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Read Along

What is your first thought about Wuthering Heights?

Although scheduled to finish this month, I have finished Wuthering Heights on the 7th April.

Don’t worry read-along friends. My review will not appear until 29th April this month.

Once you read the novel, it is easy to know what it is about the novel that captivates readers throughout the centuries. It is written like a thriller, with consummate passion and hatred. The story opens with the confusing relations between inhabitants of Wuthering Heights. They all have different surnames, yet seems to be related with each other while living in the same roof. The story is poised to be scandalous.

Once I caught on with the tension of the characters and suspense, there is nothing much to do except to keep turning the pages…..

My first impression wasn’t like that though.

I thought it was about two people who are very much in love with each other but knew that death was soon to befall on one of them thus cause them to be asunder.

Man, was I so wrong. There were a lot of hatred in this one. The strong bond and love between Catherine and Heathcliff (besides the one paragraph utter by Catherine, see amber fonts) has to be implied and felt out of the context of so much animosity in the story to appreciate that Heathcliff actually rather be in hell with Catherine than looking forward to heaven.

It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff, now; so he shall never know how I love him; and that, not because he’s handsome, Nelly, but because he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same, and Linton’s is as different as moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.’ – Catherine Earnshaw (Page 93)

I was about to attempt to draw myself a lineage chart for the 3 families featured in the novel, but upon googling Wuthering Heights diehards and one literature student has prepared a nice one, so here it is (avert your eyes if you want to read the novel for this contain spoilers):

Note: Chart Credits (for my non-commercial use)

Another thing that I didn’t expect the entire story to be narrated by a third person, the faithful housekeeper Ellen (or Nelly as she sometimes called) for the benefit of a tenant who came to stay at the heights, Mr. Lockwood.

I also didn’t expect such atrocities and cruelty coming from Heathcliff and for fear of tarnishing the good impression I have of Ralph Fiennes’ acting, I can’t bear to see him acting as the villain in this one.

I find Edgar Linton to be the nicest one in this lot. A breath of fresh air amongst the stale ones.

I won’t say any further for fear to commit more spoilers, but the tragedy is repeated in the next generation and this community that you saw are neighbours and they sort of marry each other, so do their off-springs. I think they should get out more.

(I am reminded by my co-worker that this is the late 18th century, surrounded by Yorkshire moor, they don’t really have a choice!)

Anyway, do read on. It is well written and a page turner.

What is your first impression about Wuthering Heights?

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About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books.

Discussion

22 thoughts on “What is your first thought about Wuthering Heights?

  1. I used that family tree when I hosted a read-along of this one last year. It was hard to keep track of who was who… too many C names…too many H names.

    My first thought before reading it was that it would be a tragic love story. It’s tragic for sure but so morbid and I had no idea how miserable everyone would be. It’s as if the house were dripping misery. It was funny at times, but I don’t think it was supposed to be funny those times, it just came out that way with Catherine and her antics.

    Posted by Ti | April 10, 2011, 8:03 pm
    • Hi Ti, Glad to have you here to be the first to sound this off. I lost my humour, there wasn’t a part I found it to be humorous. :(

      I just wish Heathcliff was dead. You are right, it is hard to keep track of all of them and everytime a name is mention I have to stop and think which family they were talking about. I’ll hop over to your blog and read the read-along later.

      Posted by JoV | April 10, 2011, 9:00 pm
  2. My first word reaction when I hear “Wuthering Heights” is: sucks.

    Posted by rhapsodyinbooks | April 10, 2011, 9:02 pm
  3. Wuthering Heights is one of those books I can’t bring myself to read again, though I think I should. I first read it at 14, then at 14 and 1 month, then 14 and 2 months…and about a dozen more times over the next year or two in the way that teenage girls will…and I haven’t touched it since I was 15. I think I’d have a very different view of the book now, but I can’t quite bring myself to find out.

    Posted by bernadetteinoz | April 10, 2011, 11:04 pm
    • Bernadette, it is interesting a book means different things to different phases in life. I suppose only the truly treasured few books would stay evergreen. I’m not sure if you need to find out, you haven’t missed a thing!

      Posted by JoV | April 11, 2011, 7:33 pm
  4. My first reaction was to think what a strange work-what an odd method of narration-I really think it is a great novel and think maybe those who do not like it do not like the unconventional narrative method

    Posted by Mel u | April 10, 2011, 11:29 pm
    • Mel, the narrative wasn’t a problem for me but I have problems with most of the characters. They are not likeable. It’s ironic to create a book full of horrid personalities and still loved by some readers.

      Posted by JoV | April 11, 2011, 7:34 pm
  5. I finished reading this long back and wrote down the review, just so that I don’t lose anything later on. Honestly, I didn’t like the book. I hated Heathcliff, just like you did, and the characters and relationships were confusing, to say the least. I will post the full review once you give the go ahead. This book is just not my cuppa.

    I started ‘Digging to America’ and find it engrossing so far.

    Posted by Anamika | April 11, 2011, 5:48 am
    • Ana, I am really glad you like ‘Digging to America’. :) I haven’t wrote my reviews yet but I’ll ask Jenny if she’s done and we can post an early review. Thanks for letting me know.

      Posted by JoV | April 11, 2011, 7:35 pm
  6. I loved the book though doesn’t mean I loved the characters! It’s crazy, it’s passionate, some speeches give me goosebumps everytime I read them. There’s just something about it that fascinates me. I watched the film version as pictured above with Juliet Binoche and Ralph Fiennes. I don’t remember much about it just that it was alright. (read and watched in 2008 I just checked)

    I didn’t find the names or family tree confusing, not as much as other people anyway. If people find Wuthering Heights confusing, they would probably hate 100 Years of Solitude. It’s like confusion on a whole different level lol.

    Posted by mee | April 11, 2011, 7:20 am
  7. Aren’t these characters completely melodramatic and nutso but still somehow fascinating? It’s quite emotionally draining to read this work I find, but I love the atmosphere of the moors that is evoked. You should read the WH anger management session in the Thursday Next book (the second or third one) now, so much fun! :)

    Posted by Bina | April 13, 2011, 10:10 pm
  8. I finished as well haha I found it a page turner which really surprised me and I ended up getting quite into it. I’ll post my final thoughts on your final post.

    Posted by Jessica | April 15, 2011, 12:34 pm
  9. I loved Wuthering Heights as well as Jane Eyre. So much human pathos. Were people always so cruel in
    those days ? I can only hope Hareton and Cathy II find happiness. Although i don’t recolect this in the novel.

    Posted by alan clark | June 25, 2013, 6:12 pm
    • Alan,
      It is the reason why I and many others blog. In the hope that we still recalled what we read a few years later. Having said that because I did not want to spoil it for my reader, I always forgot how the novels that I read end! Thanks for dropping by.

      Posted by JoV | June 28, 2013, 7:34 pm

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Mockingjay
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City


JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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