karen's Reviews > Wuthering Bites

Wuthering Bites by Sarah Gray
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Mar 28, 14

bookshelves: smotherings, continuations-n-retellings

from the back cover (boldface mine):

when a young orphan named heathcliff is brought to wuthering heights by the manor's owner, mr. earnshaw, rumors abound. yet the truth is more complicated than anyone could guess. heathcliff's mother was a member of a gypsy band that roamed the english countryside, slaying vampires to keep citizens safe. but his father was a vampire. now, even as heathcliff gallantly fights the monsters who roam the moors in order to protect beautiful, spirited catherine earnshaw, he is torn by compassion for his victims - and by his own dark thirst.



AHHHHHHH!!! yes yes yes a thousand times yes!! how could this go wrong???


ohhhhhh, like that.

so this is my first venture into the literary monster mash-up genre. i cannot turn down a wuthering heights adaptation, nope. it's funny, because seriously, the day before this came out, i was lamenting to john petrie that there were so many zombie/mummy/werewolf/vampire retellings, and not one had been attempted for wuthering heights, which seems to me like it would be such a natural conflation: heathcliff and a vampire. i mean, duh, right? and then - blammo - the next day, there it was. and i bought it and began reading it that very night.

overall, i'm not sure how i feel about this trend. i can see why it makes sense to add monsters into jane austen: just to have something interesting happen. oh snap!!! (and here's where i duck from elizabeth's right hook. i kid, i kid!!!)

but on the other hand, you wouldn't think there was an elegant way to wedge vampires into the plot, despite the already-vampiric qualities of heathcliff and the bizarre actions of some of the characters which could be easily explained by massive blood loss. but that part of the book is fine - the addition of vampires: there are huge pockets of emptiness in w.h. - heathcliff's "missing" three years, his origins, that whole period where heathcliff is living in the house with hindley and hareton, unsupervised, unobserved... there are plenty of places to slap a vampire or two.

it explains why lockwood wouldn't want to cross the moors back to thrushcross grange in the beginning, it explains the multiple wasting sicknesses and pale countenances and the swooning...i mean, you could do a really good job writing vampires into this book, people.

my problem is with all the rest of it. i'm not sure how the other ones work - but it is my understanding that the austen/alcott/twain text is reprinted in full, but that scenes are added in the style of the author's writing that comically or shamelessly (based on your particular opinion) reimagines the text.

but this reads more like an outline of w.h. the tone is just... off. and it may not even be apparent to a casual fan of the heights. but i freaking love that book. and it's like looking at a 3d movie without those glasses - even in the cases where the words are practically identical; like heathcliff's deliciously melodramatic "i can love my murderer but not yours" speech... it just seems... wrong.

part of it might be that the inserted material is mostly more of nellie-dean's perspective, and it's pretty ... folksy. it adds a lot of "humor" to a story that should in no way ever be humorous.

seriously, vampires could have made the already dark plot of w.h. even darker, and genuinely scary, but she chose to go a different route, and for the record, i HATE the constant referring to the vampires as "beasties". that's what you would call a mischievous hedgehog, not a bloodsucking killer.

i just pity the people who will read this before wuthering heights. because this is a poor introduction to a truly haunting love story. (yeah, i said it, what??)

it didn't suck (chortle, chortle), but i really didn't enjoy it, so i have to give it a sad two stars. but three for effort!
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Comments (showing 1-39 of 39) (39 new)

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The Crimson Fucker word!


message 2: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! i can see why it makes sense to add monsters into jane austen: just to have something interesting happen. oh snap!!! (and here's where i duck from elizabeth's right hook. i kid, i kid!!!)

