karen's Reviews > Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
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Jan 11, 14

bookshelves: littry-fiction, smotherings, favorites

"all i care about in this goddamn life are me, my drums, and you"...

if you don't know that quote, you're probably too young to be reading this and isn't it past your bedtime or shouldn't you be in school or something?

but that quote, hyper-earnest cheese - that is romance. wuthering heights is something more dangerous than romance. it's one long protracted retaliation masquerading as passion. and goddamn do i love it. i can't believe i haven't reviewed it before - i mention this book in more than half of my reviews, i have a whole shelf devoted to its retellings, so why the delay?? but better late than never.

no, it's not a perfect novel; it's a flawed structure revealing the actions of seriously flawed people. the framing device-within-a-framing-device? totally awkward. having nelly dean tell the story even though where was she for most of the action? totally wrong move, bronte; it makes the beginning such a slog to get through. but that's just stale loaf - the good stuff is all the meat in between.

and oh, the meat... the swarthy stranger of mysterious origins being raised in a family of sheltered overmoist english mushrooms, all pale and rain-bloated, the running wild, two-souls-against-the-world adolescence...childhood indiscretions... vows and tantrums, bonding, unspoken promises, yes i will yes i will yes i will. oh, but wait, what's this??...it's blond and it's rich and it's whats expected of me. very well then. see ya, heathcliff...

it's just textbook gothic from here on out: revenge-seduction, overheard conversations, mysterious disappearances, murdered puppies, swooning, vindictive child-rearing, death, ghosts, moors, phoar...

but this to me, is a perfect love story, even though it's more like torture. the unattainable is always more romantic than the storybook. i don't like an uncomplicated ending, and a story is more impactful with nuanced characters, preferably heavily unlikeable throughout. (this is where i plug head-on - one of my favorite movies ever. do it.)this story just makes me feel good. and i'm well over my teenage fascination with the "bad boy"; i realized pretty quick that "bad boys" are usually pretty dumb. so i moved on to "emotionally disturbed", which is the same thing, really; plenty of drama, and they will leave you drunken "presents" on your lawn (road signs, carousel ponies..), but not complete burnouts, at least. but my teenaged dating pool is neither here nor there, the point is that heathcliff can be romanticized as this victim/villain without having to correspond to the ideal. it's about the level of passion, the size of the grand romantic gesture. devoting your life to destroying the people who kept you from your true love is an amazingly grand gesture.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 205) (205 new)


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I love your love of Heathcliff (e.g. the mention in the Zweig review). Makes me want to pick this book up for once in my classics-neglecting life.


karen its better than zweig.


message 3: by Jen (last edited Dec 03, 2009 09:31PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen Yes! (this is in response to the review and the person of Heathcliff)

I remember reading this and thinking stupid stupid stupid girl- here I am, Heathcliff, find me, find me, find me! (This was before I ventured into the teenage dating pool and still practiced kissing my pillow)


Dave Russell That crazy cat. He always had a scheme going.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Ha!

Yeah, how could you not be attracted to this Bad Boy?







message 6: by Mykle (new)

Mykle i was reading a snippet on the web about how romance novels are really more about pain than sex, and that the important part was that the lovers have to suffer a lot. not that i'm calling Wuthering Heights a bodice-ripper, but that seems to be where the energy comes from.


Ademption Kathy as a ghost is so hot.


message 8: by Daniel (new)

Daniel You see us as you want to see us -- in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct?

Oh, wait, wrong film.


Ademption It's me Kathy/I've come home and I'm so co-o-old/Let me ina your windo-o-o-ow


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Kate Bush reference! Love it!


Maria "It isn't a love story, it's a hate story." Edward Cullen (on Wuthering Heights). Yes -- I just quoted a glittery teenaged vampire. Oh, Heathcliff! (sigh)


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Ralph Fiennes played Heathcliff in a 1992 film adaptation. Seems poorly cast to me. Although he did play that "bad boy" Nazi in Schindler's List, so maybe...


