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on June 5, 2004
Is there anybody out there who hasn't heard of Heathcliff, the dark villian/hero of this high pitched and utterly committed work of madness? Oh, I love it. It was difficult for me at first. I'm a writer, but not a natural reader. But once I was into this book, once I stopped asking questions of the narrative and just entered the shadowy world of Catherine and her doomed household, I was quite literally spellbound. Bronte died believing this book was a failure. What a dreadful irony that this quiet, disciplined woman who lived out her life in a cold parsons' house with her brilliant sisters, her drunken brother and her eccentric father (The man memorized Paradise Lost: imagine. And outlived all his children!) never even had an inkling that this outpouring of her heart and soul would become a classic, overshadowing even her sister's highly successful Jane Eyre. Both Bronte sisters had the capacity to create archetypes -- to imprint upon the culture seminal patterns that endure to the present time. One last point: the father was Irish. Madness and genius in the blood, indeed. Enjoy it. I read it over every year or so, sometimes twice in a row. I study it; I watch all the film versions. I just love it, the way it works, its strange cruelty and enchantment.
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on September 21, 2003
I picked this book up again some 35 years after reading it in high school, and what I found was quite different from what I remembered. Our "cultural" memory of this great English novel is that it is a story of romantic, wild passion, and unrequited love. No doubt our preconceptions are heavily influenced by the famous film made many years ago. The reality is quite different. Catherine is a rather vain and willful girl who rejects Heathcliff because of differences in their class and upbringing. Heathcliff is full of hatred and resentment despite the great kindness shown him by his master in adopting him literally off the street. There is nothing romantic about the relationship between these two--they hurt each other constantly despite their almost spiritual bond. After Catherine's death, which occurs only halfway through the book, things turn bleaker still, as Heathcliff wreaks revenge on all around him. The wild, harsh countryside and climate, beautifully evoked by Bronte, echo the violent emotions that drive the lives of the characters. How cruel these people are to each other--how hard is Heathcliff's heart that he hates Catherine's daughter most of all. I confess that I found the unrelieved bleakness hard to take at times, and the redemptive conclusion a bit contrived, but it's a great work of English literature nonetheless--and to imagine this book was written by a young woman with virtually no experience of the world!
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on January 10, 2003
Wuthering Heights is one of oldest romance novels and stands as a classic in litterature history.
All through the book you will meet great contrasts that to a certain extent can explain the actions. Wuthering heights is the land of storm and wilderness compared to the quiet and more passive Thruscross Grange where one might think it's more appropriate for children to grow up. The Earnshaw family lives on Wuthering Heights while the Linton family is from Thruscross Grange. When those two contrasts meets with the children of these two families, the conflicts starts. Catherine and Heathcliff are drawn to eachother from the begining and their passion is powerful and destructive. There's love, hate and suffering, but written in a poetic somewhat advanced language and it's echanting how you get caught up with this book.
Sad is it that Emily Brontë died the year after its publication at the age of thirty... But with this novel and her poems, she is one of the most well known female English writers of the 18th century.
You will surely miss out on something great by not reading this book. I warmly recommend Wuthering Heights to everyone who loves to read. It is truly a unique piece of writing!
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on December 10, 2004
I was expecting something in the vein of Jane Eyre when I began to read this book. I was sorely disappointed. True, the violent love between Heathcliff and Catherine is heartwrenching; however, the most difficult part of this novel for me was that there was no character that was lovable, or sympathetic. Just when I started to think that Heathcliff was not so bad after all, he would commit another shocking deed of horrific cruelty. Catherine was just annoying. I also found the plot hard to follow, what with a third person telling the story, and then swinging back to first person narrative. If you want a really powerful, uplifting love story, read Jane Eyre, or The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon May 20, 2011
When Wuthering Heights first came out, readers were shocked by the violence and the passion of its story, that is the strange romance between the mysterious Heathcliff and Catherine Earnchaw, the daughter of Mr. Earnshaw who adopted Heathcliff. The scandal was so much that Emily Bronte, when she died, thought that her book was a failure. Fortunately for her, and for its first readers, the story's reputation grew among literary circles, became an important reading for people like Virginia Wolf, and even became a movie in 1939, starring the great Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon. As such, the book's reputation has now become an important piece of art around the world, influencing important artists in their works (ex:Jane Campion's The Piano, J K Rowling's Harry Potter, etc.)

Most people tend to focus solely on the romance between Heathcliff and Catherine and they tend to think that the story is simply a love story, which is what they did with the Laurence Olivier movie. However, Wuthering Heights must be considered, at least that's what I think, as a tragedy which shows how a simple act of kindness from a good man brought forth discord, jealousy and a story of revenge whose victims, the Earnshaw and the Linton families, soon suffer the wrath of someone who never received the most decent sense of love. Not only that, Wuthering Heights shows how certain families, in distant regions positioned far from big cities, act between themselves as they bring upon each other their own laws. Having had grandparents who lived in regions resembling as much as the moors surrounding Wuthering Heights, I wasn't that much surprised by the cruelty that some of the Earnshaw and the Linton brought forth on Heathcliff.
So for me, that book, was a pleasure to read again and again.

