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Gone With the Wind Hardcover – June 1, 1996
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"Beyond a doubt one of the most remarkable first novels produced by an American writer. It is also one of the best." -- "The New York Times"
"Fascinating and unforgettable! A remarkable book, a spectacular book, a book that will not be forgotten!" -- "Chicago Tribune"
"GWTW is an indelible portrait of a unique time and place, American's greatest political and moral conflict, and the myths that surround it -- an all absorbing spectacle of a read even for postmodern readers. Mitchell vividly portrays the disillusionment and devastation of war, the ignorance of the uninitiated, and the transformation of arrogance into tenacity that shaped the first "new South." All the details of history and place come together as a rich backdrop for those unforgettable characters: shallow and selfish Scarlett, sincere Melanie, moony-eyed Ashley, and the sage, pragmatic, dashing, and rakish Rhett Butler--the most enduring heartthrob of American literature has produced. I'd reread the book for the thrill of Rhett alone!" -- Darnell Arnoult, author of "Sufficient Grace"
"I first read "Gone with the Wind" in grade school--a boy of the upper South who'd seen the great movie and felt compelled to learn what lay behind it, all thousand-plus pages worth. No page disappointed me. What other American novel surpasses its eagerness to tell a great story of love and war; what characters equal the cantankerous passions of Scarlett and Rhett? Even Scott Fitzgerald spoke well of it. What more could I ask, even seven decades later?" -- Reynolds Price
"In my own personal life, I find many similarities to Scarlett's: The whole 17-inch waist thing notwithstanding, I do love a barbecue, both for the food and the men--I have been known to "eat like a field hand and gobble like a hawg"--I admit that at least on one occasion I may have feigned interest in some guy to further my own interests--I have fought tooth, toenail and tirelessly for my family--I learn slow but I learn good--and even so, I still adore the prospect of dealing with most things...Tomorrow." -- Jill Conner Browne, The Sweet Potato Queen, bestselling author of "The Sweet Potato Queens' First Big-Ass Novel"
"In 1936 I was in E.M. Daggett Junior High in Ft. Worth, Texas. By some chance I was able to read "Gone with the Wind" early on. Then and now, I found it one of the great experiences of a young life. I still list it as one of my 10 favorite books." -- Liz Smith, nationally syndicated columnist
"Let's say you've read "Gone with the Wind" at least twice, and seen the movie over and again. So, here's a thought. Buy this handsome paperback edition, just for Pat Conroy's preface. This passionate, nearly breathless love letter is a Song of Solomon to Margaret Mitchell, Scarlett O'Hara, and Conroy's beautiful, GTW-obsessed mother. Indeed, his luminous preface packs a durable wallop, just like the epic Pulitzer prize-winning work that inspires it." -- Jan Karon, author of "The Mitford Years" series
"Not just a great love story, "Gone with the Wind" is one of the most powerful anti-war novels ever written. Told from the standpoint of the women left behind, author Margaret Mitchell brilliantly illustrates the heartbreaking and devastating effects of war on the land and its people." -- Fannie Flagg, Academy Award nominated-author
"The best novel to have ever come out of the South...it is unsurpassed in the whole of American writing." -- "The Washington Post"
- Publisher : Scribner (June 1, 1996)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 1048 pages
- ISBN-10 : 068483068X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0684830681
- Lexile measure : 1030L
- Item Weight : 0.035 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 2 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #17,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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I finished it two weeks ago and I want to read it again. I’ve seen the movie about a hundred times in my life....I watched the movie again as soon as I finished the book and it made the movie much better. As you watch you’ll understand more about each character, especially Rhett Butler. I think he’s my favorite character..
As time goes by history changes, it shouldn’t but it does. It’s weird timing that I chose to read this book. Coronavirus had me out of work for five weeks, and there’s no way I was gonna be locked at home watching horrible media talking about this virus. I woke up yesterday to find out that people want to ban this book, and the movie has been pulled off HBO streaming service. The good news however is the movie is number one on Amazon and iTunes as of today. God Bless America.
