Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCaig Pan Macmillan, HK$108 If you are one of those people who can't sit through Gone With the Wind unless you have a pot of coffee to hand and a box of matchsticks under the eyelids, then this update of Margaret Mitchell's potboiler will originate in an inner circle of hell. Authorised by the Mitchell Estate, McCaig journeys back through time to show us how one of the greatest love stories ever told really began. Yes, at last we can thrill all over again about macho ol' Rhett Butler and feisty ol' Scarlett O'Hara. Rhett, when we first meet him, is as rebellious as Clark Gable. It almost goes without saying that the word 'damn' features strongly. 'Rhett Butler, damn your cross-grained soul,' says John Haynes, before sagging in his seat. I know how he feels and we have 517 more pages to go. Butler is a renegade ('Some say I'm a renegade,' he notes helpfully) who returns to Charleston having sought his fortune in the gold rush. There, as you would expect, he meets Scarlett, whose skills as a flirt do far more damage than any cannon. 'She's never met a man who understood her,' Rhett muses. At least any movie won't be longer than Gone With the Wind. Will it?