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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One word --- WOW!!!!
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...
Published on Nov. 17 2007 by Misfit

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3.0 out of 5 stars Southern Propaganda.
The book was well written but personally I liked the movie better. Yes the book was about many things but the part that urked me was the romanticized view of the South's struggle with "the low class treacherous Yankees" and the so called uppity negroes. Oh how insolent and thirsty these "brutes" were for any thing white in a dress (southern propaganda of the...
Published on Sept. 26 2003 by J. Nguitte


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One word --- WOW!!!!, Nov. 17 2007
By 
Misfit (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Gone with the Wind (Paperback)
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gone with the wind, Dec 6 2010
This review is from: Gone With the Wind (Hardcover)
There are many great books out there, and then there is This one. This one I feel, is set apart from the rest. It has eveyrthing your heart could desire in a book, romance, friendship, history, action, survival, a sense of family and bonding,Rhett, Scarlett and many fantastic characters, all of them loved throughout the whole novel. Scarlett, is my most favorite character out of all the books I have ever read. Rhett, is my second. Melanie and Mammie, ties at third. It is a novel that brings you into a once beautiful world then to the destruction and surival of another.I have read this book 5-6 times so far and everytime I do, the characters become more and more alive and the novel so vivid in my mind. This is a novel that will always be loved for all times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great story-timeless and moving, Nov. 15 2004
This review is from: Gone With the Wind (Paperback)
GONE WITH THE WIND is and will remain one of the great books of the last century. I love the opening: "There was a land of cavaliers and cotton fields called the `Old South.' Here, in this pretty world, gallantry took its last bow. Here was the last ever to be seen of knights and their ladies fair, of master and slave. Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered, a civilization gone with the wind." If you read GWTW strictly as a love story, you're missing part of the picture, and I'm saying this as someone who DID read it as a love story many years ago at the age of twelve. And I don't mean just the surface historical picture either.It goes so much deeper.
Scarlett is of course the central character, and to me, a metaphor for the "New South", in that she compromises with the new circumstances in order to survive.Melanie appeared to me as a symbol of the "Old South"-but the part of it that had integrity and strength. They needed each other in order to survive, and it took Scarlett until the end of the book to realise this. Ashley is the part of the Old South that couldn't adjust. Rhett is the person who though he despised the old ways and all they stood for until age and time made him begin to realise what he had thrown away. He still had a cynicism about it, but he also had an appreciation for the charm of a time that would never be again. This is THE Southern novel, although there are some others that are must reads: TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD and the hysterical and moving BARK OF THE DOGWOOD-A tour of southern homes and gardens comes to mind. First, before you do anything, read this great novel-GWTW.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An American Masterpiece, July 17 2004
This review is from: Gone With the Wind (Hardcover)
Many people only know Gone With The Wind through the beautiful 1939 David O. Selznick film. That is a disappointment, as the novel is so much richer and complex than the film could realize.
Written in the mid 1930s by a novice writer, it nonethe less manages to evoke the spirit of the Civil War and the passion that is Scarlett O'Hara.
While commonly viewed as a war novel, it is actually much more: both a brilliant comedy of manners and the first frankly feminist novel written. Ms. Mitchell manages to make us care about Scarlett, while allowing us also to laugh at her occasionally.
Do not be put off by the book's length. While an enormous undertaking, it moves along at a breakneck pace, and is absorbing from the very first page.
Some have criticized the book for its racist portrayal of the black characters. While it does seem so from a 21st Century perspective, that can perhaps be forgiven when remembering that it was written by a Southerner in the early 20th Century. In any event, some of the most noble, sympathetic characters of the book are black and slaves.
