Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

From Goodreads:

Sometimes only remembered for the epic motion picture and "Frankly ... I don't give a damn," Gone with the Wind was initially a compelling and entertaining novel. It was the sweeping story of tangled passions and the rare courage of a group of people in Atlanta during the time of Civil War that brought those cinematic scenes to life. The reason the movie became so popular was the strength of its characters--Scarlett O'Hara, Rhett Butler, and Ashley Wilkes--all created here by the deft hand of Margaret Mitchell, in this, her first novel. 

This was the longest. book. ever. And I loved it so much that I was STILL sad when it ended.

Where do you even start with a book like Gone with the Wind? With how amazingly fabulous and vibrant and well drawn the characters are? Or with how you were constantly amazed at how perfectly the movie went with the book? Or how in love you are with Rhett Butler? Or how just generally AWESOME the whole thing is??

I both love and hate Scarlett. I love her because she's strong and a survivor and I hate her because it took her 1000 pages to let go of stupid Ashley Wilkes. Paul Newman once said of staying true to Joanne Woodward, "Why go out for hamburger when you have steak at home?" Dude. Ashley Wilkes is hamburger. Rhett! There is your steak, my friend. Swoooon.

Character awesomeness aside, it was fun to suddenly side with the South during the Civil War. History class can only help you understand so much. I remember learning about how the South was fighting to preserve their way of life and I sort of got that but it was reading about how much things changed from that first barbeque at Twelve Oaks to trying to keep Tara afloat to the fall of the "Old Guard" that really drove it home to me. I even sympathized with the South. I GOT why the Civil War was so devastating. Finally. I'm a little slow.

There are few books I bother buying because, hi, that's what the library is for. But this? This I must own. It's one of those books that totally sucks you in and spits you out emotionally drained and a little dazed because, whoa.

I'm now going to go watch the movie. And then I'm going to read it again.