America has a cemetery where confederate soldiers are buried side by side with union soldiers. I think it was meant to show solidarity, forgiveness and also to never forget what it was about. We have elected leaders that want to destroy the cemetery... they never gave it a thought in their lives but I guess they’ll destroy anything if they think it could give them one extra vote. Nothing has changed since the civil war. The North came down south after the war in what they called reconstruction. They pushed for freed black men to vote while ex confederate men couldn’t. They didn’t care about healing, they cared about power. They wanted republicans to hold office in the south. They fixed elections and got rich by the results. Did the North care about slavery? I’m sure some did in their hearts, but they also took advantage of the situation.
When someone writes a book about fictional characters during a historical event they usually do research to make sure the surroundings around the characters are accurate. From what I’ve studied about the civil war, this book nails it while also giving us one of the best fictional story of all time. It gave us Scarlett O’Hara... every American needs to read this book not ban it.
Everything about this book is beyond superlative--vivid characters, settings that live and breathe, but especially Margaret Mitchell's prose. It would be worthwhile for any writer to study her sentences, every one of which flows with living motion, without a single flowery word. The dialogues between Scarlett and Rhett make sparks fly off the pages!
One could criticize the liberal use of racially offensive terms and the portrayal of happy slaves, but I would disagree. Within the world so meticulously created by the author, a bygone world, for all its faults, that was seen as being in equilibrium before its downfall, to have done otherwise would have been false.
This is truly the Great American Novel, in the top 5 of the greatest books I've ever read, and I suggest that you will thank yourself for reading it. My only regret about finishing Gone With the Wind is that now I can never again read it for the first time.
But it's un-apologetically racist, the characterizations of the non-white parties are cringe-inducing and as a rational adult it's hard to swallow the book's smug assurance that most slaves were happy, that Reconstruction was tyranny and that the white landowners of the antebellum South were the true victims of the Civil War. As a young white bookworm with liberal parents who was anxious to believe that racism and civil rights issues were a thing of the past I was able to forgive these flaws but now in this racially charged day of deep income and racial inequality it's a lot harder to just ignore that side of the novel.
On the other hand is it unjustifiably written off as fluff because of its female author in a way that, say, Rudyard Kipling and Mark Twain novels are not? Yes I believe it is. Is it feminist? I think a case can be made for that too. But as for how many stars to give it I need multiple categories. For racism it gets zero stars, for a well told love story that ponders the complexity of female friendships as well as the nature of desire and the ways we lie to ourselves in the name of love it gets five. Beyond that and regarding its place in the literary canon, I am unqualified to say.
Top reviews from other countries
First clue is this book actually won the Pultizer Prize - so whilst it's not seen as 'serious' writing in our time, it was considered a masterpiece back in the day, the great American novel, etc. Yes, times were different then but I find it slightly sad that the book's reputation has fallen somewhat. Whilst it probably not 'top tier' next to the greats of Fitzgerald, Salinger, Dickens and so on, it's not a million miles away and to be honest, far better written than a lot of highly acclaimed novels today.
To get over the inevitable - yes the book is racist. The KKK do feature but they are not seem as wholly positive - while some characters are in favour, interestingly our heroine and hero do not think highly of them. Yes, the n word is used and whenever a black person speaks their speech is rendered phonetic which is derogatory (as it's not done for the white people who would also be speaking with an accent). (Although, interesting I believe Bronte does a similar thing in Wuthering Heights with the servants speaking in a phonetic manner and the main characters not and this hasn't received as much comment.)
