Book Reviews

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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List Price: £8.99


Paperback: 1024 Pages.

Published: 09 August 1996 by Pan

Edition: Main Market

ISBN: 0330323490

EAN: 9780330323499

Set against the dramatic background of the American Civil War, Margaret Mitchell's magnificent historical epic is an unforgettable tale of love and loss, of a Nation mortally divided and people forever changed.

Above all, it is the story of beautiful, ruthless Scarlett O'Hara and the dashing soldier of fortune, Rhett Butler.


5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Bill Stilling

A dramatical epic of love and loss.

 This is a story which most people will have seen, rather than read.  The film is 2 minutes short of four hours and the book slightly more than 1000 pages, at least in the version which I have just read.  Having read the book I find it hard to imagine that even a film of that length could do real justice to this epic.

 The main theme throughout the book is the love which Scarlett O'Hara has for Ashley, which dictates her actions and thoughts to the very end, when she discovers that she was never really in love with him, but just with his persona.  

Ashley marries early in the book and when he goes to fight in the Civil War he charges Scarlett with taking care of Melanie, his pregnant wife. They make a journey across battlefields, with little food and in a ramshackle cart to reach the Tara plantation, Scarlett's home.

Throughout the book Rhett Butler keeps appearing and disappearing, while Scarlett cannot decide whether she loves or likes him, or should have nothing to do with him.  What makes the book so special is the characterisation of individuals, especially Scarlett, and the description of the destruction which the armies wilfully do to property and land, which leaves the bulk of the populace destitute. 

The other major theme is the importance which is placed on each individual's place in the social hierachy.  This extends from the “old families” at the top through “white trash”, “Carpetbaggers” and down to “darkies”, who have their own places such as indoor or outdoor slaves. Social behaviour is closely scrutinised so that, for example, a pregnant woman must never be seen by any males.  Pregnancy is considered to be an embarrassing condition! 

To summarise therefore, I found this to be a fascinating book which held my attention throughout and gave me an insight into the American Civil War and the social standards in place at that time.

Language ___ Violence X__ Sex ___

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