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 Post subject: Wuthering Heights
PostPosted: April 5th, 2007 02:28:31 am 
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I usually enjoy "classics," those books that, as Clements so astutely pointed out, everyone wants to have read but no one wants to read. Although I suppose I could be mis-attributing that quote since people tend to site Twain, Voltaire, and Churchill (and possibly Swift and Einstein) as the source of pretty much every wise and humorous quote in the universe.

Anyway, I have discovered that the biggest exception to this generality (other than, perhaps, The Scarlet Letter) is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I hate this book with a passion. The characters are almost all either pathetic, melodramatic, overly hateful, stupid, incredibly annoying, or some combination thereof. Women have a strange tendency to have babies with no prior warning. Live dogs are randomly hung from hooks, apparently to die. The plot becomes ridiculously predictable once the simple premise is accepted that the hero has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. All in all, there are a total of about 5 scenes that I would actually consider rather emotionally moving and well-written; had they been part of a completely different novel, that novel may well have become one of my favorite novels ever.

Here is one of the few redeeming qualities of the book, a rather humorous bit of dialogue:

Cathy Linton, a young woman: "Papa says you are a wicked man, and you hate both him and me; and Ellen says the same."

Heathcliff, the supposed "hero" of the novel: "That is nothing to the purpose."

By the way, Heathcliff is Cathy's uncle. And the reason he is talking to her in the first place is because he wants her to marry his son (whom he also hates) so that he can take the Linton fortune for himself.

It's like, "so, I hear you're an evil dude who basically hates everyone." "Yeah...so?"

Anyway, has anyone else read this book? If not, I recommend avoiding it like the plague, or the act of buying groceries. If so, what did you think? Am I just being overly negative?


Last edited by BatmanAoD on July 3rd, 2007 00:25:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: April 5th, 2007 17:50:54 pm 
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No, you're absolutely correct, It was an awful, hateful book, I spent almost the whole time hoping all the characters die of syphilis so I don't have to read about them whining all the time. If you have to know it for some reason, I recomend the movie, as it will only waste amout 2 hrs of your life, whereas it could take months to force yourself to slog through the book.


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PostPosted: April 5th, 2007 22:46:53 pm 
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Thanks for the advice, but it's too late--I already finished it.

Oh, and for anyone reading this and wondering "well, does it at least have a good ending?", the answer is no, absolutely not. The ending, like the rest of the book, is absolutely terrible--but in its own uniquely bad way.


Last edited by BatmanAoD on April 9th, 2007 05:58:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: April 7th, 2007 03:31:20 am 
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O
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I actually rather liked the semaphore version of Wuthering Heights.

I watched Spamalot tonight. I'm sort of on a Monty Python high right now.


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PostPosted: April 9th, 2007 03:19:01 am 
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That's...that's actually...that's more romantic than what actually happens in the book.

I'd never seen that skit before. Awesome!


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PostPosted: April 9th, 2007 06:00:56 am 
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A couple more thoughts on Wuthering Heights:

Wuthering Heights could make a good movie...if they totally changed the dialogue...and reworked the characters completely. Basically, they would have to film an entirely different movie and just keep the setting (and the name).

Cliff Notes is to great literature as porn is to romance. However, Cliff Notes is to Wuthering Heights as porn is to an abusive relationship.

The semaphore version of Wuthering Heights is more romantic than the novel. (Thanks for leading me to it, Ushanka!)

You know, once you get past the awkward language and the long introductory scenes, there’s a great novel to be found in Wuthering Heights. Oh wait, that’s The Lord of the Rings.


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PostPosted: May 20th, 2007 20:19:41 pm 
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I liked it. I kind of like that the characters are pretty unredeemable. I hate it when writers suddenly decide to put in some excuse for being bad. It seems to happen most often with women (see Lilah suddenly having a mother with Alzheimer's who she needs to pay for care for in Angel, or the amount of time spent on Connie Summer's excuses for her affair in Unfaithful). Plus, it has this:

And I pray one prayer - I repeat it till my tongue stiffens - Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you - haunt me, then! The murdered DO haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts HAVE 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!

