Day: September 5, 2012

This month for the Classics Club Meme:

Pick a classic someone else in the club has read from our big review list. Link to their review and offer a quote from their post describing their reaction to the book. What about their post makes you excited to read that classic in particular?

Truth be told, I don’t usually read a lot of review for books I haven’t read yet. Usually, I read reviews for books I have already read. Of course, you can’t avoid it, but it was hard picking which books I wanted to read reviews for.

Since I am starting Gone with the Wind soon for a readalong, I had to pick it. There have been three reviews of it listed in the club so far. I read all of them.

The first one was by Brooke of The Blog of Litwits:

Is the novel perfect? No. Was the racism rampant and often hard to read? Yes. Are the characters likable? Yes and No. Would I consider this a page turner? Very much so. Did it offend your sensibilities as a Southerner? No. Do I believe the South will rise again? Oh dear. Rhett or Ashley? Melanie. How’s the ending? Perfectly frustrating. Is it a novel worth reading? Without a doubt.

Brooke’s review was very good. For one thing, it was personal which is actually a good thing to do in a review because books are personal. Secondly, she addressed a lot of issues people have with this book. I told my only Southern friend that I was going to read GWtW, and she said she would never because it glorifies the antebellum South. My friend is also Black and both of us are visible minorities so whenever I read such blatantly racist stuff, it’s not comfortable. Reading racist works or books which have derogatory content is unavoidable to be honest, but GWtW is a novel where this is perhaps a bigger theme than some other classics. I have seen the movie which was fine. But the whole issue of the South and KKK reminds me of the time when I watched D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation. That film disgusted me so much that I would probably pay money to get the those minutes of my life back.

I digress a bit, but Brooke’s review reminds me that yes, this book is controversial, but seems to be one of those classics that I want to see for myself why so many people love it or hate it. Or a bit of both which could be my case.

Christian of Beltwayliterature said this about Rhett:

At first, I didn’t like Rhett at all. I found him to be an opportunistic scoundrel. But then, I saw him evolve and mature into a person that I could grow to like. He really loved Scarlett and did everything he could to pry Scarlett’s thoughts away from Ashley. I felt completely sorry for him at the end of the book. His character’s evolution showed me that even the most disliked people can change when it’s absolutely necessary.

I’m not sure I’ll like Book Scarlett (I wasn’t crazy about Movie Scarlett), but it’s good to know that Rhett is the character that seems to develop in the novel. I’ll look forward to reading his character development since you really need to be as charismatic as Clark Gable to get away with half the stuff Rhett seems to do in the book.

Finally, Geoff of The Oddness of Moving Things:

Even though I was always frustrated with Scarlett – from her childish innocence and demand for love and affection to the final pages where she realizes who she loves and why she loves them, you can’t help but root for her in the end. She’s survived and she’s pushed through and even though she has comfort and money, she’s lost love and decency.

Hopefully, I will be able to root for Scarlett. I won’t know until I read it, but she does have fans or sympathy. You don’t have to like a reader to find her somewhat rootable so I will go in open minded as possible about the heroine.

This was fun and has hyped me up to read GWtW soon. Perhaps, I’ll start it this weekend!