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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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15,925334111 (4.33)1001
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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This novel definitely stands the test of time, still as good as it was when I read it over 20 years ago. A great romance combined with great historical detail. Rhett Butler is still my favorite character, brilliant, sarcastic, flippant. So many people do not read this because of the movie, but the movie is a pale imitation. Please Read It! You won't regret it. ( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
An incredible encapsulation of the people, culture, and events of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction years in the Atlanta, Georgia area. Centers around the life of Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled daughter of a gentile and lovely French mother and a first-generation Irish immigrant father, who made his fortune and built a life and a beautiful plantation named "Tara". We see their bucolic life before the War, which had a foundation built on the backs of their 100+ slaves. We see into their life, and how they viewed it, and how, when that foundation crumbled as a result of the War, we watch this family and their neighbors survive (or not) the difficulties they now have to face on their own.

There are a lot of moments, of course, that make a person cringe as you read this book: the way their slaves are viewed as children or how they have "child-like minds", disturbing references to their race which don't need to be repeated here, derogatory terminology, etc. We don't witness any beatings or auctions or anything like what is represented in other literature of this time period, but we do witness the fashion in which the whites treat their slaves--even those they truly love and consider part of their family--in a haughty, entitled manner. Those things are hard to read, but it seems that this is an accurate time capsule of how people viewed their world and those in it--in that time period. Even during the Reconstruction years when the Yankees were in Atlanta fighting for equal rights for the freed slaves, a lot of them seemed to hold their own dim views of the former slaves, even when trying to punish the Confederates by confiscating their property, their money, their right to vote and hold government office, etc.

The impression left is that they put illiterate former slaves in high positions but then the Yankees used them as puppets to vote the way they wanted (to favor the Republicans/Yankees) and to quiet or completely remove the voice of the Democrats/Confederates. There also was a lot of rampant crime by understandably insolent and angry freed slaves who wanted to get back at the whites. They were able to get away with these crimes because of new laws stating that whites could not charge the ex-slaves with any crimes. It appears that this complete flip-flop in society's rules is what caused the formation of secret meetings between former Confederate soldiers which evolved into the Ku Klux Klan in 1865. There was a lot of "justice" served in the darkness of night by both whites and blacks.

This story is considered an epic romance. It is definitely an epic. The romance part is questionable. It is definitely a story of a dysfunctional kind of love. It is based on a young girl's selfish and cold-hearted method of obtaining whatever she wants, often to the detriment of others. It is a story of stolen, lost, or unrequited love. This story brings out many emotions, although with very little happiness: contempt, guilt, sadness, disbelief, frustration, anger, disappointment, shock, and grief. No matter how malicious some people can be, it is still hard to witness when they themselves have to face the terrible deeds they have done.

This, of course, is a book not to be missed. Highly recommended. ( )
  AddictedToMorphemes | Apr 29, 2016 |
This was on my classic to reread list and southern literary journey list. I read this many years ago and have seen the movie many times. The movie is a classic and is worth seeing excellent casting. The book is so much better and a much larger story.

It is hard to put into words the epic nature of this novel. Written in the 1930's during the depression with the wounds of reconstruction still fresh in the minds of many.

Scarlett is a character you could just choke at times then in another moment feel a deep sympathy for her plight. Rhett is more than a cad he is mocking the fake gentility of the south and doing whats best for Rhett. Melanie is the strongest of the bunch knowing her husband is desired by Scarlett she still see fit to be friends and care more for her than for her own self.

After reading the novel for my 2nd or 3rd time I did some research on Mitchell. She secretly worked with an all black college to build a medical school and then continued with scholarships for young african americans to be able to attend the college. More information can be found on this through the Mitchell Museum in Atlanta. ( )
  yvonne.sevignykaiser | Apr 2, 2016 |
Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler--two scoundrels you can't help but cheer for. Remarkable take on the Civil War from a Southerner's point of view. The first time I saw the movie, I thought Ashley Wilkes was so wonderful, but by the time I read this book I saw him only as a good man who rightly judges his own worth but hardly deserves the undying love of not one, but two ladies. Rhett does everything a good person shouldn't do, but turns out to be one of the a man of very high morals. Scarlett--you just want to slap her--again and again. But you can't help but admire her inner strength, applaud her tiny improvements, and hope that she will finally understand that the world does not revolve around her needs and wishes only. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler--two scoundrels you can't help but cheer for. Remarkable take on the Civil War from a Southerner's point of view. The first time I saw the movie, I thought Ashley Wilkes was so wonderful, but by the time I read this book I saw him only as a good man who rightly judges his own worth but hardly deserves the undying love of not one, but two ladies. Rhett does everything a good person shouldn't do, but turns out to be one of the a man of very high morals. Scarlett--you just want to slap her--again and again. But you can't help but admire her inner strength, applaud her tiny improvements, and hope that she will finally understand that the world does not revolve around her needs and wishes only. ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
One of my all-time favourite books. One day I will read it again. ( )
  GeneHunter | Mar 13, 2016 |
My mom believed that all I needed to know about the world is shortened in three movies:
1- Grease - to know what guys are really like.
2- Gone with the Wind - to know that some girls can be strong.
3- Dirty Dancing - you can always break some laws for dancing and true love.

