May 05, 2010

Wuthering Heights :: Emily Bronte

Title: Wuthering Heights [White Whale 2010, #2]
Author: Emily Bronte
Read: NYC
Format: Trade paperback

Let's not beat around the bush: I really, really didn't like Wuthering Heights.

In a nutshell: Heathcliff and Catherine love each other, but she marries someone else (isn't that always the way). After she marries and eventually dies, he gets all gloomy and haunted and vengeful and mean. They live on a landscape that matches Heathcliff's 'tude. He makes life miserable for everyone in two households. At the end, he dies and things start looking up.

- I hate when character's accents are written phonetically.
- Heathcliff is overbearing, scary, and completely unsympathetic.
- Catherine, too, is unlikeable. Also, she is annoying.
- Bronte doesn't convincingly develop their 'love' or any kind of passion; as a motivation for decades of revenge, it falls flat.
- The narrative requires that the moor be a very insular world. But, the fact that everyone just accepts it as their whole world out of some under-developed sense of obligation is weak and convenient. Heathcliff was able to leave. If he's such an ass to everyone, why do they stick around?
- Rocky moors, unkempt terrain, cold, damp. It's gothic, I get it.

Even though I didn't like it, I'm glad I read Wuthering Heights - even if only to cross it off my list. Also, there are certain books that are referenced so frequently that it just makes sense to go through them. Even if they are not your thing.

Maybe if I read it when I was 12 I would have liked it more:
2 out of 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, I remember really really liking this book when I first read it. I was 15 though, and moors seemed *fascinating*.