Scarlett. Here is the reason I have listened so many times: I am trying to figure out, for the life of me, HOW Scarlett is a sympathetic character! She's conceded, arrogant, self-centered, a HORRIBLE mother, incapable of being a friend, treats people as disposable objects to be used as a means to an end, et cetera! Yet, I root for her the entire time! Why?? I love her and think she is great and amazing, and I don't know why.
This book is a work of art. It enhances the movie and vice versa. The description of each and every character in the book is SPOT ON in the movie. I don't know how they did it! They omitted the most appropriate aspects of the book for the movie, for instance Scarlett's first child. Every book-based movie has to take a lot out, but I thought they did a wonderful job of telling the story with all the important details in tact, such as the depth of the characters.
Vivien Leigh is a literal embodiment of Scarlett (aside from the first lines in the book which describe Scarlett as not particularly pretty despite her attractiveness).
Avid reader and listener, of both fiction on non-fiction. I especially love history, adventure, and creative, clever and unusual characters!
God's nightgown! This is now in my top ten books ever, and Scarlett O'Hara is in my top three favorite heroines! In Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell creates some of the deepest, most real characters I've ever met in fiction. Scarlett becomes so genuine that the reader will not be surprised by her actions or reactions to events. This is not because she is boring or predictable, but more like "Well, of course Scarlett would do something like that!" One of my favorite aspects of this book is the dialogue. The conversations can go on at length and still be engaging--I guess it's just like real life. As a matter of fact, the dialogue is such a strength of this book that the only reason I gave the "story" rating 4 stars instead of 5 is because I wish there were more dialogue. And the reader is a joy to listen to. She does a lovely job with Scarlett, but I was most surprised by the way she brings Rhett's character to life. He actually sounds like a lovable scoundrel!
Another favorite aspect of the book is listening to Scarlett's internal thoughts, struggles and conflicts. The way she makes decisions and justifies them make her a very three dimensional, believable and dynamic character. One of the things she says to herself often is probably the best summary of her overall character: "I won't think about that right now. I'll think about it tomorrow."
Aside from the character development, I was impressed with the way Margaret Mitchell conveyed the absolute devastation of the war and its aftermath on the south. The looting and destruction (by both sides), the death toll, the starvation and desperation and fear of the people are heart wrenching.
I do not want to give away too much plot, because fans of the film will encounter many surprises that did not appear in the film, some of them minor and some substantial. Fans of the film will also enjoy the fuller roles of characters like Gerald O'Hara, Frank Kennedy, Aunt Pitty Pat, the Atlanta neighbors (the Meads, the Merriweathers, etc.), Big Sam and others. Ashley Wilkes is a more real, more flawed and conflicted man. And who can resist Rhett Butler, who somehow is just as charming and dashing in the novel as he is on screen. By the way, listening to this book gives me a greater appreciation for the film (is that even possible?). The way the characters are portrayed on screen is SO faithful to the way they are written by the author in the book--Scarlett is just as shrewd and selfish, Melanie is just as selfless, Rhett is just as roguish--it is really a compliment to the actors and director. In other words, these are the characters you expect, just fuller, more developed, more flawed and more likeable at the same time.
The one thing that is more prevalent in the book than in the film is the attitude toward blacks, both as slaves and as freed people. It was occasionally jarring to me (as a modern [white] reader) to see how the attitudes (positive and negative) of the past were portrayed, both of southerners and northerners. Sometimes the scenes are heartwarming, such as when Scarlett is offended and brought to tears listening to "yankee" women speak disparagingly of blacks in front of Uncle Peter, a former slave (now hired hand) that Scarlett describes as "one of our family." Scarlett's love, devotion and respect for characters like Mammy, Pork and Big Sam are prevalent throughout the book. But sometimes it appears as negative stereotype, such as Scarlett's view of freedmen work crews at her lumber mill as unreliable and lazy. Of course this is a work of fiction and not a history text, but I am sure it reflects the author's life experience of the early 20th century. All that being said, I did not find it so shocking that it ruined the story for me. As much as we see things differently today, and would disagree with some of it, it does add complexity and realism to the story.
Overall, this is one of the best character-driven novels ever written, and it is no surprise that it is one of the most popular stories of all time. Any fan of historical fiction owes it to himself to read (listen to) this novel.
Listen to all kinds, but mostly enjoy witty light-hearted entertaining reads. Stay away from romance novels & books with heavy violence.
I was totally hooked on the book - having never read the story before nor ever watched the movie. The language in the book was at times rather difficult and I found myself turning down the volume for fear someone would hear, but you have to put it in perspective that it was written in a different time (still hard to listen to though). The story itself was great and tragic, so I can completely see why it was made into a movie. Worth the read if nothing else for the history.
A shorter story!! And for Scarlet to be nicer.
She was fine.
None I guess.
I just can't stand self absorbed people o it detracted from the story for me.
Professional woman, reading constantly
You know, I really didn't want to use a credit to purchase this great old novel. I have seen the movie many times, read the book many times........but I thought, I'd like to listen to it on audio book and see if I enjoyed it as much as the movie or reading the book. The audio book pushed "Gone With the Wind" to new heights! I am totally blown away by the amount of things I seemed to have missed in the movie and the book. WOW! I may have just forgotten many of these story elements, but loved having them 're-delivered' in a whole different format.
The narrator, Linda Stephens, is extraordinary and I can't begin to imagine anyone else narrating. Her changes from character to character, her accents and her timing are all to be commended. I'd give her more than 5 stars if possible. She managed to give the entire story believability and feeling.
If you have seen the movie, the characters are already stuck in your mind: Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, and the rest of the entourage. I never cared for the guy who played Ashley Wilke's character movie character because he always seems sort of whimpy and dorky to me but can see a whole different guy as I listen to the audio book. I suppose it's MORE obvious to me now, why Scarlett was so in love with him......never quite believed that before......but that's me.
Anyway, I totally loved listening the book and will probably listen to it again someday. I highly recommend it, especially to those who have seen the movie or read the book before. And kudos to Linda Stephens.....you are awesome!
The narrator is one of the best I have ever listened to. The book is amazing and it's history speaks for itself.
Everything, the story and narration are flawless. This was my first Audible purchase and the experience hooked me. I did not want it to end, so I listened to it again!
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One of the best books I've listened to!
Melanie is my favorite character because she thinks she is weak but when the going gets tough, she's the one who doesn't back down.
I have enjoyed the movie from the first time I saw it many years ago, but never took the time to read the book. As usual the book is much better than the movie, yet the experience of seeing the movie so many times lent to a more enjoyable listen.
This was my first time for listening to Linda Stephens and she was a true joy. She brought the story to life in a most wonderful manner.
This was one of my best used credits!