Wuthering Heights
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"Enduring Literature Illuminated by Practical Scholarship. The unforgettable story of Heathcliff and Catherine, whose doomed love torments them in a tempest of madness, vengeance, and redemption. Each enriched classic edition includes:* A concise introduction that gives readers important background information * A chronology of the author's life and work * A timeline of significant events that provides the book's historical context * An outline of key themes and plot points to help readers form their own interpretations * Detailed explanatory notes * Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern perspectives on the work * Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book group interaction * A list of recommended related books and films to broaden the reader's experience Enriched Classics offer readers affordable editions of great works of literature enhanced by helpful notes and insightful commentary. The scholarship provided in Enriched Classics enables readers to appreciate, understand, and enjoy the world's finest books to their full potential. SERIES EDITED BY CYNTHIA BRANTLEY JOHNSON "

Cambridge Literature is a series of literary texts edited for study by students aged 14-18 in English-speaking classrooms. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is edited by Richard Hoyes, Head of English and Media Studies, Farnham College, Surrey.

Customer Reviews:

  • Much more than what you think
    In "Wuthering Heights", Bronte subtlely presents to her Victorian audiences a condemning social commentary, and asks them to consider that the struggle between the good and the bad is not black and white. While Heathcliff seems the obvious steward of evil and badness in the novel, after careful introspection, the reader discovers that immorality and badness seep into the hearts of many other characters. Though perhaps not as insidious at the outset, most of the major characters experience a moral deficiency and by the completion of the novel, have acted in a way that makes the distinction between themselves and the clearly wicked Heathcliff more nebulous than before. Bronte startles the reader into the realization that regardless of conformity to Victorian social mores, each person nurtures a seed of immorality within themselves. Though there may be people who are excessive in their depravity, Bronte skillfully reminds us that an image of evil exists within everyone. ...more info
  • excellent service and product
    I was very pleased with the book,"Wurthering Heights" and the service in sending it to me. THank you. ...more info
  • Pride and Revenge are Lonely Companions, by Camille Zoebell
    I love a good book that draws you to your favorite chair and the warmth of the fire in the fireplace. That when you open the pages you snuggle deeper into your chair and pull your soft warm blanket up around you and disappear into the story. Wuthering Heights is that kind of book. What woman doesn't love reading a romantic story, full of conflict and suspense along the road, ending in a state of contentment? In Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights she appeals to pathos, or emotion, and effectively uses symbolism, analogy, foreshadowing and imagery to depict a story full of emotions ranging from love and peace to degradation and anguish. These components make for a very enjoyable and satisfying read.

    Emily Bronte appeals to pathos effectively to create the feelings Catherine has for her childhood friend and love, Heathcliff. Catherine reveals her feelings for Heathcliff to Ellen, their housemaid, in saying, "He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same" (Bronte 63). She goes on to tell how if "all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and, if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the Universe would turn to a mighty stranger. I should not seem a part of it" (Bronte 64). Emily Bronte uses beautiful language not only in this instance, but throughout the book, to manipulate our feelings for a sense of love and devotion between these two companions. In our day we don't often get to hear words of endearment spoken like this. My friend and I were lamenting, "Why don't people talk like this anymore?!" This book is worth reading if only to have your romantic senses appealed to.

    Along with Pathos, Wuthering Heights also contains a sense of deep symbolism. When Catherine passes away at a young age, her husband, Edgar Linton, and Heathcliff are extremely overwhelmed. Edgar and Heathcliff obviously have a deep disdain for each other, so Heathcliff has to sneak in to have one last glimpse of his lifelong love. During his visit Heathcliff removes from the locket around Catherine's neck the lock of light hair owned by her husband and replaces it with a lock of his own. Ellen, upon finding this, twists the two and "encloses them together" (Bronte 131). This single act is symbolic of Catherine's entire life. Her heart has always been divided between the two. She had a deep and unrequited love for Heathcliff since she was a child. However, she also had a love for her husband who never faltered in staying by her side, and whom she always had a trust for. The simple symbolism of these entwined locks of hair gives a representation of her entire life. The reader is given a deeper understanding of Catherine's life, and this makes the book easier to understand and definitely more enjoyable to read. The use of symbolism gives the reader a sense of awe and wanting to find deeper meaning in the book, and everyday things in their own lives. It makes the story easier to relate to.

    After Catherine's death, Heathcliff mentally transforms into a monster, seeking only revenge throughout most of the book. One person he seeks revenge upon is Hareton Earnshaw whose parents have died, so Heathcliff becomes his caretaker. Heathcliff makes Hareton's life a living Hell to get back at his father, Hindley Earnshaw. Once again, I love Emily's use of language to create the perfect image in our minds of what she wants us to see. Heathcliff compares Hareton to his own son Linton, in saying, "One is gold put to the use of paving stones, and the other is tin polished to ape a service of silver" (Bronte 169). Hareton is to the gold, as Heathcliff's son Linton is to the tin. His son is worth nothing, yet he makes him the best he can be. Hareton has first-rate qualities, yet they are smothered out. Heathcliff, in his devilish ways, has done everything he can to make the life of Hareton valueless, and miserable. Heathcliff's whole sad life revolves around revenge. He pays for a tutor to come three times a week for his son, yet leaves Hareton to his uncivilized doom, being unable to read a syllable. This and other analogies used in the book, express perfectly what the author is trying to say by comparing to real life objects, and made me love this book even more.

    In addition to analogy, foreshadowing is used. The author hints at what the future holds for Cathy (deceased Catherine's daughter) and Hareton. When Heathcliff's son Linton dies Cathy is mourning over him, and "Hareton seemed a thought bothered, though he was more taken up with staring at Catherine than thinking of Linton" (Bronte 224). This hints that maybe he will let his bitter outlook on life and abhorrence of her be lessened, and allow himself to like or even love her. I was glad for this part, because it made me feel hope, and that perhaps there could be happiness for someone in this tale of sadness and revenge. This makes the book an enjoyable read, because the reader begins to wonder and predict what will happen between these two, if anything. This builds anticipation for the reader.

