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Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights

The classic Brontë story, set deep in heart of the Yorkshire Dales. Which leads to my first gripe with the book — as I grew up not so very far away from there — and that is, that people simply don’t talk like they do in the book. Perhaps they did 200 years ago, I don’t know. I’m not averse to the use of written dialects, far from it; and when used appropriately — Huckleberry Finn comes to mind — I think they can really add to a story, and convey in a concise fashion a sense of characters and their differences that is otherwise only expressed rather clumsily. But their use in Wuthering Heights seems too adhoc and inconsistent, as well as just plain weird, and I found it detracted from the story rather than adding to it. Maybe this is just because I’m familiar with the accents described, but I didn’t like it.

On the other hand, I certainly can’t fault the plot, which is at least creative and inventive, especially when set against the Victorian background in which it was written. The ending does drag out somewhat though, and by the time the obvious ending actually arrives it feels rather laboured. It’s a little like Moby Dick in that regard, in that by the time the ending arrives, it’s been so long in the buildup that it almost can’t fail to be something of an anticlimax. Still, it was an enjoyable read all the same.

© Aidan Reilly 2018