Through the storytelling mastery of award-winning writer Donald McCaig, the life and times of the enigmatic Rhett Butler unfolds. Meet Rhett as a boy, a free spirit who loved the marshes and the tidewaters of the Low Country, and learn of the ruthlessness of his father, whose desire for control resulted in unspeakable tragedy. Through Rhett's eyes we meet the people who shaped him in other ways: the overseer's daughter, Belle Watling; Rhett's brave and determined sister, Rosemary; Tunis Bonneau, the son of freed slaves and Rhett's childhood friend who understood him like no one else; and Jack Ravanel, whose name became inextricably linked to heartbreak.
And then, of course, there is Scarlett. Katie Scarlett O'Hara, the headstrong, passionate woman whose life is entwined with Rhett's: more like him than she cares to admit, more in love with him than she'll ever know.Rhett Butler's People, brought to vivid and authentic life by the hand of a master, fulfills the dreams of those whose imaginations have been indelibly marked by Gone with the Wind.
©2007 Stephens Mitchell Trusts; (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC
I really didn't like this book. Of course, I read it anyway, and I imagine any Gone With the Wind fan will read it despite this review—what fan could resist? However, I was extremely disappointed.
It tells the story of Rhett from youth until a little after the ending of Gone With the Wind. It introduces new characters important to Rhett that were not in the original book, which is fine, and looks at the original characters from a different point of view, which is fine, but it just never came to life. Most of the events are related like a travelogue. The book may say that so-and-so is dashing, or so-and-so captivating, but you have to take its word for it, because the characters just don't make you feel it for yourself. Maybe some of that is the reader, whom I wasn’t terribly fond of either, but I there’s only so much you can do with a basically shallow story and uninteresting dialog.
As for the events themselves, they are not compelling. You get more details of the war, and lots of gruesome war casualties, and you get a whole lot more on Klan activities and the ugliness of the white supremacism-- both of which detract from the grandeur and romance of the original story without really giving you anything in return. The extrapolation of what happens after the ending of the original book is also unsatisfying. There is no believable account of how or why the surviving characters are suddenly able to overcome all their previous hang-ups and live happily ever after.
I realize this is a contentious statement, but I was much happier with "Scarlett". Of course, nothing can compare to the original story, but I thought "Scarlett" was much truer to the characters, and did a much better job of showing how those characters might have believably developed, matured, and come to a resolution of their conflicts.
I enjoyed this book immensely; as a GWTW fan of forty years, I was glad to see everybody again.
That said, it is not Gone with the Wind, nor was it written by Margaret Mitchell. As long as you treat it as a reflection of the original, you will enjoy it immensely.
This was extremely disappointing. It's just boring. The characters are one-dimensional, nothing ever really seems to happen. No comparison, in my book, to Gone With the Wind.
I've read other "retellings" of famous novels and enjoyed them all, but not this one. It is not at all true to the original story. I was looking for the same story told from Rhett's point of view, but instead it's a totally unfaithful retelling, introduces major characters that were never in the original and changes the stories of major characters that were. The narration isn't that great either.
I bought this one two years ago and loved it. In an attempt to be frugal, I'm trying to re-listen to the books in my library. Some were good the first time, but a chore the second time through. Rhett Butler's People was so entertaining, it was like listening to it for the first time. Great, great book, even if your not familiar with Gone With The Wind.
OK, there are a few (ok, a lot) of places where it doesn't "toe the mark" as far as a GWTW afficianado would be concerned but it is a great story. I had no problem listening all the way through - great ending, too. Worth the listen...
THis is definitely one of those 'guilty pleasure' books. As a huge fan of "GWTW", it was easy to get into this book quickly and it definitely kept me listening. Even though it was INCREDIBLY predictable, it was like being 'home' again with the familiar characters I'd read in childhood. I enjoyed the other sequel "Scarlet" more, but this definitely kept me listening.
I enjoyed seeing Rhett's side of the story rather than having it all be about Scarlett (as was in "Gone With The Wind". It filled in some gaps as to who he really was. I also enjoyed the history lesson that played along side the story. I recommend this book!
As much as I loved Gone With the Wind, I hated Rhett Butler's People.
Like the other GWTW spin-off book, "Scarlett", the storytelling is in no way equal to that of Margaret Mitchell, and the re-imagining of the main characters, namely Scarlett and Rhett, takes away much of their original charm.
Also, while I realize that "Scarlett" wasn't exactly a glorious success, and the Mitchell family gave Donald McCaig license to ignore "Scarlett" and to re-imagine the characters established in it, I found that I really disliked this re-imagining.
Also, parts of GWTW are essentially simply re-told from Rhett's POV, which could have been interesting and exciting, but is actually pretty disappointing, because both characters are written with a little less edge, a bit more emotional depth. While a bit of emotional depth SOUNDS good, it's so far from canon, from what we were shown in GWTW, that it comes across as false and forced.
In GWTW, neither character was particularly likable, and this fact was part of why they were so successful, both separately and together. In this book, however, I felt that both were written with a secret kindness that we'd been led to believe did not exist, either in Scarlett or Rhett. Granted, in the original book, Rhett secretly loved Scarlett completely, but he was never soft.
All in all, a disappointing book, and a waste of a credit, in my humble opinion.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.