I first happened upon this book courtesy of Mumsie, who threw it at my head in a spirit of joyous playfulness.
“Here, you fucking retard,” she declared in lovingly honeyed tones, “read this and find out how to write a proper hero”.
After I had treated the suppurating wound on my cranium with arnica, I looked with some disfavour at the dog-eared and gravy-besmirched volume, wondering idly why it was peppered with what looked like boils. However, it was a perishing cold day, and the central heating boiler had noisily breathed its last, and I was made painfully aware that if I wished to be seated beside the fire in the withdrawing room I had better be doing something of which Mumsie approved. Thus it was that I made the acquaintance of the wild moorland, and of the orphan Heathcliff, and the cruelly beautiful Catherine.
Oh my goodness me. What power lurked beneath those broken-backed and besmirched covers. What majesty did one find in a flawed hero! How one sobbed as life turned against one so noble – and all for the foolishness that is the love of a female. How one felt for an orphaned boy treated worse than a dog, and how one railed against the fate that brought him to his knees. And how beauteous was his vengeance.
In essence, a man falls for a member of that inferior gender and is betrayed unto his death.
Five stars and a tear on one’s unblemished cheek.