Last night was my second meeting with a new book club started by my friend, Lori. An excellent meeting it was, as we had two new faces there. We discussed this month's book, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. Somehow I made it all the way through high school English and two English degrees without ever reading this one in class. At some point I picked up a copy at a used bookstore and read it, so this was a reread for me.
It feels rather sacrilegious to say that WH really isn't a favorite of mine, a decision I came to the first time I read it and that didn't change upon reading it this time. I just don't find myself loving the characters, and both time I've been disappointed that the book doesn't end on a more positive note. Maybe it's because I've recently reread Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility and I love how everyone gets paired off at the end. In that case, perhaps WH just isn't for me, huh?
Back in late spring, I ordered Jack Murnighan's Beowulf on the Beach: What to Love and What to Skip in Literature's 50 Greatest Hits from Better World Books (if you haven't ordered anything from them yet, what are you waiting for?). I haven't yet had a chance to delve into this one, but flipped through to see if WH was one of the 50 and what Murnighan had to say about it. I'm picking and choosing here, but here's a sampling of what he said about the novel:
"Heathcliff...is the perfect embodiment of vindication."
"WH has the dubious distinction of having...not only the biggest wuss but literally the most annoying character in the entire history of literature." (In reference to Linton, Heathcliff's son)
And, Murnighan calls Heathcliff "one of literature's great bad-boys."
What do you think?