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The Wind Done Gone

3.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,995 ratings  ·  324 reviews
In this daring and provocative literary parody which has captured the interest and imagination of a nation, Alice Randall explodes the world created in GONE WITH THE WIND, a work that more than any other has defined our image of the antebellum South. Taking sharp aim at the romanticized, whitewashed mythology perpetrated by this southern classic, Randall has ingeniously co ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 8th 2002 by Mariner Books (first published 2001)
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Average rating 3.10  · 
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 ·  1,995 ratings  ·  324 reviews


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Stephanie
Nov 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of Gone With the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, for my fourteenth birthday. On the dust jacket of my copy are printed the following review excerpts: “Nobody who finds pleasure in the art of fiction can afford to neglect...Gone With the Wind...a book of uncommon quality, a superb piece of storytelling...” (The New York Times; “...the best novel that has ever come out of the South. In fact, I believe it is unsurpassed in the whole of American writing” (Washington Post); “For sheer r ...more
Katie Hoyer
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am amazed at the number of (white) readers here who cannot seem to let go of a deep seated desire for a Mammy of their own, for the romanticized dream of the Antebellum South. That is exactly the purpose of this book-- if you feel that Randall ruined your unadulterated love of Gone with the Wind, that was the point and you clearly missed it.

And for those who say it was badly written, you baffle me. I find her prose to be beautiful, exciting, jarring, liturgical, lyrical, clear and misty all a
...more
Simone
Jun 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: owned, 2014
I read Gone With the Wind exactly ten years ago and enjoyed it. I recently watched the film adaptation on a long haul flight, and this regenerated interest in the book. While doing some research online I came across The Wind Done Gone, lauded as the other voice. With all the controversy around it, I wanted to read it. And here are my thoughts:

There is lot of inconsistency in the writing which makes it an incredible voice of a slave. In some places I'm unsure whether the lapses in language are ty
...more
Tiffany
Feb 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
The best testament of the worthiness of this book to be read is the extent to which the adoring fans of Gone With the Wind hate it. Margaret Mitchell romanticized slavery, rendered invisible the sexual and psychological violence of the institution, and portrayed slaves as thoughtless creatures wholly dependent upon white people for their survival. Don't get me wrong: I enjoyed the novel anyway. But with The Wind Done Gone, Alice Randall lays bare the aspects of slavery that Mitchell ignored by t ...more
Jess Smoll
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
The only book associated with Gone with the Wind that's as good or better than the original work. (Rhett Butler's People and Scarlett were both awful, awful, awful pieces of wish-fulfillment, bad characterization, jarring lack of continuity-- trashy fanfiction at its trashiest. And for some reason, published. WTF.)

The Wind Done Gone, though disavowed by Mitchel's estate and available only with a massive "parody" warning label on it, is an excellent book, far truer to the original characters eve
...more
Miss_otis
I've always loved Gone With the Wind, I love alternate perspectives on a well-known story, and I loved the hell out of this. I adored seeing things from a slave's perspective, and I really liked having the blatant romaticizing of the era injected with a bit more reality, i.e.,white men having sex with slaves, selling off the resulting offspring, and generally acting as if the slaves weren't really people. Because yes. Yes, it happened, and if you think it didn't, you're dreaming.

True, the lack
...more
Daniel
Jan 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book is not terrible, but it's pretty bad. While it raises some interesting questions, the plot twists and even some of the underlying assumptions are unrealistic. This was like fan fiction-- only the fan didn't actually like the original author. What's that? Fixation fiction? ...more
Graceann
Jan 06, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Nobody
I understand parody to contain humor of some fashion - there is nothing humorous about self-conscious, bad writing. Were we supposed to roll over laughing, holding our sides, at the conceit of calling Rhett Butler "Debt Chauffeur?" I hope not, because it's only an unsatisfying use of a thesaurus. Alice Randall had some interesting premises here: The idea that Ashley may have had a male lover in his past, or that Ellen O'Hara may have had a black person in hers... This could have been fascinating ...more
A. King
Jul 31, 2012 rated it liked it
It's clear that many of the reviewers don't know what 'parody' means. 'Parodies' do not simply have to be comedic. It is basically a spin on the original work. A lot of these people seem to be upset 'GWTW' fans that can't quite believe that someone is writing from the point of view of NOT Scarlett or Rhett.

Pen your own if you want something that you think would be better. I'll review yours just as harshly.

With that said, this isn't the greatest novel in the world, but it does manage to make a
...more
Missy
Jul 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One
This book should be burned. I read reviews about how terrible it was but fell for it anyways because it is tied (unauthorized) to Gone with the Wind. It is clear that the author had issues. First, because she was not authorized by the Margaret Mitchell estate to write the book, most characters are referred to by initials only or nicknames: "R" (Rhett), "Other" (Scarlett). Second, she seems hung up on wanting all of the characters to have "black blood" in them, including Scarlett, Ellen, Philippe ...more
Karla
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebook
This book's publishing history is just a teeny tidge controversial, and I vaguely remember hearing something about at the time (2001). Because I procrastinate, I only recently got my butt around to actually reading it.

