Books I Loathed discussion

Loathed Titles > Wuthering Heights

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message 1: by Jessica (thebluestocking) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Jessica (thebluestocking) (jessicaesq) Okay, I know I'm going out on a limb here, but I REALLY REALLY HATED Wuthering Heights. I thought the characters were, almost without exception, despicable. And to cap off their despicableness, they all did despicable things to each other. Anyway, I just couldn't bring myself to care about Heathcliff or Cathy or their selfish creepy love.

message 2: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Christen | 61 comments Awww Jessica I might have to drag you over to the Change a Mind thread....but I think I'll wait on that. The last time I read Wuthering Heights I was a teenager and highly impressionable. I may not like the book anymore, or at least not as much. I think you're absolutely right though about Heathcliff and Cathy - horrible people and who cares if they are tormented forever because of each other? They deserve it! They ruined the lives of just about everyone out of pure spite toward each other.

message 3: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

Xysea  (xysea) I still think Wuthering Heights is a good book. It doesn't matter if the two are loathsome. They are perfect for each other, even in their cruelty and desires for revenge or to cause suffering.

It's one book I don't think I'll ever get rid of. I read it again, every once in a while.

message 4: by Vanessa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

Vanessa | 42 comments I agree that Cathy and Heathcliff are pretty awful, selfish people, and their kids are a pair of little snots too, but I still loved the book when I read it as a young 20-something. I don't think I'll ever re-read it though, I'm content to hold on to a good memory of it (I suspect I might get more irritated with it now as a 40-something).

message 5: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

David (david_giltinan) | 58 comments Wuthering Heights was on our required reading list for the Irish Leaving Cert exam (which is taken after the final year of secondary school). As a results, in the two years prior to that exam, I ended up reading it three times. The first time was just spent figuring out who was who. But as I re-read it, I liked it more and more.

Prompted by Anne Fadiman's book "Rereadings" (in which each of 17 writers describe their experience of rereading books that had really moved them upon first reading), I re-read WH again about a year and a half ago, and found that it still held up. Sure, the characters were deeply flawed and behaved despicably at times. But I still cared about them and their behavior seemed believable. Let's face it, some of the more interesting characters in literature are flawed and evil (yes, I'm thinking of Iago).

But, I suspect that if I had only read WH once, I might feel differently about it.

message 6: by Jessica (thebluestocking) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

Jessica (thebluestocking) (jessicaesq) Okay, okay. I know that there is something there: the book has survived for over a century and a half. I admit that the book was well written and that the characters were more believable than some, but I just couldn't sympathize with them. I will probably read it again in the future, just to check on my first reaction, but, at the moment, my feeling is that these are characters I don't want to revisit.

message 7: by Chrystal714 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

Chrystal714 | 47 comments I read this about about age 35 I hated. I found nothing redeeming about the story.

I recently read Eclipse which mentioned WH. The male lead in the book said WH was more about hate then love. I have to say I so much agree with that statement. I don't get that it is a love story. Glad I am not the only one that hated this book.

message 8: by Kay (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

Kay | 20 comments I love it. Read it for A Level (which I failed) then again for A Level taken six years later (which I passed) and it's been a constant on my bookshelves ever since.

Uh oh, spoiler alert ....

But mainly I only read to Cathy's death and then put it back on the shelf. Sure they are horrible characters, but that's the point. Love can transcend, and (if you only read as far as Cathy's death) transcend without redemption.

Spoiler over (I feel so silly doing that, but we Brits are absurdly conventional).

Even monsters can love and who better for one monster to love than another. I find that a satisfying concept, which every vampire/zombie/undead writer has tried to build on ever since, but WH succeeds, for me, because its monsters are just small, nasty, vicious people ... a bit like the ones we read about in the newspapers who beat their kids and are cruel to their dogs. Even they, maybe, can love ...

message 9: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

Xysea  (xysea) Kay, you said it better than I could. That's exactly it. :)

message 10: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:10PM) (new)

Christen | 61 comments Excellent comment, Kay. Cathy and Heathcliff are indeed monsters...although wouldn't it be nice if monsters loved each other and made each other miserable and left the rest of us out of it?

message 11: by Rachel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:10PM) (new)

Rachel i love, love, love wuthering heights. it is one of my "must-reads". there's no way you can argue that the main characters aren't flawed, but i think that's the point. like kay said, love can transcend and reside in the hearts of even the cruelest creatures. it's also great because everyone really gets their just desserts, and i just love that!

message 12: by Marion (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:10PM) (new)

Marion | 4 comments ditto Rachel! I absolutely love that book, I read it in a day I was so engrossed in it (although it may have helped that I was camping and didn't have anything else to do!) It's just so dark and gothy (in the good way).

message 13: by Michael (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:11PM) (new)

Michael Wuthering Heights will always hold a special place in my heart simply because it got me a 5 on the AP English Comp exam in high school.

Not for any other reason, though.

message 14: by Skylar (new)

Skylar Burris (skylarburris) | 32 comments There is an entire second half to Wuthering Heights, which shows what love ought to be, instead of the selfish, vindictive, monstrous thing it was with Catherine and Heathcliff. That second half of the book I saw as an afterthought when I read it as a teenager; as an adult, I see it as the main point.

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