I'll probably add more details later but for now, I'll say I loved the story. The details of time and place were believable, and the narrator's voiceI'll probably add more details later but for now, I'll say I loved the story. The details of time and place were believable, and the narrator's voice was smart, funny at times, and definitely held my interest. 4 instead of 5 stars because the ending was ....well, blah. Much too convenient, even forced, and it was the first time I found the narrator unreliable. For various reasons, which I will not spoil here, I lost a lot of respect for the character. Still a very good read. I probably would have loved it when I was 16 and less cynical about the world!...more
I echo several other reviews when I say that this book took me three months to read, but it was definitely worth it. I love Dickens' descriptions, andI echo several other reviews when I say that this book took me three months to read, but it was definitely worth it. I love Dickens' descriptions, and all the weird, hilarious minor characters he created. I disagree with most, however, in that I truly came to dislike Esther, the only character who speaks to us directly. Everyone seems to love her, but she got on my nerves. Don't hate me, friends. I'm just expressing my opinion about a great work of literature. I know, I know, this is a classic of the Victorian era, it was a different time and place which Dickens captures brilliantly, but I am just a grouchy, cynical old bat, I guess. I prefer a nasty, sarcastic antihero these days. Esther is simply too nice for my taste. If she had cried one more time from joy at how wonderful her life is, even when terrible things happen to her which she never deserves, how absolutely lovely everyone around her is, how beautiful and adorable her "darling girl" Annoying Ada is...well, I was just about ready to come over there and give her something to cry about. I understand that at the time, a woman in her position probably couldn't afford to be difficult or offend anyone, but from my point of view, now in 2016, she is fingernails on a chalkboard. Hence the four-star rating, rather than 5. I loved everything else. Thank goddess for the comic relief provided by Guppy, Vholes, Miss Flyte, Smallweed, Mrs. Jellyby, and Inspector Bucket. Also, Gillian Anderson's portrayal of tragic bored-to-death Lady Dedlock in the 2005 BBC mini-series is spot-on perfect, as is Stephen Rea as Bucket in the new series Dickensian,which is a mash-up of a whole lot of Dickens novels, imagining the characters a couple of decades before this story takes place. ...more
I'll probably revise this later but for now, I will just say that the back cover of my edition of this book calls it "The Strangest Love Story Ever ToI'll probably revise this later but for now, I will just say that the back cover of my edition of this book calls it "The Strangest Love Story Ever Told" and I have to concur. It is weird, creepy and frankly, not really a love story. It is more of a ghost story, or a tale of revenge and how it can destroy a person's soul. Be prepared to find every single character unlikeable and/ or pathetic. In the early 19th-century words such as alcoholism, child abuse, co-dependence or post traumatic stress weren't used, but whoa do these people need therapy! The two families are about as dysfunctional as it gets. A few things that made it more intriguing are :
that awesome '80s tune by Kate Bush, which I have been unable to get out of my head Come on sing it with me...."Heathcliff, it's me, I'm Cathy, I've come home,I'm so cold...."
the idea that Heathcliff may be mixed-race. Maybe that is a modern interpretation but if he is part Roma, Indian, or black, that adds depth to the story and to his obvious psychological issues
the idea that Nelly Dean, the servant who tells most of the story, is a unreliable narrator and actually manipulates the other characters...twisted!! Me like...and I do think there is something off about her.
Anyway don't forget to shut your windows tonight! There are restless spirits walking the moors....(Shivers) ...more
Some of my students have selected this book for reports and presentations over the years . Just to be clear, they are non-native speakers of English.Some of my students have selected this book for reports and presentations over the years . Just to be clear, they are non-native speakers of English. Sometimes they select the book because it is short. I don't think they realize how intense it is , until they get into it, but few have ever regretted choosing it. I require them to read at least one novel by an American, preferably still-breathing female writer of color, not because I personally dislike the classic Dead White Males, but because said Dead White Makes are covered quite well in their other classes. I consider it my job to create balance and give students a chance to broaden their horizons.
This book made me smile, cringe, and at the end shed a few tears as I turned the last pages on a crowded commuter train. I can absolutely see why the book is controversial. But read it anyway. Teachers, include it anyway. None of the issues it deals with (racism, sexism, poverty, horrific child and spousal abuse, mental illness) have gone away, and the writing is just plain beautiful. Another thing I can absolutely see, is why Morrison won the Nobel Prize for Literature. She happens to be the only still-living American author to have won the Nobel, and the only African-American out of only 14 women. By the way, only 14 women, out of 111 Literature laureates...ummm, what's up with that? Food for thought....more
Some of my students have chosen this book for their final reports, but I am a bit ashamed it took me this long to get to it. What a lovely, funny, heaSome of my students have chosen this book for their final reports, but I am a bit ashamed it took me this long to get to it. What a lovely, funny, heartbreaking story. On the one hand, there are many culturally-specific moments, and more than a few Spanish words in the text. This makes the book a wonderful introduction to Latino culture for those who aren't familiar (like my students here in Japan). On the other hand, the story is universal. A young girl is growing up, has the usual sort of conflicts with her parents and sister, wants to be cool, beautiful, and popular, longs for something more out of life, and is in the process of discovering who she is and where she wants to go. Any reader can relate to those themes. Finally, the fact that the story is told in a series of short vignettes makes it ideal for reluctant readers, English language learners, or those who are just too darned busy to deal with long chapters. ...more
I'm still enjoying this series and have heard enough about the directions it takes, to imagine that I will enjoy the later books even more. That said: tI'm still enjoying this series and have heard enough about the directions it takes, to imagine that I will enjoy the later books even more. That said: the third book was where it started to get all dark and kinky. The fourth book is where Anita started doing things which make no sense and I wanted to whack her upside the head. There's still something I like about her, though. We'll see if she continues to be ridiculous. Also on the positive side, I am really starting to like the supporting characters: Edward the hitman (he's deadpan funny and is, in his own way, a good friend to Anita) Richard the dreamy werewolf (I can see where a good set of claws would come in handy as a junior high teacher!) and Jean-Claude the Master Vampire....hot, hot hot, and willing to wait patiently while the women he desires acts like a bloomin' idiot. All in all, a fun read in spite of feeling frustrated with the protagonist. This was one of the first popular urban fantasy series out there and I imagine a huge percentage of authors were influenced by Hamilton's work....more