    Another literary device Bronte uses is imagery. She uses both gruesome, and beautiful imagery effectively to make the story more real and meaningful for her audience. When Heathcliff gets in a fight with his enemy, Hareton's father, imagery enhances the scene dramatically. "The knife closed into the owner's wrist. Heathcliff pulled it away by main force, slitting up the flesh as it passed on, and thrust it dripping into his pocket...the adversary had fallen senseless with excessive pain and the flow of blood that gushed from an artery, or a large vein" (Bronte 138). This imagery is so descriptive that it causes the reader to cringe and even evokes repulsion. Also, it contributes to making this a good book, because it's not only a romance, it also contains suspense.

    In the closing paragraph of the book it says, "I watched the moths fluttering among the heath and hare-bells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered..." This intricate imagery and language is beautiful. It makes this book all worthwhile; leaving the reader with a sense of contentment and reflection, and sadness that the book has come to an end.

    Emily Bronte effectively appeals to pathos, symbolism, analogy, foreshadowing and imagery to create a book full of meaning and emotion. She writes this book that contains love, degradation, revenge, anguish and at last peace in such a way that once you start it, you won't be able to put it down. It is written beautifully. It's a book to be enjoyed by any woman, and is definitely worth buying. And when you come to the last page and close it with a sigh, you'll be satisfied and feel your time was definitely well spent.

    ...more info
  • Named a Classic for a Reason
    This compelling story of hate has enthralled readers for generations with good reason. From the classic scene of Lookwood encountering Catherine Linton's ghost, I was hooked. Though the plot is not always fast-moving, it is strong and compelling. It is fun for readers to draw parallels between the two generations outlined in this novel. The atmosphere of the novel is one of mystery, set up early in the first few chapters. Though most of the characters are despicable in some way, hearing about their lives through Nelly's eyes is irresistible. The novel is littered with violence, and the "moral" of the story is unclear to the reader, as it possibly was to the author herself, yet it does make a few important points. Love is not everything, for example, is stressed from the moment that Catherine Earnshaw becomes a Linton. With vivid imagery and extremely psychological characters, Emily Bronte created a classic truly deserving of the title....more info
  • Scorching Yet Compelling, Wild Yet Logical Prose
    I'll never forget a one-on-one extended conversation I once had with the celebrated, brilliant albeit tortured poet, John Berryman (and his bottle of Jack). What remains with me from that broadly inclusive and allusive ramble about all things literary (and more) was his singling out Emily Bronte's "Wuthering Heights" as the one novel capable of exerting a hold on the reader that all but defied his analysis and description. I didn't fully grasp his drift at the time, but after at least two additional readings of this perversely powerful, heaven-denying yet time-defying testimony to indestructible passion that is neither quite "of" nor "out of" this world, I now number myself among those who, like Berryman, are in the novel's grip.

    The uniqueness of the story is not the subject matter (as Charlotte implied in her critical assessment of her sister's novel--though I would grant that scenes of puppy hanging and necrophilia are not common Victorian fare). The novel owes its special place to the discourse--the language as employed by Emily Bronte to express the feelings of Catherine and Heathcliff--that moreover insures familiar emotions strike the reader in unfamiliar ways, altering and destabilizing conventional understandings before taking root in consciousness. Bronte's syntax and diction literally make the reader "work," but the difficulty is essential to her dual purpose: 1. to enable us to experience first-hand some of the same reeling and disorientation felt by the characters who ride the whirlwind of their fatal but not deadly passion; 2. to convey the supreme difficulty (impossibility, for most of us) and accomplishment of representing in words a passion that is equal parts natural and unnatural.

    The key to reading this novel for maximum impact and lasting appreciation is to struggle with, but not give up on, the novel's vital meanings, which are in the passages containing some combination of the following: paradox and irony, sudden reversals, antithesis, oxymoronic juxtaposition, natural images functioning as "objective correlatives," mind-blowing similes and metaphors pushed to extravagant literary "conceits." Above all, the reader needs to be alert to Bronte's transpositions of references and referents, her displacements of "signifiers" and the "signifieds" with which they are normally paired.

    The foregoing might seem to be insufficient incentive to read this remarkable novel were it not for the surprising degree of "precision" that characterizes Bronte's eros-fueled discourse about love. Just as the "monstrous," elemental, and hate-spewing Heathcliff is at the same time an attentive, responsive observer (catching Hindley and later Catherine in mid-flight, a fractional second before either hits the floor) and a careful, even long-range planner, taking pains to stay within the "law," Bronte's language attends to and remains true to its own laws, adhering to a meticulous and consistent logic that rewards the reader who has the patience to stay with its lurching, unpredictable course. Once you've decoded a statement such as Heathcliff's that he can "never forgive Catherine's murderer"--with Catherine herself being the "murderer" he has in mind--the logic of Bronte's lexicon along with her unfailing responsibility to the reader become more evident, making possible a relationship between reader and text rivaling that of Cathy and Heathcliff.

    (Concerning this Penguin edition, I could do without its return to the original published format of two volumes along with two chapter 1's, two chapter 2's, etc. The unified, organic structure of the novel is better served by an edition that avoids such a distracting bifurcation of the narrative. There's only one potential benefit that I can see: if you read the first volume only, the William Wyler-directed Hollywood classic starring Olivier and Oberon works much better.)...more info
  • A Great Tragedy
    This is a great novel. It is easy to ready but not easy to get into since it is a little bit slow and dark from the first page. However, the story evolves and slowly grows on you.

    I found the book a great description of one perspective of love, an unsatisfied love that keeps growing until it finally consumes the lovers.

    Some of the paragraphs are great to read in the way they explain the emotional struggle of the characters.

    Highly recommended....more info
  • Good
    Overall a good story, although sometimes it is hard to follow because it was written over 200 years ago and is definitely written in old English. But I like to think I became a little bit more cultured, if not a bit smarter after reading it because it is a great piece of literature. ...more info
  • The Real Star Is The Heights
    Those who read WUTHERING HEIGHTS only because their 10th grade English teacher mandated it, often return to Emily Bronte's classic years later for a return visit to the howling moor without quite knowing why. There is a sense of place to the novel that resists ready explanation, and it is perhaps that lingering memory of the triangle that connects Heathcliff, Catherine, and the moor that demands a closer examination with a more mature perspective.

    Heathcliff and Catherine have a stormy love affair, but the book is not simply a reworking of the romantic potboilers so current then. Nor is it just a cataloguing of nature, though nature is present even from the opening pages. What elevates WUTHERING HEIGHTS to a level not reached before and only a very few times since is Bronte's unique ability to take a nature that is merely descriptive in the hands of a lesser and infuse its wildness and unbridled power into a man who is the walking symbol of that power.

