For this year’s A to Z Blog challenge, I thought I’d draw back the curtain and explore the life and times of a bibliophile. Care to join me?
Gone with the Wind is something of an anomaly in my reading life. It was my first movie “tie-in” – and yes, I do know the book came first. I didn’t know that when I read it. Give me a break, I was barely eleven. And it also has the distinction of being the only book (so far) that I decided to read because of my mother.
Disclaimers are in order, I suppose. First of all, I did see the film first, mostly because it’s my mother’s favourite. Whenever the film was broadcast on network TV, Dad and I knew we were out of luck in the viewing department. Now for those of you under the age of about forty, this was in the dark ages before cable gave us 100 channels of hillbillies killing the local critters, paranormal “investigators” trying to recreate The Blair Witch Project and every single twist on dating/weight-loss/addiction/child entertainers imaginable. Don’t get me started on sports, movies, and home shopping channels.
But I digress.
This was the first time I was conscious of a film having been made from a book. I mean, seriously? They actually made a movie from words on the page? It was also how I came to be acquainted with the idea of an “adaptation” because let’s face it: If you’ve read Gone with the Wind, you know the book and the film are two entirely different things.
To be perfectly honest, eleven-year-old Carryl lost interest in the book. Eleven-year-old Carryl had absolutely no use for romance. Eleven-year-old Carryl really struggled with this particular perspective of the Civil War. Eleven-year-old Carryl thought Scarlett was a vacuous, spoiled brat, and Rhett Butler was a jerk. But then eleven-year-old Carryl, much like the woman sitting at the keyboard today, had a much different idea of what romance should be.
What I did learn from reading Gone with the Wind is that my imagination is much more vivid than any Hollywood interpretation. It was also with this book that I knew I would somehow have to learn to distinguish the film version from the book that inspired it. I still prefer the book. I will probably always prefer the book.
Except for real movie tie-ins. But only just.