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PostPosted: May 20th, 2007 23:49:20 pm 
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That quote was basically the turning point for me, at which point I started actively detesting the book. I mean, Heathcliff is portrayed as some sort of romantic hero (granted, a Byronic hero, but a hero nonetheless), but he's just despicable. His idea of "love" is essentially the antithesis of my idea of love.

On the other hand, I must admit, that actually is a pretty good line, given that Heathcliff is in fact an irredeemable character. In fact there were a couple really really good scenes, and if they had been part of a better novel overall, they could have been some of the greatest moments in all of literature (hyperbole? Definitely. Opinion? Yes). My favorite is the almost-but-not-quite necrophilia scene.

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 Post subject: Re: Wuthering Heights
PostPosted: May 21st, 2007 12:47:33 pm 
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BatmanAoD wrote:
Anyway, I have discovered that the biggest exception to this generality (other than, perhaps, The Scarlet Letter) is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.

I haven't read Wuthering Heights but the Scarlet Letter was horrible. There may have been a good story but the book's syntax was so horrible that it makes the Washington speech xkcd had to translate look like colloquial English.

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PostPosted: May 21st, 2007 12:57:33 pm 
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Then again, The Scarlet Letter, unlike Wuthering Heights, gets to be one of those books people who haven't actually read it often reference. Like Machiavelli. I mean, people who haven't actually read Machiavelli often reference him; I doubt he frequently referenced The Scarlet Letter. I would like to reach the point where people reference me without actually knowing me. Like "man, well, you know what Jess would say." Then they would all laugh, because, despite not knowing me, they would assume it was something devastatingly witty.

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PostPosted: August 25th, 2007 22:18:40 pm 
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Ushanka wrote:
I actually rather liked the semaphore version of Wuthering Heights.


I loved that too, even more than the smoke-signal version of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Wasn't that from And Now For Something Completely Different?

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 Post subject: Re: Wuthering Heights
PostPosted: December 15th, 2008 05:47:04 am 
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I created an account JUST to post here. I hate this book, and I've never hated a book. I read the Alchemist and didn't like it, so I read it again and now it's my favorite book- I won't be able to do that with "Wuthering Heights." I want to take my soldering torch and burn it. My only fear is that if I do, Catherine will be resurrected and proclaim her love for Heathcliff profusely as the book burns away. Alas I suppose I'll just end up using the book as a clay pigeon. Maybe I'll just throw it away.


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 Post subject: Re: Wuthering Heights
PostPosted: February 24th, 2010 22:30:27 pm 
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I also created an account just to agree whole-heartedly about the Wuthering Heights hate. I'm not that old, so some people might say that I'm just not getting it, but the huge essay we had to do on the characters and plot made me realize just how terrible the book really is.

I'm glad to find similarly-minded people.


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 Post subject: Re: Wuthering Heights
PostPosted: February 25th, 2010 04:23:23 am 
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man now I want to read the Alchemist.

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 Post subject: Re: Wuthering Heights
PostPosted: February 26th, 2010 19:53:54 pm 
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Wuthering Heights is great, and you should all be grateful to Kate Bush for having written it.

wait, wha-

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 Post subject: Re: Wuthering Heights
PostPosted: February 28th, 2010 02:29:09 am 
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Wow, I had no idea my Heights-Hatred would draw in not one, but two new forum members. That is pretty awesome.

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In fact, the largest number is about 45 billion, although mathematicians suspect that there may be even larger numbers.

It's not a Devil May Cry game unless Dante gets pinned to a wall and/or the ground by his own sword.
Preferably multiple times.


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 Post subject: Re: Wuthering Heights
PostPosted: February 28th, 2010 14:02:25 pm 
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