I read this book with a group for an online read-along. I was really surprized how much I enjoyed reading this book! If you've seen the movie, you will still like the book, as there was a lot cut out for the movie. The motives of Scarlett are very clear, and we see the Civil War almost entirely through her eyes. There is very little of the book that is written from the viewpoints of the others. This allows us to be surprised by the events in the book.
One warning, though. This book is written from the point of view of the southern white aristocracy, and there is a lot of overt racism in the book. So if that sort of thing will bother you (even if it's appropriate for the times and characters in the book), I wouldn't recommend it.
My all-time favorite book. I have at least three copies. I'm so happy to share this. Although this book is billed as a love story, it doesn't read like a typical sappy love story at all. There is so much more to it. Scarlett O'Hara is one of the most unlikable characters ever, but you can't help rooting for her. What she goes through is unbelievable. Rhett Butler is the bad boy with the heart of gold.
The love story of Rhett and Scarlet is a five star keeper, imho. The history is biased, but interesting. Nothing bored me with this story, but you have to take into consideration that it was written in the 1920's and 1930's(I believe it took the author more than 10 years to write) about the South during the Civil War from a strictly Southern point of view. Still, the love story is so captivating, and the characters in the book are so interesting, I would categorize this as a classic novel.
I technically read this book in 7th grade after seeing the movie version. Though when I read it then, I more or less focused on scenes from the movie and skipped over portions of the book that didn't seem to match the movie. I figured that now that I'm an adult, I should try to give the book its proper dues. I read the whole thing in about two weeks and absolutely LOVED it. It is truly a classic! I am keeping in mind that it is a product of it's time (written by a Southern about 70 years after the Civil War at a time while America was still segregated). As a result, it does present an idealized version of slavery, but since it's also coming from Scarlett's POV (a Southern raised on a cotton plantation), one wouldn't expect anything except a bias point of view on this anyway. What captured my imagination the most was Scarlett's relationship with people (family members, Mammy, her beaux, Rhett, etc..) She is honestly one of the most selfish, confused characters that I have ever read, but I didn't hate her. I did want to see her succeed in her goals of securing Tara, surviving after the war, etc. One really got a sense of the destruction of the South during the Civil War. After all, in Scarlett's mind, the Yankee's are the "bad guys" and it is tough to realize that Sherman and other Northern generals did create such devastating destruction in the South on civilian lands in hopes of breaking the South's spirit. The characters are very fleshed out, the settings are painted so vividly that you can picture everything (though I guess seeing the movie also helps with this: I re-watched the movie within a few days of finishing the book and was amazed by how faithful to the book the movie was...of course they had to cut things out to streamline it, but large passages of dialogue and things are kept remarkably in tact). All-in-all, this is one book that I will recommend to anyone looking to read a good love story, a vivid piece of historical fiction, and just a great piece of story-telling in general! :-)
The first hundred pages were a little tough for me to get through, but it got better.
Even if you have seen the movie, don't assume that you know the whole story. I have seen the movie a few times, but the book blew me away. I learned a whole lot about the Civil War that I did not know--and I am a history buff.
Scarlett is so deliciously shallow, Rhett is so dashing, Ashley such a romantic, and Melanie such a stalwart kind-hearted woman. You will fall in love with the characters. The supporting characters were also well fleshed-out and interesting.
And I loved the ending. I don't think I am giving anything away, since nearly everyone in the free world knows the plot to this book, but Scarlett deserved it!
Wonderful saga of a Southern woman and her familie's struggle during the beginning of the civil war. Scarlett O'Hara's struggles with men and survival after the war are timeless and famous because of the movie epic'Gone With the Wind'. If you've seen the movie, you'll love the book!
I read this book when I was in 8th grade and in about a weeks time. Now, be prepared for something completely different than the movie. Mitchell's writing goes deeper into Scarlett and explores her first two marriages further than the movie - which focused on her relationship with Rhett. But, to me, both the book and movie can stand alone or together. I highly recommend reading this for the charm and beauty of the Old South it will impress you with.
Good read, but for me, it's didn't live up to all the hype. I've read better love stories, and I didn't see what was so amazing about this book. It was good, I'm glad I read it, but I don't see what all the fuss is about.
Great Classic!!!! I figured every reader has to be able to say they have read "Gone with the Wind" so I did. I very much enjoyed reading the historical perspective of the south and the war. Towards the end I was ready for the book to be over. I now will read Scarlett in the near future.
I loved the movie, but the book is so much better. You get to actually understand Scarlett! You know what she's thinking and that makes her more understandable. Her methods have meaning then. I loved the book. It's on my favorites list.
The greatest love story of our time, the story of Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler . . .Margaret Mitchell's monumental epic of the South won a Pulitzer Prize, gave rise to the most popular motion picture of our time, and inspired a sequel that became the fastest selling novel of the century.
WARNING - SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVEN'T AT LEAST SEEN THE MOVIE!
If ever a novel deserves the tag of "Epic", it's this one. It only covers a period of approximately twelve years, but during those years our nation changed drastically - from pre-Civil War, through the war and the first years of reconstruction. And the effects of those years on the southern "nobility" were especially life-changing.
Like most Americans, I've seen the classic movie multiple times. Although I can't remember the last time that I saw the movie in its entirety and don't remember the majority of the movie well, just the big scenes that everyone remembers. It was interesting that while all of the classic lines from the movie ARE in the book, none of them appear to be direct quotes and were altered slightly for the movie. And while there are differences between the book and the movie (a few characters from the book didn't make it into the movie), I believe the overarching plotline is the same.
