Sunday, August 06, 2006

gone with the wind

What a book!! Loved it. I guess I love big books, thanks to SLB (I am used to reading his big books). The canvas big books make for the story to unfold is large, n u not only read a story, u’ll know much more; there will be more space for the characters to make their presence felt. For example, even the silliest Negroes were given so much space in the process of story-telling in this book.

And for the main characters it was even wider space. The story goes on for 12 years (1861–1872), n u can imagine the depth n breadth to which each character is built.

I loved Melanie & Rhett. Melanie was so good that anyone would fall in love with her, as whole of Atlanta did. But sadly Scarlett realizes her value only when Melanie was dying. I liked Rhett’s attitude, he’s cool. And for Scarlett, I can only say hat’s off to the author for shaping up such a character. I guess Scarlett is one of the best characters I’ve read. She’s arrogant, courageous, child-like, selfish, headstrong, n what not.. yet she’s so appealing! As the author says at the end of the book – ‘she loved 2 men. If she had understood one, she would’ve never loved him. If she had understood another, she would’ve never lost him.’ Author says Scarlett didn’t understand anyone, but I think she didn't understand herself even.

American civil war - that was lots of info for me. This book has war as backdrop. So learnt bit of history too.

And it being the greatest love story – yes it is. I can say just that. Classics are classics.

Here are the things I scribbled while reading the book:

on 27.05.2006:
just started reading this book, have hardly read 50 pages (n the book is hefty, 1000+ pages). amused with Scarlett O'Hara - rich, spoilt, teenager who's only interested in getting boyfriends. Anyways she is interesting. She got to be, as she's the main character of the story. Me liking the narration of Georgia countryside too.
on 01.06.2006:
getting to know Ellen n Gerald O'Hara, Scarlett's parents.
on 03.06.2006:
Rhett Butler's entry. things abt barbeques n balls, very interesting. more facinating is the fake manners an young miss has to display to get good beau. very funny. I like the way author shapes up scarlett's character; even though she tells the reader that scarlett is nothing more than a stupid teenager, she makes her very special n interesting. i wonder how she weaves these 2 contrasting things very well together.
on 07.06.2006:
gosh! this book is gripping me... n it's the tragic war story again (which i read many times in my all-time fav book 'Parva'). ashley is very much right when he says 'war is not all glory, it's dirt n misery'. scarlett is just a child as rhett butler mentions. i like rhett bulter, n his sharp tongue. he's as mysterious to me as he's for scarlett. what r his intentions? i really dont understand. n i like ashely n melanie, wish scarlett was as mature as them. but one thing i like abt scarlett is her love for ashley, it's solid n i like her for that. one more thing is her longing to be near her mother. sometimes i feel scarlett is very selfish, but with her great love for ashley, her mother, n her home Tara, she isnt all that selfish; she's quite a character.
more on 07.06.2006:
forgot to add this.. i was quite surprised to find out that even in west there was bad treatment of widows that time, i thought it was/is there only in hinduism; n rhett butler talks abt 'sati' in india. scarlett's marriage with charles - it's completely thoughtless n foolish that she gets married to him just to take grudge on ashley.
on 10.06.2006:
melanie's delivery n their escape from atlanta - this part of the book moves u n make u shed tears.. i was as tensed as scarlett when i was reading this part. scarlett is growing up now, life teaches her the lesson, but the hard way. all she knows now is hunger, she's fighting only for survival.
on 13.06.2006:
i was blank for sometime last night when i cudn't find the book in the house, it was as if i had lost a world (one has to read this book to understand what i am saying); but then i got it. i had forgotten it outside the house, n my colleague had kept it safely in his flat, ah! it was such a relief to see it..
well, things are better now; war is over, but the aftermath is as bad.. scarlett is really strong (as ashley says), but iam loving melanie..she's so sweet, hope scarlett also starts liking her. me too waiting for ashley, for i am curious to know how things turn in melanie n scarlett's lives with his re-entry. where is rhett butler? no news of him..
oh, i finished 500 pages of the book, iam finally half-way thru :-)
on 21.07.2006:
i had to part with the book during my india trip fearing the excess baggage thingy. so scarlett o'hara n co had to stay back in tehran, only to embrace me into their world while iam back here. what's happening with them? ashley's back. high taxes sword on tara. scarlett out there to save her home; but she acts oversmart with rhett butler who's in jail at atlanta.
on 29.07.2006:
my hats off to scarlett for her hard work!! reconstruction is a tough task n she's got it in her, though she's appearing selfish n shrewd.
on 05.08.2006:
iam done with the book. relieved, but not happy that iam done, I cud go on n on with this kind of book.. thoroughly enjoyed the book, n the entirely different world it took me to. one of the best books i've read so far!!


Anonymous said...

1000+ pages? Wow, I understood two things: The book is really gripping (you have said that) and you really have a lot of patience!!!

I agree that books need to have a lot of space for characterization. The worst is when they condense a good book into a two-hour movie.

Did some search on the Internet to read about author and things. This book was picturized too. Well, 1000+ not for me, but the account you have written is nice!!

Satish said...

wow, good for you.

I haven't read the book, one of these days I will.

Good point, 'Classics are classics'.