cover image Wuthering Bites

Wuthering Bites

Sarah Gray, Kensington, $15 paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-7582-5408-5

Mashups are most appealing when they combine novelty, a tongue-in-cheek sensibility, and fondness for the original characters. Gray's iteration of Wuthering Heights lacks all of these elements, illustrating the danger of heedless tinkering. Brontë's original theme of the tension between society and the wild is exaggerated to the point of subversion, leaving behind a novel so gothic that nearly every character is hateful. It's no stretch to cast the dark, tortured Heathcliff as a half-vampire vampire slayer, leaving little room for humor in this ostensible parody. Gray faithfully follows Brontë's outline; for instance, instead of Cathy wasting away, she wastes away but is finished off by vampires. True fans of the original will decry this as heresy. Others will simply find it uninteresting. (Sept.)