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Rhett Butler's People

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  17,511 ratings  ·  1,783 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 tim ...more
Hardcover, 500 pages
Published November 6th 2007 by Pan MacMillan (first published 2007)
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Popular Answered Questions
Lorraine I realize that you asked this question a long time ago, but I hope I never saw it and that is why I never commented on your question. I hope beyond…moreI realize that you asked this question a long time ago, but I hope I never saw it and that is why I never commented on your question. I hope beyond everything that I did not just 'blow it off.' Please, oh please, read Gone with the Wind. There is so much more in so many ways in Mitchell's book than there is in the movie. Quite a bit was left out of the movie. The movie was long, but, believe me, it would have been much much longer if everything in the book was put into the movie, but beyond that, it is an excellent book. You will get more of the feel of the Civil War from the book. You will understand the characters better. I could go on for quite a while, but let me leave it this way. GWTW is my favorite book and I have read it twice. I also saw the movie 1st, but reading the book totally envelopes you in the story, the characters, the Civil War, the Antebellum Period in the South (The description of the dresses alone will make you feel as though you are wearing one and what a feeling! ) I would not worry about reading Rhett Butler's People as that is before GWTW as well as beyond it. Also, it is no where near the category of Margaret Mitchell's book. Please read the book, Gone with the Wind. You will never be sorry that you took the time to read this fabulous book! This goes for anyone and everyone. Please, please do not miss an opportunity to read GWTW!(less)
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Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,511 ratings  ·  1,783 reviews


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Becky
Feb 19, 2008 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deepa
Nov 02, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  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
...more
Lesley
Nov 12, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2007
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.
...more
Annette
Jan 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Linds
Oct 22, 2010 rated it did not like it
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 Rhetty gets another shot.

This book sucks. For reals.
Corey
Feb 17, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tanya
Apr 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Betty
Jul 11, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Absolutely no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Misfit
Aug 20, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: wall-banger
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
Alden
Feb 05, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
...more
Shannon
For fans of GONE WITH THE WIND this might be the book for you as this covers the life of Rhett Butler before he meets Scarlett and during the time they're together though it does not follow the movie so much as the novel.

There's a lot more sub stories taking place than I expected especially focused upon Rhett's siblings.

Readers sensitive to the horrors of American slavery may want to skip this one as there are graphic details.

OVERALL GRADE: B minus.
Laura
Apr 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: well, if you're curious...
Recommended to Laura by: my own warped idea of what to expect
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stacey
Apr 14, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Laura
Jul 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
Not wasting my time on this. What was I thinking? Abandon ship, I'm jumping overboard!
Shelley
Feb 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Kate Stone
Dec 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
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,
...more
Roopsi
Jan 05, 2008 rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Aoibhínn
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
Smokinjbc
Nov 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Nicole
Nov 19, 2007 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy
Nov 15, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Carolee
Mar 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Leah
Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Linda Hart
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Rhett Butler's People so much that I was disappointed when it ended. The author was commissioned by the estate of Margaret Mitchell to write this "parallel sequel" to Gone With The Wind, and he has kept faithful to her style and to the story and details of Mitchell's original classic. This gives an 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 t ...more
drowningmermaid
Feb 18, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audio
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
...more
Kim
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Holjo
Jun 05, 2011 rated it liked it
I gave a similar review to "Scarlett" the sequel by Alexandra Ripley. I read this book because I (like most GWTW fans) will always thirst for more of this story even as I know that I'll never really get it. Only Mitchell can write this story, and any other attempt will always fall short.

The Rhett in this book is not the calculating, capitalizing scoundrel of Mitchell's story. McCaig's Rhett is written as a misunderstood hero. This is a different man than the one I've come to understand through
...more
Lauren Denton
Jan 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Kathy McC
Jan 03, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kamille
Aug 28, 2012 rated it did not like it
This novel is atrocious. The only thing about this novel that I enjoyed was the fact that I decided to borrow it from the library and not buy it. I could barely read pass the first chapter, it was so horrendous.

None of characters in this novel stay true to the original ones, the writing style is irritating and not at all like GWTW, and it was painful to read at all. I cannot fathom the fact that someone actually finished this novel.

If you love GWTW, STAY AWAY FROM THIS BOOK. It ruins it. I'd sug
...more
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Donald McCaig was 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.

Donald McCaig wrote about rural American life, sheepdogs, and the Civil War. He also wro
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“More often than we care to admit, inconsequential decisions change our lives.” 21 likes
“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.” 18 likes
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