So these three movies are strongly attached in my memory, I can recite them line by line!

Years later in my early twenties I got the huge paperback edition and read it and read it till the papers disentangled from the heavy weight and weak spine, I fell in love with Scarlett O'Hara all over again and I wanted to marry the cocky Rhett Butler and I ended up rewatching the 4 lenght movie all over again for the hundredth time.

In all honesty, I love Scarlett's strength, her tenacity, her love for her family and her land, her childish frustrating love to Ashley Wilkes, how she always got what she wanted and Vivien Leigh is one of the most beautiful people I have ever seen so don't let me start on Clark Gable!

So many people hate the ending but I don't, it just makes me sure that Scarlett went after Rhett after visiting Tara and she definitely got him back, she might have broke his heart but her heart was broken too. Both of them are such interesting complicated strong characters. They just belong together... and after all tomorrow is another day! ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
My mom believed that all I needed to know about the world is shortened in three movies:
1- Grease - to know what guys are really like.
2- Gone with the Wind - to know that some girls can be strong.
3- Dirty Dancing - you can always break some laws for dancing and true love.

So these three movies are strongly attached in my memory, I can recite them line by line!

Years later in my early twenties I got the huge paperback edition and read it and read it till the papers disentangled from the heavy weight and weak spine, I fell in love with Scarlett O'Hara all over again and I wanted to marry the cocky Rhett Butler and I ended up rewatching the 4 lenght movie all over again for the hundredth time.

In all honesty, I love Scarlett's strength, her tenacity, her love for her family and her land, her childish frustrating love to Ashley Wilkes, how she always got what she wanted and Vivien Leigh is one of the most beautiful people I have ever seen so don't let me start on Clark Gable!

So many people hate the ending but I don't, it just makes me sure that Scarlett went after Rhett after visiting Tara and she definitely got him back, she might have broke his heart but her heart was broken too. Both of them are such interesting complicated strong characters. They just belong together... and after all tomorrow is another day! ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
I wanted to smack every character in here. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
I never much cared for the movie. Scarlett's self-obsessed fixation on Ashley (another woman's husband) never sat well with me. She always felt like a over dressed simpering child, and I thought was all the book was about. I didn't have high hopes for it. But being Southern by birth I felt obligated to read it. I am very very glad that I did. There is a reason the Gone with the Wind is a classic. There is so much more to it that Scarlett's need to be the centre of attention, even in the midst of a war. Granted she still isn't a very likeable character, but that is part of the point. Mitchell's ability to make the reader both hate and love Scarlett is part of the wonder of the book. The other characters are well rounded and engaging. But what I think I loved most was the breath tasking descriptions of the landscapes. I think the land is as much a part of Gone with the Wind as Melanie or Rhett. On the down side, though possibly appropriate for the time period, the depiction of the African slaves as perpetual children can be uncomfortable at times. ( )
  SadieSForsythe | Feb 24, 2016 |
UPDATED REVIEW January 2012

Book on CD performed by Linda Stephens
5*****

The first time I read this Pulitzer winner was when I was in high school(circa 1967). The movie had just been re-released and my best friend and I saw it about 8 times. She still had the best plot description I've ever heard: "This is the story of Rhett Butler who loves Scarlett O'Hara, who loves Ashley Wilkes, who loves Melanie Hamilton, who loves everyone, including the town tart Belle Watling, who loves Rhett Butler, who loves Scarlett..."

I've since read the book a second and now a third time and recognize more depth than our first summary. Yes, it is still a love story. But it is also a quintessential Southern book, a quintessential great American novel, a quintessential exploration of war and its aftermath, and a quintessential character study of Scarlett O’Hara’s evolution from spoiled girl to unstoppable woman.

