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Gone with the Wind (The Margaret Mitchell…
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Gone with the Wind (The Margaret Mitchell Anniversary Edition) (original 1936; edition 1976)

by Margaret Mitchell

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15,161301124 (4.34)968
I have always loved this book. I actually have the 1939 Movie addition of this book that I won in a bet. The bet was that I could not find in the movie where the work "Damn" was said other than the famous line. It was when the men are gathered around before the war and you can hear it in the background. Everyone should read this book. It is better than the movie.
  abby2010 | Jan 30, 2010 |
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The annual airing of [Gone with the Wind] was a big event in our home with my older sisters glued to the television for two nights, aflutter with every smirk and every eyebrow twitch from Clark Gable. I tried to be somewhere else when the opening credits rolled – I still have a vivid memory of an brilliant fire-orange sky silhouetting a large barren tree and an extremely grave orchestral production playing in the background that gives me an urge to run. My sisters on an old, uncomfortable couch – it was orange, as well, now that I think of it – were the ones really glued to the screen. My mother always had something else to do, sewing in her lap or shelling pecans into a bowl. And, like me, this was one of those rare times when my father disappeared from his ‘easy chair,’, though I’m not sure where he went or what he did for those two nights.

Scampering through the living room and into the kitchen for a snack – always upsetting the girls who were worried that I might obscure Rhett’s striking profile for two seconds as I ran in front of the television – I captured a few other long lasting perceptions. Women resembled the tiny figurines from grandma’s house, dangerously swollen hoop skirts around cinched-in waists and garish, oversized hats framing china doll skin. The men were as preposterously dressed, at least through a young boy’s eyes, peacocking in bright, shiny suits; they acted funny, too, these strange men, always flitting around the women, one minute grabbing them up in violent embraces and then shoving them away or ignoring them altogether. And the black people spoke a foreign language, as far as I could tell.

Over the years, I always associated [Gone with the Wind] with my sisters. It never occurred to me that my mother was really paying attention, that she followed the story or that it had any impact on her. I found out I was wrong as I read the book for the first time and found Scarlett declaring, “I’ll think about that tomorrow. Tomorrow’s another day.” Countless times mom used those words to soothe me through some adolescent fit. She’d smile at me, fix me with her black, Irish eyes, and say, “Don’t worry, honey. Just remember, tomorrow’s another day.” So, every time I read Scarlett’s mantra in the book, I saw my mother’s face again, felt her calloused, work-worn hands around mine.

Of course, my mother identified with [Gone with the Wind], though I can’t say whether it was the book or the movie that captured her. But it wasn’t that handsome rogue Rhett Butler that drew her in – it was Scarlett. After all, mom was a West Texas rancher’s daughter. She was strong-willed and wild – my grandmother recalled spanking her nearly every morning before she walked down the dirt road to school. After one whipping, she told Gra’am, “When I grow up, I’m going to have baby girl and I’m going to name her ‘mother’ and I’m going to whip her every day.” I can see Scarlett’s defiance in my mother’s steely gaze, feel the same independent grit radiating off them both. But it wasn’t the pre-Civil war Scarlett she saw herself in, not the spoiled child in frills – it was the reconstruction Scarlett, chapped hands and sun-burnt from picking cotton in a near barren field. When Scarlett swears never to be hungry again, my mother’s recycling of useless things and keeping of food long past its freshness made sense to me, because mom was also a depression child. She and her siblings wore cardboard soled shoes, handing them down through five children regardless the size or number of worn through holes. They drank goat’s milk and ate beans and scraped at the dirt for whatever would grow. “Tomorrow is another day,” allowed Scarlett, and my mother, to forget about the day’s hunger and pain by focusing on the next day’s hope, even if it was a dim and vague hope.

