Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

May 1, 2009 at 18:21 | Posted in books | Leave a comment
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From time to time, it’s good to read a ‘classic’. One of the advantages of doing this is, of course, that it’s likely to be a good book; given that it has stood the test of time. Hence I recently pulled ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë down from the shelf.

This is a dark, dark book. It’s a book about obsession, delusion, cruelty and weakness. It’s billed as a love story, but this is obsessional, selfish love not love bourne of joy and mutual understanding. None of the characters are especially appealing. Heathcliffe is, of course, the archetypal villain and almost like on of Shakespeare’s more malevolent characters in his cold-blooded pursuit of revenge.

It starts a bit slowly (in part because, as is often the case with such books, one needs to get into the rhythm of the language) and, but before long I was turning the pages quite enthralled and, sometimes, appalled.

I did think the ending was weak, however. It’s rather contrived, and whilst I suppose it neatly closes the arch of the plot, it just feels a bit too ‘happy ever after’. And I also dislike characters whose dialogue is written out in strong dialects. If you know the dialect it’s fine, but if you don’t know what it sounds like, it can take some deciphering – stuff like ‘Yah ay bend to th’ yoak, and ye will – I noan used to ‘t and an old man dosen’t sooin get used to new barthens’. This gets quite hard unless you are familiar with Victorian Yorkshire farming dialects…

The other thing about it is that I read it in a Penguin edition. Now Penguin editions are great, insomuch as they are cheap and therefore accessible. However, the rough typesetting and small font size makes reading them quite tiring (I’m obviously getting old!). Perhaps I should buy one a ebook reader, as most of these types of classics are available for free download!

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