Here are the characters that have become symbols of passion and desire: darkly handsome Rhett Butler and flirtatious Scarlett O'Hara. Behind them stand their gentler counterparts: Ashley Wilkes and Melanie Hamilton. As the lives and affairs of these absorbing characters play out against the tumult of the Civil War, Gone With the Wind reaches dramatic heights that have swept generations of fans off their feet.
Having lived in Atlanta for many years, narrator Linda Stephens has an authentic ear for the dialects of that region. Get ready to hear Gone With the Wind exactly as it was written: every word beautifully captured in a spectacular unabridged audio production.
©1964 Stephens Mitchell; (P)2001 Recorded Books, LLC
"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)
GWTW has been a favourite read of mine since my teen years, but I never realized before how much of the descriptions I tend to skip over in favour of dialogue. Listening to this book has made me hear every word and added a whole new dimension to the story. I thought the narrator was brilliant and the accents added an authenticity - its made me want to study more about the civil war.
I was reluctant to listen to this book because I thought it would be just a boring re-do of the great movie.
However, I think this book is spectacular. I have a personal rating system like Jacob's ladder. This is a five star book above the ordinary five stars. The narration is as good as the book and is what carried me along for several days straight, to the extent I neglected important personal duties...
Besides being a great love story with admirable characters, I learned more history in this book than I thought possible for a single volume. The author captured life in the South during, before and after the Civil War.
Gone With the Wind has been compared to War and Peace. I have listened to them both, and I say War and Peace was a duty to be fulfilled, and that Gone With the Wind an exciting pleasure and a true education, if you want it.
I won't comment on the novel Gone With the Wind, because nothing I can say would do this great classic justice. I will say that Linda Stephens is perhaps the best audiobook narrator I have ever had the pleasure of listening to! She is utterly fantastic.
I had read the book a few times and have seen the movie, so I already knew I liked the story. This narrator does a fantastic job. The book is rather racist and rather sexist (at least with some of the views of women), but consider when it was written and the period in which it was placed. If it was politically correct it likely wouldn't feel as real. It is funny that such unlikable charactors can be so very interesting. It is a shame she only wrote the one book as she is really a great author. I highly recommend the book, don't be afraid of the length, long books are great if well written, and this one is very well written. She could have tacked another 40 hours to the end of it and I wouldn't have minded at all.
Okay, I'm not going to review the text of GWTW. It's been analyzed plenty. It's a brilliant book. 'Nuff said.
What I do want to review is the audio performance. When I saw that GWTW was available in audio format, I was dubious. I'm from the South. (Not the deep South -- Virginia). I speak with a Tidewater accent, which is different to my ear from a Georgia accent, which is different to my ear from a Charleston accent... You get the picture.
Ms. Stephens managed to get the nuances of the various accents well enough not to make me cringe. It sounds like a trivial thing, but since Mitchell, herself, made a big deal of differences of dialect in the actual novel, you need to have it in the performance. I'm so glad that the narrator did not go for that Eastern Tennessee accent that is so often touted as "Generic Southern".
If you love GWTW, get it. If you've never read it, this is a good way to enjoy the book.
I agree with another reviewer that this was one of the best credits I've ever spent, largely due to the excellent performance of the reader. Consistent and distinct characterizations were the highlight of this reading--I was actually brought to tears several times. I will listen to this audiobook over and over again, I'm sure.
Linda Stephens is simply superb in her reading of one of the great novels in American literature. Everything is crystal clear, and the attitudes of the characters and the narrative voice are powerfully suggested. The book is long, but it never FEELS long when read this well.
I have read the book, seen the movie many times, but this was by far the most enjoyable GWTW experience. I heard things I missed or forgot in the read and that were totally not part of the film. For any fan of Margaret Mitchell's masterpiece - the Audio version is a must do!
In the top ten percent.
Mammy. Hands Down. I liked her, because she showed so much love and compassion for the family for whom she worked -- generation after generation -- despite all their foibles, and despite the fact that she was, technically, a slave to them.
EVERYTHING. I don't think that I would have had the patience to read "Gone with the Wind" in print. Linda Stephens not only made this romance novel tolerable, she brought it to life. I would like to listen to more audiobooks narrated by Linda Stephens.
Mammy, again. She held the O'Hara family together. She saw to everyone's needs, and kept everyone in line.
"Gone with the Wind" definitely deserves its classic status. Even though I generally have no interest in romance novels, I listened to this one with rapt attention almost all the way through. At the end, it degenerates a bit into bodice-ripper territory; but, otherwise, Margaret Mitchell has left us a magnificent story, well-told. I most value her presentation of the Civil War from the South's point of view. All history should be taught in this way: through stories of the people who lived it. Mitchell shows us the OTHER side of the story -- particularly the War's effects on the black people. She shows us how Emancipation was initiated too fast, how the black people -- formerly enslaved, told what to do, and (ideally) looked after by their white masters -- were suddenly thrown into society with no education and no preparation. I never would have believed it before I listened to "Gone with the Wind," but Mitchell actually describes the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in a sympathetic way. If you have seen the movie, you will probably be envisioning Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, because he epitomized the part. Scarlett O'Hara annoyed me no end; but it speaks to Mitchell's skill that she made us care about Scarlett, despite her spoiled, shallow silliness. I recommend this audiobook to just about everyone ... even if you don't like romances, and even if you don't like history.
Having been born an umpteenth generational Georgian, I have been a fan of GWTW since my first encounter with the movie at age fourteen. Of course I have read the novel, but wanted to add this audiobook to my collection of all things GWTW. I did however, hold my breath about hearing someone's idea of what Southeners are supposed to sound like. You would be surprised at how often it is done so tooth-grating awful a real Southener can't stand to listen, and there are some movies I just can't watch due to the butchering of our dialect. Linda Stephens not only got it right, but did a good job with the dozens of voices. Must have been quite a chore to get through the entire tome, but she did it well and never failed or sounded bored. It was a joy to listen to.
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