[Previous 1 star review: I listened to this on audio book, read by my favourite Jane Austen narrator, but that wasn't enough to hold me until the end. Sick and twisted characters, child abuse and neglect, darkness. I couldn't stand it. Perhaps I'll go back and read it one day - with the foreknowledge of how morbid it is, I might be able to discover why so many people love it.]
Now that I have read the paper version, I'm giving this book another star. I can appreciate the writing and story-telling and will admit it was engaging. But I still don't get it. All the characters in the main story, with the exception of Nelly, seem to me incredible idiots. Where else can you find an entire cast of people so wholly irrational and blind? Everybody in this story is completely misguided about their own self-interest, to the point where it's ridiculous.
Much has been said about the ferocity of Heathcliff's so-called 'love' for Cathy, but in my opinion a passion that poisons everyone in the vicinity, rather than inspiring kindness and a desire for self-improvement is not love at all. I've never been a fan of revenge scenarios, and I'm incapable of admiring or even believing a character whose entire being is bent on it to the ruin of everyone including himself.
I don't hate this book. The writing is great and the story is engrossing. I just think it's over-the-top and not worthy of praise for being "insightful" about "the terrible truths about men and women", as is written on the back of my copy. I've never known anyone who behaves to the brutal degree of these characters, except for the mentally ill.