Gone with the Wind (English) (Set 2 Volumes) Paperback – 1 Jul 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
The characters are mesmerising, plausible and original - I expected more cliches, but having read it I have come to the conclusion that GWTW created the cliches because it is just so damn good!
I can really see why people still consider it the greatest historical novel ever written. The fact that it has survived the test of time, unlike the many books that are applauded as brilliant one year and forgotten the next, should give you some clue as to just how good this book is.
Scarlett O'Hara must be the most unattractive "heroine" in literature: she is selfish, greedy, unscrupulous, cruel and grasping- and she doesn't learn from her many mistakes. Even at the end, she is plotting to win Rhett back.
Others have commented on the racism endemic in the book. It seems to me this misses the point. It is accurately recording the racist sentiments of that time, the 1860's, not those of the 1930's, when it was written (one wonders how much more enlightened they had actually become by then?). We don't criticise Dickens or Trollope for the anti-semiticism inherant in their books, nor do we condemn Sansom for the crudity, sordidness and violence in his 16th century Shardlake novels. The function of a historical novel is to record it as it was, not as we would like it to be, nor as it would be now.
Well worth reading.
The simple answer is that it is fundamentally an absolutely ripping yarn. Margaret Mitchell's achievement is in creating a set of flawed characters, but then making the reader care about what happens to them. Couple engaging characters with a beautifully paced plot and it is easy to understand why Gone With The Wind is still in print and massively popular.
It is the story of selfish, determined daughter of a plantation, Scarlett O'Hara, her enduring love for neighbour Ashley Wilkes, his marriage to Melanie, who becomes Scarlett's devoted friend, and of course the love of Rhett Butler for Scarlett. The context of the story is the American south before, during and after the civil war. We see the relationships between the characters develop as they go from affluence, through degradation in defeat, and then rebuild.
Scarlett is of course the centre of the book and Mitchell skilfully plays with the reader's emotions towards her heroine. Basically she is selfish, spiteful, snobbish, racist, a hideously bad parent, an exploitative employer, but courageous and engaging. Initially we dislike her as a spoilt brat, her marriages are exasperating, we grow to admire her courage as she fights to survive during and after the war, she becomes a figure of ridicule as she joins the nouveau riche and finally her inability to understand Rhett's love is frustrating, infuriating and eventually tragic.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Such an amazing story. Just couldn't stop reading it until I'd finished. Then of course I felt bereft of the characters. Cried like a baby in some parts!Published 20 hours ago by Amazon Customer
Very nice book, exactly like on the picture. My daughter is very happy about it!Published 1 day ago by Helena Avdjukevica
Read this several years ago, always enjoyed it, but want to read it again.Published 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
Amazing book of life my bible from now on Scarlett is my hero and in many ways a role model, when I look back on my life I realise after watching the movie as a child how much... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sharon T.
A few years ago I watched the movie and it did not make any impression on me and, "My Dear," all I could really remember was Rhett saying, "I don't give a damn. Read morePublished 1 month ago by The Most Amazing Bookworm (my thoughts after reading this book)
Condition in a state the picture of the actual book was right at the bottom of listing the picture used next to the book name was not of the actual product very dusty and unclean... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer