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So much for my quiet start to the day…

Meant to be studying Wuthering Heights in English class at the moment.   Went to buy another copy last week.   Found a shelf of books.   There were covers with cheesy romance photos in lurid colors; others with strange, deformed, Tim Burtonesque-cartoons – and then of course there’s the one that looks like a Twilight novel…

So I’m in class just now, and students started talking about how they’d already read it because Bella apparently reads it in Eclipse, and likens it to her situation; and they had some reference in Vampire Diaries too or something?   And then they’re going on about how beautiful and romantic it is, and how Cathy and Heathcliff are just like Edward and his favorite lunch meat, and I couldn’t bloody stop myself.

I muttered something.

Harm rolled her eyes at me, but the teacher had already heard the sound, and asked me to repeat my contribution to the discussion.

So I said – this time loudly and clearly – “That is total fucking bullshit.”


If I’d been given the time to explain, I might have pointed out that I remember Wuthering Heights being published.   Created a bloody furore because it’s so fucking nasty.   This is not, in any way shape or form, a sweet, cutesy, quaintly gothic teen novel.   It’s raw and vicious and horribly passionate and openly hateful – and when it turned out the detestable author Ellis Bell was actually a chick, the critics were even more fucking horrified.

I found it all hilarious.   Wuthering Heights = awesome.   Readers being moved to fury by reading it = more awesome.   And I won’t lie.   Heathcliff: sick, sardonic, twisted bastard that he is – totally rocks.   And Cathy is just as unpleasant and fucked-up, only more annoying.

Here come the spoilers.   Point is – they’re no Bella and Edward, or diary-writing vampire brother and whatever her name is (something also charmingly girlish and twee).   Hell no.   Nothing lovable or romantic about this relationship at all.   In Wuthering Heights, these two ‘love’ each other in a frenzy of destruction and violence that destroys them both and most of the people they come into contact with.   So he hangs dogs, threatens to kill children, beats his wife, and dreams of painting walls with people’s innards and drinking their blood (oh yes.   I love that bit.)   She abuses her husband (uh huh – they both married someone else, mostly to spite each other), tears people with her teeth, and has a psychotic break and dies just to teach him a lesson.

Oh yeah.   That’d be a spoiler.   They die.   She gets ‘brain fever’ from her passions, gives birth and keels over.   He finally starves himself years later, after kidnapping and traumatizing her daughter, digging up her grave and embracing the desiccated corpse, and quite possibly having killed her brother outright.

That’s not to say we don’t have a great model for the fates of other unhealthy Twilight-style relationships in Wuthering Heights.   The character is even named to fit: Is-A-Bella.   Heathcliff’s wife.   Apt, isn’t it?   And her initial talk of him is wonderfully like some of Meyer’s dialogue: that hideous, rape-victim mentality stuff.   “He can’t help himself/he doesn’t mean to hurt me/it’s all my fault/blahblahblah…”   Of course, Isabella comes to her fucking senses eventually, flees the psycho, dies giving birth to his wack-job son, and is promptly forgotten about because she’s boring as all shit.   Also interestingly appropriate.

Anyway – yeah, Heathcliff does actually get accused of being a vampire at one point.   And that’s awesome.   But if you suggested one fine day out on the moors that he was looking particularly fulsome and sparkly? – dude would rip your fucking arms off and feed them to you.  

He’s the man.

Trouble is, didn’t get the chance to explain any of that in English class, did I?   Because I’ve been sent straight to Mrs Keech’s office.   Again.   Which will exacerbate last week’s little drama too…

Fuck.   Everyone hates a critic.





  1. Oh Jonathon, Heathcliff is not “the man”. He’s a childish, cowardly pissant. For a brief moment there I thought I saw a glimpse of an intelligent and conscientious Superhero-Jonathon (in tights and a cape) trying to save the world from social ills. But…nah, you’re just a dickhead. But I would love to see the name Bella replaced with ‘Lunch Meat’ in all future prints of the Twilight series.

  2. Thanks for the spoiler.. Saves me reading it now. Never studied it in High School over here and but have always thought of reading it. Turns out that, through your review at least, it appears to be nothing like I imagined. Oh well! Back to Twilight LOL…

  3. That just might be the best book review ever. *grin*

  4. You very much should have posted this when my class was reading this last month. And as little as I liked Heathcliff, the thought of him ripping the arms of a sparkly fucker and feeding them to him is strangely enjoyable.

  5. You know, the English teacher may have let you explain all that and their may have been an interesting discussion if you had said “I disagree with your analysis” instead of “that is total fucking bullshit” but of course that would not have been nearly as much fun eh! 😉

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