Book Review: Wuthering Heights

Terror made me cruel…


The experience of reading Wuthering Heights was in many ways a mirror of my own life. I was often confused, mildly sad and at the end I felt a benign nothingness that cradled me into a sinister dreamless sleep…

Because all the major characters are referred to by about 3 different names as they all keep getting married every two seconds, I found it really difficult to determine who was who and what was actually going on. Like Heathcliff, I felt like I was being haunted by Catherine, Cathy, Miss Linton and Miss Earnshaw just by trying to ascertain who the bloody hell she was. Once I got to grips with that though I thoroughly enjoyed Emily Brontë often hysterical prose and scandalous plot lines.

Indeed, Wuthering Heights in one of the most melodramatic books I have ever read. Barely a page goes by without someone bursting into tears or declaring their life to be over and while this makes for an exhausting reading experience, it is also really entertaining.

One downside to a book full of emotionally charged maniacs as that there wasn’t really anyone to root for. I suggested this to my wife who told me that Heathcliff is the protagonist. A character I found so loathsome that at one point I was only still reading in the hope that he would get his glorious comeuppance. This suggests that, as with many of the books that I read, I have massively missed the point and further reinforces the idea that I should focus all my efforts on reading books written for twelve year olds.

All in all, while I struggled with Wuthering Heights at times I was never bored and there were passages that I found to be genuinely, heart stoppingly beautiful. Having said that I won’t be rushing to read it again in a hurry.

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