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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really, really great book!
'Gone With The Wind' amazed me. I thought it would be light, throwaway romantic fiction. Instead, it is a tough, believable, intelligent and completely gripping historical novel.
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...
Published on 19 July 2001

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars If you are like myself: enjoy a great read
Too long winded!!! Thought I'd read a classic, but this is 1'000 pages long. I've read so much thought this would be a change from the Richard and judy book list but found it monotonous and a bit of a bore. If you are like myself: enjoy a great read, enjoy longevity in a read but like excitement ; then leave it be. Almost as bad as War and Peace. I may cone back to it on...
Published 1 month ago by LouiseCanavan


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell, 11 Mar. 2014
This review is from: Gone with the Wind (Paperback)
Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

It is claimed that Margaret Mitchell’s epic, Gone With The Wind, written almost eighty years ago, was the first blockbuster. Many people I mentioned the novel to have not read it although they have watched the iconic film starring Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, Leslie Howard as Ashely Wilkes , Vivian Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara and Olivia de Havilland as Melanie Wilkes nee Hamilton.

I have read that Margaret Mitchell considered Melanie the true heroine of Gone With The Wind because she represents all that was fine in the era. However, I think that most readers would think of strong-willed Scarlet as the heroine.

The reader first sees Scarlet, a pampered 16 year-old, with two of her beaux. Thanks to her Afro-American Mammy and her aristocratic mother, Ellen, “she looked sweet, charming and giddy, but she was in reality, self-willed, vain and obstinate. She had the easily stirred passions of her Irish father (Gerald) and nothing except the thinnest veneer of her mother’s unselfish and forbearing nature.”…”It was not that these two loving mentors deplored Scarlett’s high spirits, vivacity and charm. These were traits of which Southern women were proud. It was Gerald’s headstrong and impetuous nature in her that gave them concern, and they sometimes feared they would not be able to conceal her damaging qualities until she had made a good match. But Scarlett intended to marry Ashley…”

Bull-headed Scarlett is convinced she loves Ashley and her conviction continues although he marries Melanie, and she marries three times, not once for love. Throughout the War Between the States and the aftermath Scarlett pursues Ashley, and does not realise who the love of her life is until the tragic and dramatic conclusion of the novel.

Every character, major and minor, springs to life from the first page to the last; and between those pages history is brought to life, although I did query Margaret Mitchell’s fictionalised slaves loyal to their owners and think she should not have glossed over the horror that was slavery.

The title Gone With The Wind is apt. By the end of the novel Scarlett realises she does not love Ashley and she has lost not only the way of life into which she was born but all those she loves.

I first read Gone With the Wind many years ago, re-read it recently and will probably want read it again at some time in the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Epic, 2 Jun. 2011
This review is from: Gone with the Wind (Paperback)
GWTW is my all-time favorite book that made me a lover of literature. I first read it when I was eleven, I re-read it every couple of years, but the magic never goes away. GWTW is an epic novel and a classic in a good way. It is a tragedy really that Margaret Mitchell died so young and GWTW is her last published book, because she was a true master.

When I read the book the first few times, I would rush to romantic parts - dialogues between Scarlett and Rhett, their married life, Scarlett's earlier exchanges with Ashley. However, now I have the same appreciation (if not greater) for other nuances of the story. One of the great loves of the novel is the love between Melanie and Scarlett. If only Scarlett had been more self-aware! But then she would not be Scarlett.

Tara. The war. Siege of Atlanta. Last months of Confederacy. Reconstruction.
There are so many great secondary characters: Mammy, Mr. O'Hara, Tarletons, Meads, Belle Watling, John Wilkes, Uncle Henry, Mrs. Elsing, Mrs. Meriwether, and Archie. Although, we only get a peak at their lives, many are fully fleshed out, memorable personalities. Dr. Meade can be rigid, annoying in his fervent speechifying, blind worship of Confederacy and denial of approaching defeat. On the day of Atlanta's fall, when Melanie goes into labor, Scarlett is trying to get Dr. Meade to help her and finds him at the railway station. She sees him exhausted from fatigue treating hundreds wounded soldiers without medical supplies, without a moment of rest in scorching heat. He does not know that his own son is dying of wounds at home. And even Scarlett, who is not a good reader of people, realizes at that moment that Dr. Meade would not leave his post even for his son, that he would continue "giving aid to the many, instead of one." There are countless great moments like this, where even minor episodic characters come to life.

Many reviewers have noted racist tone of the book. It is true, there is not a single major or secondary character, who is not a racist, nor even Mammy or Peter, who despise freed blacks, nor Yankees. Even Melanie is horrified at the thought of her son attending the same school as black children. Ashley, who planned to free all slaves on the plantation after his father's death, during Reconstruction joins KKK and attacks black settlement on the outskirts of Atlanta to "protect" the ladies and rights of white Southerners. The novel is the product of its time and culture. Margaret Mitchell wrote the book in the 30s in Georgia, when Jim Crow laws were still in place and KKK very much active. As readers, we only see one perspective, that of white plantation owners or rich city dwellers of good pedigree. There is a great divide between this upper class caste and Yankees, poor whites, blacks. Maybe it is a good thing that Margaret Mitchell did not try to airbrush her characters to make them moral or egalitarian.