Like Scarlett and my mother, Mitchell was a rare breed, penning a book about the Civil War and setting it around a female heroine. The book is as deeply researched and detailed as any other on the war between the states, offering a rich history of the shifting momentums in the war with each battle and a skilled commentary, through Rhett and Ashley’s eyes, on the seeds of the South’s ultimate destruction. Yet the book’s focus never wavers from those who were left behind when the bullets began to fly. We don’t see the battles through the soldier’s eyes, we learn about them as families did, through gossip and word of mouth. We don’t lie on the battlefields with the wounded and dying, we wait on the street outside the newspaper office with the whole of Atlanta for the dead’s names to be published. We don’t march with the hungry, exhausted soldiers, we hide in the house with the women and children, afraid and paranoid as the invading Yankees ride the roads. Woven through it all is Mitchell’s view on life as a Southern woman, relegated to be an object of beauty and desire but required by circumstances to be the independent, powerful nucleus that could sustain a family’s survival. I suspect my mother saw herself, and her own mother, in that incongruity, and reveled in the power that making your place in the world brings.

Bottom Line: Not just your mother’s bodice ripper – there’s untold depths to this classic.

5 bones!!!!!
A favorite for the year. ( )
11 vote blackdogbooks | Jul 25, 2015 |
This was the first novel where I worried about the relationship between the author and the protagonist. It seems like the author had a love/hate relationship with the protagonist. The author kept pummeling the protagonist with troubles and disappointments. The protagonist manages to survive but in the end is still slave to her misplaced desires. ( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
I was between 1/2 to 5/8 through the novel, and I reread the first few words of the book: "Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful." I think the line could have been "Gone with the Wind was not beautiful." I started reading this book a week or so before an idiot, a confederate flag flying fool, killed several people in a Charleston North Carolina church. Before that event, the book made me uncomfortable with the racist views. After the event, the material had bigger impact, making me roll my eyes in snotty superiority. That didn't make me feel good, and made this an uncomfortable book for me to read. ( )
1 vote mainrun | Jul 5, 2015 |
IMHO, it says something sad about the make-up of LibraryThing's user group that this badly written, caricaturish, racist apologetic is in the top 150 in overall popularity. Anyone who loves literature as "the eternal affirmation of the spirit of man [sic]" should despair along with me. ( )
1 vote CSRodgers | May 27, 2015 |
Gone with the Wind is an extraordinarily difficult book to enjoy. My ability to extend sympathy across historical contexts can stretch only so far, I've learned, and as every narrative or character element in GwtW (really, almost to a one) is motivated by the South's reliance on and normalization of human slavery, I hit a pretty serious wall. Also, Mitchell's prose is... not great.
I picked up this book expecting a delicious, swoony romance with high-literary aspirations, but what I got was a meandering, repetitive slog peppered with only very occasional moments of pleasure. Plus lots of n-words.