    Bronte divides nature in the macrocosmic sense--birds, trees, wind, rocks--into two distinct elements. There is the low key, quiet, and peaceful image of nature so beloved by Wordsworth and locates it in the peaceful Thrushcross Grange. It is here where the cultured Linton family live. Every image that Bronte uses is pacific in scope. One wonders whether the Lintons even hear the same whoosh of wind that resounds in Heathcliff's ears. Less obvious to the careless reader is the enervating subtext that infuses the Grange. Bronte drops several hints that the Grange, for all its peaceful charm, has a charm that is incapable of propagating itself in the emerging harshness of the deterministic ruthless way of life that just then was gathering steam. Catherine is a woman with one foot in that world of culture, manners, and -lingering slow death. Even after she leaves Heathcliff for Edgar Linton, Catherine tells Nelly that she is quite aware of the differences between the worlds of the Grange and of Wuthering Heights: "My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods. Time will change it...My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath." Here, Bronte takes the homely images of nature and personalizes them as the metaphorical difference between that which Catherine merely finds pleasant (The Grange) and that which she finds necessary (Wuthering Heights). Then there is the twisted, stormy, and unpredictable nature of Wuthering Heights, where Heathcliff grew and it is there that he suffered untold horrors that taught him that for him to survive, he had to be as violent as the winds which surrounded him.

    It is less certain whether Bronte wishes the reader to excuse Heathcliff's unspeakable cruelty once he reverses economic position with the effete Edgar Linton. But perhaps it is less to the point to seek to place blame for Heathcliff's revenge than to acknowledge that it is definitely useless to blame a bolt of lighting for striking its unwary victim. Heathcliff, as the walking symbol of Wuthering Heights, is that bolt which strikes out in a manner not unlike the way that he himself had been struck many times as a boy. Once Heathcliff has his revenge in the humbling of the Lintons, a revenge which costs him his beloved Catherine, it remains for the next generation--the young Cathy and Hareton--to remind Heathcliff that revenge must not be permitted to outlive its proper time, and for the new residents of both Grange and the Heights, that time has long passed. What emerges, then, from a second reading of WUTHERING HEIGHTS is Bronte's firm commitment to recreate a clash of conflicting and very nearly mutually exclusive emotions--revenge and forgiveness--that cause each new generation to learn to temper the former with the latter and thus retain their basic humanity.
    ...more info
  • Well-written but Heathcliff is just not a happy guy!
    I finally read this classic after many years of intending to. My only exposure to the story was the film starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. About halfway through I'm thinking....was the movie this dark? Why do I not remember Heathcliff being so ruthless? Well, turns out the movie version I saw only covers the first half of the book (as I learned through Wikipedia). I imagine the filmakers found second-half Heathcliff to be so unlikeable that even the dashing Olivier could not redeem him.

    The book was immensely compelling literature, and frankly I tore through it, but I had a hard time sympathizing with Heathcliff's unsatiable appetite for revenge. The second half of the book is like "My Name is Earl" in reverse. "Hmm, who wronged me and how can I avenge them? Hindley? Check. Edgar? Check." It overshadowed whatever love there was between he and Catherine. Not to mention that Catherine was by all accounts a spoiled, unlikeable brat.

    So 4 stars because it is a fine piece of literature, but wow....not what I was expecting. Dark, dark, dark. Not that dark is inherently bad (Anna Karenina and House of Mirth end shall we say, darkly, and they are two of the best books on earth), but I think I'll stick with Darcy and Elizabeth for my romantic leads.
    ...more info
  • It's a classic for a reason
    I have very mixed feelings about this book. While it's a beautiful book, and I will probably read it again, I could not stand the story! All of the characters are horrible people, in my opinion, and the only thing that kept me from throwing the book across the room was the last two chapters. If I had not had to read this for class, I would not have finished it at all - though I am certainly glad I did finish it.

    If you're looking to read the Classics, definitely do read this. Same goes for if you're looking to read a classic romance, or one of the Gothic classics. However, if you're looking for a "good" book, one that will leave you happy or going "aww," you're at the wrong book....more info
  • Wuthering Heights
    I just finished reading this book like ten minutes ago. This was one of the strangest novels I have ever encountered. At times I dislike it, at other times I was compeletely captivated by it, and now that I'm through with it, I am utterly haunted. There are more detailed reviews on this site about Wuthering Heights but I'll go into what I liked and didn't like and you'll forgive me if the story description that I give isn't 100 percent up to par with everything that happens because frankly alot of stuff occurred and it would be impossible to fit it all here. Catherine and Heathcliff are two people destined to be together as they have been inseperable since they were children and Heathcliff was adopted by her father Mr. Earnshaw. But as they grow older, people try to keep the two apart. The neighbors, the Lintons, have a son named Edgar who Catherine becomes friends with also and this will bring trouble in the future. Also, Catherine's brother Hindley hates Heathcliff because his father doted on him. This will bring more trouble. And finally, once they are fully grown, Heathcliff overhears a part of something Catherine says about how it would be degrading to marry him. Intensely hurt, he leaves for years and years before he can hear her proclaim how much she loves him with a passionate love if ever there were one. She marries the Linton boy Edgar and Heathcliff returns. A tragedy occurs and he uses every fiber of his being trying to get even. To say more would be major spoilers I think, so I'll leave it at that. Now to the good and bad. The narrative is told by both Catherine's nanny and by this other guy who came to rent a room from Heathcliff and sometimes I had trouble telling who was speaking. Also, I felt that it could've been cut shorter in some places with the dialogue, but these are minor problems really. So what's good about this novel? CATHERINE AND HEATHCLIFF. These two deserve to be together and you can feel that whenever they are in one another's presence. I have never read a novel that made me feel so strongly for two characters. Many times I became physically ANGRY that things were happening to drive them apart. Never has this happened. I found myself silently seething about some of this stuff. You really have to read it to fully understand what I'm talking about but so much happens against Heathcliff and the entire world is stacked against him and then Catherine goes and marries Linton. I felt betrayed by that, by a CHARACTER IN A NOVEL. Then later on when there is no longer any hope for the couple to be together at all, I felt such anguish for Heathcliff. It was a real anguish that he was being denied, even as he did despicable deeds to exact revenge. And I'm a guy, not some 16 year old girl. Another thing that was great was how Emily Bronte crafted her characters. Each and every one of them at some time or another does something shameful or mean or just plain evil. But I always understood their motivation and could not hate them for what they did. I felt compassion for some of them as if they were actual flesh and blood. Lord have mercy, why couldn't they just be together? There is something about this book. It is filled with such anguish, such unrequitted love, that it lingers and stays with you. It is the saddest book I have ever read and it will stay with me for the rest of my life.
    ...more info
  • Not bad, not bad at all...
    I was kind of skeptical of this book in the beginning, after all, a book that has like three generations of families, half of them with the same name is really confusing. In addition, it seemed that I could find any good characters in this book. Even the main character has faults that I would look down upon. This book centers around the revenge of the main character Heathcliff. After trudging along several chapters I found this book to be quite interesting.

