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on 6 April 2014
This review isn't of the novel Wuthering Heights itself, as I'm sure everyone either knows it or knows of it, and already has strong feelings about it. I simply wanted to comment on this particular edition.

As Wuthering Heights is my all-time favourite piece of literature, I have many copies of it, from a variety of publishers. Some of these copies are more reader-friendly than others. Some books, for example, have tiny letters, which makes reading a strain, even if you're wearing your glasses, and therefore renders the whole reading experience less enjoyable than it should be. Some use user-unfriendly fonts, which it is also hard to comfortably read. And in some copies, the print is all crammed too closely together, and makes you instantly wish you were reading something with the words and sentences, and paragraphs, more spaciously set-out - it looks better with more space, not so daunting, it enables you to breathe while reading.

And therefore I wanted to recommend this particular edition, because it is the best version I have come across, in terms of all the things I've mentioned above. It has nice large letters - not too large, but large enough not to be headache-inducing; the letters are printed using an attractive font; there is enough space between the words, sentences and paragraphs to give the page a nice, spacious look.

This might sound like nit-picking, but if you want to ultimize your reading experience, I believe these things really do make a big difference. At last - a copy of Wuthering Heights I can read without hunching over it with a magnifying glass.

Not to keen on the strap-line on the cover: Bella and Edward's favourite book [Twilight saga] but that's a minor quibble, and in fact, having thought about it, it's interesting to see a connection between one of the greatest classics of literature, and a series of books and films that obviously resound very deeply with modern-day readers/movie-goers.

