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Hyvä maa by Pearl S. Buck
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Hyvä maa (edition 1995)

by Pearl S. Buck, Vera Snellman (KÄÄnt.)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9,113175328 (4.07)491
Member:MyLibSV
Title:Hyvä maa
Authors:Pearl S. Buck
Other authors:Vera Snellman (KÄÄnt.)
Info:Porvoo : Helsinki : Juva : WSOY, 1995.
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:*****
Tags:romaanit, sukuromaanit, kaunokirjallisuus, Kiina, maaseutu, maanviljelijät, yhteiskunnallinen eriarvoisuus, köyhät, rikkaat, menestys, rikastuminen, elämänviisaus, ihmissuhteet, suku, perhe, petos, vanheneminen, viisaus, oppiminen

Work details

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

  1. 70
    Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Both are well-written novels set in late 19th/early 20th century China.
  2. 61
    The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (John_Vaughan)
  3. 41
    East of Eden by John Steinbeck (John_Vaughan)
  4. 30
    Dragon Seed by Pearl S. Buck (deeyes)
    deeyes: Dragon seed is similar but better pearl buck book
  5. 10
    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (Ellen_Elizabeth)
    Ellen_Elizabeth: Another classic, historical fiction novel that explores a traditional culture through the story of one man and his family. Both were written in English and illustrate the author's perceived strengths and weaknesses of the subject culture in a way that is accessible to western readers.… (more)
  6. 32
    Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang (ominogue)
  7. 21
    The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei: Vol. 1, The Gathering by Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng (pseudonym) (orangewords)
  8. 11
    Satan in Goray by Isaac Bashevis Singer (SanctiSpiritus)
  9. 11
    Pao by Kerry Young (sturlington)
  10. 11
    The City of Joy by Dominique Lapierre (orangewords)
  11. 01
    The Pearl by John Steinbeck (Authoress)
    Authoress: Families who go through times of both wealth and poverty are featured in both works
  12. 23
    Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh (jennyl.keen)
  13. 12
    Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun (thatguyzero)
  14. 13
    The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh (ominogue)
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» See also 491 mentions

English (167)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (175)
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
RGG: Nobel Prize - winning Pearl Buck writes the Chinese companion to Steinbeck's A Grapes of Wrath. The first half of the novel is the most interesting and comparable.
  rgruberhighschool | Apr 9, 2015 |
As far as I can determine, the first sweeping epic I ever read. I'm interested in re-reading it to see how it stands up. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
As far as I can determine, the first sweeping epic I ever read. I'm interested in re-reading it to see how it stands up. ( )
  AntT | Jan 24, 2015 |
"The Good Earth" by Pearl S. Buck gives a detailed depiction of the China of the early twentieth century, but not an interesting or captivating one. Wang Lung, a Chinese farmer, marries O-Lan, a slave, and together they forge a family. Lung works hard all day farming and eventually earns enough to buy more land. Throughout this novel, Lung has many changes of fortune and undergoes waves of wealth as well as waves of poverty. He experiences corruption, crime, struggle, and success. As his family grows, Lung tries to teach his children and grandchildren right from wrong and how to live properly.
I can't say that I truly enjoyed this book. It was long and boring. That is not a good combination of characteristics at all for any book. I couldn't really connect well with the characters, and the whole way that China was depicted made the book have a gloomy and unappealing feel to it. Some of the events that took place in the book thoroughly frustrated me and put me in a bad mood. I am not a fan of any book that makes me feel this way. The storyline has no suspense or action, and most of the drama that occurs is drawn out and annoying. I know that this book is not representative of Pearl S. Buck's talents. She has written more than a few books that are clearly better than this one. I wouldn't recommend this book to anybody. It was a big disappointment.
  skypalat | Jan 19, 2015 |
It can never be said of the Swedish Academy that they don't know what they like. Between The Growth of the Soil, Independent People, The Good Earth, and probably several others I haven't read yet it seems clear that the path to a Nobel prize in literature is the one trod by struggling farmers out in the countryside.

Independent People, unlike some of the other novels of this vein, focuses on the unpredictability of both nature and man as the decisive reason why farming succeeds or fails. While Hamsun stages a play where hard work and the willpower of the human spirit leads to the successful farm, Laxness sees the lonely farmer as ruled by the vicissitudes of fate more so than the noble human spirit.

I'm no farmer, and I don't pretend to know what interpretation is more accurate, but I can see the effect that the philosophies have on both stories. Hamsun's main character is essentially a simpleton, whose strength and work ethic are the source of success. His wife, neighbors, and children are all lesser beings even when more intelligent, whose virtues decrease according to how little they care for the farming lifestyle. In sum The Growth of the Soil is a showcase for the triumph of the human will and an ode to the farming lifestyle, even if the characters are rather flat and one dimensional given how long the book is.

In Independent People, in contrast, the characters feel more fleshed out, though all of them are insufferable to different degrees. Stubborn and proud even when they have done nothing to be proud of, a mix of bad luck and human foolishness means that life is a struggle in this novel even when things are going well. The main character is no supernaturally strong jack of all trades, and so he cannot be as independent and self-sufficient as he would like to be, and how the main character of Growth of the Soil actually is. Eventually the epiphany the man reaches and the message of the book as a whole is that there is no such thing as a truly independent person, as man is a social animal. It's a fairly obvious message, and not one that takes 450 pages to convey. John Donne did it more effectively in a single paragraph.

Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth is the best of the three, and also the least tethered to the setting or realism of a farm. Rural China as imagined by a Westerner is vivid, probably more vivid than it was in reality, but I'd happily sacrifice realism for a good story. In The Good Earth a farmer's success is also due to chance, but it is chance governed by man as much as it is by the weather or fate. The main character ultimately succeeds due to an act of theft, not hard work, and the final chapters of the book depict the corrupting power of wealth. The Good Earth also ends with a message in support of the farming lifestyle, not because of its nobility, but because the soil is permanent while other human endeavors are transient.

All three are solid books, and all three treat the subject in different and interesting ways. Nevertheless, I'm glad the Swedish Academy has since expanded its view of literature beyond the farm. ( )
  BayardUS | Dec 10, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pearl S. Buckprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heald, AnthonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
...This was what Vinteuil had done for the little phrase. Swann felt that the composer had been content (with the instruments at his disposal) to draw aside its veil, to make it visible, following and respecting its outlines with a hand so loving, so prudent, so delicate and so sure, that the sound altered at every moment, blunting itself to indicate a shadow, springing back into life when it must follow the curve of some more bold projection. And one proof that Swann was not mistaken when believed in the real existence of this phrase was that anyone with an ear at all delicate for music would have at once detected the imposture had Vinteuil, endowed with less power to see and to render its forms, sought to dissemble (by adding a line, here and there, of his own invention) the dimness of his vision or the feebleness of his hand. -- Swann's Way, by Marcel Proust
Dedication
First words
It was Wang Lung's marriage day.
Quotations
He had no articulate thought of anything; there was only this perfect sympathy of movement, of turning this earth of theirs over and over to the sun, this earth which formed their home and fed their bodies and made their gods. The earth lay rich and dark, and fell apart lightly under the points of their hoes, Sometimes they turned up a bit of brick, a splinter of wood. It was nothing. Sometimes, in some age, bodies of men and women had been buried there, houses had stood there, had fallen, and gone back into the earth. So would also their house, sometime, return into the earth, their bodies also. Each had his turn at this earth. They worked on, moving together – together – producing the fruit of this earth – speechless in their movement together.
…he said nothing still, she looked at him piteously and sadly out of her strange dumb eyes that were like a beast’s eyes that cannot speak, and then she went away, creeping and feeling for the door because of her tears that blinded her.

Wang Lung watched her as she went and he was glad to be alone, but still he was ashamed and he was still angry that he was ashamed, and he said to himself, and he muttered the words aloud and restlessly, as though he quarreled with someone, “Well, and other men are so and I have been good enough to her, and there are men worse than I.” And he said at last that O-lan must bear it.
My house and my land it is, and if it were not for the land we should all starve as the others did, and you could not walk about in your dainty robes idle as a scholar. It is the good land that has made you something better than a farmer’s lad.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743272935, Paperback)

Pearl S. Buck's epic

Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of a China that was

-- now in a Contemporary Classics

edition.

Though more than sixty years have passed

since this remarkable novel won the Pulitzer

Prize, it has retained its popularity and become

one of the great modern classics. "I can only

write what I know, and I know nothing but China,

having always lived there," wrote Pearl Buck. In

The Good Earth she presents a graphic

view of a China when the last emperor reigned

and the vast political and social upheavals of

the twentieth century were but distant rumblings

for the ordinary people. This moving, classic

story of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his

selfless wife O-lan is must reading for those

who would fully appreciate the sweeping changes

that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese

people during this century.

Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck traces the

whole cycle of life: its terrors, its passions,

its ambitions and rewards. Her brilliant novel

-- beloved by millions of readers -- is a

universal tale of the destiny of man.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:01 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Pearl S. Buck's epic Pulitzer prize-winning novel of a China that was now in a contemporary classics edition. Though more than sixty years have passed since this remarkable novel won the Pulitzer prize, it has retained its popularity and become one of the great modern classics. "I can only write what I know, and I know nothing but China, having always lived there," wrote Pearl Buck. In the Good Earth she presents a graphic view of a China when the last emperor reigned and the vast political and social upheavals of the twentieth century were but distant rumblings for the ordinary people. This moving, classic story of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his selfless wife o-lan is must reading for those who would fully appreciate the sweeping changes that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese people during this century. Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck traces the whole cycle of life: its terrors, its passions, its ambitions and rewards. Her brilliant novel, beloved by millions of readers, is a universal tale of the destiny of man. Enduring literature illuminated by practical scholarship a poignant tale about the life and labors of a Chinese farmer during the sweeping reign of the country s last emperor. Each enriched classic edition includes: A concise introduction that gives readers important background information, a chronology of the author's life and work, a timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context, an outline of key themes and plot points to help readers form their own interpretations, detailed explanatory notes, a critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work, discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction, a list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience. Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential. Pulitzer Prize fiction, 1932.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 14 descriptions

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