This is a book to enjoy and savor more than once. The 60th Anniversary Edition is especially nice, coming in a slipcover and containing analysis of the book by other authors and literary critics.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Entertainment with Racist Sentimentality, July 14 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Gone With the Wind (Hardcover)
GWTW is a classic, undoubtedly - sweeping, romantic, colorful, well written, all of that. I have read it so many times and seen the movie enough to recite it word for word, loved swashbuckling Captain Butler and plucky, selfish Scarlett for all that she is, a woman of her own worth during times when women were showpieces more than anything else. And i absolutely love the descriptions of the civil war background - it is sweeping, historically accurate and touching, many times. I can slip the movie in at any scene or pick up the book and spend a few hours undisturbed just lost in its language and flow.
All of that said, i think it is important not to forget that Mitchell has not mentioned one word against slavery in the 800+ pages she penned, slavery being the burning, heart rending issue of the time the novel was set. Every country and state goes through change, for good or bad and we lose times that were precious, sentimental, valuable - or we lose a 'land of grace and plenty' as she calls pre war Georgia. But we also gain causes that are worth it in terms of human reslience and courage and value/respect for others. Looking at it that way the novel comes across like a victorian painting - pretty and appealing but lacking in soul.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Epic Love, Strength and Survival novels!, July 2 2004
This review is from: Gone With the Wind (Mass Market Paperback)
"There was a Land of Cavaliers and Cotton Fields called the Old South. . .Here in this pretty world Gallantry took its last bow. . .Look for it only in books, for it is no more than a dream remembered. A Civilization Gone with the Wind."
What other words could more perfectly describe the saga of Gone with the Wind?
I am always astounded when I think that the 1024 pages of Gone with the Wind was Margaret Mitchell's first book! How can a green author roll so much passion, hope, strength, love, steadfastness, despair and humanity into a single novel? I blows me away, no pun intended!
As reviewer kitam57 said "I love Scarlett and yet at the same time I want to wring her neck." I totally concur, I admire Scarlett for her determination, her dedication to her family, her love of the land and her uniqueness. I'm more than half Irish and I too have a love for the land I live on just like Scarlett developed for Tara, as her father said "It's the only thing that lasts" and truly, even when Scarlett had nothing else she still had Tara and was willing to do anything, even prostitute herself to Rhett in order to keep it. She wasn't afraid to go out and break many of the social conventions of the time, like peddling lumber while pregnant, in order to take care of her family and loved ones. But at the same time, I HATE her treatment of Rhett, Scarlett had one giant blindspot by the name of Ashley Wilkes. Although, Ashley did lead her on, he never would say that he didn't love her and only loved Mellie. Scarlett clung to this hope, she pretended to hate Rhett the whole time and really deep down she knew she always liked him. I just can't understand why Scarlett thought she loved Ashley so much, he was dreamer, lost in books, music and Europe while Scarlett was practical, living for each day and facing up to harsh realities without a second thought.
Rhett was always hopelessly in love with Scarlett too. It breaks my heart every time I see him try in the book and she just blows him off. When he was released from prison he ran straight to Scarlett to make sure she had enough money to keep Tara, when Scarlett tells him she's pregnant again he's so happy, and when he thinks Scarlett will die I cry too when he is nearly crazy with grief and sobbing into Mellie's skirts! There was still a chance for them later if she had just opened up and admitted that they had both been wrong! And that "hungry" look of Rhett's that Scarlett was always a bit scared of, it was really Rhett's starvation for love. He was watching her, waiting and hoping that she might show him some sign of love, as he said he wanted when they first danced together. Rhett's weakness was Scarlett and his need for her love, for once in his life he wanted someone to TRULY love him, not look down on him! And then tragedy enters in.
Rhett of course has his scoundrel tendancies, but I admire him also for his rebellion against social conventions, he wasn't tied in by stupid traditions. he was more thinking than the rest, in that respect he and Ashley were more alike. Rhett and Ashley both knew what a war would do to the South and what a disadvantage they were at with troups and artillery. As Rhett said: "I seem to be spoiling everyone's brandy, cigars and DREAMS of victory." Rhett's humanity always shows through in his admiration of Melanie, she was the one person he always treated with absolute sincerity and genuine respect.
