Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck, graphic adaptation by Nick Bertozzi

Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth was published in 1931.  Not only was it a best seller, it won the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes.  Clearly her message about a poor farming family in China whose bad fortunes forced them to move to another part of the country resonated with Americans suffering during the Great Depresson.

Nick Bertozzi has made The Good Earth more accessible with his graphic novel adaptation.  The art is black and white and sketchy looking.  It reminded me of the storyboards I've seen for a movie in progress.  The text seems to be a faithful retelling of the story (although I admit it has been many years since I read The Good Earth).  As you would expect, it has a feeling of abridgement that will leave devoted fans of the novel disappointed.

This isn't a great graphic novel, but it can certainly serve the purpose of introducing the story to people who might not have the patience or inclination to read the original.  It may even inspire readers to pick up or return to Buck's masterpiece.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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