- Series: Chosen Books
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Hippocrene Books; n.i. edition (December 1, 1979)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 021688523X
- ISBN-13: 978-0216885233
- Package Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.4 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5,847 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,731,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wuthering Heights (Chosen Books) Hardcover – December 1, 1979
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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 the Paperback edition.
From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up-British actor Martin Shaw reads this shortened version of the classic Emily Bronte novel. His easily-understood accent is appropriate and helps to set the mood. Shaw reads at a very steady pace, pausing effectively for emphasis or when his character might be thinking. Usually calm and gentle, his voice can resonate with anger or other emotion when necessary. There is some differentiation in pitch to emphasize male vs. female speech, but it is not exaggerated or overdone. The abridgement retains Bronte's words linking speech or narration sometimes from one page to another. It provides students with an easier way to become familiar with the story and get a feel for her style. Teachers could use this presentation to introduce the novel or to entice students to read it on their own.
Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
Wuthering Heights takes off like a rocket and keeps your attention all the way. I have seldom read a book with so many miserable, angry and unhappy people. At the center is Heathcliff, with whom you sympathize at the beginning because of the ill manner in which he is treated. But he grows bitter and nasty.
One of the interesting aspects of the book is the use of the two Catherines. Each has her flaws, but the first one, the one who obsessed Heathcliff had a mad streak to her. Did her ghost return? It can be read both ways. Certainly Heathcliff thinks it has after hearing Lockwood describe his dream. For a book written in 1847 it delves into a lot of human psychology. We aren't all that much more advanced today in understanding human behavior.
This book has fabulous characters, colorful language (I'll strangle you, you insolent slut!"), an intriguing plot and a setting on the misty moors that complements the story's gothic leanings.
As I read it I frequently listed to Kate Bush singing her song inspired by the book. Once you have that song haunting you, you cannot rest until you have read this wonderful classic. Cheers to you, Emily Bronte, wherever you are!
About the book itself: I am unworthy to review Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, but I'll say this: They just don't write books like this anymore. Impeccable development of both main and minor characters. Jane Eyre is a strong, yet multi-faceted and very human character who is a true heroine for both Bronte's and modern times. Edward Fairfax Rochester is also not a paper cutout of a love interest, but a complex and very defined fictional man, to whom, just as we are to Jane, we are only more endeared because of blunders and flaws. Bronte's understanding of human psychology is impressive and evident in her storytelling and in the machinations of her characters, and I dare say ahead of her time. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
It seems as though H. Rider Haggard not only created a thrilling tale of adventure bordering on the supernatural but also sowed many seeds that later blossomed into additional captivating tales by authors and film writers who followed him.
Considering nothing more than its plot, the novel SHE offers the reader an intriguing, suspenseful, galloping, action-filled story enhanced by a goodly measure of shadowy and mysterious characters--as well as a strong but human hero, Holly; a courageous but fallible quasi-hero, Leo; and a loyal but destructible servant, Job. The non-stop action and the mystery of what may befall our protagonists around the next bend of the river or the next summit of the mountain or the next turning of the tunnel make the novel a true "page turner" from cover to cover. There is, of course, absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying this story at the plot level alone, for it provides an enjoyable, entertaining read, but there is far more to this book than just its plot, for it is filled with symbolism and allegory that can add to the reader's enjoyment.
In her introduction to SHE, Margaret Atwood, an excellent author in her own right, points out a number of possible symbolic interpretations of some of the names that appear in the work. The Amahaggar tribe of followers of She suggests the word "hag" and "also conflates the Latin root for 'love' with the name of Abraham's banished wilderness-dwelling concubine, Hagar...." The name of the ancient, ruined city of Kor brings to mind the French word "coeur," or heart, as well as "corpse." Holly is a particularly interesting character, physically ugly but strong and resolute. In heraldry, holly is said to symbolize truth, and Holly seems to remain the most truth-seeking character in the story. His character is constantly seeking the truth of eternity, of the meaning of life (and its cognate, death), and of whether man should attempt to control Nature.
Obviously, one can also analyze the story from standpoint of Freudian psychology and can surmise what he wishes about whether or not Haggard is expressing a deep internal conflict concerning male/female relationships. If one takes the protagonist Holly as the author's avatar, it is only a short leap to say that the writer is expressing the hopelessness, longing, and emotional pain of loving an unattainable woman, although it strikes me that is too simplistic an interpretation.
In brief, the novel SHE offers the reader an engrossing story line as well as the opportunity to interpret the characters, settings and actions as symbols with deeper, more universal meanings, not to mention the opportunity to see the source that has inspired quite a number of subsequent books and movies. I should venture to say that anyone who enjoys a fast-moving adventure with a touch of the supernatural or at least of the inexplicable will find SHE a very entertaining read. I have only one quibble with the text and that is that I wish the dialog, which is ostensibly a translation of Arabic and Greek with now and then a touch of Latin, had less "thou" and "thee" in it. Haggard's desire to make even the translated dialog sound antique results instead in a measure of artificiality. However, even with that criticism, I enjoyed the book and heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys The Lord of the Rings, the Indiana Jones stories, and books or movies of such genre.