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I just finished reading Gone with the Wind last night. It's an excellent page turning story so the 900+ pages were not daunting. In fact, I was a bit sad that the story ended and that Margaret Mitchell only wrote this one novel.
Though it was written in the 30s, it felt pretty contemporary for the most part. I enjoyed the historical setting and the southern perspective even though there were some cringible descriptions and opinons of the "darkys". Mammy was descrbed as an ape in one part.
I loved to hate Scarlet and Rhett. They were made for each other.
This one is a keeper.
I had watched the movie first and disliked it as dramatic 30s sap, but I realize after reading this that only Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh could do the characters justice.
This book satisfies three categories of the classic lit challenge:
book considered long
lit award winner
Last Edited on: 7/24/12 5:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Tome: I have always relished two of the anecdotes about Margaret Mitchell....the first about how the book agent in Atlanta looking for manuscripts from promising new authors almost "got away" on the train before Mitchell relented and took her GWTW Mss in an orange crate to the train station and the agent wound up reading it all the way back and recommending it to the publishing house for which he worked. The orange crate part may be apocryphal, for all I know.
I can't help being glad that Mitchell had terrible insomnia, and dealt with it by writing her "War" story . . . .
I also read (years ago) that it happened repeatedly that a reader would ask Mitchell "What happened to Scarlett, in the end?" meaning, after Rhett's departure and the book's "Finis". It was reported that Mitchell would always reply . . . . "I don't know."
My neighbor woman for many years was a Southerner (from North Carolina) who told me how, when she was a young working girl and GWTW had just come out, she had telephoned in "sick" to her employer because Monday morning had rolled 'round and she hadn't finished reading it!
Newspapers carried accounts from all kinds of readers about the circumstances in which they read this "hot off the presses" book, and how long it had taken them. I think I remember accounts of some who neglected their work to read the Butler-O'Hara saga...such as nose-in-the-book taxi drivers who didn't pick up fares who hailed them.
Last Edited on: 7/24/12 3:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Yay! I'm so glad to hear there's another GWTW convert. I love to hate Scarlett too, and grudgingly admire her business savy while bemoaning her romantic delusions.
I envy you your choice of epics. Mine was The Fountainhead which I have to say is a dog.
Last Edited on: 7/24/12 8:23 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
What a great epic! I always wished a mini-series could have been done in order to bring more attention to the subplots.
After writing this book, Margaret Mitchell's eyes were so damaged that she to stay in darkened rooms and, of course, not read or write anything, for months on end.
I can well understand her not undertaking another project.
Did any of you spend any time speculating about whether Scarlett was the way she was because her father was that irrepressible Irishman and her mother that Creole beauty? And that maybe little Bonnie Belle (who galloped her pony at the jump with such supreme confidence) was the girl she was because her daddy was Rhett and her mama Scarlett? (Of course I was particularly interested in the child because we shared the name Bonnie.)
And I was struck by the way that the two of them, Scarlett's father and his granddauther, both met their deaths in riding mishaps. They were both persons who 'rushed' at Life with great appetites . . . .
Last Edited on: 7/31/12 1:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
That was kind of suggested throughout the entire book. She tried to be like her mother but at every opportunity to be ladylike she went in the other direction. She took a lot of gambles, just like her father.
Bonnie Bell was just spoiled. Yes. A creation of Rhett and Scarlett, indeed.
I was surprised that Scarlett had Wade and Ella. They are not in the movie. Each child acted like his or her father.
I read this book for the first time this year and I loved it. I think what I liked most about it was that it showed very vividly how utterly complicated slavery and race relations were in the South. That could never be written, let alone published, today.
Last Edited on: 7/31/12 8:54 PM ET - Total times edited: 1