So, just what made Margaret Mitchell's estate clutch their juleps and portieres after marching to court? (They weren't swooning enough to get their priorities ass-backwards.)

Apart from someone daring to hop an uninvited ride on that GWTW gravy train, that is.

Well, I'm guessing that
...more
Pamela
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was so moved by the prose in this book! The Amazon review are FULL of haters! I have actually marked this book like it was a religious text so that I can go back and feel the words. I consider myself a wordsmith of sorts and I LOVE when they are strung together perfectly and this book does that.

I met Alice Randall at the recent Book Club Conference in Atlanta and was intrigued and humbled by her spirit. I couldn't believe as a fan of Gone With The Wind, I had missed this book. I immediately g
...more
Michelle
May 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
I picked this up after my Uber driver told me he was writing a food book with a Vanderbilt professor, and described the copyright controversy around her most famous book. Having read Gone with the Wind (albeit a long, long time ago), I was vaguely intrigued by the idea of reading the story from a slave perspective. Having read a few pieces of fan fiction masquerading as literature before, however, I also didn't have grand expectations for its execution. Alas, my hesitations were justified, thoug ...more
Christy
Jun 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Revisionist Southern History
Shocking and unapologetic, The Wind Done Gone is one author's imaginings of what really went on behind the scenes and in the slave quarters of that American South epic tragedy, Gone With the Wind through the eyes of Scarlett's half-sister, Cynara, who is a slave on Tara and who also happens to become Rhett Butler's long-time mistress. Reading it was not an enjoyable experience, specifically because it springboards from the GWTW story, skewing plot and characters in unpleasant directions that rin ...more
J. Yandell
Dec 15, 2008 rated it did not like it
I found this loathsome. I always thought parody was supposed to be funny, but this parody falls under the less common definition of ridicule. I understand that GWTW is a novel flawed by its depiction of African Americans, but I choose to set aside that part of it as an unfortunate result of the time it was written and the bias of the author. But I can't help it -- I think GWTW is one of the best examples of pure storytelling magic, and what Alice Randall has done here is ugly, malicious and just ...more
Roopsi
Jan 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of Gone With the Wind, Jeanette Winterson, or postmodern literature
Shelves: african_american
I had extremely low expectations for this revisting of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind, having found both Scarlett and Rhett Butler's People less than pleasing. Alice Randall's novel, however, is both beautiful and perplexing. Although the cover bears the disclaimer "The Unauthorized Parody," there is nothing parodic about this book. (I think it fits a legal definition for "parody," though not a literary one.)

The Wind Done Gone offers a version of Gone With the Wind from the perspective o
...more
Judy
Sep 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
I have not yet ever read Gone With the Wind, though I have seen the movie countless times. I have read Scarlett, Alexandra Ripley's supposed sequel and vaguely remember it. It's been seventeen years since I read it. The Wind Done Gone is a brilliant novel of imagination and truth concerning Cynara, daughter of Mammy and Mr O'Hara (the owner of Tara). Cynara was born in the same year as Scarlett. Through her diary we learn about her life, her relationship to Scarlett and Mammy and others from Go ...more
Susan
Nov 30, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
Jul 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
I would love to read a good sequel to the original _Gone With the Wind_, but I have yet to find one. This is the worst one yet. In fact, I didn't even finish it. This is one of the most poorly written, self-indulgent, bits of dreck through which I have ever tried to wade. "Parody" is supposed to involve humour, but the clumsily constructed prose impedes the author's attempt to amuse. I suspect the only reasons this piece made it to bestseller status were 1) riding on the coattails of the actual ...more
Tabitha
Aug 18, 2009 rated it did not like it
I'm moving this book off of my "currently reading" shelf because, after the first several chapters I realized I will not finish this book. The fragmented and schizophrenic writing made the storyline virtually non-existent. The characters of this book do not reflect those in Gone With The Wind in any shape or form, and were it not for the book's billing as an "unauthorized" account of the GWTW world and its inevitable controversy, I would never had know of The Wind Done Gone's attempted relations ...more
Ginny
Dec 25, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Fans of GWTW, readers of fractured fairy tales
This is Gone With the Wind from the point of view of the slaves. I love the idea and this could have been great. Instead it had a strange tone. I also found it annoying that the main character (Scarlett's half-sister by her father and Mammy) always referred to the original GWTW characters by her own names - seemed like a cheesy way to get around copyright infringement. ...more
Jennifer
Aug 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Before there was Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, or Little Women and Werewolves, there was The Wind Done Gone. Randall's book is really not so much a parody, as it tells a story that is parallel to the original, not a retelling, as it is a critique of Gone With the Wind. I think Randall's story is successful, as it is engaging, thought-provoking, and thoughtful.