So, I am giving this particular edition five stars, and if you want a copy of Wuthering Heights that you can read with comfort, I strongly recommend you choose this one.
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on 29 November 2001
Right, where do i begin??? how did i ever live without reading this book?? i was told by some idiot that it was boring which put me off for a while, but i read it recently and was totally blown away!! It is honestly the most intense, passionate, maddening book i've ever read. It starts out strong and keeps on going, i actually had to force myself not to read it all in one night and to save some for the next day! Emily Bronte uses such powerful imagery in her prose that it just stuns you. The setting of the story in the Yorkshire moors was absolutely fitting, i doubt that if it had been set anywhere else it couldn't have possibly been half as powerful. The moors add to the air of mystery, gloom, beauty, passion,love, and tragedy. Heathcliff and Cathy are definately the most interesting and intense pair of lovers i have ever read of. Heathcliff especially provokes me, mostly because i cannot decide whether i love or hate him, and that is but one part of the genius of this book. Heathcliff is the hero/anti-hero of the book and just so utterly fascinating a character. The best ingredient of this masterpiece is the fact that the story takes place in such a secluded region, with equally interesting characters, away from the social niceties and civilities that are common in other books of this time. Therefore, the passion and tragedy of the love and hatred in this story is more strongly felt. I could honestly go on forever but i'll spare all you readers out there. All i will say is that you definately must read this book, i know that this is horribly cliche but it truly is one of the best books i have ever read in my life! You will not be sorry.
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on 12 April 2001
Everything about this book makes it makes it truly brilliant. The wild setting of the Yorkshire Moors, the grey and dark ambience of the Heights, the contrast of this at the Grange. Wuthering Heights is full of; love; romance; passion; revenge; and violence; covering ideas about: nature; religion; superstition; death; and the social values of the 19th Century. Criticised when it first came out because the book was written so far ahead of its time, it explores feminist ideas about the inheritance of land and money, and about marriage for social status. Possibly offensive to the original Victorian audience who would have read it, it would appeal to a modern readership subsequently, something of which, due to her premature death, Brontë would never learn of.
Brontë writes about her own experience in this book, with some characters closely relating to her own life. Her sole piece of literature shows her unique outlook on existence, and denying the reader perhaps the resolved ending they would have desired; instead we get the realistic conclusion that everyone can relate to.
Every character in this novel can portray a whole group of people. Heathcliff can represent the 'working class hero come good'. Brontë skilfully manipulates the reader into sympathising with Heathcliff, despite his appalling and violent behaviour later on. Catherine is reckless, passionate and rebellious, but maintains a clear head; she is aware of the importance of keeping a high status in the world. Brontë presents this with her marriage to Edgar Linton, denying her genuine, but concealed, feelings for Heathcliff. Even with Edgar's laissez-faire attitude to Catherine's close friendship to Heathcliff, can create the strong contrast between the two men. The reader can discover the shocking lengths that Heathcliff goes to for revenge against his former anguish, in an almost psychotic way that spans beyond death. His treatment by Catherine's brother Hindley, and his betrayal by Catherine for marrying Edgar causes him to enact a series of events including marriage without love and mistreatment of others in the most terrible way. Interestingly, Brontë allows everything to be observed by the character Nelly in an almost voyeuristic way, despite the fact she is a narrator to the story; it shows the idea of narrators being fair and trusting can occasionally be false. Every character is different, and often unconventional, represented in a certain way for a certain reason. The book successfully takes us over two generations of characters, each with different ideas, personalities and attitudes.
This book can be quite confusing at times by the use of similar names such Catherine's daughter also being named Catherine and Isabella Linton calling her son Linton. Also having to travel through two sets of narration in a non-chronological order. However, Brontë deals with all these factors marvellously and the powerful setting, intriguing characters and wide range of ideas challenged makes this book a political masterpiece of English Literature.
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on 3 February 2003
WH is, essentially, a story about turbulent people living in a turbulent place. I don’t think Bronte meant her characters to fit certain “social types” or be analogies for something else but to be real people unfortunately in very difficult circumstances and I believe that is how WH is best read.
As dark, haunting and changeable as the other Bronte sisters’ infamous classic: Charlotte’s Jane Eyre is personal and gently loving- the two novels are both works of genius but a million miles from each other. However, both have wonderful descriptions of the Yorkshire moors and a sense of real feeling behind their story line.
One of WH strengths is its change of narrative voice- there are two main narrators and letters and other media between. This gives a sense of many people affected by one story thus heightening the strength of Heathcliff and Cathy’s passion.
The end of WH is one of the most discussed in literature and if you are reading it for the first time the question of whether it’s happy or not will occupy you for a long time.
With so much literary criticism spent on WH it is difficult to add original comments. So I would simply urge you, if you haven’t read it yet, to get a copy- it will live with you forever.
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on 5 October 2009
I have read the book, watched various films, listened to audio books and seen the latest dramatization on television but i enjoyed this CD more than any other version of Wuthering Heights. The actors chosen for the characters were fantastic in my opinion. I feel it was a very true reflection of the book and wasn't overly romanticized as in many productions. The Yorkshire accents and realism of the characters made it really believable for me.
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on 26 April 2009
Very useful book, includes a little critical opinion, used it for revision for AS english literature.
Is the updated version of the other york notes so don't buy both like i did by accident :)
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on 6 August 2001
Having first read the novel at a young age, it struck me as a tragic love story. A novel with a strikingly resonant feel of modern teenage angst, yet with the grandeur, only a Bronte classic can achieve. However, my interest of the novel took on exciting new depths when I studied it in my University years. A multi-generic plot emerged, and unusually, a book appraised widely within the class! It took me another couple of years to explore the different theories of the tale, which led me to persue the task more fully through my final year dissertation. I focused upon a reading of masculinity and patriarchy in the text, as much of the criticism focuses upon a feminist perspective. However, the feminist angle can not be ignored and a particularly influential account can be found in Gilbert and Gubar's 'The Madwoman in the Attic'. (Essay: Emily Bronte and The Bible of Hell).
I can certainly recommend this classic to all ages and, for those of you forced to study this book at school, it is a relief to find so much interesting and varied criticism on the text. Most of all, enjoy it, and when you've finished, you'll find it difficult not to pick it up and enjoy it all over again!
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Like many people this isn’t the first time I have read this, and of course won’t be my last, as this is a story that seemingly captivates so many people throughout the world. One of the most original, indeed possibly the most original story in the English language, Emily Bronte’s only novel is a pure masterpiece and a pleasure to read.

Opening in 1801 the story then goes back through the last quarter of the 18th Century, and then up to the present, finishing as it does in 1802. Set on the moors and taking in two households, Wuthering Heights, and Thrushcross Grange this story broods menace and isolation. Although the nearest village is Gimmerton this does not really appear in this tale, although some of the characters do make trips to it and further afield. Despite the expanses of the moors and two largish houses as settings for this tale, in many ways the whole story is quite claustrophobic. As Mr Lockwood takes up tenancy in Thrushcross Grange he sets out to visit his landlord, Mr Heathcliff, whom he finds rather surly and disagreeable. From Mrs Dean the housekeeper of the Grange he finds out the recent history of these two houses, and their respective owners and families.

It all begins though with the appearance of the foundling who is called Heathcliff. Taking in love, jealousy, hatred, emotional blackmail, dysfunction and vengeance this is a story that will hold you breathless, no matter how many times you read it. From what could be an interesting story full of incident and jollity, Emily Bronte instead creates something that is gothic, dark, menacing and brooding. As we see the original characters become bitter and twisted we see how their actions also have repercussions for the newborn generation, leading to a seemingly unstoppable cycle that leads straight to Hell. Can this cycle be broken, or is it doomed to perpetuate itself?