Hahahaha!


message 3: by Jessica (new)

Jessica The idea of this really bothers me. I just don't get it. Like, I am supposed to be packing for a trip but instead I'm thinking about how this bothers me and how I should write a comment about how it's bothering me instead of packing and going to bed. Okay, so like, I get how it's funny to have zombies in Jane Austen, that's contrasty, it's funny, because there's nothing zombie-like in Jane Austen. Ha ha ha ha! But Wuthering Heights is already suuuuuper spooky. Does this book insert specifically, like, Twilight-kind of vampires? Because I guess I can sort of see why that might've seemed like an amusing idea. I guess. Maybe. Sort of. Okay, maybe not really.... But plain old vampires + Wuthering Heights just seems like mashing up something really good with something that sounds a lot like it, but less good. Is is supposed to be funny, or am I misunderstanding the point? Is it more like that sequel to Gone with the Wind or Wide Sargasso Sea and all that kind of thing, that's just supposed to be more of the characters you loved so much?


message 4: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! I think it's supposed to capitalize on the monster/classics mash-up craze (but really, are those things selling well at all?) for $$$. Sounds like this one wasn't successful at all because it was slapped together instead of thoughtfully incorporating a new element.


message 5: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Oh right. That. Good explanation.

If someone wants me to give them a lot of my $$$, they should stop wasting time on these monster mashups and develop a pill that cures procrastination.


message 6: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine my problem is with all the rest of it. i'm not sure how the other ones work - but it is my understanding that the austen/alcott/twain text is reprinted in full, but that scenes are added in the style of the author's writing that comically or shamelessly (based on your particular opinion) reimagines the text.

not full exactly,
"While retaining 85% of the original text of Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," this novel-as-mashup alters some characters' fates and endows the Bennet sisters with martial arts skills to battle the lumbering undead."


karen hmmm, but i remember there being MMA in p&p....


don't i??


karen elizabeth is silent. she is sharpening her stake to drive it through my heart!!!


message 9: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! I think she's at the church, stealing holy water to throw at you.


karen but i read the wharton!!! she should love me!!


message 11: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! karen wrote: "i can see why it makes sense to add monsters into jane austen: just to have something interesting happen."

...but it was worth it.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

I went looking for lolcats about Austen. I did not find any. But I did find a Venn diagram!

[image error]


karen boobies!!


message 14: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! There's a hole in the lolcat universe. I could only find one.

[image error]


message 15: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! karen wrote: "boobies!!"

Hah! I thought traffic signal.


message 16: by Greg (new)

Greg [image error]


karen i can't see that, because i am at work...


saddest.


message 18: by Greg (new)

Greg I forget sometimes that you are at work and can't see the pictures.

You aren't missing too much.


karen oh, god, i remember that - there were movie tie-in books and it made me so mad! i did not watch that, by the way.


karen i didn't hate it, i just wasn't thrilled about picking it back up again. i do think it could have been worse, and it just reinforced my opinion of kensington as a publisher.

i give out one-stars verrry sparingly.


message 21: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! HAHAHAAA!!! Elizabeth's 2nd LOLcat! (also, dang, how did you find it???)


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

!!!!!!

I have fainted from the shock! Someone, the salts, quick!

P.S. Where was the first eLULZcat?


message 23: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! It was here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
Still funny!


message 24: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! I can remember some threads, but I can't remember that thing I was planning to do soon...the Universe compensates.


message 25: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! I love when the universe talks to me like that.


karen i might have to eat these chocolates i was saving to have with greg... they are calling me....


message 27: by Greg (new)

Greg you don't have to wait for me, especially since i'll be away.


karen no, i am going to get one of those promise rings and wait for you to come back.


message 29: by Amelia (new)

Amelia Too funny. The title alone smacks of bad porn.


Megan Ceridwen wrote: "I went looking for lolcats about Austen. I did not find any. But I did find a Venn diagram!

"


I LOVE this diagram!!!


message 31: by Tuck (new)

Tuck i'd like this reivew if you reduce it to one star, jsut cause it's kensington. no respect here


karen i am not a fan, either, but it felt like two stars to me. one star... you don't even wanna know...


message 33: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Still, despite all this, it would have been awesome to watch Laurence Olivier fighting vampires on the big screen. Right?


karen correct.


message 35: by D.G. (new)

D.G. You're hilarious, karen.


message 36: by Manny (new)

Manny So, any bets on when we get Proust with vampires? I mean, why is the narrator always so tired and lacking in energy? And what is Charlus really up to?


karen i'm pretty sure that is stephenie meyer's next project. she's done with the shakespeare/bronte rip-offs and now she's going straight to proust. watch for it.


message 38: by Manny (new)

Manny I have a title: A la recherche des dents perdus. How could anyone resist that?


karen i would read it. i will read it.


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