Ademption Whenever I feel the urge to re-read Wuthering Heights, I listen to Kate Bush's encapsulation, and continue on reading other things.


karen wasnt there a other made-for-teevee version with young hot teen stars? i seem to remember a movie-tie-in book floating around that made me puke a little.

wait - is wuthering heights in twilight? do i have to read it now?


karen huh. literate vampires.

guess i should read it eventually - i have lots of questions.


message 16: by karen (last edited Dec 04, 2009 07:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

karen this is what i was thinking about - oh my god, kill yourselves!

http://www.mtv.com/onair/wuthering_he...

wait, wait, wait!!!! john fucking doe was in that??? oh god i give up.


message 17: by Greg (new) - rated it 5 stars

Greg Karen only read Wuthering Heights when this copy came into the store. She squeled so loud and ran around the store skipping like there was no tomorrow when she found out she could actually read Bella and Sebastian's, I mean Edward's favorite book....

[image error]


Ademption I would say "Whatever gets tweens reading better," but really? It takes a fictional fey, glittery vampire and his mediocre girlfriend to hawk classic fiction?

The MTV version didn't bother me half as much as the Bella & Eddy stamped endorsement. MY EYES?!!! WHERE's MY REVOLVER?!


karen Evan wrote: "I would say "Whatever gets tweens reading better," but really? It takes a fictional fey, glittery vampire and his mediocre girlfriend to hawk classic fiction?

The MTV version didn't bother me half..."


c'mon - books have been recommending other books for ages - and this is kind of sweet; it's like - i know i can't write very well, but here's a book that is well-written, with my apologies. the mtv version (and i haven't seen it, so i'm just basing it on the healthy, youthful people who seem to be in it) - is more or less a giant bowel-movement on the original. it has a soundtrack! and not a john doe soundtrack,either, i'll wager.




Ademption Whatever helps the tweens make the leap, then.

"i know i can't write very well, but here's a book that is well-written, with my apologies."

No apologies from Stephanie Meyer are needed. She won at the game of life. She ought to take her swimming pool full money and become the first mormon mother to keep 7+ husbands.


karen i'm just curious about what they will make of w.h.

i think the writing styles are... dissimilar. i read it when i was a young teen, and i recognized that it was more complicated than the books intended for teens that i had been reading, and i was appreciative of that. i didn't have anyone guiding my reading as a kid, it was mostly whatever i found, with my limited resources, i would read. and this book was a big discovery for me.


message 22: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen Deep breath. I think I'm going to buy that book for a niece who is Twilight crazy. I'm willing to sacrifice myself and stand in line holding it just to get her to read it. I owe that much to Heathcliff.




Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Now I no longer want to read it. Just (half-)kidding.


karen excellent! then you can be the case-study!
observe her and record her reactions, no matter how minor. pass it along to me for analysis. the world awaits an answer.


message 25: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Dec 05, 2009 08:42AM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio karen wrote: "it has a soundtrack! and not a john doe soundtrack,either, i'll wager."

From the MTV link:

"Wuthering Heights features original tunes by pop maestro Jim Steinman, the brains behind the brawn of Meatloaf's multi-platinum rock opera Bat out of Hell."

"Rock and roll composer Jim Steinman reached down deep for these Wuthering Heights tunes and the cast sang them with passion. Now you can pick up the soundtrack and the movie DVD. Once you score both, consider your collection complete."

At least that Romeo & Juliet remake had that awesome Radiohead song. And Leo. Le sigh.



message 26: by Jen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jen What? Meatloaf is all he has to recommend him?!?

Surely you jest.


Anca Haha, I just realized why that girl in my class was reading this a month ago- it's in Twilight!


Stephen Karen, in counterpoint to the direction of this erudite thread, I must inquire, how did you really feel about the book? It seemed you held back your true opinions.


cough


message 29: by Richard (last edited Dec 05, 2009 04:51PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Richard G Please have goodreaads change the rules and let me vote more then once for this review,Bravo!


karen ha! i do tend to hold back. im very shy.

and thank you, richard...


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Daniel wrote: "You see us as you want to see us -- in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. You see us as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess and a criminal. Correct?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faaeot...


karen awww i helped her at the store one time. she called me darlin'. i swooned.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I had such a crush on her when I first saw that movie.