I won't say that the book is outright bad, but for me it was six weeks of labor without the payoff of a work that's either more serious or more silly and gooey. Please do read it, but temper your expectations. Or, better yet, read an abridgment. ( )
2 vote everymanmeets | Apr 14, 2015 |
Just finished this wonderful book, about 48 hrs via Audible. First of all, it's the BEST audio book I've ever listened to. Second, it's in my top five favorite books of all time. I read it 45 years ago and it was even better now. And although the movie is wonderful, it doesn't compare to the book. The movie left out a bunch of stuff. Yes, the book (or characters in it) made racist remarks and used the "n" word a lt, but it was reflective of the time. I have the book Scarlett, so I guess at some point I'll read it, too. I was just so mad at Scarlett for obsessing over Ashley when he wasn't the one for her and she couldn't see it, and also for all the non-communication between her an Rhett and their meanness to each other. They needed marriage counseling! The one thing that annoyed me was how often Scarlett said she couldn't think about something today; that she would think about it tomorrow. That got old. But I loved this book so much and highly recommend it, especially if you've only seen the movie, or it's been years since you read it. And get the audio version narrated by Linda Stephens!! ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
Just finished this wonderful book, about 48 hrs via Audible. First of all, it's the BEST audio book I've ever listened to. Second, it's in my top five favorite books of all time. I read it 45 years ago and it was even better now. And although the movie is wonderful, it doesn't compare to the book. The movie left out a bunch of stuff. Yes, the book (or characters in it) made racist remarks and used the "n" word a lt, but it was reflective of the time. I have the book Scarlett, so I guess at some point I'll read it, too. I was just so mad at Scarlett for obsessing over Ashley when he wasn't the one for her and she couldn't see it, and also for all the non-communication between her an Rhett and their meanness to each other. They needed marriage counseling! The one thing that annoyed me was how often Scarlett said she couldn't think about something today; that she would think about it tomorrow. That got old. But I loved this book so much and highly recommend it, especially if you've only seen the movie, or it's been years since you read it. And get the audio version narrated by Linda Stephens!! ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
Just finished this wonderful book, about 48 hrs via Audible. First of all, it's the BEST audio book I've ever listened to. Second, it's in my top five favorite books of all time. I read it 45 years ago and it was even better now. And although the movie is wonderful, it doesn't compare to the book. The movie left out a bunch of stuff. Yes, the book (or characters in it) made racist remarks and used the "n" word a lt, but it was reflective of the time. I have the book Scarlett, so I guess at some point I'll read it, too. I was just so mad at Scarlett for obsessing over Ashley when he wasn't the one for her and she couldn't see it, and also for all the non-communication between her an Rhett and their meanness to each other. They needed marriage counseling! The one thing that annoyed me was how often Scarlett said she couldn't think about something today; that she would think about it tomorrow. That got old. But I loved this book so much and highly recommend it, especially if you've only seen the movie, or it's been years since you read it. And get the audio version narrated by Linda Stephens!! ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
Just finished this wonderful book, about 48 hrs via Audible. First of all, it's the BEST audio book I've ever listened to. Second, it's in my top five favorite books of all time. I read it 45 years ago and it was even better now. And although the movie is wonderful, it doesn't compare to the book. The movie left out a bunch of stuff. Yes, the book (or characters in it) made racist remarks and used the "n" word a lt, but it was reflective of the time. I have the book Scarlett, so I guess at some point I'll read it, too. I was just so mad at Scarlett for obsessing over Ashley when he wasn't the one for her and she couldn't see it, and also for all the non-communication between her an Rhett and their meanness to each other. They needed marriage counseling! The one thing that annoyed me was how often Scarlett said she couldn't think about something today; that she would think about it tomorrow. That got old. But I loved this book so much and highly recommend it, especially if you've only seen the movie, or it's been years since you read it. And get the audio version narrated by Linda Stephens!! ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
Just finished this wonderful book, about 48 hrs via Audible. First of all, it's the BEST audio book I've ever listened to. Second, it's in my top five favorite books of all time. I read it 45 years ago and it was even better now. And although the movie is wonderful, it doesn't compare to the book. The movie left out a bunch of stuff. Yes, the book (or characters in it) made racist remarks and used the "n" word a lt, but it was reflective of the time. I have the book Scarlett, so I guess at some point I'll read it, too. I was just so mad at Scarlett for obsessing over Ashley when he wasn't the one for her and she couldn't see it, and also for all the non-communication between her an Rhett and their meanness to each other. They needed marriage counseling! The one thing that annoyed me was how often Scarlett said she couldn't think about something today; that she would think about it tomorrow. That got old. But I loved this book so much and highly recommend it, especially if you've only seen the movie, or it's been years since you read it. And get the audio version narrated by Linda Stephens!! ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
Just finished this wonderful book, about 48 hrs via Audible. First of all, it's the BEST audio book I've ever listened to. Second, it's in my top five favorite books of all time. I read it 45 years ago and it was even better now. And although the movie is wonderful, it doesn't compare to the book. The movie left out a bunch of stuff. Yes, the book (or characters in it) made racist remarks and used the "n" word a lt, but it was reflective of the time. I have the book Scarlett, so I guess at some point I'll read it, too. I was just so mad at Scarlett for obsessing over Ashley when he wasn't the one for her and she couldn't see it, and also for all the non-communication between her an Rhett and their meanness to each other. They needed marriage counseling! The one thing that annoyed me was how often Scarlett said she couldn't think about something today; that she would think about it tomorrow. That got old. But I loved this book so much and highly recommend it, especially if you've only seen the movie, or it's been years since you read it. And get the audio version narrated by Linda Stephens!! ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
Just finished this wonderful book, about 48 hrs via Audible. First of all, it's the BEST audio book I've ever listened to. Second, it's in my top five favorite books of all time. I read it 45 years ago and it was even better now. And although the movie is wonderful, it doesn't compare to the book. The movie left out a bunch of stuff. Yes, the book (or characters in it) made racist remarks and used the "n" word a lt, but it was reflective of the time. I have the book Scarlett, so I guess at some point I'll read it, too. I was just so mad at Scarlett for obsessing over Ashley when he wasn't the one for her and she couldn't see it, and also for all the non-communication between her an Rhett and their meanness to each other. They needed marriage counseling! The one thing that annoyed me was how often Scarlett said she couldn't think about something today; that she would think about it tomorrow. That got old. But I loved this book so much and highly recommend it, especially if you've only seen the movie, or it's been years since you read it. And get the audio version narrated by Linda Stephens!! ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
Yes, I actually read this book. I came away seeing Scarlett as always putting herself first and that was the source of much of her unhappiness. I will probably never read this a second time. ( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
A monumental classic considered by many to be not only the greatest love story ever written, but also the greatest Civil War saga. ( )
This review has been flagged by multiple users as abuse of the terms of service and is no longer displayed (show).
  Tutter | Feb 28, 2015 |
I was dreading reading this book because of 2 reasons:

