Book Club Picks: Wuthering Heights

janIt has been a while since I have done this post. I’m sorry, I’ve just been so busy with other postings.

However I will be catching up, I quite a bit behind. Ooops, sorry!

So as you all know I started a book club, because you know me and books…

Every month we read a book and I do a little post on the book we read and discussed. What can I say, I just love books.

There is no theme, other than with each month, a different member gets to pick a book, whichever one they want. This time the book club member choose:

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

I love Wuthering Heights, it has always been one of my favorite books. I used to be in love with Heathcliff.

So when one of the book members picked it I was so ecstatic.

So the book has one of the best beginnings ever. A man, Mr. Lockwood, has been renting a house in the country as he wants to get away from everyone and everything.

However, he realizes that the hermit life is not cut out for him. He visits with his landlord, finding him hospitable-if a little brusque. He decides to surprise him one day and finds his host angry-and the house Wuthering Heights to be very unhappy. Mr. Heathcliff is angry, there is a Mrs. Catherine Heathcliff who is also angry and says she is a witch, Haerton Earnshaw who is an illiterate Neanderthal, and Joseph a grumpy hand. The snow keeps him from leaving and he has to stay the night.

Mr. Lockwood goes to a room no one uses-it has been untouched for years. He finds himself unable to fall asleep and stays up reading a diary by Catherine Earnshaw, who used to live in that room. Then we have one of the spookiest, chillingest, best writings:

I heard distinctly the gusty wind, and the driving of the snow; I heard, also, the fir bough repeat its teasing sound, and ascribed it to the right cause: but it annoyed me so much, that I resolved to silence it, if possible; and, I thought, I rose and endeavoured to unhasp the casement. The hook was soldered into the staple: a circumstance observed by me when awake, but forgotten. ‘I must stop it, nevertheless!’ I muttered, knocking my knuckles through the glass, and stretching an arm out to seize the importunate branch; instead of which, my fingers closed on the fingers of a little, ice-cold hand! The intense horror of nightmare came over me: I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice sobbed, ‘Let me in—let me in!’ ‘Who are you?’ I asked, struggling, meanwhile, to disengage myself. ‘Catherine Linton,’ it replied, shiveringly (why did I think of Linton? I had read Earnshaw twenty times for Linton) ‘I’m come home: I’d lost my way on the moor!’ As it spoke, I discerned, obscurely, a child’s face looking through the window. Terror made me cruel; and, finding it useless to attempt shaking the creature off, I pulled its wrist on to the broken pane, and rubbed it to and fro till the blood ran down and soaked the bedclothes: still it wailed, ‘Let me in!’ and maintained its tenacious gripe, almost maddening me with fear. ‘How can I!’ I said at length. ‘Let me go, if you want me to let you in!’ The fingers relaxed, I snatched mine through the hole, hurriedly piled the books up in a pyramid against it, and stopped my ears to exclude the lamentable prayer. I seemed to keep them closed above a quarter of an hour; yet, the instant I listened again, there was the doleful cry moaning on! ‘Begone!’ I shouted. ‘I’ll never let you in, not if you beg for twenty years.’ ‘It is twenty years,’ mourned the voice: ‘twenty years. I’ve been a waif for twenty years!’ Thereat began a feeble scratching outside, and the pile of books moved as if thrust forward. I tried to jump up; but could not stir a limb; and so yelled aloud, in a frenzy of fright. To my confusion, I discovered the yell was not ideal: hasty footsteps approached my chamber door; somebody pushed it open, with a vigorous hand, and a light glimmered through the squares at the top of the bed. I sat shuddering yet, and wiping the perspiration from my forehead: the intruder appeared to hesitate, and muttered to himself. At last, he said, in a half-whisper, plainly not expecting an answer, ‘Is any one here?’ I considered it best to confess my presence; for I knew Heathcliff’s accents, and feared he might search further, if I kept quiet. With this intention, I turned and opened the panels. I shall not soon forget the effect my action produced.

Heathcliff stood near the entrance, in his shirt and trousers; with a candle dripping over his fingers, and his face as white as the wall behind him. The first creak of the oak startled him like an electric shock: the light leaped from his hold to a distance of some feet, and his agitation was so extreme, that he could hardly pick it up.

‘It is only your guest, sir,’ I called out, desirous to spare him the humiliation of exposing his cowardice further. ‘I had the misfortune to scream in my sleep, owing to a frightful nightmare. I’m sorry I disturbed you.’

