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Wuthering Heights (Penguin Classics) Paperback – December 31, 2002


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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: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics; Revised edition (December 31, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141439556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141439556
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 1 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,436 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Sarra on March 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I will agree that this performance is given with sensitivity to the voice of Jane Eyre and of Charlotte Bronte, but alas it's an abridged version. The above listing does not give any indication of this, consequently I was very disappointed when it arrived. I personally have no use for abridged books. When I pick up a book (print or audio) I want to experience the entire book. Abridged books always leave me feeling cheated, wondering what did I miss?
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167 of 186 people found the following review helpful By Jordi Vilalta Lopez on April 9, 2003
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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374 of 426 people found the following review helpful By Anne-Kari on February 28, 2000
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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514 of 588 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 25, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Published in 1847, WUTHERING HEIGHTS was not well received by the reading public, many of whom condemned it as sordid, vulgar, and unnatural--and author Emily Bronte went to her grave in 1848 believing that her only novel was a failure. It was not until 1850, when WUTHERING HEIGHTS received a second printing with an introduction by Emily's sister Charlotte, that it attracted a wide readership. And from that point the reputation of the book has never looked back. Today it is widely recognized as one of the great novels of English literature.

Even so, WUTHERING HEIGHTS continues to divide readers. It is not a pretty love story; rather, it is swirling tale of largely unlikeable people caught up in obsessive love that turns to dark madness. It is cruel, violent, dark and brooding, and many people find it extremely unpleasant. And yet--it possesses a grandeur of language and design, a sense of tremendous pity and great loss that sets it apart from virtually every other novel written.

The novel is told in the form of an extended flashback. After a visit to his strange landlord, a newcomer to the area desires to know the history of the family--which he receives from Nelly Deans, a servant who introduces us to the Earnshaw family who once resided in the house known as Wuthering Heights. It was once a cheerful place, but Old Earnshaw adopted a "Gipsy" child who he named Heathcliff. And Catherine, daughter of the house, found in him the perfect companion: wild, rude, and as proud and cruel as she. But although Catherine loves him, even recognizes him as her soulmate, she cannot lower herself to marry so far below her social station. She instead marries another, and in so doing sets in motion an obsession that will destroy them all.
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