Emily Brontë's sorrowful story of doomed romance between two childhood friends finds its voice in Anne Flosnik's narration. The diverse range of characters in this classic could present a difficult challenge for a sole narrator, but Flosnik conquers it with alacrity and enthusiasm. She masterfully alters her voice for each character and maintains keen attention to the varied British accents. Without being overly dramatic, Flosnik inserts passion into the dialogue and vividly conveys Brontë's imagery. She captures the cruel infatuation of Heathcliff and the dramatic ranting of his beloved Catherine. Alternately, she delivers the humble narration of maidservant Nellie in kind, measured tones. Flosnik interweaves passionate lamentation with articulate narration.
In this gripping chronicle of the never-ending conflict between the heart and the mind - and the pain and passion of true romance - Emily Brontë created an unforgettable classic saga of love, desperation, vengeance, and forgiveness. Published just one year before Brontë's death in 1848 at the age of 30, Wuthering Heights endures as one of the world's greatest love stories and a classic of English literature.
"It is as if Emily Brontë could tear up all that we know human beings by, and fill these unrecognizable transparencies with such a gust of life that they transcend reality." (Virginia Woolf)
This is one of those classics I was never able to get very far into. The first time I got the whole gist of the story was watching the Olivier-Oberon film some time back, which surprised me with how much I disliked every single soul in the story.
Last year I finally got determined to crack the shell of this thing and listen to the audiobook. Heck, I thought, I listened to one of my most-hated-books-ever, Tess of the Durbervilles, and ended up appreciating it; surely it would work with Wuthering Heights.
Which is nothing against the narrator. Anne Flosnik was the only good thing about the experience: she was excellent.
But the book made me want to bang my head against a wall until it was over. I am glad I finally completed it. It's a good thing to have under my belt. But the one-word review I posted when I was done was, quite simply, "Phew". it was my expression of amazement at how awful it was - and, more, my relief at being through. Put it this way: there was a very high body count in this book – it was one grim death after another. But I didn't mind so much in WH because, as in the long-ago-seen movie, I hated every single character. They were either so weak that a mouse sneeze would knock them over, or strong in the way that a serial killing psychopath is strong. So there was me listening to the book thinking “Yes! Die! Die! Die!”
I honestly don't know if I've read and enjoyed a book where I've been unable to like anyone involved. And here it was beyond simply not liking anyone – this was a pulsating loathing. I don't know if I'd be able to like this one even if some of the characters were more amiable – there was another big factor in my loathing of this book: the utterly impenetrable dialect. Now, I can usually manage accents, especially British accents of all types. I love 'em. But my lord. A random sample that I pulled out: 'Ony books that yah leave, I shall tak' into th' hahse,' said Joseph, 'and it'll be mitch if yah find 'em agean; soa, yah may plase yerseln!' On paper, I can read that without such a problem. Aloud? It might as well have been Bantu.
Kind of thought it might be now and then.
But no. Hateful characters and impenetrable accents aside, this thing was just so unremittingly bleak, so grim and ugly … Heathcliff hanged Isabella’s dog. As a warning. And now if someone could explain to me why he’s considered (from Wikipedia): “an archetype of the tortured romantic hero”...
There is more to the word “romantic” than the common usage. I know that. What frightens me is the people who don’t know that, and still call Heathcliff a romantic hero. I would as soon call Ted Bundy a romantic hero.
For being called a classic and a must read by many, it was not quite what I expected. At least as far as the story is concerned. I didn't feel like it was really a love story. Yes, there were some parts about love, but to me it seemed more a story of hate and revenge for being supposedly denied the love long wished for. Quite frankly I think both Heathcliff and Catharine were being petty and foolish. Heathcliff especially. He goes around blaming others for the consequences of the choices he makes. That just isn't right. I did not sympathize with him at all. Nor Catherine or any of the other characters. Maybe it's just my own taste and view of what love is. But like I said, this story is more centered around hate and revenge than it is love. At least now I can say that I have listened to one more classic.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
I love the overall atmosphere of this story. It's quite different from the original Laurence Olivier-Merle Oberon movie. ( I haven't seen the latest reincarnation.) Cathy Earnshaw is not in half of the book and new characters that I didn't know come to life.