A ghost of Catherine Earnshaw Linton.

Mr. Lockwood heads home and falls ill. He questions the housekeeper Nelly about Heathcliff and she tells them the story…

So Mrs. Earnshaw died years ago and left the gentry Mr. Earnshaw with a son, Hindley, and daughter, Catherine. Mr. Earnshaw was very abusive and so are his children-wild-like the weather on the moors.

Nelly lived in the house as well, taken in by Mr. Earnshaw. One day everyone’s life changed when Mr. Earnshaw returned home with a boy! A curly-hair, dark-skinned boy (most likely Spanish, Italian, or Russian) and raises him with the family. Mr. Earnshaw hates his own son and lifts up Heathcliff. 

That is not good,

Nelly, Hindley, and Catherine all hate Heathcliff on sight. They pinch, hurt, annoy, accuse, etc.; him-although Catherine ends up growing to like him. Soon the twoare thick as thieves and never want to spend any time apart from each other.

Mr. Earnshaw dies, and Hindley becomes the head of the household. He abuses both his sister and Heathcliff, taking no interest at all in how they are raised. Catherine is a gentry daughter, a lady, but she is a wild animal-no instruction in becoming a lady.

Hindley marries a very simple. childlike woman who dies in childbirth. He then hates his son, becomes an alcoholic, and is even more abusive.

Catherine and Heathcliff’s relationship is changed when one day she gets injured and taken in by the Linton family. There she learns how to pretend to be ladylike-still wild and crazy and abusive when things aren’t her way. 

Even though she loves Heathcliff she will not marry him. She will not chain herself to a man who has no family, no last name, he can’t do or become anything. She marries Edgar Linton and Heathcliff runs away. 

When he returns years later he comes to get his revenge on all-He will take Wuthering Heights and its son from the high and mighty Hindley, get revenge and hurt Edgar, and lastly-break Catherine’s heart like she broke his…

Watch out…

So Wuthering Heights is a book about passion, and not just passion but unbridled passion. All these characters do whatever feels right to them, without thinking of what may come with their actions or the price they or others may have pay for their passion.

Often the Bronte’s books are compared with Jane Austen’s. That makes this not only a book club pick, buuuut…

Austen’s books take place more inside-sitting rooms, manors, etc, while the Bronte’s more on the moors and in nature. The Bronte’s are much darker than Austen work’s playing with similar themes but much deeper. Such as with Jane Austen’s books they may be secrets and hidden connections-the Bronte’s take a darker twist.

The term wuthering means decaying, blustery, turbulent, etc-the personalities being wuthering as much as the house, and as wild as the moors they reside.

I have always loved this book, but it was hard to read as what I had gone through with my husband. I understand how Heathcliff feels-with no last name and known family-he is essentially without a social security card and has no way of really doing anything. However, because he is hurt, he then hurts others-and no matter what happened to him that behavior is never okay.

Cathy is just as abusive and very conniving. With her brother as her guardian she knows she will meet no one and grabs at Edgar to get away-bringing pain and destruction and heartbreak to him.

“Edgar Linton, as multitudes have been before, and will be after him. was infatuated:and believed himself to be the happiest man alive on the day he led her to Gimmerton Chapel…”

I know how that feels, and how it feels to discover you are 100% wrong and the person you married is crazy. After the abuse I suffered from my husband I defintely do not sympathize with Heathcliff as much as I do Mr. Rochester, from Jane Eyre. I too married a crazy person who tried to kill me.

But it still is a good story and one I recommend reading in your lifetime.

I did notice two things this time reading the book. In a novel based on the Bronte sisters, The Madwoman Upstairs, by Catherine Lowell, she says that the only reason that the abusive horrible Mr. Earnshaw would adopt Heathcliff and treat him good was because he was his illegitimate son-but that’s not true. He “adopts” Nelly and brings her into his home. If he did that and treated her well and she is of no relation, why not Heathcliff? Plus he probably likes the savageness of Heathcliff, made him think of himself more than his “pansey” son.

The second thing I noticed, is that the story is told through Nelly and she really paints an absolutely awful and horrible portrayal of Heathcliff. But when Heathcliff came Nelly was awful-horrible and abusive to him as she didn’t like him on sight (probably jealous she no longer was “special” as the only one taken into the house). If she hated him that much-and I mean hate as she throws him outside in the dead of winter as she would like him to go away or die-only letting him come back in as Mr. Earnshaw demands it. And this is the actions of a child-wanting another person to die rather than being in the house with them-how can we trust a word she says? How do we know she is giving the undoctored truth?

