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Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig

Postby Misfit » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 5:31 pm

The Margaret Mitchell Estate should have left well enough alone. I'm not even sure where to start in putting my feelings about this book into words. Gone With the Wind is one of my all time favorite books, and Rhett is right up there in my favorite, fascinating male characters in fiction and I was looking forward to a good meaty look into Rhett's life before Scarlett. Boy was I ever wrong. This book is called Rhett Butler's People for a reason - it's not just about Rhett, it's about all the people in his life and there are WAY too many of them.

I totally agree with other reviewers on Amazon US that the story seemed to be told as snapshots in a person's life instead of true story telling, and the way he jumped back and forth from one person's point of view to another was very distracting to this reader, and I admit to giving up at 150 pages and from looking at some of the other one and two star reviews on Amazon US I am very glad I did so. I was quite irritated at the way the author used scenes and characters from the original book and wrote his own version of them, and worse yet worked his new characters into those scenes. This author even managed to ruin Prissy and Aunt Pitty Pat, and from reading the other reviews I see that he managed to rewrite "history" as Ashley, Melanie and even Scarlett are not what they were in GWTW.

For me, the mistake made was telling the story of Rhett and his "people". Rhett is a fascinating character who had a colorful past before he met Scarlett. He traveled to burgeoning San Francisco and the California Gold fields - a colorful period in U.S. history - and it's barely touched upon and only via letters Rhett wrote to his sister. Letters, I might add that were destroyed by their father so she never read them, yet they are recreated in the book as if they were? What's up with that? I think if the MM Estate and taken the tact of writing Rhett's story totally from his viewpoint and given me a good strong meaty story about Rhett and his life before Scarlett, and not rewritten moments from GWTW they might have had a winner here instead of a bomb.

IMO, this book is not worth wasting time or money on, there are too many good books to be read and too little time in this world. If you're dead set on reading the rest of the story, get it from the library and then if you love it, buy it.

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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 9:17 pm

I still have this one on my shelf. I borrowed it from the library i work at. I've had it for 2 summers now. :eek:
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EC2
Bibliomaniac
Location: Nottingham UK
Contact:

Postby EC2 » Tue September 2nd, 2008, 11:37 pm

I did get this one from the library Misfit and I thought it was 'okay'. Nothing to write home about, but not utterly dire either. There were times when it just seemed to be marching on the spot and it doesn't hold a candle to Margaret Mitchell. In my imaginary library it wouldn't go through the wall and it wouldn't stay on the keeper shelf. It would just fade away in a gentle grey mist. :)
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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diamondlil
Bibliomaniac

Postby diamondlil » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 12:08 am

That is probably how I would explain my feelings about it as well.

There were some parts of the book that were good, and I do think he captured Rhett's spirit pretty well, but there were other parts that were just boring and over written.
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There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.

Edith Wharton

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Wed September 3rd, 2008, 12:28 am

If it hadn't been for the fact that I'd reread GWTW reasonably recent prior to this book I probably wouldn't have been so PO'd as I was. It's too bad, a little effort and they might have had a darn good story - Rhett is a fascinating character.

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Divia
Bibliomaniac
Location: Always Cloudy, Central New York

Postby Divia » Mon September 8th, 2008, 10:31 pm

I just saw this at B&N the other day and it was out in paperback.
News, views, and reviews on books and graphic novels for young adult.

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Spitfire
Reader
Location: Canada

Postby Spitfire » Tue September 9th, 2008, 12:20 am

Yeah, I was reading the back of this in paperback at the store just this afternoon. Wasn't sure I wanted to buy it. I am really leery of sequel/prequel novels not written by the same author. Thanks for posting your opinions! I think I will leave it on the store shelf, for now anyways!
Only the pure of heart can make good soup. - Beethoven

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Leyland
Bibliophile
Location: Travelers Rest SC

Postby Leyland » Tue September 9th, 2008, 12:27 am

I almost bought it a couple days ago at a Walgreen's (a chemist's chain, for the Brit members) and decided against it based on reviews from the old HF. I've got waaayy too many TBR's, so RBP will have to wait for another day.
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams ~ Arthur O'Shaughnessy, Ode

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Tue September 9th, 2008, 12:36 am

Library book, trust me. Then if you love it buy it.

User avatar
Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Location: Seattle, WA

Postby Misfit » Tue September 9th, 2008, 12:38 am

"Leyland" wrote:I almost bought it a couple days ago at a Walgreen's (a chemist's chain, for the Brit members)


LOL, thinking of Walgreens as a "chemist's chain"


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