Originally published: in 1847
Series?: No - Stand-alone
Page Count (avg.): 325 pages
Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine's father. After Mr Earnshaw's death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine's brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries. The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.
WHAT I LIKED:
- The first half of the book - I enjoyed it immensely (the second half is another story...literally). It was surprisingly easy enough to understand, with it being written in the 1800s and all, and I couldn't wait to see what happened next.
- Certain characters in this story were very true to human nature at its worst (and sometimes best, sadly). Catherine was manipulative and possessive, as are many young girls these days. How many relationships to do you see out there today that are exactly the same way? Hell, I cant count how many times in high school I forced myself to cry so my boyfriend at the time would feel bad and give me what I wanted. I was a manipulative little jerk. It just shows how Bronte's characters transcend time.
- Edgar Linton. He was probably the only somewhat redeeming character out of the whole book, in my opinion. He definitely made some crappy decisions, but he was probably one of the only characters who wasn't actually a crappy person.
- The relationships came full circle. Catherine Earnshaw died as Catherine Linton, and Catherine Linton would have died as Catherine Earnshaw. It was pretty clever and cool.
- I like being able to understand the references in Twilight now. Though I do not agree with Bella and Edward's characters about sympathizing with Heathcliff - geez, who can sympathize with the devil... He was just totally nuts, but I do see the similarities to Meyer's story, e.g. obsession.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE:
- The characters were all very confusing and hard to keep track of, especially when some of them were all called by their last names. How am I supposed to know which Earnshaw you speak of?! I had to take extra notes to figure it all out.
- The servant Joseph.. he was impossible to understand. I was literally to the point where I would get ANGRY while reading his dialogue because I mean really, why would you have one of your characters speak in a dialect that sounds like gibberish, and expect readers to understand?! Absolutely ridiculous and extremely annoying!
- Several of the deaths of the characters were not from actual illnesses, but from the characters being bat-sh*t crazy and making themselves sick. I mean, really? I know this was in the 1800s, but did people really die that easily? I've made my self sick with anger or anxiety numerous times.... I'm not dead!
- This book was pretty much two books - two stories. The story of Cathy Linton should've been another freaking book, because halfway through, I had had enough and was super bored. It would've been better as a companion novel or sequel of some sort.
- Makes abusing women seem totally OK. I know back then, it probably was, but come on. Even the narrator saw Hareton slap Cathy and he thought it was OK because she was being "saucy". Give me a break.
- About three quarters of the way through the book, literally everything that was happening was absolutely nuts and completely unimportant. Bronte needed to wrap it up but she dragged it on and on. It became almost unbearable.
- The ending. "Happy" ending? I guess you could say so. But after all the craziness, it was sort of anti-climactic, and super annoying. Hope you like getting smacked around, Cathy!
I almost cant believe how much I loved the first half of this book in comparison to how much I hated the second half. I was ready to give this book a five star rating, and here it is with a two and a half. The problem I have with giving it a two though, is how clever it was, and really, is a masterpiece, a work of art. The characters and stories come full circle and its so interesting to watch and see how the story plays out a second time.... I just wish the story had played out a little quicker. This truly is an epic story of "love", obsession and revenge. Heathcliff is the master of revenge. I'm kind of mad he goes soft at the end. I would've rather someone take him out - I cant see him going down without a fight.
There isn't much more to say without giving the whole story away to those of you who haven't read this classic yet. I wont warn you away from it. I actually didn't hate it, I just could barely make it through the second half. The first half is so enjoyable and has so much potential, that you may even be able to stand the second half. I actually recommend this read. It is a wonderful read, most of the way through..
★ ★ 1/2