Wuthering Heights is one of those books that deserves the title of classic. It's the favorite of many a fictional misunderstood protagonist and, whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit there's something intriguing about the dark, twisted tale of revenge where no one is a hero and every character is a varying degree of unlikable.
The most intriguing thing about Emily Brontë's famous novel is not that Heathcliff is frequently featured on lists of most romantic bad boys (seriously, girls, why?), but that no one has yet been able to turn this seemingly simple story into a film. Many have tried, but none get it quite right. It's that pesky Heathcliff. No actor is that cruel, that totally single-mindedly obsessed to accurately portray the walking emotional wreck that is Heathcliff. (Goodness knows Tom Hardy couldn't.)
But, here are a few retellings and adaptations that, while they may not have gotten Heathcliff and the feel of the novel completely right, give an interesting take and are actually worth checking out, even if you're not a huge fan of the original.
Catherine by April Lindner
Catherine is a modern YA retelling set in a New York City nightclub. It alternates telling the story of Catherine and Catherine's daughter, Chelsea, who's looking for her long-disappeared mother. If you're a diehard fan of Wuthering Heights, you may not enjoy this book much. Lindner makes the story her own, but she does it in such a way that a casual fan really wouldn't mind. It's intriguing and well-written with an unexpected ending, and definitely worth a read. (As are Lindner's other retellings, Jane and Love, Lucy.)
The Lost Child by Caryl Phillips
Confession: I haven't actually read all of this novel. So take this recommendation with a grain of salt. But the parts of it I did read before the library wanted it back and life got hectic were grippingly written and worth reading. This novel tells the story of a young Heathcliff before he was taken in by the Earnshaws, weaving it together with multiple other stories, including that of the Brontë sisters themselves. It is its own story, but it draws heavily from Wuthering Heights, thus making it an interesting read for anyone who read the novel and wanted more.
Wuthering High School
Okay, so this is a Lifetime movie set in a high school. Don't hate me. But it's actually the closest adaptation to the spirit of Wuthering Heights that I've found, and I've gone through a lot of them. It's full of over-the-top angst and melodramatic characters and "what is even going on right now" scenes, but hey, so was Wuthering Heights. You probably won't enjoy the movie as something you'd eat with popcorn and settle in to watch on a cold winter's night (because melodrama and angst don't really make for a gripping film), but if you like Wuthering Heights, or even if you hated it and just liked to mock it, you should definitely check this movie out.
Wuthering Heights: A Weather Primer
Jennifer Adams takes classic novels and turns them into baby board books, and it's one of the most adorable things out there. I bought my nephew three of them for Christmas. They each have a theme: Moby Dick names things in the ocean, Emma shows different emotions, and Pride and Prejudice teaches numbers, to name a few. Wuthering Heights pairs quotes from the novel with types of weather, and it's a must-have for any baby or toddler in your life. Introduce them to the classics while they're young.
Wuthering Heights: The Musical
Someone did this. Someone took the story of Wuthering Heights and thought, "Huh. I should make a musical out of this." Sadly, after months of trying, I still haven't been able to get my hands on a copy, but here's a sneak peek from YouTube:
If you can find it, please let me know where in the comments!
Bonus: Wuthering Nights
Buy it here, if you must.
Yes, this exists. No, it's not even remotely worth your time. It's terrible. I just think it's hilarious.
Have you read or seen any of these? Do you think I missed any?