Ok - so I totally read Gone With the Wind last week.
I really hadn't planned to add it to my (already personally ambitious) reading list - but you know, I just go crazy.
And no. I had never read it before. I think because I've seen the movie and I just assumed I'd be bored because I find the movie a little tedious.
But I loved this book. I did think some parts were a little long but I loved it. I loved Scarlett. I loved Rhett. I loved Melanie. I hated that little twit Ashley Wilkes.
I also loved the minor characters that were either omitted entirely or skirted over in the movie. I always liked Pittypat and it was so nice to have so much more of her in the book. I also loved Will Benteen and Old Mrs. Fontaine (actually, she was my favorite).
I have to say that I think it was probably pretty brave of Margaret Mitchell to write such a complicated and often unlikeable female character. Man, Scarlett is a lot. But I liked that she wasn't one dimensional and was so often 'unfeminine.' I liked that I ended up admiring and appreciating her, even when I didn't like her very much.
As for Rhett - well - I just sat and imagined that he looked like George Clooney the whole time.
Having seen the movie, I have to say that I was still surprised by the absolute brutality of Rhett and Scarlett's marriage. I felt sorry for both of them. They just ripped each other apart - their love couldn't overcome their lack of tenderness or sweetness for each other. I found that really sad. I wished that one of them could have given a little but she was clueless and he was afraid. So they disintegrated. I may have found it a little easier to take if Ashley hadn't been such a (well, pussy is the only word that comes to mind) but I'll just say such a wuss.
I found the ending surprisingly satisfying.
Going into the last couple of chapters, I felt like I would not be happy - in light of the wool finally coming away from Scarlett's eyes. But I found it perfect and true to them. I kind of hope they made it in the end.
I know that there is a 'sequel' out there - but I haven't decided if I'll read it yet. I think after 1000+ pages of Mr. and Mrs. Butler I'll let them sit for a while.