Although on first publication no one could dispute the masterful writing and passion in this book it did create quite a bit of controversy, as Emily Bronte delved deep into the roots of our psyche to create some wonderfully dark characters and situations and shining a light on what can go on behind closed doors. Something like this we take in our stride and recognise in our day and age, but it was something that was kept hidden away and bottled up in the 19th Century.

This edition does contain footnotes, but although they look as if they should be active ones due to the way they are set out, they are not, so please be warned that you cannot click on one and find the relevant information. There is also a section of suggested questions for reading groups, which I must admit I don’t know whether any groups ever use anyway.
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Review originally posted A Frolic Through Fiction: [...]

Well didn’t THIS take me by surprise!

I did not expect to enjoy this quite as much as I did. Wow.

Right. So the main thing that puts me off reading classics is the amount of effort it takes me to read them compared to my usual books because of the difference in language. Yes , I know it is more educational for me to read more complex books occasionally. But when I read for enjoyment, sometimes I just don’t want that extra struggle. And by sometimes I mean most of the time. But this book was nowhere near as difficult to understand as I thought it would be! Of course, it did take me longer to read because it was still different, but I’ve read classics that are much denser and feel like mud to get through. This didn’t. At all. Especially with the note pages at the back of the book to help you through some of the language meanings.

Honestly, I think the only time I’d struggle was when one character in particular would talk – Joseph. Dear lord, did that man have a thick accent! Half the time I had no idea what he’d be rambling on about, but like I said, the note pages are there (in this edition, at least) to help you through. I swear, most of the notes are just devoted to translating his accent and phrases!

Enough about accents though.

This book grabbed my attention from the start. It’s told in a very interesting way – and this is where I try my best to describe it to you guys while probably confusing everyone. I apologise in advance. So, you read the book from Mr Lockwood’s point of view, as he’s hearing the story of Catherine and Heathcliff through the housekeeper, Mrs Dean. If that makes sense. So you start at “present day” (though obviously not OUR present day), then go back a few years to the beginning of the story, and gradually make your way back to “present day”. If that confused you, I’m sorry for my awful explaining skills – but I promise it all makes perfect sense when you read it! What I’m basically trying to say though is that it doesn’t just feel like a random story, but you’re discovering it for a reason.

Also, the perspective you’re reading from isn’t the main character – or even a side character – but more of a…bystander? I don’t think I’ve read a book from that point of view before!

As for the actual story, although it’s by no means as action based and thrilling as most of the books I read, it was highly entertaining for me. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the Victorian drama! And yes, I say Victorian drama specifically, because everything was so much more dramatic during those times. If you look at someone without smiling, you’re basically the devil’s spawn and have no soul. I mean, look at this. One character was looking after another while they were ill, and here’s how it was described…

“His health and strength were being sacrificed to preserve a mere ruin of humanity.”

I know it’s probably wrong, but I can’t help but be amused by phrases like that! The book is so dramatic, and yet if the events happened nowadays, it’d hardly be anything. And yet everything seems like a shocking downright disgrace to humanity, purely because that’s how the book is written. And it was sort of nice to see how everything – every word, every action, every meal or object or journey – meant so much more back then. It made me feel like I was living in the Victorian times, and with how much I adore history, that’s a massive bonus to me.

At first I was VERY confused about how all the characters were related. So, so confused. But about halfway through it all became clear in an instant. That moment, oh how it felt like a ray of light burst through the clouds fogging my mind . I couldn’t make sense of it before, but just went with it and continued enjoying the story regardless, and then suddenly another person comes into play and CLICK everything suddenly makes sense.

I actually said aloud “OHHHH NOW I GET IT”

So other than the original confusion with the relations of the characters and the struggles of understanding Joseph’s accent, I had no other problems with this book. I loved the drama, I loved the gothic feeling surrounding the (very highly detailed) settings, and I loved seeing the difference between the society then and now.

I feel like this book is a great place to start if you want to get into classics. I mean, that’s what I’m trying to do, and it’s certainly worked for me! I honestly think this is my favourite classic so far (along with Pride and Prejudice).
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on 28 October 2004
For some reason, before I was persuaded to read 'Wuthering Heights' I really didn't want to. But, as a result of the Big Read, I immediately went and picked up a copy. I was expecting something wonderful - I was not disappointed. A tremendous read from start to finish, 'Wuthering Heights' is a powerful, poignant story written by a writer who was sadly undervalued in her own life time, only to be hailed as a literary genius after her death. A tale full of passion, hate, heartbreak, revenge and regret, it is an epic family saga by which all others must be judged.
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