Critics have panned the book as superfluous and romantic. The book has outlived those critics, and will continue to outlive critics, mostly because Mitchell could really write. She crafted a story that may take a thousand pages but reads as if it were a short novel. She manages to give the many characters (I lost track, but I wouldn’t be surprised to know there are over 100) unique voices, so the reader is never confused (and this is really important when listening to the audio). And the characters who people her book present the full spectrum of human traits, from best to worst. These are the qualities that make the book such an enduring favorite, and really a classic work of literature.

Is the book without flaws? Of course not. I cringe at the romantic version of the Ku Klux Klan – something akin to a fraternity or a Rotary Club. I am appalled at how often she compares the “darkies” to children or, worse yet, apes. But I am still caught up in the story, and that is the reason most people read novels – for a good story. And it was the story that first captured my attention and my heart, and it is the story that still earns it 5 stars.

Linda Stephens does a fine job of narrating the audio version, though I thought her Scarlett sounded too mature at the beginning of the book – Scarlett is only 16 when we first meet her, and I thought her voice should have a higher pitch. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 19, 2016 |
What did I really know about the sufferings of southerners during the Civil War and Reconstruction? Well, I surely have a different picture after reading GWTW. Although the movie is quite faithful, even in the dialogue, it's basically the story of a love triangle. It's only reading the book that you realize that a whole piece of civilization was destroyed, along with the slavery that made it possible. I'm really glad I finally read this. It was so much better than I had imagined. ( )
1 vote fromthecomfychair | Feb 11, 2016 |
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. ( )
  4everfanatical | Feb 5, 2016 |
This is one of the few books I've read several times. An all-time favorite. ( )
  Koren56 | Feb 4, 2016 |
This book may be found wanting in places, but will always shine as a great historical novel that grants the reader true insight into the American Civil War from the perspective of characters we care about. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Read it a million years ago. Classic good, bad, love, hate, loose, win story. Exceptional characters and background. ( )
  Greymowser | Jan 22, 2016 |
I lioved this book in high school, but couldn't abide Scarlett when I tried to reread this. The rating averages the 5 from high school with a 3 for now. ( )
  Karin7 | Jan 21, 2016 |
This is a long book so I'm slowly making my way through it. I recently saw the movie which was my maternal grandma's fave movie and that wet my appetite to read this book. It's a great read. ( )
  GingerECastro1980 | Jan 20, 2016 |
This was the first "grown up" book I ever read. In the halls of East Clinton Elementary school, a teacher suggested I read it. I was already a committed reader, but this book was my coming of age into more adult themes. I can remember being disappointed in the movie because it didn't have the richness, color, smells and enticements of the book. It started my journey... ( )
  CarmenMilligan | Jan 18, 2016 |
I liked this book much more than I thought I would, especially since I never really warmed up to Scarlett O'Hara and really disliked her in the movie. Besides that fact that there's plenty of explanation about why Scarlett does what she does (so we care about her despite her bad decisions), there's much more to this novel than a bratty woman. There's the whole history of the South, the Civil War, and the Reconstruction through the experiences and feelings of people surrounding Scarlett. This is also an introduction to feminism (although Scarlett is the epitome of a controlling, scheming, uncaring feminist) and certainly a story of survival, in which I had to admire Scarlett's determination and grit. Along with all of that, there was plenty of heartache and tragedy.

For me, this isn't a 5 star partly because there is so much repeated explanation; it could have been condensed and kept under 800 pages instead of 958. Also, despite her tragedies and Mitchell's explanation, I found myself so generally irritated with Scarlett that sometimes I didn't want to hear any more about her. ( )
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
EXCELLENT book! ( )
  Belles007 | Jan 17, 2016 |
I love this book: I think I fell in love with Rhett Butler and then when I finally saw the whole film was shocked by how slimy Clark Gable was: while I know Rhett is meant to be swarthy and a bit nasty, I still had my own, much kinder, impressions of him. He totally overshadows Ashley so why Scarlett spends so much time chasing after him is beyond me: Rhett any day! ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
This book is long (no doubt about it), but I loved it. The tale of Southern life during the Civil War and the Reconstruction really interested me. ( )
  forsanolim | Jan 14, 2016 |
Very different than the movie - a true look at how whites and blacks lived and worked together during a time where slavery was acceptable. If you love the romance part of the story you will be bogged down by the politics. However, very educational for a historical novel. If you love the romance read Scarlett. ( )
  BmeredithE | Jan 9, 2016 |
This is such a great book. I read awhile ago but I really enjoyed it. There are some definite differences from the movie. I would really recommend this book to read. ( )
  CrystalW | Dec 15, 2015 |
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