    This book incorporates a lot of gothic elements within the book. Emily Bronte conveys a deep horror and arouses our morbid curiosity with this. One will find many supernatural elements and suspenseful atmosphere within this book, and even a ghost! Because Bronte writes this book through the eyes of several characters, it is hard to judge the objectivity of the story, forcing readers to determine for themselves whether or not certain actions were justified. In the retellings through one character who used to care for Heathcliff's lover, she consistently paints him as the antagonist, emphasizing his faults and his actions against the family. This makes the book that much more interesting to read.

    The story of Wuthering Heights is a really complicated love story that focuses mainly on Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. Through Bronte's appeal to pathos, she is able to convey and build up the romance between Heathcliff and Catherine. When she dies, Heathcliff, literally becomes a monster mentally, and Bronte applies this to a figurative level, describing him as a monster too. This also reveals the inner turmoil he experiences upon her death.

    Emily Bronte definitely writes on par with her sister Charlotte Bronte. Emily's work on Wuthering Heights, with her use of pathos and figurative language definitely makes it a classical gothic romance novel with a novel storyline.

    It is a beautifully written book that is full of human emotion from the seemingly cold and calculating Heathcliff. After the death of Catherine he burns for revenge. It is a great book, one just needs to get through the first couple of chapter to realize this. The conclusion is also satisfactory and provides for a good release of tension and an epiphany-like ending.

    I find this book to be a good read, because it has some adult themes, I would not exactly advise little kids to read it, but I am sure that anyone who appreciates literature would be "wowed" and amazed by this book. Give it a chance, and you will find that this book is worth every single penny!
    ...more info
  • A very gothic and dark story
    Okay, everyone has heard of this book so I probably don't need to give a review, but I will anyways.=) Some have seen the movie adaptations of this book as well so some already know the storyline and what this book is about.

    I absolutely loved this book. I couldn't stop reading until I reached the very end. I had seen both the 1939 and 1992 movie adaptations of this book so I already knew what happened, but the movies don't capture the essence and emotion of the story as well as the book can.

    Heathcliff is the gothic romance hero with traits that I think many romance writers use in their own heroes: brooding, mysterious, darkly handsome, and harsh (though of course, not so tortured and brutal). Cathy is gay-hearted and a wild beauty, but also selfish and manipulative in her behavior and actions. Both characters are so realistic in their human emotions and failings that you can't help but empathize with them and hope for that happily-ever-after you know will not occur (as the story is told in flashback so you already know their love was doomed). They are two people that are meant for the other, and each hold flaws and are not always the most likeable of characters.

    I found myself going through the "what-ifs" scenarios: What if Cathy hadn't spurned Heathcliff for the more wealthy and civilized Edgar? What if Heathcliff hadn't left to make his fortune to win Cathy? What if Heathcliff hadn't decided to seek vengenance and revenge on those who prevented their union?

    What made this book so tragic to me was the fact Cathy knew instinctly what she was doing (by accepting and marrying Edgar for position and wealth) was so wrong! She was going against herself by rejecting the fact that they were indeed soulmates and meant for each other. One half of a whole:

    "In my soul and in my heart, I'm convinced I'm wrong!"

    "I love him; and not that, not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire"

    "My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath--a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind--not as a pleasure, but as my own being"

    Despite her confessions of the heart, she goes through with her folly and dooms herself and Heathcliff and all those they encounter, and this passes on to the next generation. Her actions causes obssession and borderline madness in Heathcliff that continues long after Cathy dies. Even though he becomes so cruel and unlikeable in the second half of the book, I couldn't really hate him, knowing what he went through in the first half of the book. Although what he went through doesn't excuse his behavior and actions, you still understand the reasons behind them. You can hear the pain and anguish in his soul when he asks Cathy why she did what she did:

    "Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy?"

    "Because misery, and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart--you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine.

    All in all, this book is dark, despairing, emotionally wrenching and passionate. Be warned, this book will make you cry....more info
  • Looks Good
    Haven't had a chance to read the book yet. But, it looks like it will be a great read. The book came as promised. It is a paperback - but a high quality one. If you are looking for this classic, I do recommend this printing....more info
  • Audio Book
    I used express delivery and it left the warehouse the same day I ordered it and I received it promptly. Thank you for an exceptional sale. I will do this again....more info
  • Alice Hoffman's Blog
    Why in God's name is Alice Hoffman's blog attached to a description of Bronte's timeless classic? Amazon--please fix....more info
  • Ultimately, worth the read...perhaps.
    I should probably like this book more than i did, but every page felt like a labor. Later, a professor told me that it was spoof/commentary on Jane Austen, and that made me like it more. Because who wouldn't like to see the nicely fitted, happy-endings of the Austen chick-flick genre of romance turned upon the issues and emotions of the real world, and with real world effect?

    Unfortunately, there are far more Heathcliffs out there than there are Mr. Darcys, and the sooner they are confronted, the more likely the Heathcliffs will be called to task.

    Thanks for the read, Ms. Bronte....more info
  • Sickening and fascinating
    I don't think there is any other novel out there like this. It's definitely a classic, but it's not pleasant and lovely like Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice or mysterious but positive like Charlotte Bront?'s Jane Eyre. As other reviers said, it's dark. It's unpleasant. It's full of anger and fighting and cruelty.

