity. Wellington 050

A wonderful classic history of China. Easy to read and a great work of art from 1930's. Masterton 005

A very lively discussion on this book - without exception we all agreed this was excellent. Wellington 134

Deservedly a classic that holds up well from 1930's. Universal themes, very well written with 'real' characters. We had a great wide-ranging discussion. Lower Hutt 006

Great book which generated lots of discussion. It provided a window to another world, another time, and intriguing diverse human relations. Christchurch 124

We all loved this book. Pearl Buck's writing style captured the suffering and struggle in the countryside of pre-revolutionary China brilliantly. For many in contemporary China, the hardship and poverty hasn't changed. Wellington 066

All members enjoyed the story very much. All but three had read it years ago. Our discussion was wide ranging, but our collective knowledge of China was shared and commented on. We discussed the importance to Wang Lung of the "good earth". Christchurch 078

An interesting insight into life in pre-Revolution China. Although written over 80 years ago, it is a timeless piece and could be set in any patriarchal rural society. The characters were not very sympathetic, but complex and interesting. The conditions of life portrayed were brutal - childbirth, begging etc. Overall it was enjoyed by the group, and was a healthy discussion piece. Wellington 153

Great discussion - we all agreed we'd not do well as female partners in pre-revolution China! Takaka 003

Very easy to read - some of us had read it years before. Very good insights into the value of land for the earlier Chinese, and shocking to see the way women were treated as little better than "farm animals". In spite of O-lan's exceptional care of Wang Lung, she was still regarded as little better than a beast of burden....Dunedin 066

Loved it - every one of us ! Good old classic! Taupo 003

Most of us had read this book in our "younger days", and we discussed how our understanding of the issues had changed. We discussed the issue of land also, and how all cultures have a basic understanding of our dependence on the land, and the need to respect it. Feilding 002

This book followed a classic storyline ie/ a poor man wanting wealth, who becomes rich and unhappy, and gains a new appreciation for his humble beginnings. It was a very well written and compelling read. An excellent book enjoyed by all in our group. Tauranga 034

Categories: Fiction, Classic, Young narrator, China, What's Hot, Popular Book with Groups, Blind Foundation book, Larger font


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By: WELL 116 2020-02-19 13:37:24
We unanimously agreed it was a compelling book - an easy to read, fascinating account of a China of not so long ago.

By: MARTIN 002 2020-02-19 13:33:26
Only a few of us read the book. Those that did thought it was very good and loved the relationship Wang had with the land. Cruel times to reflect on in light of the way China treats its people now.

By: CART 003 2020-02-19 13:29:16
We enjoyed the book, lots of learning in there. A timeless novel, and we were very pleased to read (or reread) it.

By: WELL 024 2020-02-19 13:26:59
Many had read this decades ago. It was good to revisit it and to appreciate the evocative story of Chinese life pre revolution. Useful exploration of family obligations and negotiating your life within local mores.

By: WELL 181 2020-02-19 13:21:41
Great discussion. Really enjoyed by quite a few in our group. Thanks!

By: NAP 020 2020-02-19 13:20:54
A great iconic book. Has never dated and was enjoyed by everybody. We recommend as a must read.

By: CHCH 001 2020-02-19 13:19:21
Much loved, educational, charming and well-written.

By: ASHB 016 2018-10-24 14:46:17
We all enjoyed this book (almost a first!). Was hard to believe that it was written in the 1930s - none of us had read it previously. The story line is similar to today (although not the hardship) but the work hard, build up assets and then the next (or next) generation don't keep it. Lots of discussion and also about trips that a couple of our ladies had had to China (both quite different so that was interesting as well). Great book...and easy to read.

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