Despite its dubious morals GWTW is still a brilliant book. Every time I pick up the volume, I recall this feeling of great loss, yearning for something that is gone forever and hope for a better day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic piece of literature which is as fresh and exciting to read now as it was when it was first produced back in 1936., 13 July 2009
By 
Original Sin. (England, Derbyshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gone with the Wind (Paperback)
Margaret Mitchell's `Gone With The Wind' combines a number of different emotions such as extreme passion, love and loss which results in a classic piece of literature which is as fresh and exciting to read now as it was when it was first produced back in 1936 (at least I'm guess it was exciting to read back then, going on reviews I have read/heard).

Having been a fan of the film for a while I decided at the start of the year that it was time I got round to purchasing and reading the book. At just over one thousand pages I did find the book a little hard going at times but still extremely enjoyable and I found it difficult to put down as I was forever wanting to know what happened next.

The book is exceptionally well written and contains a number of issues/ situations such as the Klu Klux Klan and characters such as Scarlett's two other children that were cut from the film. Fans of the film might not enjoy the way that the characters are portrayed within the chapters of the book but I for one found that I actually enjoyed the book more than the film as I was able to learn a lot more about the characters and their feelings which is not always well shown within the film.

The character of Rhett Butler for example comes across as a very deeply emotional character and I found myself reaching for the tissues towards the end of the book. The reader gets a better understanding of him, his love for Scarlett and his child and his relationship with Belle. The main character, Scarlett O'Hara, also comes across as more rounded person in the book than she does in the film and the readers get a better understanding as to how her mind works, her complex relationships with those around her and why she does what she does.