It was just so long
Classic novels can be hit or miss.

I am so glad I forced myself to read it, it is the most entertaining book I have read in a long while.

The novel is about Scarlett O'Hara, the daughter of a wealthy plantation owner in Georgia. it chronicles her fall from grace as the American Civil War destroys the south. The novel is about Scarlett's drive to survive. It was simply amazing.

I loved Scarlett O'Hara, I love the fact that she understood that a roof over your head and money for food are the only things that matter otherwise you don't make it. I understood her choices and her ruthlessness. She has become one of my favourite heroines. ( )
1 vote KittyBimble | Feb 12, 2015 |
**spoiler alert** I never expected to be as drawn to this book as I was - once I started it I had a lot of trouble putting it down again, despite its size! This story of life, loss and love during the American Civil War was absolutely compelling reading, and I guess you could say I become a little obsessed with it! The heroine, Scarlett O'Hara, was flawed and far from perfect, but I think that is one of the reasons why I liked her. Her character development from spoilt rich girl to hardworking self made woman is almost inspiring; she refused to be defeated. Although her personality because hardened and cold, she did what she had to do so that she and her family would survive. I understand that. However, it is a shame that she did not realise the love that surrounded her and only coveted what she could not have: Ashley Wilkes, another woman's husband. Her epiphany that she never really loved him and how incompatible they were came far too late, and only came about with Melanie's death. I wish she could have seen it before she had made such a mess of her life with Rhett!

Rhett was such a fascinating character - also flawed, also stubborn and headstrong like Scarlett. He was exactly what she needed, not just his money, but HIM. However, if he had stopped being so damn foolish he would have shown Scarlett that he loved her, rather than acting the way that he did! I was so disappointed with both of their choices and decisions that led to their parting, but at the same time it made sense for it to end that way. I only wish I knew what happened next... ( )
  crashmyparty | Dec 9, 2014 |
Once I got over the shock of the racist language and settled down into the time period in which this book is set (1860s), I was absolutely carried away by Margaret Mitchell's story. Multiple times throughout the book I thought to myself: "There is no wonder this book won the Pulitzer Prize. It deserved it!" The character development was absolutely fantastic. This is so very evident when you read the reviews. How else could readers form such strong opinions? I was also thrilled with the history lessons on the Civil War and Reconstruction in the South that were woven throughout the story. As a resident of the South, I immensely enjoy southern fiction and this novel shoots to the top of my list of favorites. ( )
  kellifrobinson | Nov 25, 2014 |
The book did not hold up to my expectations. I expected much better. Would not recommend to anyone.
  bookhog1614 | Nov 19, 2014 |
Oh my gosh, I LOVED this! I know it took me forever to get through, but it's not like it was ever boring... the details were so incredible, and all the various things Scarlet and her family and friends went through... Phenomenal writing!!! ( )
  trayceetee | Nov 15, 2014 |
My favorite book of all time. I have lost count of the number of times I have read this book. ( )
  kybunnies | Oct 19, 2014 |
How could I have waited so long to read this grand tale of the old South. Scarlet's inability to understand the world from any other person's perspective, presents a morality play viewed against the willfulness and consuming desires of one person. The cast of Rhett, Melanie, Gerald, Frank, Charles, India, Pitty Pat all provide various ways in which the human race deals with life. Mammy is something of a Greek chorus for order, tradition and honor. A lifetime fan of the movie, the depth and breadth of the novel surpass it in every possible way. ( )
  wmnch2fam | Oct 18, 2014 |
The narrator for the book is terrible! This book would be best with the full cast dramatic make-over. I do love the story, I have this Audiobook edition, the bluray movie collectors edition and a first print 60th anniversary edition in a beautiful red slipcase. The narrator ruined this for me, 1 star for the narrator, 5 stars for Margaret Mitchell. ( )
  39again | Sep 30, 2014 |
Shelf Notes Review

4.5/5 stars

Dear Reader,

What an epic story! Even though this took me quite some time to finish due to the incredible length, I still enjoyed every moment of it. This story is so well known, I'm not sure if I have to write a blurb about it, but I'll try to do it justice. The setting of "Gone with the Wind" ranges from a plantation in the countryside of Georgia to the city of Atlanta. Scarlett O'Hara is the main character and the story is told from her perspective, mostly. The Author does a little back and forth to get some of the other views of the different characters but Mitchell mostly sticks with Scarlett. This is a true coming of age story, a little unique since it's set during the Civil War and is told from the eyes of a spoiled girl who grows up on a plantation in Georgia. We follow her from age sixteen to twenty-eight during the time span of 1861 until 1873. For those of you who know your Civil War history, you'll see how those few years would completely change the life of a girl brought up in the privileged South. The story takes you from riches, to war, to freedom, to poor, to struggle, to regained riches, to loss, to death, to love and SO much more.

Some would believe that this is a historical romance, even I was mislead by the common knowledge just the title, "Gone with the Wind" carries, however this is far from the full truth. I would put this under historical fiction, mainly because it's so much more than a love story. Yes, Scarlett is shallow and can only think about herself and boys/men, but this wouldn't be a coming of age story without a little hardship. Scarlett lives through the hardest times in the South, the ones that made all the wealthy plantation owners destitute. She struggled and survived, coming out on the other side stronger. Sadly, she doesn't learn enough lessons to change her selfishness until it's too late, making this more of a tragedy. Scarlett is so intolerably selfish, it made me want to slap her silly (satisfyingly, Rhett does this enough to placate me).