    And yet it is well written. It portrays well what it is meant to portray. I wish I understood it better (reading reviews and plot outlines on this page helped me immensely in this area). I definitely want to read it again sometime. I find it interesting that such a repulsive (but again, fascinating) book is such a well-known classic that almost everyone has at least heard of the title....more info
  • Wuthering Heights
    I haven't read this book yet, but my Mom did. She really liked the book and it was in great condiction....more info
  • Ultimately, worth the read...perhaps.
    I should probably like this book more than i did, but every page felt like a labor. Later, a professor told me that it was spoof/commentary on Jane Austen, and that made me like it more. Because who wouldn't like to see the nicely fitted, happy-endings of the Austen chick-flick genre of romance turned upon the issues and emotions of the real world, and with real world effect?

    Unfortunately, there are far more Heathcliffs out there than there are Mr. Darcys, and the sooner they are confronted, the more likely the Heathcliffs will be called to task.

    Thanks for the read, Ms. Bronte....more info
  • A great read.
    Although some of the plot elements seem preposterous today the story remains a great read. What a love story! A great tale of people sometimes setting in motion awful events due to their desire to do what they see as right in their own eyes. Recommended. Well-written....more info
  • wuthering Heights!
    My all time favorite book. A truly timeless classic. It has earned its place on the Signet Classics list. ...more info
  • hate story.
    i thought this was suppose to be one of the greatest love stories ever told but after finishing the book i was left in shock. I can't believe that their would be such an evil person like Heathcliff. I liked the book but just not what i expected....more info
    This book is without question one of the darkest and most enigmatic classics in English Literature, you will find a miriad of opinion on the book. I for one think it's a great character study, and Bronte's prose are singular. At its heart this is of course a love story, but a brutal one. Heathcliff, is one of the most famous or infamous characters in English Literature, he is truly an enigma. His relationship with Catherine, and its consequences are of course the crux of the novel. Heathcliffs love for her is all consuming, you keep waiting for him to say, I wish I could quit you. Their love is at once beautiful and at second glance toxic. Everybody should read this book, whether you love it or not, I assure you it will stay with you..forever. ...more info
  • Interesting but tedious.
    Heathcliff is a fierce, pitiless, wolfish man inside and out. His character makes this an interesting story. But, it was a little tedious to read.

    Margo, a former college professor, enlightened me with some thoughts on the book which I am quoting here. This is from her comment below dated 2/4/09. "Younger readers are fans of the story because they see in it the tumultuous passions of lovers obstructed by "outsiders." I think they "get it." My college students love it because they are mesmerized by the slow, agonizing destruction of one of the lovers as he takes his vengeance." Thank you Margo.

    Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: none. (I mention sexual content solely for the purpose of providing information. Some readers may want to know this when recommending to young adults.) Setting about 1775 to 1805 England. Published about 1847. Genre: Gothic Romance (romance about obsession)....more info
  • The dark and brooding tale of Cathy & Heathcliff
    What a great experience to finally reread this classic as an adult. Emily Bronte depicts a very gothic and depressing story of two star-crossed (but not terribly likeable) lovers, Cathy & Heathcliff, and the love between them that transcended the grave. Added to that a wonderful depiction of the dark English moors and the local characters with their strange dialects. This was also told in a very unusual style, like a tale within a tale within a tale, adding more layers and perspectives to the story.

    How unfortunate that one's upbringing can so affect a person that their grief and bitterness turn what could have been a fine young man into such a hateful and vengeful person as Heathcliff became. And fortunate that Cathy's daughter and Hareton could overcome their dark upbringing to bring a happier light onto the dark moors of England.

    I did not read this version of the book, but the Selected Works of the Bronte Sisters (Wordsworth Special Editions) (Wordsworth Special Editions), which did not have all the footnotes. I think I enjoyed that better as I wasn't constantly distracted by looking to the back for the notes and just allowed myself to become engrossed with the story. It's one book you have to read at least twice in your life -- of course in school as required reading and then again as an adult to add that perspective of age and experience in life so that one can more fully appreciate a such a classic tale. ...more info
  • Sick and Twisted
    I thought I was going give this a bad rating because I hated Heathcliff and Cathy Earnshaw so much that I couldn't bear to read any more, but that's the reason why I gave it high marks! It's been awhile since a novel has brought out such feelings in me! Frankly, Cathy and Heathcliff deserved one another; I hated Cathy because she was so selfish she did not deserve to be loved by anyone with a good heart, like Edgar; I hated Heathcliff because he was such a monster with no heart towards anyone else other than Cathy. I was sick to my stomach the way he punished those around him. I don't know why Heathcliff was so fond of Cathy either. There was nothing about her to love! I loved Missus Dean though. She had the strongest spirit and I found her a refreshing character amidst the madness of all the others. This book was incredibly tragic and even hard to get through because it is such a downer. It's like when you think it couldn't get worse, it does! I didn't give the book 5 stars, however, because I found the ending weak and abrupt. Other than that, a worthwhile read! ...more info
  • No wonder it's a set text...albeit a little difficult
    As someone who is long out of high school, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Wuthering Heights (and properly this time!)

    One literary critic I read somewhere said that the sheer number of characters is deliberately confusing. Certainly, it doesn't make it any easier that there are two Catherines. Nor the frequent use of surnames, rather than first names and vice versa, quite interchangably.

    Like many reviewers before me I found many of the characters thoroughly odious and of moral outrage. Why Nelly Dean doesn't just leave them all is a mystery to me.

    One thing I found of great help to my understanding of the book was to paste a clearer copy of the family tree to the inside-front cover of the book. I found this on page 308 of The Scribner Companion to the Bront?s by Barbara and Gareth Lloyd Evans. The marriages and births are clearer and far more readable.

    I also felt the need to take notes from a number of other literary critical works on the book to get my head around the whole plot, the characters, themes, imagery and Haworth landscape.

    Perhaps for the most serious among us there is a concordance to Wuthering Heights! This is great for those doing a paper on some certain theme found in the book, who want to find all the references to that topic all in one place. If you are wanting to find it: A Concordance to Bront?'s Wuthering Heights by C. Ruth Sabol and Todd K. Bender, Garland Publishing, Inc. New York/London, 1984, Garland Reference Library of the Humanities Vol. 428.

    Thoroughly recommended. It only loses a star because I would have enjoyed something slightly less complex, which is really just a reflection on this poor reviewer, rather than Emily Bront?....more info
  • This Heathcliff Is No Pussy!
    (Like the curmudgeonly CAT in the COMIC...get it?)

    Great old-style classic novel. One of Henry Miller's favorites; that's what attracted me to it.