The classic ending is the same as in the film but the build up to it is a lot more intense and the links between Atlanta and Scarlett's dream help to create a somewhat dark atmosphere which in turn creates a sense of doom and sadness which is not very well represented within the film.
Overall I give the book top marks and suggest that everyone who has seen and enjoyed the film read it if they get the chance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It really is a classic!, 10 Oct. 2011
This review is from: Gone with the Wind (Paperback)
I'm in my late 20s, and I was a little apprehensive about reading this book: my Grandmother recommended it (surely not a good sign), and I'd tried to watch the 'classic' film but found it unwatchable! However, this really is a book worth reading. I found the first 100 - 150 pages tough going, but it was worth persevering because everything came together to create a story that makes you feel and think. I'm not quite sure how: the narative is difficult to read at times, the characters are certainly not endearing, and the social and racial divides are abhorrant. Nevertheless, once I got into it, I was captivated; I cried at the end; and have thought of it often since I read it (4yrs ago).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You too will be swept away, 9 Oct. 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Gone with the Wind (Hardcover)
Visit a time when women were "hoop-skirted" ladies and men treated them with charming, exaggerated kindness and respect. Take a ride in a horse carriage to a ball, and there be introduced to some of the most memorable people you'll ever meet. I'm refering to the exciting experience of Gone With The Wind. Nothing you ever read will captivate, motivate, affect, or teach you more. The characters are so real that they become part of your life, they change your life. Scarlett O'hara is the most beautiful, unforgettable heroine of any novel. Spoiled and self-centered, but there's still no denying that she's a very intelligent, strong person. You get to know Scarlett so well that she becomes part of you, and she even changes how you view yourself and your life. You fall in love with dashing, dark, handsome, mysterious, yet, charming Mr. Rhett Butler. Not to exclude the other wonderful personalities of Ashley Wilkes, sweet Melanie, Aunt Pitty Pat, and certainly not excluding Mammy. Witness the horror of the Civil War, and learn the truth about the Old South. While also learnig about love, life, and the exciting unpredictablities of both. I love, adore, and cherish GWTW! If you've read I'm certain you fell the same. If you haven't read GWTW I could cry for you! You are missing out on the chance of a lifetime, truly! You simply must read it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't recommend it enough!, 7 Oct. 2004
This review is from: Gone with the Wind (Paperback)
This is my absolutely favourite book of all time, and to think I put off reading it for so long because of the length! I'm glad I finally made myself read it. Once I had started, I was in love. Brilliant characters, story and writing. Scarlett O'Hara is truly a one in a million kind of character; I can't imagine where Ms Mitchell came up with her. Scarlett's story of the Old South is riveting, sometimes funny, sometimes sad. She's a character you love and hate all at the same time and I often felt like slapping her. When I got to the last few pages, I was sad that I'd finished it. But I will be reading it again, most definitely.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This story will have you sobbing with grief and laughing out loud. A "must" read., 7 Jun. 2015
By 
Trish (Wenvoe, Wales) - See all my reviews
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I recently happened to spend an afternoon at Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta. There in the Confederate Memorial Hall, I learned about the suffering experienced by the people of The South during The American Civil War. The sculpture carved into the mountain of Jefferson Davis, Robert E Lee and General "Stonewall" Jackson are testament to how deep feelings still run in the hearts of The Confederate States.
Gone With the Wind is a story which captures those years and the hardships endured. Scarlett is a spoiled, selfish and headstrong young woman whose determination and bravery keeps her loved ones from starving during the hard times. The book is full of big characters like Rhett and Mammy who both love Scarlett unconditionally but are not always able to save her from herself. Scarlett refuses to be bound by convention if it prevents her from having her way but as the story progresses, her selfishness is overcome by her courage in the face of adversity.
I loved this book. It is so beautifully written and gives a wonderful insight into those war years and the terrible effects on the Southern people. I couldn't wait to get to the end of the 1037 pages but having reached the end was then bereft. What could I possibly read after Gone With the Wind which would match this beautiful story?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional read, 10 Oct. 2011
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Had seen the film three times and always enjoyed it, however, long as the film is it would take many more hours to tell the whole story. Also having read a historic account of the civil war, the book is extremely accurate whenever referring to the various bsttles. Both the historic version and the book repeatedly illustrate the folly of the war though - especially at the begginning. Would recomend it to anyone who enjoys brilliant writing.
Sad that Margaret died so young as a result of an accident.I've now bought the 'Aniversary' 5 DVD repeat of the picture with some extra films of the production etc.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful piece of art!, 7 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Gone with the Wind (Hardcover)
When I look back on my sophomore year of high school, I will remember it as the year I read Gone With the Wind, and became hooked. I have thought about it everyday since I started it. I adore this story. The descriptions in this book will take your breath away. Once when she was back at Tara, in the dead of winter, I looked up and was shocked that the sun was shining, and there was food downstairs in the refrigerator. It will literally sweep you in. I read it in September, in a little less than a week. I didn't read it as a challenge or anything. It was actually a "rebelling" act. My mom hates the story line because she doesn't like how Southerners "won't let the war die." Her saying how much she hated it totally backfired because it only made me want to read it more so I could see what was so bad about it. Then I fell in love with it. When I re-read some of the dialogue, especially that at the end of the book, between Scarlett and Rhett, my heart positively aches. The language is so beautiful. I cried for an hour after I finished it. The ending is absolutely tragic, but there's no other way it could've ended and been as good. I don't understand how anyone can not like it. The Southern backdrop during the Civil War was a necessity to the essence of the story. I know slavery was one of America's greatest atrocities, but that's not what this book is about. It is the story of a woman trying to save herself and her home, and in the process, ruining the love of one of the most dashing, white knights of all fiction because of her only-human downfalls-greed, fear and lust.
I loved Scarlett's character. She was exactly as Rhett described-a brave, frightened, insensitive, bull-headed child. She did try to be good, and then something would happen to scare her, so she'd get mean again. I loved Melanie, too. I want to be a friend like she was. She was good, but not goody-goody. She loved people fiercely, as Scarlett wanted things fiercely. She stood by her beloved friend to the bitter end, even though she knew Scarlett had betrayed her. Rhett was such an absolutely wonderful person. He only couldn't show it to the everyday Scarlett-hardened and greedy-because she would think him weak. He was only tender and loving when she was in fear. I want to meet someone like him-I just hope I don't act like Scarlett! The characters were so human, I loved them all. Everyone should read this book. It is such a beautifully-written masterpiece. It's my favorite.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars frankly my dear...you will give a damn, 9 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Gone with the Wind (Paperback)
I thought i had experienced GONE WITH THE WIND after i had watched the movie a good few times but boy was i wrong. This is the movie but 10 X better eventhough I did imagine Vivian leigh and Clark Gable throughout. It's such an epic adventure and so rich in its description and story telling it left a huge impression on me even after finishing it. It is a mammoth of a book and a bit heavy to be carrying around everywhere ((which you will definitely want to do)) so maybe for that reason I would buy it on Kindle. I bought both and kept switching from book (when in bed) and kindle (EVERYWERE else). As expected the book has sooooo many scenes which couldn't all be put into the movie which was nice to read but some of the most classic memorable scenes from the movie were very close to what was actually written in the novel often word for word and it just made you feel giddy because you knew what was coming. I loved this novel so much and would (and did/do) recommend it to everyone. Do not let the size put you off because you get though it amazingly quick (I finished mine in 4 days) and I felt quite good about getting a classic into my reading list. LOVED IT!!!
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Gone with the Wind
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell (Paperback - 9 Aug. 1996)
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