There also is the war aspect, Margaret Mitchell seems to have examined every tiny detail of the the South both during and after the war. She knows of the hardships, devastation, the starvation, the struggle, the indignities and humiliation of Reconstruction. One must always remember that just because people owned slaves, it didn't mean they were all bad people. Some were, we all know of the atrocious horrors that slaves suffered but, Margaret Mitchell shows the almost family-like relationships some people shared with their slaves. They do talk down to them and treat them as children, but slaves were not always educated at the time and therefore some didn't know how to act any differently. Mammy however is the perfect example of the smartest woman in the whole book! She always knew what was going on and loved Scarlett as her own child no matter what depths Scarlett sank to.
I love the movie as well, Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable were Scarlett and Rhett brought to life, it's like they were born to play those roles! My only complaint is that they should have shown Scarlett's children with Charles and Frank in the film! However, I will always applaud the scene of Scarlett and Rhett dancing around in black amongst all the other colorful people. They are declaring their defiance and I completely admire that! In fact, I love the story of Gone with the Wind so much that I named my horse India after Ashley's sister. Next one I should name Scarlett! :)
All in all, Gone with the Wind is a book for all time, no matter what your genre of book is, you will be able to appreciate it for the many dimensions of it and the ultimate truth, history, life lessons and basic human tenacity it portrays. No matter who you are, where you live or how old you are.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing will ever compare., June 19 2004
This review is from: Gone With the Wind (Mass Market Paperback)
This is my favorite book of all time. Everyone should find time to read it. I realize it is 1024 pages of very small print and also that there are sixty-three chapters; however it is amazing. I realize too that it is in some cases a bit racist and there are people who are offended by that; to them, I privately say, "Grow up". Gone With the Wind is not about slavery. It is not about white supremacy. It is not even really about the South. It is about how war destroys people. You could take it and apply it to any war. I am by no means a white supremist, but those feelings need to be pushed aside while one enjoys such a wonderful book. I do not agree with Scarlett, or Melanie, or Ashley, or Rhett completely, but I can't help but tear up as I watch their world disappear again and again. It is a million times better than a history book to understand the causes of bigotry in the South after the war. As for Scarlett, she is infuriating, bullheaded, selfish, and childish, but I cannot help loving her anyway. Perhaps my favorite lines, though, come from Ashley, lost soul though he is:
"It's a curse--this not wanting to look on naked realities. Until the war, life was never more real to me than a shadow show on a curtain. And I preferred it so. I do not like the outlines of things to be too sharp. I like them gently blurred, a little hazy...It isn't that I mind splitting logs here in the mud, but I do mind what it stands for. I do mind, very much, the loss of the beauty of the old life I loved. Scarlett, before the war, life was beautiful. There was a glamor to it, a perfection and a completeness and a symmetry to it like Grecian art. Maybe it wasn't so to everyone. I know that now. But to me, living at Twelve Oaks, there was a real beauty to living. I belonged in that life. I was a part of it. And now it is gone and I am out of place in this new life, and I am afraid. Now, I know that in the old days it was a shadow show I watched. I avoided everything which was not shadowy, people and situations which were too real, too vital. I resented their intrusion. I tried to avoid you too, Scarlett. You were too full of living and too real and I was cowardly enough to prefer shadows and dreams."
Everytime Ashley says what he truly thinks, it makes me cry. I never cry about anything, but I cry over Gone With the Wind. It's not that I want to be a part of that world, the pre-Civil War South, because I don't...it's just that Margaret Mitchell's words are magic, creating characters so real that I can't help but long for them to have what they want.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A treasure I had missed ..., June 17 2004
By 
Juan Falcone (Rockland County, New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Gone With the Wind (Mass Market Paperback)
Why didn't I read this magnificent book before I was 49 years old?
Perhaps because it tends to be classified in the "historical romance" genre ... because it was a vast popular success ... followed by a blockbuster movie ... it isn't taken seriously as a classic. It wasn't on academic reading lists, while works such as William Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury" and Carson McCullers' "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" were. But it should be.
