After finally getting round to watching the movie of the same name and thoroughly enjoying it I decided to tackle “Gone With the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell as my holiday read. When one considers its length and its reputation for being somewhat different to the movie, I really didn’t know what to expect. Nevertheless I wanted to read the book, as I am making a concious effort to read more classic/unusual literature as of late.
I absolutely loved the way Mitchell put across various characters throughout the novel. As the book is so detailed, it would be simply impossible to discuss my feelings about every character, so I shall keep my ramblings to a small number of them. The characters that spring to mind whenever “Gone With the Wind” is brought up are Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler, although Ashely and Melanie Wilkes are also significant. My favourite and least favourite character had to be Scarlett; she’s detestable yet you can’t help but want her to triumph. Margaret Mitchell has, in essence, created the perfect bitchy but ambitious spoiled brat. Rhett, on the other hand, was a much more complex character.
Any aspect of the plot involving him was usually unpredictable- half the time he was sweet and nice however he could also be mean and cruel. For the majority of the book, however, he is the loveable rogue with a heart. Whilst being necessary to the plot, the Wilkes are much less scandalous and much more ordinary.
As it was written in a manner not dissimilar to “To Kill a Mockingbird” (one of my favourite books), I found the book to be an incredibly easy read. It kept me interested for the duration of a two week holiday with ease.Even my eagle eyes could not spot a single error anywhere in the novel- it really is a flawless book.
As a whole, I adored “Gone With The Wind”. I can now class it as one of my favourite books, as well as one of the best books I have ever read. Despite its length, I really would recommend it to anyone who desires a great story. Simply brilliant! In fact, my only criticism of the book is its use of “My Dear, I don’t give a damn” instead of Clark Gable’s edgier “Frankly, my Dear I don’t give a damn” from the film. Other than that, I would regard the book as superior to the movie. It’s also very different from the movie, it’s easy to see where 1930s censorship rules required the movie to be toned down. This led to Scarlett being more malicious, scandalous and interesting in the novel!
Rating: 10/10 (Despite its lack of the truly beautiful Clark Gable…)
“All wars are sacred. To those who have to fight in them. If the people who started wars didn’t make them sacred, who would be foolish enough to fight? But, no matter what rallying cries the orators give to the idiots who fight, no matter what noble purposes they assign to wars, there is never but one reason for a war. And that is money. All wars are in reality money squabbles. But so few people ever realize it. Their ears are too full of bugles and drums and fine words from stay-at-home orators.” -Rhett Butler