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Gone with the Wind Mass Market Paperback – May 20, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Beyond a doubt one of the most remarkable first novels produced by an American writer. It is also one of the best." -- The New York Times

"The best novel to have ever come out of the South...it is unsurpassed in the whole of American writing." -- The Washington Post

"Fascinating and unforgettable! A remarkable book, a spectacular book, a book that will not be forgotten!" -- Chicago Tribune

"Gone with the Wind is one of those rare books that we never forget. We read it when we're young and fall in love with the characters, then we watch the film and read the book again and watch the film again and never get tired of revisiting an era that is the most important in our history. Rhett and Scarlet and Melanie and Ashley and Big Sam and Mammy and Archie the convict are characters who always remain with us, in the same way that Twain's characters do. No one ever forgets the scene when Scarlet wanders among the wounded in the Atlanta train yard; no one ever forgets the moment Melanie and Scarlet drag the body of the dead Federal soldier down the staircase, a step at a time. Gone with the Wind is an epic story. Anyone who has not read it has missed one of the greatest literary experiences a reader can have." -- James Lee Burke, bestselling author of The Tin Roof Blowdown

"I first read Gone with the Wind in grade school--a boy of the upper South who'd seen the great movie and felt compelled to learn what lay behind it, all thousand-plus pages worth. No page disappointed me. What other American novel surpasses its eagerness to tell a great story of love and war; what characters equal the cantankerous passions of Scarlett and Rhett? Even Scott Fitzgerald spoke well of it. What more could I ask, even seven decades later?" -- Reynolds Price

"In my own personal life, I find many similarities to Scarlett's: The whole 17-inch waist thing notwithstanding, I do love a barbecue, both for the food and the men--I have been known to "eat like a field hand and gobble like a hawg"--I admit that at least on one occasion I may have feigned interest in some guy to further my own interests--I have fought tooth, toenail and tirelessly for my family--I learn slow but I learn good--and even so, I still adore the prospect of dealing with most things...Tomorrow." -- Jill Conner Browne, The Sweet Potato Queen, bestselling author of The Sweet Potato Queens' First Big-Ass Novel

"In 1936 I was in E.M. Daggett Junior High in Ft. Worth, Texas. By some chance I was able to read Gone with the Wind early on. Then and now, I found it one of the great experiences of a young life. I still list it as one of my 10 favorite books." -- Liz Smith, nationally syndicated columnist

"Not just a great love story, Gone with the Wind is one of the most powerful anti-war novels ever written. Told from the standpoint of the women left behind, author Margaret Mitchell brilliantly illustrates the heartbreaking and devastating effects of war on the land and its people." -- Fannie Flagg, Academy Award nominated-author

"Let's say you've read Gone with the Wind at least twice, and seen the movie over and again. So, here's a thought. Buy this handsome paperback edition, just for Pat Conroy's preface. This passionate, nearly breathless love letter is a Song of Solomon to Margaret Mitchell, Scarlett O'Hara, and Conroy's beautiful, GTW-obsessed mother. Indeed, his luminous preface packs a durable wallop, just like the epic Pulitzer prize-winning work that inspires it." -- Jan Karon, author of The Mitford Years series

"GWTW is an indelible portrait of a unique time and place, American's greatest political and moral conflict, and the myths that surround it -- an all absorbing spectacle of a read even for postmodern readers. Mitchell vividly portrays the disillusionment and devastation of war, the ignorance of the uninitiated, and the transformation of arrogance into tenacity that shaped the first "new South." All the details of history and place come together as a rich backdrop for those unforgettable characters: shallow and selfish Scarlett, sincere Melanie, moony-eyed Ashley, and the sage, pragmatic, dashing, and rakish Rhett Butler--the most enduring heartthrob of American literature has produced. I'd reread the book for the thrill of Rhett alone!" -- Darnell Arnoult, author of Sufficient Grace

"For sheer readability I can think of nothing it must give way before. Miss Mitchell proves herself a staggeringly gifted storyteller."
--The New Yorker

About the Author

Margaret Mitchell was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the daughter of an attorney who was president of the Atlanta Historical Society. She married in 1925, and spent the following ten years putting down on paper the stories she had heard about the Civil War. The result was Gone With The Wind, first published in 1936. It won the Pulitzer price, sold over ten million copies, was translated into eighteen languages and was later made into one of the best-loved films of all time starring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable. This book, a record bestseller, was her only published work. She died in 1949. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 1472 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reissue edition (May 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416548947
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416548942
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 2.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,881 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