    I liked the style of the narrative, largely told through the reminiscences of the housekeeper Nelly. This is one dysfunctional family!

    Like many novels from this period it's all about the interpersonal relationships; there isn't anything external happening to anyone here of any particular consequence. But the masterful storytelling and imaginings of the authoress really do make this a worthwhile and rewarding literary journey.

    Read it! Classics rule!...more info
  • Wonderful
    This is truly a wonderful book. I can't put it any plainer, and recommend it for anyone. ...more info
  • Slow Read At The Start, But It Has a Strong Finish
    This is the only novel by Emily Bronte, one of the three English Bronte sisters. Emily lived for just 30 years: 1818 to 1848.

    I bought and read this Penguin Classic version of Wuthering Heights. It has a good preface by Lucasta Miller, author of "The Bronte Myth," and it has an introduction by Pauline Nestor, who has written two books on the Bronte sisters including "Charlotte Bronte' in 1987, and a related book "George Eliot" in 2002. I read the analysis after reading the book and I recommend that you not read too much about the details of the story until you have read the book. I read the book after reading "Jane Eyre" and "Shirley." I read the three books one after the other.

    "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte has touches of Dickens and Jane Austen in a fictional biopgraphy of a young English woman. That novel is more conventional in plot and structure and it is a compelling read. It was a big hit in 1847 and was a much bigger and more popular novel than "Wuthering Heights" - published the same year in 1847. Both sisters used male pseudonyms. The present novel has become more popular and better accepted with the passage of time. Even today, "Jane Eyre" remains as the more popular novel, but now there is a strong appreciation of what Emily Bronte has created: it is an unusual piece of literature. Some think that it shows much more originality than the popular work of Charlotte.

    In short, Emily Bronte has created a horror book which is mostly grounded in reality. The characters have the problems within themselves. There is nothing unusual or super-natural in the book. The novel is short and concise. It is a well written and entertaining novel. But unlike most novels, it is hard to have sympathy with any characters. One likes certain people in the book because they are not as bad or as outrageous as some of the others. I guess we could say the protagonists are Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw. The latter is somewhat sympathetic while Heathcliff is a man with serious problems. All in all it is very convincing.

    Also, Emily Bronte uses the story within a story technique: it is a narrative told by a housekeeper with the beginning and closing chapters used to form the story and bring closure.

    The novel is slow to start but most who can get through the first 100 pages will be well rewarded.

    I highly recommend this Penguin Classic.
    ...more info
  • A Love Story? Bah!
    Where can one even begin on this book? I have just a few seconds ago finished this book and I am completely speechless...but not with admiration.
    Yes,PERHAPS Emily Bronte might have written this well but EVERY other aspect of this books is extremely flawed. Good literature it may be to some but good characters, morals, story it is most certainly not. I completely 100% agree with a reviewer who wrote that she hated Heathcliff being described as some alpha male. Reader, believe me, he is the farthest thing from it. How can all these people talk about WH as being a love story? Some call it Powerful Love, Passionate Love, Strongest Love that Could Ever Exist, etc etc. Believe me when I say Heathcliff has ABSOLUTELY NO LOVE for Catherine. Nor she for him. All of it is just a matter of obsession. Their "attachment" to each other is purely selfish. This book has not ONE admirable character in it. All are either foolish or wicked. Heathcliff is nothing good and honest but obsession, jealousy, cruelty, baseness, dishonesty, and selfishness are the elements of his character as well as Catherine's I might add. Perhaps if Emily Bronte would have brought out all the folly of the characters and spoken of their error it would have had some merit. But the book starts off in bad and till the end no one grows or improves their moral characters. If the wickedness of a person can only be erased by extinguishing the the person himself what moral is there to be learned at all? I had not the slightest big of emotion except relief when I finished this. When I read a book I feel so engrossed in it, almost as if I know every character and am part of their world. HA! Emily Bronte has such a superb power of making you feel like you are only reading blank words on a page...I felt no connection with the characters at all. ...more info
  • Worthy of its place in the canon
    How odd that Amazon does not consolidate the comments on the various editions of this book from different publishers.

    I read this book out of a certain sense of obligation -- I'd been reading other 19th century English literature and, with some trepidation, picked up Wuthering Heights to complete the set. The book was wonderful, with fully developed if sometimes quixotic characters, and rapid and often unexpected plot twists. The prose is denser than, say, Jane Austen, but not as bad as the stereotypical gothic novel. The main character, Heathcliff, is famously attractive to women but, as a male reader, I thought he was a thoroughly bad egg. Worthy of discussion, though, especially with women who have read it and are likely to have a different opinion....more info
  • Wuthering Heights: towering passions
    I first read this novel 40 years ago and love it as much today as I did then.

    In Heathcliff, Emily Bronte has delivered both an archetypal hero and an archetypal villain. Heathcliff signals early what his objectives are, and then sets out to achieve them. In doing so, he is neither bound by convention nor swayed by consideration for any other person except Cathy.

    Cathy, in her own way, loves Heathcliff quite as fiercely but she is prepared to try to work within the more conventional bounds of society to try to achieve this.

    And herein lies tragedy. Cathy Earnshaw is no more fitted to be a conventional wife to Edgar Linton than Isabella Linton is to influence Heathcliff. Heathcliff himself is quite willing to destroy both the Earnshaws and the Lintons in his quest. But what, precisely, is Heathcliff seeking?

    Heathcliff's actions, and whether or not they are justified, are often what readers remark on in discussing this book. However,it is Cathy's attempt to tie together her love for Heathcliff with her sense that operating within convention is desirable that unleashes the events that follow.

    All life ends in death. And ultimately, this is where Cathy and Heathcliff are united forever. Despite himself Heathcliff has chosen not to destroy Hareton and Catherine. As the book closes, we are left with two clear images: Heathcliff and Catherine together, and hope for the future in the form of Hareton Earnshaw and Catherine Linton.

    This is Emily Bronte's only published novel. It is my all-time favourite novel.

    Jennifer Cameron-Smith...more info
  • What A Morose Book - A Real Gothic Story
    What a Morose book this is! This is the first book that I have read by the Bronte sisters. I was really looking forward to it. It begins with the story of Mr. Lockwood entering the house of Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights) and the reader finding out that the people inhabiting the house are just nasty. This includes Heathcliff, Hareton and Catherine (the younger).

