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Wuthering Heights (Bantam Classics) Mass Market Paperback – October 1, 1983
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
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"It is as if Emily Brontë could tear up all that we know human beings by, and fill these unrecognizable transparencies with such a gust of life that they
From the Publisher
"My greatest thought in living is Heathcliff. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be... Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure... but as my own being." Wuthering Heights is the only novel of Emily Bronte, who died a year after its publication, at the age of thirty. A brooding Yorkshire tale of a love that is stronger than death, it is also a fierce vision of metaphysical passion, in which heaven and hell, nature and society, are powerfully juxtaposed. Unique, mystical, with a timeless appeal, it has become a classic of English literature.
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Emily's creation of the little microcosm between Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange had me enraptured for two months reading this. Two generations of Lintons and Earnshaws grow up, squabble, make love, and die -- and the brooding orphan Heathcliff is often at the heart of every single conflict.
As the reader, you need to fight the temptation to commiserate or empathize with Heathcliff, because he's going to disappoint you every single time. He is a monster. He is not the bad boy who can be changed -- he is just a bitter boy and then a bitter man hellbent on wrecking two generations of Lintons and Earnshaws, all for the memory and love of Catherine. In Heathcliff's defense, however, almost everyone in this story is a monster. It is a love story in the same vein that heated soap operas are love stories -- you eat popcorn waiting for what's gonna go wrong next.
I don't quite buy the neat tidy ending -- after watching Heathcliff literally destroy lives, the quick turnarounds and revelations just seem foreign to the narrative. I'm glad that some of the characters finally got to be happy, and tied the loop from the beginning of the novel, but it just didn't sit right with me.
And also, the fact 90% of the story is from the nurse Nelly Dean's recollection of the events is a little ridiculous, and it bothered me how much she was privy to and how sharply she could remember it (and report it!). The funny thing is, though, that Mr. Lockwood is such a dull fop that as soon as he gets control of narration, I wanted Nelly back.
But nevertheless, this is an enthralling story. It is a shame that Emily did not live to write more -- she had a keen mind for what blackness and evil heartache can inspire.
There is a little essay at the end by "Currer Bell" (Charlotte Bronte) dispelling the myth that Currer, Acton, and Ellis Bell were all the same person (as you know, Ellis was Emily, Acton was Anne)and offering insights into their very different personalities. How their books originally came to be published, and the manner in which they were received, is also described. Ellis Bell-- our Emily Bronte-- was clearly the stronger and more enigmatic personality among the three, and Wuthering Heights-- her first and only novel (she was dead from tuberculosis within a year of its publication) was largely misunderstood and unappreciated during her short lifetime.
The ivory pages offer generous space apart from the text which is easy on the eye. The color illustrations and photos in the book are beautiful and educative. This edition has taken my appreciation of Wuthering Heights, always a favorite of mine, up several notches. Well done!
I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable this novel was. Bronte delivers the story through the first person narrative by Jane Eyre and this works extremely well. Jane experiences a myriad of emotions and her life story is full of up and downs. We truly get to see the best and worst of humankind, and we are presented with contrasts that are as clear as day. Love and hate, hope and despair, kindness and vindictiveness, self-confidence and doubt are only some of the examples.
You can think of this story as similar to a soap-opera but without any of the cheesiness that characterizes these. There are vivid descriptions of Jane living in horrendous conditions and enduring abuse, about her fighting back and standing on her own, about discovering love and friendship, and there are also some mystery elements and machinations throughout the book. There is even a tiny bit of supernatural elements in the story.
Overall a very enjoyable read. I was truly entertained and I am very happy I decided to finally sit down and read this work.
Most recent customer reviews
It will completely draw you in and leave a memory forever.
A most unusual romance filled with mystery and unexpected twists.