604 of 648 people found the following review helpful By Mark D Burgh on November 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I'm a literary snob, I'll admit it. I've read all the classics, and I even know some Literary Theory. Gone With the Wind? Pul-lease, racist, sexist, revanchist trash, made popular by all the young woman dreaming of being Scarlett and having both their Rhett and Ashley. Cheerleader fare. Escapist. WRONG!
Gone with the Wind is an American War & Peace. This is serious literature, which won the Pulitzer prize, no less. Most people don't see past the epic plot (which isn't as cut and dried as you may think) or the love story, but this is no less than a successfull attempt to reclaim a discarded culture. It is not about crinoline and lace, it it about the Apocalypse and how losers of the counter-revolution must learn to live in a place where all their politics, personal or civil, are demolished. Scarlett O'Hara is popular because she is an American, driven, materialistic, sentimental and utterly ruthless. Rhett Bulter is the tragic character of this book; the way of life and ideals he disdained are killing him, and he suffers like no one else in this post-apocalyptic landscape. His departure at the end is an act of contrition as much as a romantic failure; he had tried to recreate the materialism of the ante-bellum world, but negeclected the spirituality (such as it is) of men like Ashley Wilkes. Both men, the dreamer and the realist end up alone in a very sterile place. This book is proto-feminist as well. Scarlett survives, even as everything around her dies, but in the end, she too is alone.
Don't dumb this masterpiece down. The movie fails to capture even a tenth of the depth here. And that awful sequel! Caused by the mistake that this book is some kind of romance novel. This is Art, and you can't stick a new ending on it, any more than you can a great painting or musical composition.
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261 of 277 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've read GWTW many times -once you get going you can't stop! I once gave a copy to a friend to read -she said it was 'too old fashioned' oh well her loss. I'm glad I'm in the company of true 'Windies' so I thought I'd share with you some interesting facts about the book: -Scarlett was originally named Pansy
-Scarlett was partly based on Mitchell herself and her grandmother
-Rhett was based on Mitchell's first husband Red Upshaw
-the initials JRM in her dedication refer to her second husband John Reginald Marsh
-Margaret Mitchell maintained the only character taken from real life was Prissy the maid
-When asked who she'd like to be in the movie version, Mitchell said 'Prissy'
-Like a detective novelist, Mitchell wrote the last chapter first and the first chapter last
-GWTW is the only book to sell more copies than the bible
-Mitchell nearly went blind just proofreading the manuscript!
-Mitchell scrupously researched every detail for GWTW, even going to the town register to ensure there was no Rhett Butler or Scarlett O'Hara alive during the Civil War
-The novel took ten years to complete, most of it was written in three
-For style, she endeavoured to make her prose so that a five-year old could read it
-If she were ever to write a sequel, it would be called 'Back With the Breeze' On that note,please avoid the Ripley penned sequel 'Scarlett', it is atrocious.
-Gone with the Wind is my favourite book of all time, and yours too, I hope. Enjoy!
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162 of 173 people found the following review helpful By Misfit VINE VOICE on August 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
I would give this 10 stars if I could. I haven't read this since I was a young girl in the early 70's and should never have waited so long to read it again. The characters were exceptionally well drawn, the dialogue was brilliant, particularly between Rhett (SIGH!) and Scarlett. I swear there was sparks flying off the pages. I am going to miss the people I will have to put behind me now that the book has come to an end, Rhett (SIGH), Scarlett, Mammy, Prissy and Aunt Pitty Pat (LOL).

The author's use of prose was beautiful, all the scenes and action came alive for me. Some people seem to be offended by the racism in the book, but that's how things were back then. Sugar coating it would have ruined the story reducing it to a Harlequin romance.

This is an incredibly well written book about the death of a civilization and the struggles to survive in the new era. This is a book that should not be missed, particulary those who enjoy historical fiction.
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173 of 190 people found the following review helpful By Mark Blackburn on March 17, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It took this reviewer half a century to get around to reading this great novel for the first time! Appreciating it then, with 'fresh eyes' I share the view that "Gone With The Wind" is quite simply the most readable long novel of all time. With world-wide sales nudging 25 million, it's probably fair to say that most first-time readers (apart from the odd reviewer here at the world's biggest web site) have shared that opinion in the almost 70 years since Margaret Mitchell wrote her one-and-only book. At least one other, highly readable novelist of the past century, the late James A. Michener certainly felt that way.

I'm recalling an interview of thirty years ago in which Michener - a master storyteller in his own right - expressed awe at Mitchell's achievement. I remember Michener quoted a long-forgotten critic who greeted the book's release in 1936 with the perfect, one-sentence summing up: "It's the shortest long novel I have ever read!" Michener predicted at that time (1975) that "critics will forever have to grapple with the problem of why Margaret Mitchell's novel has remained so readable, and so important to so many people."

Michener singled out a few of the "super-dramatic confrontations" so perfectly conjured up in Mitchell's lucid, timeless writing style: Mammy lacing Scarlett into her corset; the wounded at the railway station; Scarlett shooting the Union straggler; the girls making Scarlett a dress from the moss-green velvet draperies; Rhett carrying his wife upstairs to the long-unused bedroom.
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