I compare this to Dracula as a mood piece. Even though one is much more paranormal, this book has it's share of weird goings on.
She is quite good at the accents. My only problem is her Heathcliff was a bit of a dullard, only complaint. She does a wonderful Nellie Deane and Joseph.
I cry during the movie every time I see it. This book didn't make me cry so it didn't have the same impact on me. Wonderful story though.
I loved this audio book from the very first sentence. The speaker held my attention throughout the entire novel. To feel Heathcliffe and Catherine's pain in every word. It was fantastic to see in the end how their relationship would have been in a better world through Catherine and Hinton. I think that is what eventualy made peace in Heathcliffe's heart. It was a wonderful foil to have the daughter of Catherine and the son of Heathcliffe the exact opposite of themselves. Catherine was so weak and Heathcliffe was so strong. I will listen to this audio book more than once. It was fantastic.
"Hi My name is Ali and I'm an Audible addict." "Hi Ali!"
The story line is the first and a classic. A soap opera for it's day. Despite this, the writing is melodramatic and the character development is over dramatic but not very deep. One can go through the abnormal psychology book and list diagnosis for the characters. The audio is fine, not great but fine. I am pleased I purchased it, in the same vain as eating my spinach. I believe I did or accomplished something good --good for me to have been exposed too.
This was my second time reading this book in 30 years. I had forgotten so many of the characters and even forgot some sub plots. I still find it a compelling read that keeps me engaged until I have to put it down for the day.
The story isn't full of happiness and perfect moments but the writing is fluid and tells the story effortlessly (with the exception of one character's Yorkshire accent). I imagine this story could have been inspired by real people. It could certainly have happened then or even today.
Will I read it again, most likely when I am reminiscent of the story in another 30 years, God willing.
A different reader
Probably some British male narrator
I got about half way through the book but had to stop there. The male characters didn't come across at all properly as read here. Also I found the attempt at a Yorkshire accent really off-putting. I'm going to look for another version as I really love the book.
I don't care for books where evil wins. Heathcliff is pure evil and not real. I guess there are lessons to be gleaned from the book but I was just relieved when it was over
Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!
I read before as a teenager and thought Heathcliffe was misunderstood and mistreated. A dark, brooding, romantic hero. I had forgotten how horrible and cruel he becomes.
This book was a fun surprise. It is dark and gothic - the eeriness of the atmosphere and depth of characters is delicious.
Anne Flosnik's narration was wonderful.
I did not enjoy the audible. The book is a great story, intense emotions, dramatic, dark. the recording was very easy to understand every word, but the emotion was lacking. also i would have preferred a man's voice tell this story, after all, it is told by a male guest at the home of Heathcliff.
the emotional intensity between Heathcliff and Catherine--that they did not openly admit to each other when they should have. as a result there was a lot of pain and suffering.
the emotion was lacking. Her voice was nice. the story is not. it is dark, with hostile moments.it needs to be read with fire, and in a strong, gruff voice
"An Excellent Classic, but Not the Right Narrator"
Yes, if you want a book with plenty of character evaluation, this is it
No particular scene can be singled out
It's a book where different emotions are felt along the way.
This is a must read for anyone who likes classics, but as Joseph, the servant at Wuthering Heights, can be difficult to read if you're not familiar with his strong accent, it's better to listen to the book. When I read it back in 1979, Joseph was the character I struggled with.
I have given the performance a lower rating. Anne Flosnik would be good for a more gentler story, but you do need a more powerful male or female reader for a story like this, given Heathcliff's brutal and vengeful characteristic. I hope to try the Juliet Stephenson reading at some stage. Anne Flosnik fell short of my expectations especially in the scene where young Cathy and Nelly are imprisoned by Heathcliff, who wants Cathy to marry Linton. At the time, Cathy is angry and distraught, especially given that her father is at death's door and I felt that more could have been made of her voice. Cathy's "We will go" needs to sound as if she really means business.
Report Inappropriate Content