I had a unique relationship with this book and it's main character (Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler). When I was reading the book, I hated Scarlett for being so selfish and self-centered, while at the same time admiring her for being so strong. But I wanted to shake her and make her wake up and realize what she was doing to herself and the people that loved her! Unfortunately, by the time she does realize this - it's pretty much too late. That probably says something about how well this book is written. The characters are well drawn and you totally fall into their lives. There were points in the book that I got so mad at Scarlett that I actually had to put the book down, but the compelling story always drew me back.
One thing that comes out much better in the book than in the movie is the culture in which Scarlett lived - the culture of the Southern planters and upper class. And when I say class, I mean it. The class structure was alive and well - among both the white and the black population. The white upper class loved and depended upon their slaves and viewed them as family (at least in this book), but treated them like children or pets - not like people at their level. (This attitude towards their slaves was one thing that really bothered me and it took the rating of the book down a little.) The story DOES glorify the pre-Civil war Southern attitude and style of living. And many of the people in this book - mostly white but some black - hung onto to that attitude tenaciously after the war. But the book also realizes that this style of living is essentially GONE after the war - which is what the title of the book refers to. Only the attitude remained. And the book frequently takes about how Southern ladies and gentlemen are expected to act - what they can and can't do. (Which is one of Scarlett's main problems - she can't fit into that mold that society expects of her.) I very much enjoyed the insight that I gained from these parts of the story. And I wonder how much of it is true. My guess is a lot of it, given that Margaret Mitchell grew up in Atlanta not that long after the Civil War (40-50 years).
Lastly, I'll tell you that if had not known what was coming at the end of the book, when I got to the last page I would have thrown the book across the room because the ending was so disappointing. Don't get me wrong, I believe it was a brilliant ending. But I sooooo wanted a different ending and can totally understand why there was a clamor for a sequel for so many years.
This book is a classic. I have read it numerous times and each time I enjoy it more than the last. While Scarlett O'Hara is not a sympathetic character, she is a strong willed woman who knows what she wants and does what she needs to in order to get it...well almost.
I read this book almost cover to cover as a teenager when I lived in the South. I had already seen the movie by then, which is still a classic. But, with a 4 plus hourr screen time (pre mini-series), the director had to leave major parts of the plot out.
Scarlett O'Hara is probably the most compelling heroine ever written, and the story is nothing less than epic. But, with 30 years gone by and a major move to Seattle, the language does make me uncomfortable. If high school children could be forced to read a 500 page book, the same controversy would ensue with "GWTW" as we've seen with "Huckleberry Finn".
Alexandra Ripley modified most of the language in the contracted-for sequel. While the plot wasn't as good because it was just too tidy, the writing did make me less uncomfortable.
Soo, just take the book in context and it should be a compelling read.
Once I got over the shock of the racist language and settled down into the time period in which this book is set (1860s), I was absolutely carried away by Margaret Mitchell's story. Multiple times throughout the book I thought to myself: "There is no wonder this book won the Pulitzer Prize. It deserved it!" The character development was absolutely fantastic. This is so very evident when you read the reviews. How else could readers form such strong opinions? I was also thrilled with the history lessons on the Civil War and Reconstruction in the South that were woven throughout the story. As a resident of the South, I immensely enjoy southern fiction and this novel shoots to the top of my list of favorites.
Sorry...I know this is supposed to be one of the greatest books ever...but I found Scarlet despicable. I can't stand books where the protagonist doesn't redeem herself at all. I know she attempted to on the final pages, but I do not believe it to be sincere. I struggled through actually finishing this book but just kept hoping it would get better. It did not.
I read this for the first time in 8th grade. Many of the concepts and themes were completely lost on me, but I enjoyed what little of the story I understood. 4 years later I was in Paris and found this book in a lovely bookstore, bought it right away and since then have read it several times. I went and bought the sequel, Scarlett, by another author. I haven't read it yet because I don't know what happens and I really don't want it to change how I view the characters now at the end of the book! Frankly I'm scared to read it because I don't want it to ruin the first book!
LOVED IT! a classmate of mine was reading it non-stop (thru lectures even) and i trust her tastes in books. WHAT a great story. i loved scarlett's character faults and all. dont know why i hadnt read it sooner, and i will probably read it again and again.
The greatest novel ever written. . . Scarlett, Rhett, Melanie and Ashley; of love wanted, had and lost; set in the south while the men are off at War.. . .Everyone should own a copy of this book, and read it at least once a year.
Margaret Mitchell was a genius. This book is so detailed and interesting it is hard to describe. It is a very accurate portrayal of life before, during and after the Civil War, in the South. Scarlett was not always an admirable character, but she was not boring...A must read
I did not read this book or see the movie until about a month ago. I ordered this book, and have been spellbound and haunted by it ever since! How did I miss reading this book!? The sequel, Scarlett, is as well written as GWTW, and wraps up all the questions of "what happened next?" in a nice neat package. I read both, then immediately started reading both again. Fantastic, and facinating.
I just finished the book not twenty minutes ago. I am a teenager that read this book by choice. This book was behond amazing. It is now my favorite book of all time. I am a cryer, but only when it comes to books and movies. If you are like this you will need plenty of tissues for the last 45 pages. Don't read if you are unrealistic about life. This book shows a great look into the past and the Civil War on the people of the time. The rich, the poor, the republicans and the democratics. Do not read if you are offended by the Southern white view of Northners or if you are all against slavery.