I cared about the main character, Cynara. She is like Scarlett in some ways, but her trip to Washington, D.C. provokes an awakening of
...more
Tera
Apr 30, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: GWTW fans
First off do not read this book and expect it to be a comedic parody. It's not.
Being a fan of GWTW I am always anxious to read other books that relate to the original. This was so unique because of the perspective. The author used a diary format which I wasn't very fond. I wanted to know more about the characters. I wished for a richer description and narrative. The ending seemed rushed and anticlimatic.
If you're into GWTW you should read it but it doesn't compare and should be read on it's on
...more
Halley Sutton
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
What an odd book! Fascinating. Interesting. Didn't love it as a book. Thought it was a great critique of Gone With the Wind. ...more
Commodore
Feb 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
There are spoilers for Gone with the Wind in this review, but let's be honest: there's no way you didn't read this book without reading Gone With the Wind first (or at least seeing the movie.)

I enjoyed this book so much more once it had gotten away from Gone With the Wind, once Scarlett and Mammy had died and Rhett and Cynara had gone away from Tara and even Atlanta. In Washington, Cynara faces much more difficult, introspective questions about herself and her choices. Those parts and the parts
...more
Rachel Stevenson
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I've seen the film, but have not read Gone With The Wind. This novel is a rejoinder, a rebuttal, a reply from the fictional mixed-race daughter of Mammy and Mr O’Hara, telling the story of her life at Twelve Oaks on the Tara plantation and beyond. Language and naming are particularly important in this book, Twelve Oaks is called Twelve Slaves Strong as Trees, our heroine is christened Cinnamon (because she is sweet and spicy, or maybe because she is just another product of the plantation), nickn ...more
Crystal
Nov 10, 2010 rated it did not like it
I struggled through every page. And it's a shame, because I was really excited about the idea and the possibilities. The result is almost ridiculous. It's very confusing, not only by it's bizarre names (Other, R,) that are so generic and leave absolutely no chance for the reader to cement to a character, it heavily relies on the work already done with the Gone with the Wind novel and instead of telling the same story from a different perspective with its own great characterization, setting, plot ...more
Melle
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: GwtW fans who need horizons broadened
I had to suspend my pure and unadulterated love for Gone with the Wind to enjoy The Wind Done Gone and its wry and beautiful upending of a treasured body of work to make some biting and poignant social statements on race, on relationships, on slavery, on the South. Part of me wanted to hate this book and its protagonist Cynara; that part of me was holding on to white privilege and to a closed-minded and unquestioned literary-and-film tradition. This book claims to be an "unauthorized parody," bu ...more
Jan
Oct 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book takes the story of Gone With the Wind and gives it a rapid neck twist, killing it forever. Instead, the story that will remain with you is THIS story, the story of Mammy's daughter Cynara, who is Rhett Butler's lover. Randall renames the main characters of GWTW from the perspective of her main character, with Scarlett as the Other, the other child who has sucked all of Mammy's love and attention away from Cynara. This is a spirited and vivid re-imagining of Gone With the Wind, much as ...more
Bridgit
Oct 01, 2010 rated it did not like it
Really bad, schizophrenic fan-fiction. Honestly, I have no idea what was happening when. It jumped around so much it was ridiculous. Obviously a white person reading Gone with the Wind will get a different feeling out of than a black person. I think a retelling of GwtW from the point of view of Mammy or one of the other slaves would have been a fascinating read. This just doesnt cut it, however. This isnt a retelling, its fan fic. The story just doesnt fit in with the 'reality' in the original s ...more
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Alice Randall (born Detroit, Michigan) is an American author and songwriter. Randall grew up in Washington, D.C.. She attended Harvard University, where she earned an honors degree in English and American literature, before moving to Nashville in 1983 to become a country songwriter. She currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee and is married to attorney David Ewing.

Randall is the first African Amer
...more

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“Debt Chauffeur, that's my name for him now, wants to marry me. He asked me down on bended knee, and I would have been honored - except he wants us to live in London, and he wants me to live white. I crowed at that. I laughed so hard and not a tear came. He couldn't understand it. I don't often think on how white I look; it's always been a question of how colored I feel, and I feel plenty colored. He said that no one in London will know that I'm supposed to be colored. And I said I am colored, colored black, the way I talk, the way I cook, the way I do most everything, and he said but you don't have to be. ” 5 likes
“All the different ways of talking English I throw together like a salad and dine greedily in my mongrel tongue.” 1 likes
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