Still a worthwhile read with so many great quotes-still a favorite no matter what, just not while I’m healing.

For more book club picks, go to Book Club Picks: Until the Day Breaks

For more Wuthering Heights, go to One of Many

For more Heathcliff, go to Smells S’Wonderful

For more Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers, go to Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: The Widow of Larkspur Inn

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One Who Was Both Hero and Villain: Maleficent (2014)

So every year I do a Disney film. So here we go!

…One who was both hero and villain. And her name was Maleficent.

So I never was ever interested in seeing this film. I am the biggest Sleeping Beauty fan and I just felt that this story did not need to be made. After all this film is amazing:

And one of the best parts was the terrifying Maleficent:

And then when she turns into a dragon!!!

AMAZING!!!!!

When I saw the remake, you know me:

I mean why did they have to give her a whole betrayed back story. Why couldn’t she just have been pissed and wanted revenge-fairies aren’t like humans they feel one emotion exponentially.

Or why couldn’t she have just been evil? Wanted to have world domination? Wanted to take down people? If men can be, why not a woman? Like Chernabog.

Anyways, my friend loved the movie. She felt it was the perfect post-betrayed in love film you could watch.

So the film is that Maleficent is this wonderful fairy who protects the forest and one day befriends a human boy, Stephen. They fall in love but are torn apart as he wants money and power and Maleficent wants her home.

The King tries to destroy the creatures on the moors, but are stopped as they are much more powerful. He promises to give anyone ultimate power-daughter’s hand in marriage and be future King if one can destroy them. Stephen sees it as his chance, finds Maleficent and the two reconcile.

Not really as he just did it to get her drunk and kill her.

But he doesn’t kill her, there is a shred of humanity in him, and he instead cuts off her wings.

Nooo

Fastfoward King Stephen and the Queen have a daughter-Aurora. Maleficent does the curse-not nearly as epic as the cartoon and everything progresses as in the film. Except the fairies suck at everything as only focus on themselves-and Maleficent watches over her-becoming a mother to her.

King Stephen has gone crazy and when his daughter and Maleficent come and the curse is played out there is this big fight, blah, blah, blah.

Meh.

I found it so boooooooring.

I actually fell asleep as I just could not stand this character of the film. They acted like it was “new” “never done before” “told in a brand new light”. But it wasn’t. You knew what was going to happen, you knew the ending.

Rather not watch

The only part that was funny was my friend and I were kind of bashing on the betrayal of men, and how Aurora and Maleficent are happy-until a man comes along, Prince Phillip.

Then I saw him, and said “he’s a cute man-but still stay away”-my friend just looked at me and we both started laughing.

I couldn’t help it-he reminds me of a guy I had a crush on ten years ago when I was a teenager.

Very cute

But even without that, I love Prince Phillip-he was always my favorite prince.

Prince Philip

So yeah, I did not care for it-espechially Angelina Jolie. I don’t like her at all as an actress, I don’t think she is good and especially dull in this. Maleficent was powerful, evil, terrifying, the stuff of nightmares. And in this, she was none of that, nowhere near that. Eleanor Audley is the true queen of darkness.

To start Horrorfest VII from the beginning, go to It’s the End of the World: The Birds (1963)

For the previous post, go to Will We Survive the Night?: Rawhide (1951)

For more Sleeping Beauty, go toI Would Go Through Anything for You: Sleeping Beauty (1959)

For more Disney, go toI Can Show You the World: Aladdin (1992)

Keep Clear Of the Moor. Beware the Moon: An American Werewolf in London (1981)

an-american-werewolf-in-london-19811Keep clear of the moor. Beware the moon, lads.

This movie has been referenced in so many books and films that I had been dying to watch it. I wanted to see why everyone loved. So this past Friday the 13th, I decided to watch it and The Wolf Man (1941) as it was a full moon. But when I saw it, I found it was HORRIBLE!!!! One of the worst films ever!! On par with Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and The Beast of Yucca Flats

Mistake Great Gatsby

The main character, David, is so bland and hardly developed that I don’t even care if he becomes a werewolf or not. He also acts crazy all the freakin’ time. In The Wolf Man (1941), Larry thinks he’s crazy, realizes that he’s not, and then tries to stop turning into a werewolf and hurting others. David on the other hand seems to revel in the crazy, and doesn’t seem sad at all that his friend is dead as he is enjoying Nurse Price, etc. While The Wolf Man  is sad and tragic, this was just boring and…more boring.

