Ripping Book Review–Gone With The Wind

WARNING: Ripping Book Reviews are solely the judgments of Professor VJ Duke on an unlucky book that has caused him much repulsion—in one way or another. Therefore, blame must be put on the professor and nobody else. With that in mind, read on—if you are brave enough to take it.

Cover of "Gone With the Wind"

Cover of Gone With the Wind


Well, here we are. Another book review—a ripping book review, that is. At first, I must say, I didn’t want to rip Gone With The Wind. While reading the novel, I was fairly entertained—at first. But as the novel lumbered on and on (it clocks above 400,000 words), I began to get antsy. Soon after, I got frustrated. And frustration morphed into repulsion—hence, the ripping book review.

Interestingly, as a side note, I believe that every single book can be ripped (Of course, Mark Twain is un-rippable). But, rest assured. This professor only rips books that cause him much pain and hurting.

It must be mentioned here that Margaret Mitchell’s first stories were about animals. I must say, she carried on the tradition rather well in Gone With The Wind. The novel is yet another example of a book full of unscrupulous characters. Every single character is a hurt; every single character is repulsing; every single character is wicked. The exceptions are so scarce they’re not worth a mention. One may argue that Melanie is a powerful exception, but her foolhardiness with regards to her husband (Ashley) and Scarlett, borders on such folly that we must conclude she is purposeful in her intent to bring them together.

As a matter of fact, every time a character is suddenly killed or destroyed in the story, we rejoice that the earth has been purged of a villain and poltroon.

Before we move on, it must be made known that Margaret Mitchell began writing Gone With The Wind only to pass the time. You see, recovering from an auto-crash injury that refuses to heal can be very boring indeed. Better to write about villains to pass the time. It helps the healing process. So, an accident spawned…another accident.

Moving on…

The book centers on the life of Scarlett O’Hara as she deals with the Civil War and its aftermath. Throughout the entire novel, she is chasing Ashley Wilkes, who is married to Melanie. Of course, this gets tiresome after the first 250 pages. Especially as Scarlett marries man after man, and is still constantly longing for Ashley—a rotten name for a man, by the way; and offensive too.

Ah! Now we get to the author’s favorite character; the character that is supposed to be debonair, dashing, and magnetic; unable to be rejected, or rebuffed, despite his persona: Rhett Butler. It’s rather obvious that Mitchell wanted Butler to be the dark hero of her tale. We are supposed to be wooed to his dark yet exciting ways. We are supposed to admire the worst villain in the story. We are supposed to laugh at his ways, assuming that he really isn’t all that bad after all, but rather a man to be emulated. I say, too bad Butler wasn’t in an auto-crash himself!

As I mentioned before, it’s hard to read a book that lumbers on and on and gets nowhere. It’s frustrating, maddening. Ralph Thompson, from The New York Times, seems to agree:

I happen to feel that the book would have been infinitely better had it been edited down to say, 500 pages, but there speaks the harassed daily reviewer as well as the would-be judicious critic. Very nearly every reader will agree, no doubt, that a more disciplined and less prodigal piece of work would have more nearly done justice to the subject-matter.

There you have it. The book was hundreds of pages too long. By the time we do get to the end, we realize something very disturbing: There is no end. Rather, Mitchell sets the scene for everything to…loop. That’s right. To loop all over again. In fact, I must say, the book seems like one giant loop, without end, without beginning, without anything much of in-between.

Margaret Mitchell was hit by a car in 1949. Unfortunately, she passed away. Fortunately, there was no recovery time.

Overall, you wouldn’t want to use the book to induce sleep some lazy afternoon. It would keep your interest—mostly. No, the best book to induce sleep is this one:

The Thirty-Nine Steps

11 Responses to “Ripping Book Review–Gone With The Wind”

  1. 1 Isabelle Vanhouver July 12, 2013 at 00:31

    Hahaha, loved Gone with the Wind, but this is hilarious! My favorite line:
    “Margaret Mitchell was hit by a car in 1949. Unfortunately, she passed away. Fortunately, there was no recovery time.”

    Laughed aloud. And I agree that the characters are all douches.

  2. 3 Angeline M June 12, 2013 at 05:19

    The movie was long enough.

  3. 4 renxkyoko June 5, 2013 at 16:20

    It’s nice to know there’s ar least one person who’s not “over the moon ” over Gone With the Wind.

  4. 6 Pragmatic Ace June 4, 2013 at 18:16

    When you rip you really rip. I don’t believe I’ve read such a thoroughly engaging book review as this in ages! Bravo!

  5. 8 weggieboy June 4, 2013 at 17:23

    I never managed to read the book. “Perhaps the movie shortens it up enough to make it bearable,” I thought. I mean, it IS a classic and spectacularly produced in lurid Technicolor. Sadly, the movie, too, is too long. I made it to the start of the second half, then fast-forwarded to the famous scene where Clark Gable set the world on edge by saying “damn”.
    Frankly, by then, I no longer gave a damn, either.

  6. 10 FictionFan June 4, 2013 at 17:03

    Never mind, tomorrow is another day! You should have stuck to watching the film… ;)

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