Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

 I love a good tragedy, King Lear was fantastic, so ignoring all adaptations in any other medium (except for all those trailers that always come on the BBC every time they have a new drama season starting), I commenced reading this classic with high hopes as it seems many people are big fans.  It wasn’t what I was expecting.

This novel is no Romeo and Juliet style romance as I have always been led to believe, forget the romance Hollywood claims it to be about, yes the book is about love and relationships but descends into obsession, rejection and revenge, blind passion and one impenetrable yorkshire accent that you have to say out loud to get what the old codger Joseph is on about.

The books setting, the Yorkshire Moors, are a purgatory sort of place. When characters leave, for whatever reason,they seem to disappear from the small insular reality of the created universe. This sense of dislocation adds immeasurably to the isolated atmosphere.

The pervading sense of bleakness (bleak like the Yorkshire moors that the story is set upon, clever eh.), really gives this book a sense of brooding, you really get the idea there will be a lot of bad stuff happening to the interconnected families.

It really is a story relentless in its hate, anger and grating naivety.  Although understandable because of the time and of course the authors background not to mention that of the characters situation there is still a whole lot of complaining to be read through, I found it very frustrating but that is being a mite picky, once the above reasons are factored in. All in all, a good book but not one that really grabbed me.

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18 Replies to “Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë”

  1. I had to read this for a college course and wasn’t looking forward to writing a synopsis of it. Although after I read it, I kind of liked it. It wasn’t as bad as I’d thought it would have been.

    You nailed the review!

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    1. Thanyou very much. I thought the gothic aspect would have been more pronounced. It was all to pedestrian really, but it passed the time. There are many more books I would choose to reread before this again.

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    1. I am a little wary of Jane Eyre, I always think it isn’t my kind of book but then I never would have thought War and peace or Love in the Time of Cholera were, so I can be wrong.

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  2. Okay, I’m about to offend about five million people so if choose to delete this comment, you may do so, Ste, with no ill feelings from me. I read this first when I was thirteen and liked it very much. I read it again a few years ago and wondered what in the world I’d been thinking. I liked the drama and thought it was very well written. The problem is I hate the characters. I couldn’t care less what happens to Catherine or Heathcliff. I knew how it ended, but I didn’t want to wait that long. I just kept wishing they’d both fall off a cliff and die already. Sorry. Now I’m sure my opinion won’t bear any weight with you but, Jane Eyre is my favorite. Love every single thing about it and the characters. Not sure how you, as a man, would feel about it, but hope you love it. 🙂

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    1. After reading pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre is on my list…I tended to shy away from ‘that’ type of book but am up for reading them now. Thinking back to this and it was a while ago since I wrote this, the characters weren’t that impressive…Heathcliff was enjoyable in his brooding nature but other than that I don’t really think any other character grabbed me. Joseph with his impenetrable colloquialism was amusing as I recall.

      It is good to see see that not everyone hails it as an amazing book…I do feel in the minority not weeping happy tears over it but now I am part of a gang (almost) so this pleases Ste, besides what do five million people know?

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  3. “Wuthering Heights” isn’t really about people, it’s about atmosphere, at least that’s what I thought after I re-read it as a mature adult. It’s about the mists and the fogs and the driving rains, and the cold, dank insides of places which only have one main fireplace to heat with, or which are just damp and dank because they are old and rat-ridden and beetle-chewed. The people are incidental to the non-plot, which involves the gradual disintegation of everyone and everything back into the wet, soggy moors. And them’s my thoughts on the matter!

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    1. Perhaps i did it an injustice the first time, or perhaps the protracted reading time took something from it…I do remember it not really being high on plot but lots of complaining people. Rereading this will possibly be a joy in latter life, I shall of course come back to these comments to whet my appetite. I do remember noticing the correlation of of human nature and Mother Nature, although maybe I am just misremembering after reading your comments. Something to reflect on Stethinks!

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  4. I had to study WH as part of my Grade 12 English curriculum. I loved it then…I think I found it all very romantic and dramatic and intense and what not – things that appeal to a 17 year old I suppose! Haha….I wonder what I will feel about it now. Must re-read it and find out! Great review 🙂

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    1. The terrors of the reread, will the book live up to the memory, exceed it or be a disappointment. It s intriguing to trace how a book changes for the reader through time, or rather how we change and react to the book.

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