So what about the love story? It's a good one, mostly because of how tragic it truly is. This is not some warm fuzzy feeling book with a happy ending, be prepared to cry. The one fact that I got out of this tragic love story is that you can't change someone, no matter how hard you try. Scarlett never apologizes for her inadequacy and I believe this is why I started to feel a bit of sympathy for her. In a world where the proper way of being a "lady" is more important than life itself, one can't blame Scarlett for rebelling. Take this for example; back then you couldn't speak of being pregnant, nor go out of the house while with child because it was deemed inappropriate. Can you imagine if this was something that didn't change with the times? Outrageous. The Civil War broke many people down and caused some of these absurd traditions to break free. Nobody cared that much of what was proper, when you have a dying civilization surrounding you. Okay, so maybe it didn't change THAT drastically and Scarlett is a perfect example of a girl who breaks free but gets the cold shoulder from all her "supposed" family friends. Don't get me wrong, she does some dastardly things that warrant the cold shoulder, but she also gives the reader some hope for the female race. I mean we know how it all turns out, and it might not have changed so drastically if it weren't for woman like Scarlett.

The Civil War is something that hits home, being an American. It was hard reading about things from a different perspective because you didn't know what the truth truly was. I don't remember hearing much about the hardships the South faced during and after the war, coming from a Northern school system. I wonder if that would have been different if I had grown up in the South. I'm sure the same can be said vice versa. I'm glad to have these different perspectives to ponder on, I might never know the full truth but I can be rest assured that we've come together in the right direction. This is such a hard topic because we know what is "RIGHT" and "WRONG" with slavery, but in order to get America changed to "RIGHT", we had to destroy a civilization, which is what the Southern culture was essentially. I think one of my favorite lines in the book was spoken by the dashing Rhett Butler, "I told you once before that there were two times for making big money, one in the up-building of a country and the other in its destruction. Slow money on the up-building, fast money in the crack-up. Remember my words. Perhaps they may be of use to you some day." This quote really is quite insightful and surprisingly, I couldn't find it anywhere on the internet (not even in the six pages of quotes from this book on Goodreads... until I added it). Thankfully, I highlight when I read so I could look back and find it because I think it's worth sharing and sums up a huge theme of this book, money.

I think I've gone rambling on enough and this book elicits some very interesting and numerous topics of conversation. I think it would be a great book club book, actually. I want to leave you with my thoughts on the movie made from this novel. IF you've only seen the movie, I find it imperative for you to pick up this book immediately. I know... the movie was good, but the book is fantastic and gives you so much depth the movie couldn't bring to it. I'll leave you with this, "Fiddle de dee, tomorrow is another day".

Happy Reading,
AmberBug ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
I clicked on a GR link that offered me a bunch of books to rate that I apparently haven't added to my bookshelves here. I was surprised by this one. I've read it a couple of times & it's wonderful. It's a grand, nail biting tour through the Civil War and its aftermath from a southern belle's perspective. As selfish as she is, one can't help but feel for Scarlett & those around her. The romance in her life is epic, as are the changes & though the book ends, I just know the characters went on & have spent many hours pondering what might have happened. It's such a compelling world, that I just can't help it.

How many fiction books actually make such a character portrayal as to get a syndrome named for them? And the Scarlett O'Hara Syndrome is well recognized as not just for procrastination, but also for wishful, magical thinking, especially among the drug addicted.

The best thing is that the writing is super. There's enough detail to paint an entire world, but the story doesn't flow along so much as drag you in its current. It's a big book, so many don't start it, but once I start reading it, everything else goes on the back burner. I don't want to quit & then I'm sorry that it ends.

The original movie was so well done that they've never done a remake of it. That says a lot. Hollywood always re-does a success until I'm so sick of it I don't even want to hear about it, but they haven't with this one. If you've seen the movie, you know it's excellent, but if you haven't read the book, you haven't even touched the whole story yet. As good as Gable was a Rhett, the book's character is so much more. Definitely a must-read.
( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
Between Scarlett O'Hara, Melanie Wilkes, and Rhett Butler...how could this book not be so beloved? Its beauty has no end, even for a modern generation. ( )
  writercity | Aug 13, 2014 |
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