Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Brontë Experiment

OK, I'm a girl who loves her Brontë (except Wuthering Heights, but let's not get into that here...) and I have just discovered that an old-but-new friend of mine has NEVER READ any Brontë!

Firstly, I am in utter astonishment that he has managed to survive so long without the exquisite prose of a Brontë running through his soul...

And secondly, I'm trying to work out what to start him on...

I adore and heart Jane Eyre to a degree that is possibly more than sane, but sometimes, if I whisper it quietly under my breath, I will admit to appreciating Agnes Grey and Tenant of Wildfell Hall just the teensiest bit more...

So, I'm asking you fellow drunkards... bearing in mind that he has actually asked for my recommendation, that he actually wants to read a Brontë... what would YOU suggest he read first?

9 comments:

The Blakkat said...

Jane Eyre. Just started re-reading this again. Pure delight.

Milly Moo said...

Jane Eyre. It's the BIG ONE, the tome with the 'brand recognition' factor and seems to be the one that blokes (including my hubby, Love Chunks) can get through and actually enjoy.

Mary Bennet said...

Sadly, I think the charm of the Brontes may be gender-aligned and it's a rare reading bloke who'd enjoy meeting Jane as much as you'd like to introduce them. (This pronciple also applies to Jane Austen and, to Joseph Conrad in reverse) I was horrified when a former beau said he'd never been so bored as when attempting to read "Pride and Prejudice"; I hated his favourite book, "Heart of Darkness". In retrospect, it was probablty a sign...)

So be prepared for disappointment.

Also, I probably would start with Charlotte's books and "Jane Eyre" is the most readily available.

actonb said...

My heart leans towards Jane... I am so glad everyone else agrees!

redcap said...

Boys just don't do Bronte, I'm afraid. Bloke keeps confusing the Brontes (all of them) with Jane Austen and thinking that everyone dies at the end. Le sigh. Get him to read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. It's more blokey. He might appreciate the gothicness of Wuthering Heights, though.

davey said...

Recap, you couldn't be more on the money. After I'd finished Wuthering Heights, I was genuinely confused as the why I hadn't enjoyed it -- considering I had loved her other one.

It took me two weeks and an embarrassing conversation before I realised that her 'other one' in my mind had been Pride & Prejudice.

I'm sorry. We're just not made for this sort of thing. Great at building cubby houses though.

Professor said...

Wuthering Heights. Hands down Wuthering Heights.

Maria said...

A friend of mine read Wuthering Heights just because he wanted to know what all the fuss was about, and hasn't picked up a Bronte since.

He has distinct literary tastes, being mainly non-fiction or sci-fi/fantasy. Dipping in elsewhere usually is because it is a "big name" or it's the tie in to a film he didn't mind seeing or someone has gone on about having to read it and convinced him with a short synopsis that it won't send him to sleep. The last not being the biggest motivator.

I think there could be many people who, when starting with an area that they aren't familiar with would like a similar strategy - either go for the big name, or the one that went with a film (often the same one). At least if they never read another again they will feel more like they have read something 'worthwhile'.

Unless you think they should read a minor one because it has something in it that particularly will appeal to their taste/personality or a personal situation they've gone through.

That would be the way I'd approach it, anyhow.

Good luck with "converting" your friend!

R.H. said...

Greetings Miss Maria and I look forward to a review. I'd suggest my own work, A Peeping Tom's Guide to Melbourne but it's currently being prosecuted for indecency (what strange values we have). A good time to slip something in here is during the morning as most of them have hangovers, I myself am a bit of a renegade being always sober.

With utmost affection
-Robert.