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Rhett Butler's People

3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  8,896 ratings  ·  1,467 reviews
Fully authorized by the Margaret Mitchell estate, Rhett Butler's People is the astonishing and long-awaited novel that parallels the Great American Novel, Gone With The Wind. Twelve years in the making, the publication of Rhett Butler's People marks a major and historic cultural event.

Through the storytelling mastery of award-winning writer Donald McCaig, the life and time
Hardcover, 500 pages
Published November 6th 2007 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2007)
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Dec 21, 2007 Deepa rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone wants to kill their love of Gone with the Wind
Dear Estate of Margaret Mitchell:

I'm writing to request that you stop authorizing crappy prequels and sequels to Ms. Mitchell's book. Those of us who have a special fondness for the characters of Gone With the Wind find ourselves compelled to read them because of our interest in these well-developed and complex personalities. We then find ourselves appalled at how modern authors take liberties to turn her story into an implausible, uncharacteristic mess, and invariably try and put a smiley face
So, I finished Rhett Butler's People last night.

I'd seen a lot of negative reviews while I was reading but I vowed to keep an open mind, and I'm glad I did. I really enjoyed this book. It's one of the better ones I've read in awhile and one I know I will read again someday.

It's NOT Gone With the Wind; there will never be another. It's not even the same caliber as GWTW. I think a lot of people went into reading it expecting and hoping it would be and came out sorely disappointed on the other end.
What was the last book that brought tears to your eyes as you finished the last page? Not due to the hero/heroine’s tragic death, but simply because you have finished the story? That’s how I felt after finishing Rhett Butler’s People tonight.

Rhett Butler’s People is set “around” Margaret Mitchell’s classic novel. You meet Rhett before that fateful meeting at a Twelve Oaks picnic and the book continues to weave in and out of the well known events of GWTW. The author then takes you beyond Rhett’s
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 23, 2010 Linds rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People that thought the "Sequel" Scarlet was great and not crap
Takes Gone with the Wind and poops on it.

Rhett Butler is one of the best romantic heroes, both in literature and cinema. He deserves a good companion novel or sequel or prequel told from his point of view. This aint it.

Mr. Darcy has a kazillion books recently, and I hope ole Rhetty gets another shot.

This book sucks. For reals.
You really need to read "Gone With the Wind" first in order to really appreciate this book. The author was commissioned by the estate of Margaret Mitchell to write this "parallel sequel" to GWTW, and he has kept faithful to her style. In it, we get background about Rhett's youth, his family, and many characters who are just briefly mentioned in GWTW. The story is told through Rhett's eyes. It goes through his youth, his relationship with Scarlett, and takes it past where GWTW ends and on to the ...more
I give up - I am halfway through and I just don't care what happens to anyone. In fact, this has dampened my love of Gone With the Wind and Rhett Butler, so I am just stopping now. I read the sequel by Alexandra Ripley, Scarlett, and it was very good. But this - it has no heart, no emotional punch and way too much about the war. All the emotional scenes are flat and short and I didn't really learn much about Rhett Butler that I hadn't surmised from the original book, except that according to the ...more
Feb 05, 2008 Alden rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
I am embarrassed to include this as my first book of 2008, but there it is. The fact that it took me six weeks to finish tells you how interesting it was.

The plot was okay; I'm almost always okay with reworkings of classic plots from the viewpoint of a different character. But the writing was unbearably poor. If I hadn't cared very, very deeply about the characters -- a legacy entirely of Margaret Mitchell and having nothing to do with this book -- I would have been unable to finish it.

By compar
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 peop ...more
Mar 01, 2008 Shelley rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults; fans of "Gone with the Wind"
I admit I had mixed feelings about this book. I recall too vividly my disappointment in "Scarlett" by Alexandra Ripley, which was also billed as a sequel to "Gone with the Wind." I absolutely hated that book! It took a bit to get past the frequent use of "the N-word," (by the way - I hate that phrase! We give the word so much more negative impact by refusing to say the word... sort of like "He who must not be named" in the Harry Potter novels.) Anyway, the use of the word is compatible with the ...more
Jul 27, 2010 Betty rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely no one
Shelves: reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kate Stone
Dec 16, 2007 Kate Stone rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Gone with the Wind fans
Shelves: fiction
So, in middle school I read Gone with the Wind and Scarlett and fell in love with the books - well, mostly Gone with the Wind. I will admit, I have a problem...if I like a book and there is a sequel, I will read it. Even if it's horrible.

