The Classics Club Monthly Meme – September 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!

15 thoughts on “The Classics Club Monthly Meme – September 2012

  • Geoff

    Thanks for the mention! It’s weird finding myself on these things. I hope you enjoy the book, as much as anyone can. I really struggled with it off and on, but pushed through and although I doubt I will ever read it again, I’m glad I read it once.

      • athena (Post author)

        I think we posted at the same time! Aww thanks. The review won’t be up until November though because of a readalong that I joined. I should start the book soonish though, I am trying to get some library reading done in advance of GWtW. Thanks!

    • athena (Post author)

      Hi Geoff! That happens with classics. I really like reading a lot of them and there are certain ones which I am so glad I read, but I doubt I will read again. Thanks!

  • Brooke

    Thanks for the mention! GWtW is most definitely worth reading particularly for the issues the novel raises in conversation today. Because we can’t deny the racism of slavery and should never forget it. GWtW is a snapshot in time that focuses on the problems of a fledgling nation and her peoples. It’s honest, sad, and uplifting all at the same time and I hope you come to love it as much as me!

    • athena (Post author)

      Hi Brooke! I did enjoy your review and it emphasizes to me how honest the book will be. I don’t think my Southern friend will be convinced, but I think I will enjoy it or at least respect it. Thanks!

  • Rachel

    I’ve been thinking about joining the Classics Club, but I’m concerned that my plans will change too much over the next 5 years. I will certainly read more than 50 classics, but like having fluidity of choice! I admire those of you are are doing it though. 🙂

    • athena (Post author)

      Hi Rachel! I also had the same concerns so I only listed fifty books when I definitely think I will go over it. I also love classics and it’s very encouraging to be in the group. Also, I have modified my list a lot and there is no rules saying you can’t change your fifty over time. As long as you read it over five years (which is a lot of time; I’ve already read 10 in three months). Join me 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  • Fanda

    I like Brooke’s review, it reflected her honest feeling about this book. I am now on the early pages of part 3, and at this stage, if you ask me Rhett or Ashley? I would answer Ashley. Now I’m curious to read more to find out how Rhett will develop… How about you? Where you are now?

    • athena (Post author)

      *looks sheepish* Hi Fanda! I haven’t started yet! I’ve been so busy with library books and work and life. I will soon I hope, but definitely by October. I’m a monogamous reader so once I start, I will dedicate myself and finish it. 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  • Adam @ Roof Beam Reader

    Gone With the Wind is the first book I read this year, for my 2012 TBR Pile Challenge. I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed it & how much of a page-turner it was. It turned out to be one of my favorite reads ever, actually.

    “Rhett or Ashley? Melanie.” <–Exactly!

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