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on 6 January 2009
I'm not much of a romance reader but I remember a school friend who RAVED about this book. I bought it more out of curiosity to see what all the fuss was about - but oh, what a book!

It's hard to describe what makes this book so brilliant - it's a kind of alchemy. Fantastic characters lovingly described - their weaknesses and strengths as real and vivid as anyone around you. You BELIEVE in these characters, and care about what happens to them - you are caught up in their world completely.

As for the historical world she creates - it's dazzling. All I can say is that most decent people celebrate the demise of slavery - but while reading this book you will wish and pray that the Yankees were defeated and sent home with their tails between their legs. This book is propaganda for a world that doesn't (and shouldn't) exist any more - but it's a world that is created so beautifully that while you read the book you identify completely with the heroes and heroines, right down to their views on slaves, gender and war.

I have read a lot of books, but the only book that compares in terms of scale, character and imagination is Lord of the Rings. You won't find orcs and elves in this book, but you will find yourself transported into a completely believable world.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 July 2009
There are good reasons why Gone With The Wind, published 73 years ago, is a classic among classics, a Pulitzer Prize winner, and has sold over 28 million copies in more than 37 countries. The reasons are that it is an unparalleled monumental epic of the American South that is very rich in historical facts, it has superbly developed unforgettable characters, a narrarative that is so captivating that the reader will feel he/she is right there experiencing all that was going on, and it truly stands the test of time. I enjoyed reading it at least as much now (and possibly more) than when I first read it over 45 years ago. While Gone With The Wind is often marketed as "the greatest love story of our time," it is so much more than that. If you haven't read Gone With The Wind or haven't done so in many years, do yourself a tremendous favor and read it/read it again as soon as possible. It's an experience you'll savor for years to come.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 September 2007
I would give this 10 stars if I could. I haven't read this since I was a young girl in the early 70's and should never have waited so long to read it again. The characters were exceptionally well drawn, the dialogue was brilliant, particularly between Rhett (SIGH!) and Scarlett. I swear there was sparks flying off the pages. I am going to miss the people I will have to put behind me now that the book has come to an end, Rhett (SIGH), Scarlett, Mammy, Prissy and Aunt Pitty Pat (LOL).

The author's use of prose was beautiful, all the scenes and action came alive for me. Some people seem to be offended by the racism in the book, but that's how things were back then. Sugar coating it would have ruined the story reducing it to a Harlequin romance.

This is an incredibly well written book about the death of a civilization and the struggles to survive in the new era. This is a book that should not be missed, particulary those who enjoy historical fiction.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 30 January 2007
I would give this 10 stars if I could. I haven't read this since I was a young girl in the early 70's and should never have waited so long to read it again. The characters were exceptionally well drawn, the dialogue was brilliant, particularly between Rhett (SIGH!) and Scarlett. I swear there was sparks flying off the pages. I am going to miss the people I will have to put behind me now that the book has come to an end, Rhett (SIGH), Scarlett, Mammy, Prissy and Aunt Pitty Pat (LOL).

The author's use of prose was beautiful, all the scenes and action came alive for me. Some people seem to be offended by the racism in the book, but that's how things were back then. Sugar coating it would have ruined the story reducing it to a Harlequin romance.

This is an incredibly well written book about the death of a civilization and the struggles to survive in the new era. This is a book that should not be missed, particulary those who enjoy historical fiction.
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on 30 March 2015
Ok for the price, only problem has a bad musty smell-maybe unavoidable
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on 18 October 2007
From being 10 years of age this has always been my favourite novel. What a wonderful imagination Margaret Mitchell had. The story is full of wonderment and you cannot help but adore all the characters, especially Mamma and even Ashley although he is spineless!!! Margaret Mitchell makes you see the good in every character in this novel and really does make you keep reading, and looking for the baddie. You only wish the novel ended on a happy note but I guess that is where your imagination kicks in. This book holds such happy memories for me and I hope it will for you too. I dare you to have a couple of duvet days and a box of chocolates and with this novel you will be in seventh heaven. Go on I dare you spoil yourself and I guarantee this book will never ever leave your memory.
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on 2 June 2011
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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on 12 January 2012
I absolutely adore this book and equally did the film, if you did enjoy the film then the book is somewhat better because it offers you almost an extended version, and being so long really gets you involved in the lives of the characters. You go through the experiences which in no way seem to be drawn out but are expertly lasting just long enough. I would highly recommend the book, however I will not deny that I am a little biased because it is my favourite film so I was bound to enjoy the book though give it a go it offers everything one could want from an epic, while simultaneously challenging yourself to think 'now what would I do in that situation?'; endearing and marvellous :)
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VINE VOICEon 22 August 2008
This book was just the ticket for a good old fashioned summer read. Sitting outside in my garden I was swept away to Atlanta. I loved the film and had always meant to read the book and have now had my chance. I cannot get over how well cast the film was, all the actors really stayed loyal to the text. The great bonus of the book is the historical, political and social perspectives which gives the story much more meaning and good reference points. The events make far more sense. I loved this book.
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on 13 July 2009
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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