    Some have indicated that this is a love story. I am not so sure of that. It is clear in the story that Heathcliff was in love with Catherine (the elder) and was deeply hurt when she married Edgar. He goes off for three years and returns with money. However, where and how he got his money is never explained in the story.

    Now that he has returned, it is Heathcliff's intention to get revenge on those that he believed have wronged him. This includes Hindley, Catherine's brother, Edgar, Hareton, Linton (his own son) and Isabella. If he cannot get his revenge on those that wronged him, he will get it on the children of those that wronged him such as Hareton and Catherine (the younger).

    Shortly after he returns, Catherine (the elder) dies but not before giving birth to her and Edgar's dauther Catherine. By this time though, Heathcliff has married Isabella, Edgar's sister. Heathcliff wants to get his hands on Thrushcross Grange since this is the home of Edgar and Catherine. On the day after he is married to Isabella, he basically tells her that he married her to get possession of Thrushcross Grange.

    It is at this point that I realized that Heathcliff was an evil person. It is also at this point that I no longer considered the novel to be a love story. Heathcliff's love has now been turned into hatred. He has one thing on this mind and that is to make those around him miserable.

    When he returns to Wuthering Heights, Hindley is a drunk and an gambler. Hindley's son Hareton will inherit Wuthering Heights but Heathcliff gives money to Hindley and now becomes the mortgagor of the property so that when Hindley dies Heathcliff becomes the owner of Wuthering Heights.

    If Edgar dies without Catherine being married she will inherit Thrushcross Grange. When Edgar gets a letter from his sister, Isabella (remember that is Heathcliff's wife) that she is dying and wants him to take care of her son, Linton (Heathcliff's son too), he goes and gets him from near London. On the night of their return, Heathcliff sends Joseph to get him. The next day Linton leaves to live a Wuthering Heights. Given his condition, he gets Linton to correspond with Catherine but since Nelly and Edgar are standing in the way of their marriage, he forces Catherine to marry Linton. Therefore, when Edgar dies Thrushcross Grange becomes the property of Linton. Linton, being sickly through the whole bood, soon dies and wills the Thrushcross Grange to Heathcliff. At this time, Catherine, Hareton, and Heathcliff are all living at Wuthering Heights and he rents Thrushcross Grange to Mr. Lockwood.

    At the time Catherine (the elder) dies, Heathcliff asks that her ghost haunt him. In the last couple of chapters, it appears that Heathcliff continually sees Catherine's ghost. Heathcliff fails to eat and eventually dies. At that time, Hareton and Catherine are falling in love, which is the only happy part in the book (other than Heathcliff dying).

    All in all, this is a very dark story. This is a story of love (at first) and then hatred. This is a story of how hatred can destroy a person as well as those around him. It is a good story but I don't consider this a love story. Heathcliff is an evil person that never changes his ways of making other miserable. He enjoys making other miserable. I liked the book but it is just a little too dark for me to give it a five star rating....more info
  • good book
    I really enjoyed Wuthering Heights once I made it past the first 40 pages or so...that's when it really picked up. I think it was a nice story and well told. I don't want to give anything away, but it's a really good book and I definitely recommend it along with Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte....more info
  • "He's In My Soul!"
    The only novel of Emily Bronte, published a year before her tragically early death, was met with considerable critical scorn upon its publication in 1847, but became successful in the following years, and it remains a masterpiece of literature to this day. The novel's central characters, Cathy and Heathcliff, are the ones that stick foremost in readers' minds, but the book spans two generations, opening with an embittered Heathcliff having wrecked havoc on the offspring of himself and his wife,the now deceased Linton, Cathy's daughter, and her brother Hindley's son, Harenton. The first narrator, Lockwood, arrives at the Heights, witnessing the strange, dark dynamics of his master's home. He falls asleep reading the papers of the late Catherine Earnshaw, and then encounters her childlike wraith, frightening him, and he overhears Heathcliff crying out for her. Lockwood makes the aquaintence of Nelly Dean, the Earnshaw's original housekeeper, and implores her to fill in the blanks of the bizarre oasis that he has found himself in. It then flashes back to what set it all in motion. Heathcliff is a gypsy boy found abandoned on the streets of Liverpool and is taken in by the Earnshaw family. The daughter Cathy is immediately taken with the mysterious lad, while her brother Hindley openly resents him. Cathy and Heathcliff are inseparable, roaming the moors, seeking adventure in everyday occurances, living their isolated lives in relative tranquility. Their bond, while not incestuous techincally because they are not blood relations, is disapproved of :

    "She was much too fond of Heathcliff. The greatest punishment we could invent for her was to keep her separate from him, yet, she got chided more than any of us on his account."

    When the elder Mr. Earnshaw (who favored Heathcliff) dies, Hindley takes full advantage of this and relagates this "filthy, swearing boy" into a servant and goes out of his way to make Heathcliff's life hell. Cathy meets the weathly Edgar quite by chance after she and Heathcliff stray onto the Linton property: she is attacked by the family dog and they take her in until she heals; she contracts a fever which kills Edgar's parents. When she returns to the Heights, she has been transformed into a lady, upsetting the volatile soulmate that she so dearly loves but does not feel that she can marry. The rejected young man disappears from his beloved's life for some years, returning a very (inexplicabily) wealthy man, returning to wreck havoc on all who have wronged him. Cathy has married Edgar; Hindley has become a gambling drunk. He torments his former love with his courtship and marriage to Edgar's sister Isabella, his dark motives that ultimately drive everyone to misery, Cathy to an obsession that will cost her dearly. Their tender reunion at her deathbed (she is weak, soon to give birth to her namesake daughter), heartbreaklingly expresses their longing for one another and the negative choices they have made. "Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest, as long as I am living! You said I killed you - haunt me then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe - I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always - take any form - drive me mad! Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh God! It is unttuerable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!" After her death, Heathcliff becomes even more embittered, despising his effeminate son, Linton, nuturing Hindley's son Hareton in hatred with cruelty and abuse - both young men court young Catherine's affections. Despite his efforts, Heathcliff is unable to put a stop to Hareton's obvious love for young Catherine after the death of Linton, and so there is hope for the next generation when Catherine realizes that her heart lies with Hareton. The significance of that is unmistakable, even to Heathcliff, who sees in the budding relationship before him the parallels of what he once had with Cathy. Heathcliff remains obsessed with his lost love, hearing her voice calling to him, seeing her apparition out on the moors - the taboo subject of necrophilia is hinted when he digs her up the day after her funeral, and some years later longs to crawl in the coffin with her. When he finally meets his maker, and his ghost joins Cathy's, he has left a very unpleasant memory in the ones who remain; he endeared no one to him with his selfish, cruel and dissolute ways.

