Regular price: $42.56
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $42.56
Any additional comments?
When I started this novel I didn't really like it that much, I was a little confused as to what was going on, whom was whom, and why I was even being told this tale. As I got a little bit deeper into it I admired the ability of Emily to create such interesting and detestable characters, but I was still uneasy as to if I liked the novel.
I think what I was having trouble working out was weather Emily was writing a novel that was deliberately unsettling and filled with hateful people being hateful just for hateful's sake. I recognized that the characters were well written and I enjoyed that though this is a novel predating the edict of 'show don't tell', Emily always followed a tell with a much more insightful show, yet I felt sort of miserable reading it, I hated the characters (their actions, I mean) and I kept wanting to put it down. Yet I couldn't put it down. I felt compelled to continue, to discover what the motivations were for these characters, why I was being told this story, felt compelled by the excellent and powerful writing.
And during the day when I was at work and away from the novel, I kept thinking about it, rolling the plot and situations over in my mind trying to make sense of it all. I knew I didn't yet know all the facts (in a way the novel is a bit of a mystery story) and so I just had to trust Emily to actually have a point, that she didn't write this just to be shocking but that there was true art here.
Well I'm glad I stuck it out and stayed with this one because this is an extraordinary novel. This story and these characters are people who will haunt me till the day I die - for better or worse. These are characters who though I didn't like most of them, loved them too. And that's the real art here because by the very nature of how I felt about these people could I understand their passions for each other, Hareton especially. He loved Heathcliff and also hated him and we understand why - not because there was a simple explanation for such illogical behavior, but because it is complicated.
The novel begins with very much keeping the reader in the dark because it would be impossible to know a family and all their troubles and their past after just a few pages (or hours in real life). In fact you could never hope to really know another family and all it's secrets (other than your own) if given an entire lifetime - the relationships are just far too complicated. Yet here in this novel Emily manages to reveal the secrets, the pain, the plotting, the love, and the hate page by page, slowly and with exquisite ability to make you feel the passage of time. You live with these people and you empathize with them by the end even of you can't forgive them because only they could forgive each other since it's their family.
I imagine that this novel is sort of a prototype of trashy family drama stories but nothing can come close to this. Emily does not hate her characters, she shows them for who why are, warts and all, and she loves them every page without fail. The mistake too many other writers make is that they don't love their characters and just turn them into cliches to be beaten about for a few hundred pages. The most contemporary author I can think of who could match this style of work would be Raymond Carver. Carver could write about hateful people and make you love them anyway. It's a very gift in literature, just as it is in life.
I'm not going to compare this work to Jane Eyre because it almost isn't even fair since Wuthering Heights is FAR superior but I will repeat myself in saying that the major flaw of Jane Eyre was that Charlotte made all her characters too good - they had no flaws. Emily does not make that mistake and has written a much more gripping story.
Never have I been so turned round in the course of a novel. I went from confusion to hate to acceptance and finally to appreciation to the genius of this work. This is a towering achievement of fiction and is one of the best novels I have ever read. I put this right up with Fathers and Sons as one of my favorite novels I've ever read. I am so glad I decided to read Wuthering Heights.
56 of 57 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
This is not one of my favorite classics. I have been on a classics reading spree lately and this one has received many accolades - one of the must read books. I was all set up to enjoy this book, but I found most of the characters to be self absorbed, mean spirited, and vengeful in nature. The only thing that saves this audio book is the excellent narration by Patricia Routledge. It was spectacular. I ended up enjoying listening to the book despite the fact that I disliked most of the characters.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Wuthering Heights to be better than the print version?
Wuthering Heights is admittedly my favourite book and so my review is bound to be biased. However the fantastic narration by Patricia Routledge brings the characters, the scenery, the raw emotions startlingly to life and so every single passion of the suffering characters becomes your passion, or more accurately your anguish. I have read the print version a good few times and yet discovered new and more poignant aspects that I had missed, or not given my attention to, in reading alone. Hats off to the narrator for a faultless and quite brilliant delivery of this fantastic work of creation that brings you to the Moors and places you in every scene.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Wuthering Heights?
The tenant's account of the night he spent at the heights on his first visit there.
Have you listened to any of Patricia Routledge’s other performances? How does this one compare?
I have not yet.listened to others but will be doing so soon.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Ah, this can only be the ending.
Any additional comments?
Only that I can and will listen to this again and again and, yes, again.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
Patricia Routledge's performance is the best there is. I have read this wonderful book so many times over the years. Sometimes, when working, I would borrow audio books from the library. This was the most gripping, well acted, well paced version I ever heard. I bought the cassette set, long since worn out. I tried to replace it with a CD set but Routledge's version was not available.
I listened to many others, none of which could begin to compare.
I was delighted to find it available as an Audible download.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
What a depressing story. It is well written and the prevaiding bleakness of the landscape and people seeps throughout the story. This bleakness lifts at the end of the book. No wonder people complained about having to study this in high school.
A lot of this narrative was very whiny in the spoken voice. I don't think Wuthering heights translates well in performance. this is a very cerebral story and works best in one's own head. But that's just me.