Racist comments are made about the appearance of some blacks and there are some 'whitewashing' statements around how 'good' black slaves actually like being slaves and would never leave their masters, and the North has corrupted them etc etc. All of this is of course offensive and wrong. However, should we claim a book is 'bad' or ban it or not read it just because we disagree with some of the things it says? Whilst not a defence of these ideals at all, this book was written in a different time (far before the Civil Rights movement) and set in a time even more different (when black people were still 'property'). The ideas represented by the characters and the author themselves are (sadly) indicative of common opinion of the time, and whilst they are wrong and would not and should not be tolerated today, arguably you could not set the book during this period without giving voice to some of these opinions.
As for the writing itself, I found it well written and highly entertaining. Fans of the film will enjoy it I think, on the whole it sticks remarkably close to the plot of the film (even some speech is the same in the film!), although notably Scarlett's first two children are not present in the film (but I think this was the right decision as I don't think they add much in the book to be honest). Yes, the book does drag in some places but saying that a lot of the content is relevant and I think you could probably only cut it down 50-100 pages or so without losing a lot of meaningful writing and events for the characters, which for a book this long I think is quite good.
The characters are all 'real' and fleshed out, with the exception of the annoying Ashley (and the slaves as to be expected, unfortunately). He is slightly ridiculous but this is somewhat forgiven as I think he's meant to be. Rhett is somewhat darker in the book than the film, and some say that Scarlett is as well although actually I find the book makes her somewhat more human as we are privy to her inner thoughts and deep down she is a 'good' character and does a lot of 'bad' things for the right reasons.
Overall, if you're a fan of the film or interested in a fiction of the American south/Civil War this is worth a read. The plot is cracking and whips along, covering a span of twenty odd years and many dramatic events. For a long novel I got through it relatively quickly as it is very readable and highly entertaining.
It is very frank about the attitudes of the whites towards the blacks on which the easy lifestyle of the rich was based though the two chief male characters, who are very different, both realise that the system could not & should not continue.
But if you what you want is a gripping read don't let these comments put you off!
The rating I have awarded relates purely to the readability of one particular edition on Kindle.
It would have been a more comfortable read if I'd chosen a different version on kindle from that produced by Delhi Open Books. That's the one which, at Sept 2020, has a lurid blue, purple and black cover, with an unattractive mix of upper and lower case typography in the title.
The layout of the Delhi OB text is sloppy to say the least, so that it is not easy to tell who is saying what: you really have to look out for opening and closing inverted commas. The text is also not justified. That in itself is not necessarily a detraction, but there' are some very ragged unnattractive RH edges, not to mention unnecessarily broken lines.
And variable spacing between words mid-line introduces disconcerting hiccups in the narrative, which had me wondering at times about a hidden meaning in a sentence. You'd be surprised just how subliminally meaningful can be a double space between words - rather like a deliberate pause can be in spoken speech.
I can't immediately find an instance of double spaces, but to see what I mean about the broken lines and jumbled conversations, do a *Look Inside* first in the Delhi Books version and then, say, in the Vintage Books kindle edition or that published by Scribner with the preface by Pat Conroy. (Other versions are available). You will find a world of difference. A good spot to look early on in the book starts just before and continues after the first mention of "Miss Pitty" ... "Miss Pitty who?" ... "Miss Pittypat Hamilton" ... in Chapter 1.
As the conversations intensify with the plot, the jumbling becomes more and more distracting.
In short, if you don't want to find your enjoyment of GWTW marred by a stuttering layout, avoid the Delhi OB kindle version.
It's Gone with the wind. Everyone should read it at least once in their lifetime.
Cheap price. It's a humongous book and the price on Amazon is really a deal.
This Macmillan edition is no good if you want this book as a keepsake. Good for one or maybe two reads and then the spine will be gone and the book will fall apart.
This edition has a weird size which makes the book almost square.
Story : I have given it five stars because it will be a disrespect to this book to give anything less. You will be hard-pressed to find another book which is as absorbing, shocking and magical in one hand and depressing and tragic on another hand. It is a captivating work set up in time of American civil war and reconstruction era. Give it a try.
Note: Watch the movie too if you can. The movie is rather toned down in comparison to the book itself, still it will help in understanding.