That said, this book I thought was really good. The author does a really good job with Rhett's role, it really felt much the same as Gone with the Wind. It made me want to read it all over again. He does add a new character who is really central to Rhett's life,
May 23, 2011 Lara rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: well, if you're curious...
Recommended to Lara by: my own warped idea of what to expect
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 25, 2008 Smokinjbc rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who love GWTW and hated Scarlett
Shelves: booksthatrock
I am very excited about this book- although the "sequel" to GWTW was disappointing(but admittedly, entertaining in a cheesy way). Don MacCaig is a well known writer in my border collie world- he wrote one of my favorite books "Nop's Trials" and some excelllent non-fiction as well. He is an incredibly talented writer who can move a story well and with beautiful language. I don't think they could have picked a better author to tackle Rhett's story.

Ok.. finished it...

I was very satisfied with it- w
Amy (amyb2332)
I know some of the reviews for this book haven't been great but I personally really liked this story. True, it isn't the same as GWTW but I loved all the background on Rhett. I thought the way Rhett's story and things we know from GWTW were woven together was really neat. Seeing Scarlett and some of the other characters in a different light was very interesting.

I also thought this sequel was better than Scarlett. Though I did enjoy both.

I think I would have given this 5 stars except for the endi
Basically the storyline of the novel is Gone With the Wind from Rhett Butler's point of view and it was a bit of a disappointment really. Gone With the Wind is one of my favourite novels and I found all the characters in RBP, even the major ones of Rhett and Scarlett, are out of character. There is also a lot of errors that contradict the original, characters dying when they lived in GWTW and vice versa, Melanie knowing about Scarlet being in love with her husband, etc. As a standalone historica ...more
Finally finished this book. Gone With the Wind is my favorite classic, so I am always eager to read the authorized follow-ups. Um...yeah. So far two strike outs (don't even get me started on Alexandra Ripley's sequal!). I feel like I could have really appreciated the complexities of some of McCaig's supporting characters if only his prose wasn't so choppy, awkward, and bland. Where was the passion? The grandeur? The glorious description of the South pre Civil War and the bleakness following the ...more
Jan 06, 2008 Roopsi rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: curious Gone With the Wind fans
Were it not for Gone With the Wind , there would be absolutely no reason to read Rhett Butler's People. Even with GWTW, I'm still wondering if I should have devoted a few hours to this novel. It relies so heavily on GWTW that it can't stand alone and really wouldn't make much sense without it. Like Ripley's unfortunate Scarlett, this novel was authorized by the Margaret Mitchell Estate. These two follow-ups, though, are entirely contradictory. No, Scarlett does not go rowing off to Ireland for a ...more
Mar 10, 2008 Carolee rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Civil War buffs
There will never be another GWTW but:

I always like historical fiction, especially when it’s fairly accurate and helps me learn more about “common people” of an era.” McCaig gave me a good picture of life in Charleston and Atlanta just before, during and after the Civil War.

The story is really not well related to the tale of GWTW because the author spins a tale of a man’s journey before and after the Civil War. But, it is helpful to have read GWTW before reading RBP since the reader is familiar
As a borderline psychotic fan of Gone with the Wind and even the trashy sequel Scarlett, my heart was open to liking this book. Sigh. I was not happy. The title is apt; there are so many "people" in this book that it made my brain hurt. Just when I would start to get the characters straight, the author would just start killing them off. There's more blood in this thing than Saw II. This is also the kind of book where characters do things that real people never do, such as put a finger to someone ...more
This book doesn't so much retell Gone with the Wind from Rhett's view (like I originally thought) as it does give the account of Rhett's life prior to meeting Scarlett and describes the lives of his friends and family. In doing so, it gives a well-researched look into life in Charleston Atlanta just prior to and during the cival war.

