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Wuthering Heights (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – June 15, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 5,475 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The main drama in Bronte's novel happens in a long narrative told by an elderly housekeeper to a convalescing new tenant. This story-within-a-story setup makes it well suited for audio adaptation, as Scales takes the housekeeper's part and relates the past, while West performs as the tenant and describes the present. Scales primarily uses a folksy lower-class accent, but she also makes her voice harsh and threatening when speaking as Heathcliff, the surly man at the novel's heart. West, as the bewildered tenant, manages to sound both nervous and pretentious, but his part is fairly small, especially with this abridgment, so he mostly serves to provide transitions for the housekeeper's story. The extensive abridgment generally deletes sentences and phrases rather than entire paragraphs or sections. One drawback for the audio format is the difficulty of clarifying the novel's convoluted plot and family tree, since it's harder to search back through long CD tracks than through earlier chapters of the paperback. While a little of the depth of Bronte's writing is lost in abridgment, the novel's emotional core remains intact and wrenching, and the actors' heartfelt interpretations make it easy to imagine being curled up by a warm fire listening to an absorbing tale. In June, Penguin Audio remastered and released on CD for the first time nine other Penguin Classics: Crime and Punishment, Dracula, Frankenstein, Great Expectations, Jane Eyre, Moby Dick, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Tale of Two Cities.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—This audio version of Emily Bronte's classic is narrated by Ann Flosnik. Initially, her narration makes it difficult to distinguish between characters, but as the tale progresses, her vocal characterizations become more dramatic and unique for each character, drawing listeners deeper and deeper into this dark and brooding love story. The first disk of the set also contains a PDF ebook of the full text of the novel which can be downloaded. Some students will want to read along with the narrated version, while others can use the ebook as a reference tool for class assignments. A nice addition to classic literature collections and a good way to enhance the English curriculum.—Anita Lawson, Otsego High School, Otsego, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (June 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199535604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199535606
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1 x 5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5,475 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,282,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This review is aimed more toward the Norton edition than to JANE EYRE. We all know this is a classic. Bronte was simply a genius and a harbinger of romantic, dramatic, gothic, and horror writing. (However, it still irks me that she couldn't end a simple sentence with a period. Every declarative statement, it seems, must be qualified with a colon or semi-colon. Oh well. Sign of the times.)

As for the Norton edition, it's the only one to buy. Bronte makes the assumption that you have read the Bible cover-to-cover a zillion times, and for those of us who have not read it through once, Norton's annotations are more than helpful---they're essential to understanding the novel's Christian allusions. This edition also provides the reader with critical essays, contexts of Bronte's life, Bronte's reactions to critics of her day, etc.

Bottom line: you can get the Dover Thrift edition for a couple bucks, but, if you are interested in giving this classic more than a cursory read, this edition is worth the extra money.
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Format: Paperback
Rather than delve on the contents of this strangest and strongest of English novels, so intensely poetic in its haunting darkness and otherness, I'll comment briefly on the best editions available for a good first contact:

A) Text oriented editions (that is, editions with few materials added: normally an Introduction, annotation, and perhaps Charlotte's Peface and Biographical Notice and some bibliographical indications).

1. Oxford World's Classics: authoritative text, good annotation,
excellent introduction.

2. Penguin's Classics: same as above, everything looks a little shorter but is excellent nonetheless.

3. Wordsworth Classics edition. This would be a rather fine edition as befitting this collection, if it had a good 1847 text and not the heavily tampered-with Charlotte's 1850 edition. The text itself reflects accurately that of the 1900 Haworth Edition -a careful one-. The wording changes aren't perhaps so worrying nor is the toning-down of the dialectal tirades -although funny and useless-. What is worrying is the disappearance of more than six hundred paragrapph entries (I mean just the paragraphing, not the contents itself!), that makes for a different -and worse- reading experience. Very good and full -if brief- annotation. Mass-market, glued paperback.

4. Heather Glen's for Routledge. One of the finest text-oriented editions, especially for the excellent Introduction and Epilogue together with its good annotation, out-of-print for rather obscure reasons. If you find still a very good to fine copy at amazon Canadian branch (or at abebooks.com, it would be a good buy.

5. Orchises two-volume facsimile reprint of the 1847 edition. No notes nor any additional material. the books are well produced if a little expensive.
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Format: Kindle Edition
It's unfortunate that Wuthering Heights often gets lumped into the category of Victorian chick lit, because it probably has more in common with Dickens or Balzac than with Jane Austen. The various film adaptations often make much of the love between Heathcliff and Catherine, but that doesn't begin to cover the scope of this book. Wuthering Heights is no conventional romance novel. It is in fact an epic examination of human wickedness involving an ensemble cast that spans two generations over the course of almost 50 years. Filled with powerful imagery and unforgettable characters, it makes for a profoundly entertaining read.

Heathcliff, a gypsy-looking street urchin from Liverpool, is adopted by the Earnshaw family, who live among the moors of northern England at the secluded estate of Wuthering Heights. Mr. Earnshaw treats Heathcliff as his favorite, much to the consternation of his eldest son Hindley. When the father dies, Hindley seizes the opportunity to retaliate against Heathcliff, revoking his favored family position and forcing him to labor in the fields. Meanwhile, Heathcliff and his adopted sister Catherine develop a love for each other, but due to his servant status, dirty boots, and surly demeanor, she spurns him for her more elegant and refined neighbor Edgar Linton. Heathcliff resolves to revenge himself upon all who have hurt him, and the following generation of Earnshaws, Lintons, and Heathcliffs must also suffer the repercussions of his passionate vengeance.

The joy of Wuthering Heights is that there isn't a single character in the book who could be described as a good person. They are all at best selfish and petty, at worst deplorably evil.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You know all those 'classic' novels you read in high school? How many of them do you actually remember? Well, if Jane Eyre was one of those long-forgotten books, pick up a copy. To read it as an adult is a joy: it's a sweeping, disturbing, intense, thrilling, very romantic gothic love story, written in the voice of a very intense, almost claustrophobically self-aware young heroine. Jane is no Ophelia - she's a complicated, remarkable character, and a very strong female character in a genre that usually draws women as beautiful victims at best.

There's something for everyone in this book: Windswept castles, difficult and neurotic family members, dark secrets about tragic former lovers, good triumphing over evil, all that good juicy stuff that makes a great romantic story. What elevates Jane Eyre is Bronte's remarkable style & skill and her sharp and complex characterizations.

Trust me on this: If you don't remember it from your teens, you should give it a try now. Here is one novel that more than lives up to it's 'classic' status.
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