Ever see her later film, High Art? Lots of spontaneous pillow fights in that, if ya know what I mean.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio You and all your awesome celebrity encounters. I'm so jealous of your Lynch and DFW ones.


karen yeah, i saw high art... that's why i blushed.

last night althea from project runway came in. i know that makes you the most jealous because of your abiding love of fashion and the shows that promote it. celebrity!


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Oh, just you wait for me to Google that name and then I will be green with envy like you've never seen!

I can't remember if it was that show or the other popular fashion reality one, but I once half-watched most of a televised marathon (like 5 or 6 seasons) over a multi-day period with my friend Samantha (GR-name: Also, Safety Math). We also watched made for TV Lifetime movies together. This was during a period when I was most definitely drunko.


karen i love project runway. i don't know this "other popular fashion reality one", but if you figure it out, tell me and i will follow that one, too. truth be told, if one of us is wearing an ascot in this relationship, it's me.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio First picture that pops up via GoogleImage:



Is this supposed to be attractive? Fashionable?

This looks like a failure even in the world of ironic hipster wear.

I should be a fashion judge on TV.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio karen wrote: "i love project runway. i don't know this "other popular fashion reality one", but if you figure it out, tell me and i will follow that one, too. truth be told, if one of us is wearing an ascot in t..."

America's Next Top Model


karen ugh. thats not a fashion show. thumbs down.

yeah, i didn't like her clothes,(although to be fair, she never made anything like that on the show) i was just trying to wow you once again with my "celebrity" encounters. or put them into perspective for you. they're not all dfws.


message 41: by Joshua Nomen-Mutatio (last edited Dec 06, 2009 08:36AM) (new)

Joshua Nomen-Mutatio I'm pretty sure I've seen both shows and can't tell the difference. One has that irritating bitch on it though. That's a big difference. Otherwise, I dunno, it's all fashion competitions, reality TV tropes, and squealing, emotionally-retarded women to me. But I'm a dummy. To me, as long as a woman is barefoot, impregnated and making me a sammich, she can wear whatever she wants. I'm open-minded like that.


message 42: by karen (last edited Dec 06, 2009 08:38AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

karen the model show is "who can be the prettiest". the project runway is "who can make the nicest clothes". its harder to make clothes that are interesting and nice than it is to be pretty. and more interesting to watch. with fewer catfights. and more boys.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio Sam and I sort of discussed this (my stance on fashion) last time I saw her a few weeks ago. I think we concluded that what I hate is high fashion. Shit like this (though this particular one cracks me up):



But I can appreciate other things when it comes to clothing. But mostly I'm just a fashion-world-neanderthal, I guess.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio It's more like I just know what I like and don't like, but I can't explain it in fashion terms. And it revolves around people that I find attractive and would find attractive in nearly any outfit. So yeah, long story short: I'm not into fashion, but I like looking at attractive models. Who accused me of liking fashion in the first place? No one. Lazy, blabbering Sunday!


Richard G This is actually post shower attire for aerated drying and lovely as well.


karen yes, but look at the way it hangs... and that shiny lining? wonderful detail work.

this is for girls so skinny that they would otherwise be stepped on or fall through subway grates.


Joshua Nomen-Mutatio karen wrote: "the model show is "who can be the prettiest". the project runway is "who can make the nicest clothes". its harder to make clothes that are interesting and nice than it is to be pretty. and more int..."

Ah, ok. I think I've seen more of the former and less of the latter. Yeah, they're not the same, you're right. America's Next Top Model was painful. But I'm an occasional masochist. Plus, I was drunk and making fun of it and making fun of my friend for watching hours on end of it during the marathon. Good times.


Richard G ha-ha-ha but thats obvious it can also be used as lineless line dry in the green home.


karen i'm not saying project runway is the height of all entertainment options, but it's better than modelfights (which i have seen a few episodes of, i confess) but i'm seriously addicted to runway
and dresses. but not lineless line-dry dresses.


message 50: by Richard (last edited Dec 06, 2009 09:15AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Richard G i suppose lineless line dry is for the purely functional not the enraged fashionista. i shall have to tune in as i've not seen any of these shows because reading about insurance is so enriching.


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