Monday, January 3, 2011

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Heathcliffe is a cad.

The thing that strikes me about these Victorian novels is how shitty everybody treats each other. I guess it makes for good drama, but *geh* all that unchecked emotion is just so draining. I'm also not a big fan of the 'narrated' story. Just who is doing the talking, and who is doing the action, anyway? It's got all the elements of a family saga and a story of unrequited love with a splendid Gothic setting, mystery and ghosts, but for the first book out of the gates for 2011? -ehn- I'm underwhelmed.

I may have to read this one again.


~Victorian Literature Challenge
~Gothic Reading Challenge


One down for each.
Read on.

14 comments:

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I read this when I was probably about 12 or so and absolutely loved it - I wonder how I might like this now? I agree that Victorian dramas are overly melodramatic and I have to keep reminding myself that these books were to be read aloud to other people when they first came out. Which would explain all that drama! But, I'd be interested to read this one again - I'm participating in the Victorian Literature Challenge so maybe I should include it for that as well!

oreneta said...

Victorian reading challenge, huh. Not sure I'm in on that one. I need to read those very very slowly, though I enjoy them more than I expect when I do. I remember reading Tess of the d'Urberviles (though not how to spell it) way back in high school and enjoying that one actually, lord knows if I would now.

Persuasion was good though, and so was Pride and Prejudice. Middlewhatever? UNBEARABLE and I am willing to go in print on that one. Middlemarch, that's it. Does Moby Dick count? There's a book that needed a good editor.

oreneta said...

It does! I'm not reading it again though. Good and adventurous though after all those drawing rooms.

BookQuoter said...

I hated all the characters, except for Heathcliff. I have no idea why I liked him so much, weird right?

Susan B. Evans said...

I've never read this one, but it is on my list for the Gothic reading challenge this year. I'm not in a big hurry to get to it though, so I may wait a bit...

Trish said...

coffee and book chick - I had the same experience with Dr. Zhivago. I read it when I was 13 or so and thought he was sooo handsome and debonair. And then I read it again in my 30s and could not believe what a cad he was! It was like a totally different book. It's funny how that works, huh?! So, yes, the atmospheric writing in Wuthering Heights was fabulous thus my desire to read it again. Only, maybe this time without too many expectations from the characters.

oreneta - I'm still on the fence about whether or not I really like VIctorian literature. So far I like the atmosphere and history, but I'm having a hard time with the personalities. Anywhoo, I wanted to spend this year familiarizing myself with some of the authors and titles and take it from there.

bookquoter - huh, yeah weird how that works. There's no telling what draws us to a particular character. The only one I liked in this book was the nanny who did most of the narrating.

susan - it's a fairly quick read once you get to it. I'll be interested to see your review. My 'review' was more of a rant . . .

Sam said...

I found your blog through the Victorian Challenge, and I'm now your newest follower :)

I was underwhelmed by Wuthering Heights too, but think I may have had too high expectations. I just couldn't understand why anyone would want to be with Heathcliffe, and like you, just wanted people to be nice to each other sometimes.

decidedlybookish said...

Ha! I know what you mean. Wuthering Heights is best enjoyed by teenagers. The thing is... I love it, though I can't properly explain why.

I hope you enjoy your next challenge books more.

Laura

decidedlybookish said...

I forgot to add... the best bit is blatantly when Heathcliff's bashing his head against the tree.

Bethany said...

I read Wuthering Heights before school had anything to do with it. Think I was 13. And I adored it! I read it again a couple of years ago and still love it. But I'm really into all that crazy Victorian drama.

Trish said...

sam - hi and thanks! Yes, the expectations I had for Wuthering Heights were also probably much too high. I sooo wanted to like it! But the more I read, the more I disliked Heathcliffe and all the rest of them. They made themselves and each other miserable like it was their job.

decidedly bookish - haha yes that was a highlight, wasn't it!? I probably would have liked the whole story better as a teenager too. It just took me *ahem* a few decades to figure that out.

bethany - I can see how people would love it, and that's what keeps me thinking that I might have to read it again sometime. Their crazy drama is kind of endearing in a loopy sort of way.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I'll be rereading this one soon, for work. I'm actually looking forward to all the drama, although I'm sure I'll want to shoot Heathcliff before my read is over. =P

couchpotatocritic said...

Ugh, Wuthering Heights. There are a million things I would rather do (including exploratory surgery and a root canal) than read that book. There's multiple generations of characters, all with the same names, and you're never sure who is narrating. It reads like a soap opera, with melodramatic nonsense and stupidity throughout. I could hardly finish the book because I was too busy rolling my eyes and wishing it was all over.

Which is a real shame, because I so enjoyed Jane Eyre. I guess all three Bronte sisters didn't get the writing gene.

Trish said...

enbrethiliel - knowing what you're getting into probably makes it a better read.

couchpotatocrtic - so . . . you didn't like it? lol

yeah, jane eyre was waaay better.