Jerk

It took over an hour to see David turn! Over an hour! This movie is an hour and a half and I don’t want to have to sit through an hour of crazy David and naked David and have no werewolf!

I don't think so

This is like Godzilla (2014)!!!! If I’m watching a monster movie, I want to see that monster mentioned in the title! The Wolf Man (1941), has a wolf right away, as Bela is a werewolf, and then we see Larry turn at the half hour mark. That’s how its done people!!

Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

They really should have changed the title of the film to David Naughton, My Naked Body, as that is really what this film is about. We see more nudity and sex than we do a werewolf, which is super disappointing.

I mean seriously, what were you thinking?

I mean seriously, what were you thinking?

I felt like Dracula in Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf.

scooby-doo-and-the-reluctant-werewolf-

I started a M&M eating game. For every time David was naked I would eat an M&M. My stomach started hurting barely in.

shadowofadoubt unhappy

 I have to admit I am getting ahead of myself. Lets go back to the beginning and go through some of the issues.

DeanSupernaturalLetsGetStarted

So for those of you who haven’t seen the film, Jack and David are Americans backpacking through Europe after they have just graduated from college. They are lost in the moors and come upon a pub called the Slaughtered Lamb.

I think the name is a message to steer away.

I think the name is a message to steer away.

[Side Note: the pub is based on a real one that was destroyed years ago. After the film, they opened one up in New York.]

So as the two are walking towards the pub, David tells Jack knock-knock jokes. And I kid you not, he doesn’t get them.

Tom-Hanks-Saying-Really

Like who doesn’t understand knock-knock jokes? I mean three-year old children understand that concept. How did Jack even graduate? And more importantly, why did they even include that in the film?

MeanGirls I know right!

And why would you ever enter a place called the Slaughtered Lamb? It just doesn’t sound like there will be anything good there. I’m with Jack on that one, you should’ve passed on it David.

Bad things happen when you don't listen

Bad things happen when you don’t listen

So they go into the Slaughtered Lamb, Jack sees a pentagram and candles on the wall and he begins telling David all kinds of trivia from The Wolf Man (1941).

AmericanWerewolfinLondon

The two end up getting kicked out of the pub and start wandering the moor, when a werewolf attacks.

wolfman-strangle

It attacks Jack and David takes off running.

hold-up-wait-a-minute-let-me-put-some-pimpin-in-it

Yep he takes off. You horrible man, you let your friend die! How could you??!! He was trying to help you and when the wolf attacks him you just RUN OFF???!!!

See Hook agrees with me.

See Hook agrees with me.

So David ends up in the hospital with a “wolf” bite while Jack ends up in the morgue.

Your fault!

Your fault!

And that’s when Nurse Price enters the picture.

Ugh

Ugh. Hate her.

Nurse Price is crazy and a skank. Now I don’t like to call women that, but she plays with David’s junk to get him to eat! I’m serious!!!

Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

She must have a thing for sick/crazy guys.

Plus she is just annoying in how she acts. Nurse Price calls Mark Twain Samuel Clemens when she is reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court I know that is his real name, but who actually goes around using it? NOBODY! Everyone calls him Mark Twain. And I know the director is trying to draw parallels between the stories, but no movie, no.

No thank you

The only similarity between the two is an American in Britain. NOTHING ELSE!

David doesn’t have the most fun in the hospital. He sees dead Jack and actually talk to him (weird scene). Jack tells David he is going to be a werewolf and he believes it. David is eventually allowed to check out as his bite is not serious. Nurse Price invites David back to her place and tells him she wants to be with him. She says “I don’t really bring strange men home…I’ve only been with seven men, of which three were one-night stands”

Girl Please

Sounds like you do bring strange men home since that is about half the men you’ve slept with, and David will make that four out of eight.

ew! Gross Yuck

All I can think is how many were people presumed to be crazy (as at this point she thinks David is just imbalanced as he says he is a werewolf)? I mean she’s like Sam Winchester over here. (She actually is as he slept with a werewolf. And a demon. Dated another demon, and was involved with some other monsters.)

Sam Winchester Werewolf

So as Nurse Price and David head back to her flat (apartment) they comment on how high the price of all food is. I’m like,

Girl Please

You paid like £5 for a bag of groceries. I wish food was that cheap.

Why? Why!

Why? Why!

