A friend of mine is a literary genius. I know that sounds glib, but this woman attempted to edit the NRSV version of the Bible in our church bullet. The words of God did not quite live up to exacting editing standards.
She’s, like, genuinely brilliant.
About three quarters of the way through Wuthering Heights I texted her and said “If I wanted to spend time with sociopaths I’d go to work.” And it is true every major character in this book is suffering from a personality disorder. The best way I can describe it is it’s like watching “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” without the humor or the yelling. For four hundred pages the reader is left wondering when redemption will take place and who the hell the good guy is. Apparently there is none.
My brilliant friend responded that the character development was fantastic, as was the writing.
She had a point. The characters are horrible people I wouldn’t kennel my dog with; however, they are well- developed. The writing (although sentences structure is long) is excellence. There is a reason this depressingly moody book has stood the test of time.
As a final note, I listened to about sixty pages in audio version and physically read the rest, I recommend the audio version above the words. It makes the early 19th century language go down easier.
Read this book If:
- You love gothic, dark novels.
- You have a real passion for the semicolon.
- You can appreciate following characters through several generations and witness their folly.
- You read classics because they are classics
Skip this book if:
- You’re clinically depressed. You’ll never get out of this deep dark hole.
- You don’t have much patience for characters that don’t grow.
- You need a clear happy ending.
Stater and Waldorf (A Review That Rocks):
By Dina Riach on May 14, 2005 on amazon.com
I picked up this book with a great background history of the Bronte sisters. Emily was the most sheltered and out of her came Wuthering Heights which is an intense story of love, hate, and passion. The book criticizes society at the time and really holds nothing back. There is no real happy ending here but the book does take you along an interesting path that deals with race, class, and religious issues.
Moore from Kaitey: This review is concise, yet states clearly what is so redeeming about the story. It shows the rawness and realness of Bronte’s masterpiece. It also give background on Emily, which is a great insight I missed. Read her quick bio on Wiki before picking up the book, it will add a neat context.
Biff Review (I’m Going to Scratch On Their Window Whilst They Sleep):
Should be illegal.
By: A customer on January 14, 1999 on Amazon.com
I was put through this ‘book’ when studying Higher English. It is undoubtedly the single worst piece of literature I have ever had to read. What is worse that I had to read it twice, take notes, answer questions, memorize quotes, and in 9 days am sitting an exam in which it will feature rather heavily. You cannot truly hate a book until you have studied it in detail. The problem with it is the fact that about half the words in the book are adjectives. E. Bronte spends so long lavishing useless and totally superfluous descriptions on every scene that I dozed off and missed any point that the events may have had. Then there is Heathcliff, who actually does very little, but merely has circumstances favour him about a dozen times – and he’s supposed to be one of the most evil characters ever? The rest of the characters are not much better – they are flat and predictable, although I can’t imagine why anyone would be interested enough to wonder about what’s going to happen. By the end, I was wondering if I’d fallen asleep and missed the climax – which would have been possible – but I could account for every excruciating page and therefore I can only conclude that the trivial, unsurprising non-events that the narrative lurched between were supposed to be climactic. If this is a classic story, then so is an eight-page picture book that’s only strength is very detailed – but not well-drawn – pictures. Please feel free to send me mail to argue about my review.
Moore from Kaitey: Alright, Shakespeare, I’m not sure where you received your Ph.D in lit, but edit your own writing before critiquing a Bronte. I’m not quite sure what the point in saying it should be illegal is, nor putting book in quotations. One can only hope this is a desperate cry for attention. The author of this masterpiece does bring up a good point, there are a lot of adjectives, which is why listening was a much easier endeavor for me.
If Your Loved It Try:
Something Tragic – Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Something Spicy – Wuthering Nights: An Erotic Retelling of Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
A Less Dark Modern Retelling: Solsury Hill by Susan M Weyler
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