    Heathcliff is appropriately named; although it is acknowledged in the novel that he is named after an Earnshaw son who died, it serves as both a first and last name - his lack of a personal history, mysterious reserve - he is wild, just like the moors and the heath that grows there; he is unpredictable and volatile, like the wind that rips through the countryside, he drives others often to desperation - both Cathy and Isabella are extreme examples of this - leaving them devastated and inclined to self-destruction, as a cliff overlooking the sea can symbolize. He is almost unknowable in a way, making him almost a blank slate that others can project their own views and desires on. Cathy is self-absorbed in the way of an infant, and her love for him is both mature and childlike - the bond the formed from those early days is in her mind, always:

    "My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath . . . . I am Heathcliff - he's always , always in my mind - not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself - but as my own being."

    The shifting of narrators can be mildly confusing at times, but the story is powerful and probes into the depths of human psychology, very daring for a novel of its time. Emily Bronte's poetry is also in a class by itself - some of her poems, which she wrote while composing the stories of her imaginary world of Gondal, seem to foreshadow the theme of Wuthering Heights. I recommend strongly the poems, "Remembrance" and "The Prisoner" in particular.

    A classic on every level, as long as you can handle dark human depths and romantic tragedy....more info
  • Wuthering Heights: One of the greatest English novels ever written
    "Wuthering Heights" is a cruel,complex, unforgettable look at possessive love. The 1847 novel was the only one witten by Emily Bronte.
    The story tells of Heathcliff who is an orphan adopted on a Liverpool journey by Mr. Earnshaw. He brings the ragged lad back home to the wild moors of Yorkshire. Heathcliff is mistreated by the oafish Hindley Earnshaw the son of the family. He spends long dreamy hours wandering the moors with Catherine the Earnshaw daughter. After many complications Heathcliff leaves England for mysterious regions. He returns years later to discover Catherine has married the weak milquetoast Edgar Linton who gives Catherine the security and kind love of a well to do landowner.
    Catherine dies giving birth to daughter Cathy. Heathcliff weds the infatuated sister Isabella sister of Edgar Linton. In the second half of the novel Catherine's daughter will wed the son of Heathcliff and Isabella. Isabella has fled from the cruel Heathcliff dying at an early age.
    The novel is structured as a flashback to events told by Nelly Dean a nurse to Catherine who relates them to Mr. Lockwood a shallow English dandy who has rented Thrushcross Grange following a failed romantic affair.
    The novel switches from past to present dealing with many characters with similar names. Heathcliff is often called satanic and is a figure of Dantian and Satanic power. He is very cruel killing small animals; driving Isabella away and insulting everyone. He mistreats his son and his alcoholic nephew. Heathcliff is as rough as a crag of rock on the wild moors. He longs for a complete soul union with Catherine. He even has her dug up from the grave so he can look at her dead face! Necrophilia, sadism, overt cruelty to the weak are everday occurrences at Wuthering Heights which is ruled by the tyrant Heathcliff and his mean toady servant the repulsive Bible thumping Joseph.
    Catherine is petulant, violent, selfish and cruel. Neither Heathcliff or Catherine are admirable characters. They apparently love and long for one another. At one point Catherine tells Nelly "Heathcliff and I are one soul." Following her death she will haunt Heathcliff as she roams the stark moors in neither heaven or hell.
    Libraries have been built dealing with the complexity of this novel. It demands several rereads. Let it be said that the novel is always fresh, suprising and modern. Wuthering Heights is not your typical love story. It is harsh, stark and cruel. Read it and ponder this tale of ghostly, obsessive, dreamliike love set against the dark brooding moors of Yorkshire. The characters will leave a permanent imprint on your mind and heart....more info
  • Awesome
    This is one of the most enduring love stories of all time. Heathcliff and Cathy symbolize longing and true love....more info
  • A Twisted Tale of Obsession, Love, Class, Hate and Fate
    Wuthering Heights is a surprisingly modern novel given that its authorship predates our modern understanding of psychology. Like many modern novels, Ms. Bronte has also explored the darker side of human passions and psyches more thoroughly than the sunnier side. Heathcliff will remind you of classic characters whose lives were twisted by fate like Captain Ahab in Moby Dick, Erik in Phantom of the Opera, Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, and the mysterious prisoner in The Man in the Iron Mask.

    If there were ever two star-crossed lovers who have captured the world's imagination since Romeo and Juliet, they must be Catherine and Heathcliff. Yet, unlike, many such pairs, their unhappiness is heavily influenced by themselves.

    As you contemplate their story, you are constantly drawn to the thought, "what if" thus and such had occurred differently? That's part of the great power of the story because it has so many unexpected twistings and turnings. A reader's expectations from a love story are turned upside down, sideways and diagonal from where those expectations normally rest. As a result, you'll probably decide this isn't a love story after all . . . but a tragedy. Taken from that perspective, you'll find yourself hearing echoes of Lady Macbeth and King Lear as you contemplate what occurs when the natural order is disturbed. Few English authors since Shakespeare have captured that sense of what can happen when the universe is disarranged.

    What's great about this story? It's pretty simple: Emotional intensity in the writing; deeply memorable characters; doomed lovers; and a haunting glimpse at unshakeable obsession.

    What's not so great? The story development itself is pretty awkward. Much of the story is told in flashback which steals power and immediacy from the narration. If ever a story cried out for being told in the first person (by Heathcliff, Catherine, Edgar Linton, Hareton and young Catherine), it's Wuthering Heights. The transitions from one key moment to another are often very abrupt. Sometimes it is 150 pages later before you get the full sense of what Emily Bronte meant to convey in some of those transitions.

    What's less than great? The characters aren't nearly as appealing as those you'll usually find in a novel dealing with these issues. In that sense, the novel is more realistic than fictional . . . which helps create some of its immense power. It's probably a worthwhile price to pay.

    Whatever you think of Wuthering Heights, you owe it to yourself to read one of the most moving tales that has ever been written. Pick a time when you're feeling reasonably happy to start the book. Otherwise, you may find your mood to be more than a little darkened for a few days.

    ...more info