Friday, January 18, 2008

RHETT BUTLER'S PEOPLE- DONALD Mc CAIG

If memory serves correctly, I've been wanting the book for almost half a year. And then when I get it, I devour it in a day!

No, it doesn't, in any way, compare with Gone With The Wind (it's the sequel to it). But then, can you really expect a book for which a sequel is written seven decades later to ever compare?

The writing style is in no way similiar to Mitchell's- it's a lot more snappy, fast paced, straight to the point. And yet, like Mitchell's- the war fascinates, the details are right, and it incorporates the protagnist's story, magnifying it, not engulfing it. And some of the lines are really well crafted.

But my dillying dallying misses the main point- Rhett Butler.

Every single word about his past fits. It makes complete sense. Things might be left unsaid, but you still hear them being said. With Rhett Butler (what inspired her? The way the name rolls of the tongue is so delightful) the book does wonders, adding perspectives that you knew existed. You can't help but admire him and envy Scarlett O'Hara.

For that matter, you can't help but sympathize with each and every one of the characters. And that really is something. And what's more, this sequel really answers question that Margaret Mitchell deliberately left there.

But... Scarlett O'Hara makes no sense. For a person who hasn't read GWTW it won't make sense for Rhett to fall head over heels in love with her. In fact, most things won't make sense. The fact that Rhett Butler has a moustache isn't put into words, I believe, till very late- at that point, a sudden moustache can ruin whatever image the reader might've formed.

Some of the details don't match, but I guess you can overlook it if, unlike me, you haven't almost literally memorized the entire thousand page saga.

Unlike the 'other sequel' I don't regret reading Rhett Butler's People. Speaking of it, the one thing that strikes me is- the writer's intelligent. There is no way he would've been able to do the job he did if he wasn't.

And of course, another thing I like about the book is the interspersing of French throughout. Did I mention I have an interest in Romantic languages...

5 comments:

Betty Foy said...

I like the idea of this blog... good thought!

PianoPoet said...

I hardly ever dare to read sequels to books I really love... you are brave!!

Rhea Silvia said...

Is it, in fact, a sequel? I thought it was rather like 'Darcy's Story'. And as for the other sequel...gah.

little boxes said...

isnt the book more like an independent sequel?the sequel was,if i am not mistaken,called Scarlett?
but just tell me one thing,do Butler and O'Hara get back together?

Kirra Serra said...

Write. Anything. Even that ARI piece will do, but write.