One thing that surprised me with this book is how Emily Bronte managed to transcript the dialects of the countrymen of that region. Indeed, certain character's dialects are written according to how the characters pronounce them. Though reading it straight on for the first time, might be difficult, I suggest to those that may be rebuked by this type of dialogue transcription to read the dialogs aloud. To me it felt much more easier to understand certain conversations and have more pleasure reading that book.

As such, I recommend this book to everyone who would be interested to read a great piece of literature or to discover the original material that brought forth the movie adaptations that they love to watch and rewatch.
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on July 28, 2003
I am reading Wuthering heights in preparation for and AP English course, and am finding it to be the most tedious book I have ever read. I used to think that Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea dragged, but i was sadly mistaken. This book is a drawn out and dreary affair. I have enjoyed "classic" literature in the past but this is unworthy of being dubbed "classic". I would never reccomend this book to another living person, but maybe I'm just and "immature" reader.
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on March 30, 2011
I had bought the norton edition of Jane Eyre with the hope that it would help me in understanding some of the more abstruse religious symbols, quotes, and confounding vocabulary used in the novel. However I have to say that the extra footnotes were mostly irrelevant and did not serve the purpose. To anyone thinking of buying the norton edition, my advice is to save the extra ten bucks and invest in a good dictionary instead.
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on October 26, 2001
Although Wuthering Heights is written in very old english and is not easy to read, the story itself is very touching, romantic and parts of it is tragic.
Heathcliff, an orphan, is raised by Mr Earnshaw as one of his own children. Hindley despises him, but wild Cathy becomes his constant companion, and he falls violently in love with her. When she will not marry him, Heathcliff's terrivle vengeance ruins them all - but still his and Cathy's love will not die.
This is a book which gets quite intense and the relationships between the characters get quite complicated but it is a good book to read.
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on April 7, 2016
Jane Eyre was the creation of Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855), one of the trio of Bronte sisters including Emily and Anne, who were each English authors of note. Jane Eyre was published in 1847, but in spite of the book’s Victorian setting and language, its message is still relevant today.

Many years ahead of its time, one of the main themes of the book is feminism. In a day when too many men considered women to be merely decorative, and incapable of intelligent conversation and reasoned thinking, the adult Jane is her own independent self. An early conversation she has with Edward Rochester is a debate, a verbal duel, and a passionate dance of equals that fairly crackles with intelligent repartee.

There is also a strong religious emphasis in the book. Not only do we witness the spiritual growth of Jane herself, we are also confronted with the appalling distortion and abuse of Christianity by a couple of clergymen. As a Christian, I cringed when one made a proposal of marriage to Jane, telling her in effect that God had revealed to him she must marry him, and any refusal would be a sin against God! This kind of manipulation in the Lord’s name is, sadly, still with us.

Charlotte Bronte's personal awareness of the schools of her day, and her own labours as a governess, inform her narrative. As we follow Jane from an impoverished and abused childhood, through to young adulthood, there are many riches in this novel to be explored. The original title was Jane Eyre–An Autobiography. It was revolutionary in its time, exploring the inner thoughts and feelings of the title character, leading critics to label Charlotte Bronte “the first historian of the private consciousness.”

In my view, we should forgive Miss Bronte for the over-the-top coincidence that reconnects the orphaned Jane with long lost members of her family. It is a weakness in the plot, but not a flaw that is significantly off-putting. This is a superior piece of fiction, and well worth reading.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon April 22, 2014
Like most books written before 1940, and especially those written in the 1800's and below, Wuthering Heights is a bit difficult to read, and there are several boring parts.

Chapter XV (I have a different edition) for me was incredibly powerful. I could feel Heathcliff and Catherine's love for each other burning through the pages. They get only one, just one, brief moment to confess their undying love for each other. The next chapter is equally as powerful. I could feel Heathcliff's despair and rage over Catherine's death.

"Catherine Earnshaw, you may not rest, as long as I am living! You said I killed you - haunt me then! The murdered *do* haunt their murders. I believe--I know that ghosts *have8 wandered on earth. Be with me always - take any form - drive me mad! Only *do* not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! It is unutterable! I *cannot* live without my life! I *cannot* live without my soul!"

This quote and Catherine's bold confession to Nelly of her feelings for Heathcliff are my favourite quotes in the story.

Wuthering Heights definitely isn't easy to get. So many characters share the same name and sometimes it gets dull. But when Heathcliff and Catherine are together on the page, it is passionate, heart-breaking, powerful, and you will realize why Wuthering Heights is considered one of the greatest love stories of all time.
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