Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Its not hard to see why Gone with the Wind is loved by a lot of readers. Its a cracking read which has 'best seller' practically stamped all over it. The four main characters are incredibly flawed to the point where I didn't even like one or two of them yet I still cared about them and the historical detail is packed in there helping to propel the story rather than bog it down.

Due to the novels size there is time for development of the four main characters. Scarlett and Rhett are quite often horrible to others as well as each-other but they are highly entertaining to read about and I found them believable, I also found Melanie very interesting with her extreme naivete mixed occasionally with some very strong actions. The only character I had a bit of a problem with was Ashley really, as the novel progressed I could not understand why Scarlett was so in love with the guy and some of his actions seemed really out of character, he just ended up really annoying me.

I do also have to mention the racism in Gone with the Wind, especially towards the later part of the book. Obviously you have to take into account when the novel was set so I'm not so much talking about the characters actions as I am about the reality of slavery being largely absent from the novel, the stereotypes, the depictions of the Ku Klux Klan and a few of the authors descriptions. This wasn't something I was expecting and it truly shocked me.

However this is a novel worth reading. Some scenes (like the final one) will stick in my head for a long time to come and I enjoyed not only the characters journeys but the historical details too. The story doesn't drag and overall it is a great read.

Verdict 4/5

Posted by Jess


  1. I love it. I think since it was one of the first movies I ever saw, the story has always been very much a part of me, so when I finally read the book, it was just so much love. I also hated Ashley but loved Melanie, which I didn't in the movie so that was nice.

    You're right about the racism of course, it's really very jarring.

  2. Wow, good point. That probably would have shocked me too, because I'm so familiar with the film where it didn't seem so bad. But I can't wait to read this book!

  3. I loved this book! I remember being surprised by the appearance of the KKK and it did put me off some of the characters, but this book has grown on me with time. It really stays with me and I now count it among my favourites.

  4. It's great to read something from my mother's era. I haven't seen the film nor read the book. Maybe I should.

    Thanks for the review!

  5. Amy - I have never seen the movie so its interesting that Ashley is less annoying in it. Its a great read so I'm not surprised ppl love it.

    Toni - if you loved the film then you will love the book but be prepared for some of the potrayals and the introduction of the KKK

    Jackie - it has everything really doesnt it and although the love story wasnt central I did love how that all panned out. I have recommended it to several other ppl IRL

    Jov - oh I certainly would as it is good but beware its like over 1000 pages!

  6. A classic favourite of mine as well. I checked in my book of words to see when I first read it and it was 1983 when I was probably a similar age to you.

  7. I read this one a fwe years ago and really liked it too. I was surprised by some of the differences between the book and the movie though. I also agree that Ashley never seemed too appealing to me.

  8. I saw the movie with my grandfather two years ago, and he fell asleep while watching it. LOL. I loved it, though, the characters, the setting, etc. The only thing I didn't like was Ashley. Like you, I don't understand why Scarlett went crazy over him.

    I intend to read the book some time in the future, but I find its length intimidating. :)

  9. this was one of the first "chunky" books I read for fun in high school...I loved it, and have seen the movie more than once...such perfect casting I thought.

  10. LindyLouMac - you know its one of those books that I wished I'd read as a teenager, oh I bet I would have dreamed about it for days if I had!

    Avid Reader - Im glad Im not the only one that thinks that about Ashley but I'm not surprised the movie differed on same ways, and doesn't it sound better as 'Frankly my dear?

    Darlyn - if you loved the movie then you will love love the book I think. read it when you in the mood for a long saga type love epic cos it is bloody huge.

    TheBookGirl - I though Scarlet and Rhett were perfectly cast in the movie, they looked exactly how I imagined them

  11. I'vehad this on my shelf for years and need to read it. I wasn't all that crazy about the movie, like you I didn't really like the characters on a personal level.

  12. I've only seen the movie, so it is on my Must Reads for this summer!

  13. I read this book in high school and remember really enjoying it. I think I might re-read it for the Civil War challenge. You'd think that the slavery aspect of the war would have been included, given that the book was written well after the war; I wonder how much of its absence is because of the author's personal feelings on the subject?

    I hope it's okay for me to link to your review on War Through the Generations.

  14. This is one of those books that I have meant to get round to reading for years and never have. I think the size puts me off. I must give it a go though as nearly everyone has good things to say about it.