Probably GWTW couldn't have been written at any other time than it was, or by anyone else. When Margeret Mitchell was born in 1900, many living adults had been through the war and reconstruction years, and were there to tell her about it. Hers was the last generation to grow up before radio, when the oral tradition remained vital and dominant. Yet, as a child of the suffragist era and somewhat of a social rebel (engaged once, married twice, etc.), Mitchell's feisty personality is expressed through Scarlett O'Hara with rich comic effect. I frequently burst out loud laughing at Scarlett's outrageously self-serving rationalizations, and the scandalous breaches of etiquette she perpetrates. This is anything but melodrama or bodice-ripper romance. It is sophisticated social comedy, as well as historical drama and tragedy.
Scarlett O'Hara, Rhett Butler, and Ashley and Melanie Wilkes endure in cultural memory to this day because Margaret Mitchell takes us into their world so convincingly that they seem real, with all their strengths, weaknesses, vanities and foibles. She has an unerring ear for dialogue. The black servants are vivid characters, pictured sympathetically as generally speaking their minds and being their authentic selves, in contrast to the ego-preserving dissembling and self-delusion of the whites.
Despite the entangling of Scarlett's life with Rhett, Ashley and Melanie throughout the story, old Mammy -- the matron of the servants -- is the character who graces both the first and last pages of the book along with Scarlett. She is the only one who never betrays or leaves Scarlett; who stands with her till the end.
Books about the Civil War era and its aftermath must number in the tens of thousands. But none brings it alive and lets you see it, feel it and remember it as GWTW does. It is a masterpiece, a monumental achievement.
What does GWTW mean to me? At my grandmother's gravesite in East Texas, nearby tombstones cite the deceased's CSA affiliation ... 1st N.C. Cavalry, and so forth. These old soldiers migrated west after the war, just as Margaret Mitchell describes. They were my great-grandparents' generation. Margaret Mitchell brought their world alive to me as no one else ever did or could.
Thank you, Margaret Mitchell, for your magnificent life's work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! An Amzing Book, June 16 2004
This review is from: Gone With the Wind (Mass Market Paperback)
Wow! This book is truly a masterpiece. Mitchells weaves a story of love, war, death, birth, happiness...set in a time and a place that she paints very convincingly. In it, Scarlett, a traditional Southern, pre-Civil War belle, falls in love with the only man she can't have: Ashley, married to a "ninny", melanie, that Scarlett hates. When the Civil War breaks out, Scarlett finds her war torn apart, and the Southern belle is re-made into a tough, clever, desperate gilr responsible for an extended family- including, of course AShley. Accompaniying her al the way is the flippant, rich, cyncial Rhett Butler. With a climatic ending, a marvelous, fast plot, beuatiful descriptions, and a good understanding of life in the Civil War Sotuh, this book is something everyone shoudl read and no one will forget.
(Warning: Mitchell's portrayal of the Sotuh is, however, racist, and she portrays African-Americans mostly negatively and unfairly. Keep that in mind, and don't read her descriptions of slave life as nessecarily true or accurate.)
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Book Of All Time, June 15 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Gone With the Wind (Hardcover)
Gone With The Wind is a passionate,heartthrobbing,beautiful,romantic tale.I saw the movie when I was 4 but it didn't make much of an impression on me because when I began reading it in bookstores when I was 6 I was immediatley enthralled with the story of Scarlett O'Hara,the sweet Southern Belle that when the War made many hard changes in her life she became a woman that did what she felt like and didn't listen to other peoples disapproval.Margaret Mitchell has brought many hours of joy to me as I read from her wonderful book every day of my life.I love Scarlett very much as the main character but Melanie is more dear to me.She is a beautiful,shining,kind woman that always saw Scarlett's and Rhett's good.She goes to show what we have lost from that era.Many people hate Ashley and think he's a wimp but that's only his potrayal in the movie.In the book,he is like Rhett but takes diffrent paths in the same situations.All the characters in this book,the lovely description,and the era make this book"my favorite book of all time".
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