I enjoyed it mostly for the historical aspects--it gave a different view of the cival war period than GWTW did. McCaig is great in describing individual battles, re
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Well, I'm gonna be the rebel reviewer (rebel, get it? Ha...I kill me), that actually liked this book better than I liked GWTW, which I hold almost entirely responsible for the ridiculous nostalgia for the antebellum era.

This book purports to tell Rhett's story, and while knowledge of the characters may come from GWTW, I think the book could probably stand on its own in the genre of historical fiction.

Unlike GWTW, RBP doesn't portray the Civil War as some chivalric battle...but how the only rea
Christmas gift...

done now: As a standalone read, certainly it rates 4 *s. Having visited Charleston a couple times, I can visualize some of the locales. And the history is interesting.

As a GWTW companion/prequel/sequel, I'm not sure. The Rhett info reads true (although anyone who has read Scarlett will have to erase that info from their memory banks -- the 2 books have nothing to do with one another), and the situations presented fill in some informational gaps in the original. For example, Rhet
Kathy McC
My favorite book of all time is GWTW. As a result, I was hesitant to read this book. I was sadly disappointed in the other book, Scarlett, that was approved by M. Mitchell's family. But, this book was wonderful. The writing style was very similar to MM's and the historic aspects were wonderfully done. Many have said that Rhett Butler's biggest asset was the mystery surrounding him. For me, this book only added to his appeal. I was unhappy with some of the liberties taken with a few of the detail ...more
There were some fairly-long history dumps, which were interesting enough but sort of detracted from the flow. I've found a lot of spin-offs disappointing, and this one is no exception with the glossing-over of Rhett's faults, giving Scarlett a very OOC sense of humor. Worst was Melanie, who became all-knowing, in addition to being all kindness.

Mostly, it underscored how good Mitchell's writing is. It gave a "happy ending" to the story, which I worked better than Scarlett and much better than Wi
I liked revisiting all the dear folk of Tara and seeing them with a different perspective. Rhett is almost as intriguing as Scarlet. And finally I knew how he arrived at 12 Oaks that afternoon for the famous BBQ. Gone with the Wind is definately a tale of olden times now only rememembered as written memories and family folklore of southerners.
I skimmed a few of the reviews prior to beginning this story and found many pro and many con. As a lifelong devotee of Ms. Mitchell's 'Gone With The Wind', and an acquaintance of the followup 'Scarlett', I was equally nervous and excited to read this account of Rhett Butler's life and backstory according to Mr. McCaig. I dove in with an open mind, keeping the notion forefront that - while nothing can compare to the original work and original creation of the characters - perhaps Mr. McCaig's idea ...more
I should start by saying that am a raving fan of Gone With the Wind. I loved Rhett Butlers People for a lot of the same reasons that I like GWTW; it is very well written, has an epic story with graceful flow, history and depth, and it is a continuation of characters that are extremely well developed. One if my favorite additions were the exploration of Belle Watling and the nature of her relationship with Rhett; something GWTW leaves mysterious. I will say that the author wrote a very masculine ...more
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Donald McCaig is the award-winning author of Jacob’s Ladder designated “the best civil war novel ever written” by The Virginia Quarterly. People magazine raved “Think Gone With the Wind, think Cold Mountain.” It won the Michael Sharra Award for Civil War Fiction and the Library of Virginia Award for Fiction.
More about Donald McCaig...
Jacob's Ladder: A Story of Virginia During the War Nop's Trials Ruth's Journey: The Authorized Novel of Mammy from Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind Nop's Hope Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men: Searching through Scotland for a Border Collie

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“I'm afraid, Belle, that being a lady is more than proper clothes. It is an attitude. From your...experience, you may know more of business and politics than ladies are supposed to know. Gentlemen are pleased to think ladies are ornamental, and it is an ill-advised ornament who contradicts her gentleman.” 16 likes
“More often than we care to admit, inconsequential decisions change our lives.” 13 likes
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