An Apple Books Classic edition.
If you’ve only ever seen Wuthering Heights on screen, you may have an image of Catherine and Heathcliff as the ultimate star-crossed lovers. But that’s just scratching the surface of this iconic Gothic romance. Emily Brontë’s only novel is an unabashedly dark tale of passion and revenge that created shockwaves upon its publication in 1847.
Without spoiling too much, the original Heathcliff is breathtakingly vengeful, cruel, and possessive, not the deeply misunderstood romantic hero of some adaptations. And Brontë’s story does not end happily ever after. After tragedy strikes, Heathcliff haunts the swirling mists of the Yorkshire moors, consumed with possessing a ghost. A must-read for fans of Gothic literature, this novel will appeal to anyone who loves a creepy story.
The main drama in Bronte's novel happens in a long narrative told by an elderly housekeeper to a convalescing new tenant. This story-within-a-story setup makes it well suited for audio adaptation, as Scales takes the housekeeper's part and relates the past, while West performs as the tenant and describes the present. Scales primarily uses a folksy lower-class accent, but she also makes her voice harsh and threatening when speaking as Heathcliff, the surly man at the novel's heart. West, as the bewildered tenant, manages to sound both nervous and pretentious, but his part is fairly small, especially with this abridgment, so he mostly serves to provide transitions for the housekeeper's story. The extensive abridgment generally deletes sentences and phrases rather than entire paragraphs or sections. One drawback for the audio format is the difficulty of clarifying the novel's convoluted plot and family tree, since it's harder to search back through long CD tracks than through earlier chapters of the paperback. While a little of the depth of Bronte's writing is lost in abridgment, the novel's emotional core remains intact and wrenching, and the actors' heartfelt interpretations make it easy to imagine being curled up by a warm fire listening to an absorbing tale. In June, Penguin Audio remastered and released on CD for the first time nine other Penguin Classics: Crime and Punishment, Dracula, Frankenstein, Great Expectations, Jane Eyre, Moby Dick, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility and Tale of Two Cities.