Wuthering Heights

Emily Brontë

Cover of Wuthering Heights.

Rank: D
No. Times Read: 1
Last Read: Fall, 1998

Author Name: Emile Brontë – Emily Bronte

Review: The only reason this book doesn’t get an F from me is that it was written by a female author—under her own name (not some male pseudonym, like some authors from the same time period)—in a time where most writing that was accepted was done by men. That alone, however, is not enough to save this book. (And besides, the Brontës were a writing family, and so a book written by a Brontë daughter may have been more readily accepted than a book by an unheard of female author.)

[Wait a minute… Hold the phone! Stop the presses! Comment out that code! I take it back. Wuthering Heights was first published under the name “Ellis Bell”—a man’s name! In fact, it was never published under the name “Emily Brontë” in her lifetime! Hot stars and barnacles! I’m tempted to bump this thing down to an F just for that, but since the mistake was mine, I’ll leave it the way it is. For now. -DJP 2/15/2011]

I can’t think of a single reason to read this book. The shallow reasons to read a book (e.g. because it’s famous) don’t apply in this case, since Wuthering Heights isn’t that famous, and its author is only known for this book (which most high school students have to read, anyway, so saying that you’ve read it is kind of like saying you’ve got your driver’s license [though the latter will certainly be of more use to you]). So that leaves us with the real reasons to read a book. For those, I say the following: (a) This book is not written well; (b) this book is not entertaining; (c) this book doesn’t teach you anything; (d) the characters in this book are wooden and revolting; (e) the plot is dull and meandering; (f) the ending isn’t earth-shattering; and (g) the book is longer than it needs to be.

Having said that, Wuthering Heights (often called a Gothic novel to make it seem interesting) is about a series of characters that live at or near a manor called Wuthering Heights. The one or two qualities that each character has are not redeeming. Rather, the reader is introduced to a character, introduced to his/her one or two qualities, and then this character starts yelling at another character, or starts getting yelled at by another character—or beaten. The book is one seemingly never-ending nightmare of people screaming at each other, beating each other, emotionally abusing each other, and even killing each other, if I remember right. It’s just disgusting. The only let up is the very end of the book, which shows two characters (produced from the two main families in the book) who have, apparently, learned to act civilly towards one another. Of course, that’s where the book ends, so whether that situation pans out or not, we’ll never know.

To sum up, there has never been a book that I’ve read that I’ve hated more than this one—not even Stephen King’s It. I wish it had never been written, so that I would (and could) not have been forced to read it.

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