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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Margaret Mitchell's great novel of the South is one of the most popular books ever written. Within six months of its publication in 1936, Gone With the Wind had sold a million copies. To date, it has been translated into 25 languages, and more than 28 million copies have been sold.

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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    5,975
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    259
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Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.8 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

Yes, I know

As far as I'm concerned, this is probably my favorite book of all time. I understand that there are folks out there who think the book is shameful and terrible, and I honestly don't understand why.

If you read it thinking that it's supposed to be a historically accurate portrayal of the south before, during, and after the Civil War, then yes, it looks like the book trivializes slavery, paints all men as idiots and all women as shrews.

If, however, you look at it as a work of fiction, it seems clear to me that it wasn't meant to describe life as it truly was, but to show what it might have looked like through the eyes of a young white girl.

With one exception, the characters are a bunch of selfish, difficult, judgmental jerks, and the protagonist (Scarlett) is the worst of the lot.

They're also a bunch of survivors, doing what they think is right, or what they think they can get away with, in order to see themselves and their families through difficult times.

This is the best credit I've ever spent, and I highly recommend this book to anyone who can separate fact from fiction, and appreciates the latter even when the subject matter is ugly.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Gone With The Wind

My favority all time book. I've read it several times but listening to it is the best. I highly recommend it to anyone. There is a reason it's a classic.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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The South's Palladium: The Southern Woman


I was as pleasantly surprised by this novel as any in recent memory. Some folks may find irony in educated Southerners' detestation of the Southern stigma: the prejudice of some outside the American South who scoff, sneer and laugh at Southerners as a bunch of backwards rednecks who romanticize the antebellum South and the rebel flag. Author Julia Reed, who's attuned to the Southern psyche, veriloquently speaks of "the deep-dyed fear that lives in the heart of every Southerner, myself included, that a Yankee is putting us down."

Over thirty years ago, after watching the film version of "Gone with the Wind," I retained very little and came away with a sick feeling deep down. The brilliant actor Robert Duvall hit the nail on the head:

Hollywood has always had a patronizing attitude toward the South. I couldn't sit through 'Gone with the Wind,' it was so bad. There should be a line of guys with shotguns at the Mason-Dixon line to tell actors, 'You can't come here unless you know what you're doing.'


Ever since, I've held the preconception that the novel is a nostalgic romance--near propaganda--which painted as "Eden" the Old South before the Civil War. I do NOT call this war the War Between the States, nor do I believe it was a war over states' rights or a "lost cause"; it was about the rights of all human beings to freedom from the inhumane evil of enslavement.

No doubt, too many Southerners continue to romanticize the antebellum South. Here's a prime example, from Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede, a nightly show in Pigeon Force, Tennessee, which performance includes "Once Upon a Southern Time": "Once upon a Southern time / On this great plantation / Life was like a fairy tale / Filled with romance."

Offensive, I know. In my lifetime, I'm glad to say that I've seen significant strides made toward eradication of this pathetic Southern sentimentalization. I've ensured that my three children are instilled with the certainty that racism is both evil and intolerable and that, far from an Eden, the romanticized Old South was a den of iniquity.

All of this brings me to my commentary that Gone with the Wind is a thought-provoking novel full of colorful, dynamic characters, keenly delineated. This sweeping epic follows the high-spirited and tenacious and ruthless Scarlett O'Hara, who was also completely naive and ignorant in matters of the heart.

Groundbreaking in the South for 1939, the novel shows the complexities of many Southerners' feelings in the aftermath of the Civil War: much more than meets the eye underlies the negativities toward the Union and toward those who romanticized the pre-war South. Compare, for example,

"Now the chandelier hung dark. It was twisted askew and most of the prisms were broken, as if the Yankee occupants had made their beauty a target for their boots."

with

"Scarlett hated them, these smiling, light-footed strangers, these proud fools who took pride in something they had lost, seeming to be proud that they had lost it."


The novel is also feminist in showing the importance of strong females after the Civil War, particularly given the propensity of males to bear juvenile grudges and act irrationally in service thereof. O'Hara has come to be an icon for the Southern woman and the resilience of the human spirit in the South in overcoming seemingly insurmountable adversities. As W.J. Cash aptly observed in his 1941 The Mind of the South," the Southern woman "was the South's Palladium..., the standard for its rallying, the mystic symbol of its nationality in the face of the foe."

Learning my suspicions about the novel were unfounded was most satisfying and reminded me that perhaps "the past and present coexist here as nowhere on earth, side by side, as though one cannot live without the other." Eddy L. Harris.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Superb story diminished by flawed narration

What did you love best about Gone with the Wind?

Fantastic blend of engaging fiction set in an important and incredible period of history.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I'm afraid this goes against the grain of many positive reviews for the narration, but I find her habit of pausing every five to ten words, regardless of the story's context, to be distracting, almost an affectation. She often does not seem to be in sync with the rhythm of the story, of knowing when to allow the words to simply flow. Perhaps it's done for dramatic effect; I find it's overdone. But this was a relatively small price to pay for the pleasure of listening to this superb story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • GK
  • 05-15-14

Superb!

Any additional comments?

We all know this movie well. As wonderful as the movie is, it can't and doesn't do justice to the book. I found myself skipping back just to listen to the same descriptions and dialog over again. I took my time with this one and loved every minute.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Frankly, incredible!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Scarlett, Rhett, Melanie!

What about Linda Stephens’s performance did you like?

Ms. Stephens was incredible! She brought Scarlett's world to life! Thank you!

Any additional comments?

I read this book when I was 16. It was so fun to listen to it on audio. GWTW remains one of my all time favorite books!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A classic finally comes to life.

What did you love best about Gone with the Wind?

The movie version has been on my wife's favorite movie list since high school. I've bought her collector editions of the novel as well. This is the first time I've picked up the book and had a listen. What a pleasant surprise. The narration is superb. Scarlet, Melanie, Ashley, Rett, they all come to life. It's a long book (longer than the movie!) but time flew by. Highly recommended for the period history and thought process of the time. May not be totally accurate because it's still fiction. I'm glad I listened to it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Such a lovely classic

What about Linda Stephens’s performance did you like?

Even after 49 hours you loved listening to her read. Her voice was so true to the characters that you really connect with the story and forget it is recorded. It felt like reading in that regard.

Any additional comments?

My favorite audio book on Audible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul
  • West Blocton, AL, United States
  • 12-17-11

Excellent Narrator

I have really enjoyed listening to this great book on my Kindle Fire. The narrator is one of the best I have experienced. She dramatically reads each line perfectly and uses different accents to help bring the book to life and actually makes it easier to follow the story than if I had just read the book silently in my head. She has a beautiful singing voice that she uses when songs come up in the book. I particularly enjoyed having these songs come to life and being able to hear them the way they would have been sung. Being from the South I often cringe when I hear actors attempt a southern accent, however Linda Stephens has perfected the voice of Scarlett and makes it easy to get lost in the reading as if you are listening to the real Miss O'Hara. I could not recommend this audio book more. I would say it is a definite must have for fans of this format.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Narrator is EXCELLENT!

I thoroughly enjoyed this narrator!!!!!!! In the first chapter I was slightly thrown off b/c "my" Scarlett's voice has always been that of Vivien Leigh but Linda Stephens reigned me in in no time flat! Linda Stephens does a WONDERFUL job for EVERY characters' voice. (I especially liked her Rhett voice!) Awesome narrator & worth every penny!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful