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Old 11-21-2012, 11:22 AM   #29
Catlady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodlover View Post
I'm sorry but there's nothing to "bite" here. I'm not trolling or trying to "get a rise out of those of us who love the book." I recommended the movie because the acting and costumes might interest someone more than this overrated book.

Yes the book is boring, unless you like to read endless pages of useless talk at parties and how Scarlett can't decide what dress to wear. Nothing important ever happens before the war starts but like I said in my previous post after that the action does get better.
The book is slow-moving initially, setting up our understanding of the world the characters inhabit before it gets blown to bits by the war. But so is the movie--the pace is leisurely for the run-up to the barbecue and the barbecue itself. Contrast that with the movie's last half-hour or so, which is a whirlwind of events--condensing the book considerably.

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As far as characters go, again they are boring and shallow. They all see the world through their narrow view that only goes as far a little outside Tara. I actually enjoyed to see the war coming and hitting them hard in the face.
That's the point, that they see the world in such a limited way. Scarlett is only 16--she has the excuse of youth, at least, and when she needs to change to meet changing circumstances, she has no role model, she's completely on her own with incredible burdens.

There is not one character in GWTW that I was not interested in--Belle Watling, Will Benteen, Archie, Big Sam, Cathleen Calvert, India Wilkes, Grandma Fontaine--no matter how major or minor the character, I would happily have read more details. They all seemed multidimensional and very, very real.

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Melanie is so lovable and naive that at some point I wanted to throw my book to the guy sitting at a nearby table in the pub. Ashley is just another spoiled brat who turned out miserable even though he always got what he needed (even during the war when everyone was struggling to survive). The only character that is worth mentioning in the book is like I said, Rhett.
We see Melanie through Scarlett's eyes, and the view is not static. While Olivia de Havilland is lovely in the movie, Melanie is so much more complex in the book.

I would never, ever call Ashley a "spoiled brat"; he was weak, but not spoiled. He wasn't sitting around feeling entitled; rather, he tried, but he had the self-knowledge to realize he did not know how to adjust to the new world.

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You want to read a book where characters in high society are actually interesting? Try Anna Karenina.
I tried--in fact, come to think of it, I believe Anna Karenina was required summer reading in high school the summer after I first read GWTW. It's the only assigned book I was never able to get through. Even though I've made various attempts over the years, I still can't get into it.
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