Anyways so we have a second visit from Jack and to be honest, this film is more about the Leprechaun (1993)/Rumpelstiltskin from Once Upon a Time Zombie Ghost Jack, than it is about a werewolf.

scooby-doo-and-the-reluctant-werewolf-

The next day after Jack and Nurse Price had sex, she leaves for work and twin girls with a dog come upon Jack. The girls’ dog barks at him and they both laugh like crazy and walk off.

What the

What? I know they are trying to reference The Wolf Man (1941) how the dog can sense he is a wolf (Gwen’s fiance Frank, his dog does this). But what was up with the twin girls? Did they think after The Shinning (1980) that the only way to do a creepy film was to have weird twin girls?

Mal_huh

And are they honestly going to included every song that uses the word moon? We’ve already had Blue Moon and Bad Moon Rising, I am now half-expecting Moon River to be played next.

Ugh great gatsby

And we get the cliche #56,  “person pretends in the mirror to be the monster they later turn into”.

Ugh

Ugh

So we switch to the hospital and get a second round of this bratty little boy who says no all the time (he was in the first hospital scene). He’s even more annoying the second time around that I am actually hoping he does get eaten.

Die, die, die!

Die, die, die!

The transformation scene was okay.

an-american-werewolf-in-london-banner-poster

So the next day David wakes up in the zoo naked with the wolves. Now that doesn’t make much sense to me, if you are a wild werewolf, why would you go put yourself in a cage? You’re free! It would make way more sense if he woke up in the park instead.

Darcy P&P OMG Can't Even

So David tries to get arrested, “to protect others”, and that was kind of funny because the bobby (cop) won’t consider it until he starts insulting the Queen, Winston Churchill, and Shakespeare. But he is so rude to nurse Price. Telling her to shut up and leave him alone:

jerk_alert32

He then tells Nurse Price he loves her, and she’s like woah Ted Moseby, slow down. I Love You? Really after one night? Woah, you don’t even know her. Besides she’s crazy. You don’t want to date crazy.

David then runs off to call his family and tell them he cares about them before he kills himself, but can only reach his 10-year old sister as everyone else is out. All I can think is, 1) David was attacked by a werewolf  or “wolf” as the doctors are calling it and 2) his best friend has been killed! How are his parents not in London right now trying to see if he’s okay? Their son could have been killed!!

See Hook agrees with me.

See Hook agrees with me.

So David tries to kill himself but can’t go through with it. Now all I can think is, haven’t you seen The Wolf Man (1941), I mean I assume you did as you were telling the nurse about it. Well don’t you remember, a werewolf can only be killed by silver? Slitting your wrists doesn’t work.

ouch Hermione

So stupid

So after that David sees Jack outside a porno film movie house and goes in after him. All I can think is, you’re worried about killing people and you go see a porno? Really?

sort priorities Harry Potter

And don’t give me, that’s where zombie Jack was at and he needed to speak to him. Before that we saw that Jack came to David wherever he went (hospital, Nurse Price’s flat, etc); he could find himself a quiet place and Jack would totally follow him there.

Girl Please

Plus what us up with the film they are watching? A guy and girl are getting it on and a second guy comes marching in the room yelling “You promised you wouldn’t do this again!” The first guy says “No, I didn’t.” The second guy answers, “I’m talking to her.” The women replies, “I don’t know you.” The second guy gets really embarrassed, says “Oh”, and leaves.

SayWhat?

What the heck was the point of that? And immediately after, Jack says “great movie”. I know you are super horny Jack, but no, no, no, no ,no, no, no, no. That is horrible, horrible, horrible.

facepalm Star trek

After this I couldn’t stomach anymore. It wasn’t scary. There was barely an werewolf. It was pretty much a huge mess. I’ll take The Wolf Man (1941) any day.

No no no no no

No no no no no

And here I will leave with more werewolf than we see in the film.

1981-An-American-Werewolf-In-Londonhalloween banner

To start Horrorfest III from the beginning, go to Even a Man Pure of Heart

For the previous post, go to You Will Die in Seven Days

halloween banner

For more on An American Werewolf in London, go to Pink Elephants

For more on werewolves, go to Unleash the Savage Instincts That Lie Within

For more on Scooby-Doo and the Reluctant Werewolf, go to A Monster Race

For more modern remakes, go to Let Them Fight

For more on monsters, go to What Is This Thing?

For more on Supernatural, go to Happily Ever Aftermath

For more on How I Met Your Mother, go to I’ll Be Back