The Picture of Dorian Grey Paperback
by Oscar Wilde
Part of the Modern Library series
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 272 pages
- Publisher: Random House USA Inc
- Publication Date: 01/08/1998
- Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780375751516
Showing 1 - 5 of 38 reviews.
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Review by Ashleysailvt
I NEVER get tired of reading this book. It's a frightening dive into the world of self-loathing which drives a person to evil. An incredible story by Oscar Wilde, it's for sure to be enjoyed for years and years to come!
Review by devilwrites
Review by JohnMunsch
The idea behind the book is a good one but it definitely takes backseat to dialog. Probably read more for that the any pretentions it might have at philosophy about how incredibly shallow we can be.
Review by book_reader
Oscar Wilde is arguably the most often quoted author. Today I realized why. I read The Picture of Dorian Gray and found marking almost every line of the book as a good quotation.This was my first Wilde book and I loved every word it. The book was so engaging, I finished it little more than a day. That’s a record of sorts, because I am not a fast reader.The plot is very interesting. It is about, as the title says, the picture of Dorian Gray. There are very only two main characters (three, if you consider the painter) and the story is fast paced and has quite a few twists. The book is so small, you wish it could go on for some more time.The language is the first thing that gets you. The long, flowery sentences, words that are rarely used in today’s books, the poetic lines, the rare comparisons - reading this book is liking sailing in a lake on a moonlit night.Wilde understands human psychology in and out. The whole book is about human mind, its actions and influences. Lord Henry’s words and thoughts are if he is dissecting a human mind. His opinions, some of which I disagree with, make you close the book for a while and think about them. The book is peppered with the author’s commentary on human nature and it reminded me of Maugham.The book has a strong subtext. The interpretation can be varied, but one will understand that it’s not just a fairy tale that is told and forgotten. The book will remain with the readers long after reading it. I strongly recommend this to everyone.Some quotes from the book which I liked: Conscience and cowardice are really the same things, Basil. Conscience is the trade-name of the firm. That is all. People are very fond of giving away what they need most themselves. It is what I call the depth of generosity. As for omens, there is no such thing as an omen. Destiny does not send us heralds. She is too wise or too cruel for that. … one can survive everything nowadays except death.Spoilers follow: Please do not read the next paragraph if you haven’t read or intend to read the book.The transformation of Dorian Gray from an adorable lad to a loathsome devil is so well achieved. Never does the reader ‘feel’ that it is sudden or unexpected. His obsession with youth and his actions resulting out of that seem justified. Lord Henry’s character is a mystery to me. He influences Gray in a negative way and he knows it. His motive is not clear to me. I attribute his actions to his jealousy of Gray’s youth and beauty. All my sympathies go to the painter - he pays a price for something that is not his fault.
Review by Dissidence
This book is a complex and dark look into the issues of eternal youth and beauty, moral corruption without consequences and the influence others can have over our lives. I admit I became acquainted with the character of Dorian Gray through the film the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and so I expected to come across the sophisticated womanising rogue portrayed in the film, which isn't what Dorian in the book starts out like at all.It is a fascinating tale, and the supernatural element of the portrait, and the secrecy with which it is kept by Dorian, makes you want to read more about him, his picture and his fate. It is interesting to read about Dorian's transformation from young innocent to experienced and corrupted soul. It also shows how easily we can all be led astray...much easier when by an articulate and intelligent man with a melodious voice and a way with words!I did enjoy the fanciful and melodramatic language used by the characters at first - it makes subjects that might be tedious otherwise rather interesting. I do however think that it was overdone, especially when used in page long monologues by Lord Henry on his backward theories of morality and life. It made my attention wander and after a while it gave me a dull headache! Also, the monotonous explanation of Dorian's interests and life pursuits, amongst other things, made reading slow and arduous.I did enjoy the ending, and I was happy it ended that way, but somehow I wanted to get more from the ending and from the whole book, in fact, than I got. I half-wish I could have enjoyed it more as it has all the elements of intrigue and suspense that a tale should have.
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