Book Thirtysix: Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte

We had a Bronte sisters smackdown* at my recent book club. Since I read Jane Eyre last year I picked up Wuthering Heights in order to compare. But oof, I have to say, this book doesn't hold a candle to Jane Eyre. I can't even handle making a comparison. And I'm not talking about the fact that all the characters are so hateful (a criticism that, I think I've mentioned previously, drives me nuts when applied to any book), I'm talking about the structure of the book and the clunky writing. So, the story is told by Lockwood, a new tenant at the Grange, who hears most of the story from Mrs. Dean, who peppers her story with first hand accounts from others. So essentially this book is second, third, and fourth-hand accounts of the action. It gets so convoluted and the premise is so strained at times that I'm sure I heaved many audible sighs of disgust and/or impatience.

And my two cents: I had always assumed this was a love story, but to me this is a story of hate. Of such deep, horrible hate and deeply, horribly hateful people whose only goals are to bring down everyone in their paths. I don't mind books about hate, but this was some seriously dark hate that completely eclipsed any love story that could have been there.

Oh, and lastly: girt eedle seeght. Yup, that's all I have to say about that.

*The results of the smackdown? All but one of us preferred Jane Eyre or, at least, did not enjoy Wuthering Heights. So there.


Blogger librarianista said...

I liked Wuthering Heights when I read it (although it's been like fifteen years, sheesh), but I could never understand how it got the rep of being The Greatest Love Story Of All Time. You're totally right, if anything it is the opposite of that: The Greatest Hate Story Of All Time.

September 19, 2011 at 11:02 AM  
Blogger bellcurves said...

I also liked Wuthering Heights when I read it light years ago, in high school. But same is a hate story. I loved Jane Eyre the first time I read it (the same year as I read Wuthering Heights), and again later in college, in a fantastic British lit class I took. It was all about the Bronte sisters, and Jane Austen (love!), and Mary Shelley, and all sorts of literary treats. The class met in the top floor Clapp tower room, and it was a great Gothic literary effect when rainy, windy weather rattled the windows up there while our prof talked about Catherine & Heathcliff.

October 14, 2011 at 11:17 AM  

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