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The Picture of Dorian Gray: Golden Illustrated Classics (Comes with a Free Audiobook)

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How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books The Picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical novel by the writer Oscar Wilde, first published complet How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books The Picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical novel by the writer Oscar Wilde, first published complete in the July 1890 issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine. The magazine's editor feared the story was indecent, and without Wilde's knowledge, deleted roughly five hundred words before publication. Despite that censorship, The Picture of Dorian Gray offended the moral sensibilities of British book reviewers, some of whom said that Oscar Wilde merited prosecution for violating the laws guarding the public morality. In response, Wilde aggressively defended his novel and art in correspondence with the British press, although he personally made excisions of some of the most controversial material when revising and lengthening the story for book publication the following year. The longer and revised version of The Picture of Dorian Gray published in book form in 1891 featured an aphoristic preface—a defence of the artist's rights and of art for art's sake—based in part on his press defences of the novel the previous year. The content, style, and presentation of the preface made it famous in its own right, as a literary and artistic manifesto. In April 1891, the publishing firm of Ward, Lock and Company, who had distributed the shorter, more inflammatory, magazine version in England the previous year, published the revised version of The Picture of Dorian Gray. The only novel written by Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray exists in several versions: the 1890 magazine edition (in 13 Chapters), with important material deleted before publication by the magazine's editor, J. M. Stoddart; the "uncensored" version submitted to Lippincott's Monthly Magazine for publication (also in 13 chapters), with all of Wilde's original material intact, first published in 2011 by Harvard University Press; and the 1891 book edition (in 20 Chapters). As literature of the 19th century, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an example of Gothic fiction with strong themes interpreted from the legendary Faust.


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How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books The Picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical novel by the writer Oscar Wilde, first published complet How is this book unique? Original & Unabridged Edition Tablet and e-reader formatted Short Biography is also included 15 Illustrations are included One of the best books to read Best fiction books of all time Bestselling Novel Classic historical fiction books The Picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical novel by the writer Oscar Wilde, first published complete in the July 1890 issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine. The magazine's editor feared the story was indecent, and without Wilde's knowledge, deleted roughly five hundred words before publication. Despite that censorship, The Picture of Dorian Gray offended the moral sensibilities of British book reviewers, some of whom said that Oscar Wilde merited prosecution for violating the laws guarding the public morality. In response, Wilde aggressively defended his novel and art in correspondence with the British press, although he personally made excisions of some of the most controversial material when revising and lengthening the story for book publication the following year. The longer and revised version of The Picture of Dorian Gray published in book form in 1891 featured an aphoristic preface—a defence of the artist's rights and of art for art's sake—based in part on his press defences of the novel the previous year. The content, style, and presentation of the preface made it famous in its own right, as a literary and artistic manifesto. In April 1891, the publishing firm of Ward, Lock and Company, who had distributed the shorter, more inflammatory, magazine version in England the previous year, published the revised version of The Picture of Dorian Gray. The only novel written by Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray exists in several versions: the 1890 magazine edition (in 13 Chapters), with important material deleted before publication by the magazine's editor, J. M. Stoddart; the "uncensored" version submitted to Lippincott's Monthly Magazine for publication (also in 13 chapters), with all of Wilde's original material intact, first published in 2011 by Harvard University Press; and the 1891 book edition (in 20 Chapters). As literature of the 19th century, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an example of Gothic fiction with strong themes interpreted from the legendary Faust.

30 review for The Picture of Dorian Gray: Golden Illustrated Classics (Comes with a Free Audiobook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    Arguably literature's greatest study of shallowness, vanity, casual cruelty and hedonistic selfishness, Wilde lays it down here with ABSOLUTE PERFECTION!! This was my first experience in reading Oscar Wilde and the man’s gift for prose and dialogue is magical. This story read somewhat like a dark, corrupted Jane Austen in that the writing was snappy and pleasant on the ear, but the feeling it left you with was one of hopelessness and despair. The level of cynicism and societal disregard that Wi Arguably literature's greatest study of shallowness, vanity, casual cruelty and hedonistic selfishness, Wilde lays it down here with ABSOLUTE PERFECTION!! This was my first experience in reading Oscar Wilde and the man’s gift for prose and dialogue is magical. This story read somewhat like a dark, corrupted Jane Austen in that the writing was snappy and pleasant on the ear, but the feeling it left you with was one of hopelessness and despair. The level of cynicism and societal disregard that Wilde’s characters display towards humanity is simply staggering. Despite the dark (or more likely because of it) this is one of the most engaging, compelling and lyrical pieces of literature I have read. The quality of the prose is nothing short masterful. I assume most people know the basic outline of the plot, but I will give you a few sentences on it. The three main characters are Basil Hallward, Lord Henry Wotton and Dorian Gray. Basil Hallward is an artist who after painting a picture of Dorian Gray becomes obsessed with him because of his beauty (the homosexual vs. art object love Basil feels towards Dorian are left vague, likely because of the time it was written). Dorian then meets a friend Basil’s, Lord Henry, and becomes enthralled with Lord Henry’s world view, which is a form of extreme hedonism that posits the only worthwhile life is one spent pursuing beauty and satisfaction for the senses. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. Well at one point, Dorian utters the famous words quoted at the beginning of my review and the “Faustian” bargain is struck. While this story is often mentioned among the classics of the Horror genre (which I do have a problem with) this is much more a study of the human monster than it is some boogeyman. My favorite parts of the story were the extensive dialogues between the characters, usually Dorian and Lord Henry. They were wonderfully perverse and display a level of casual cruelty and vileness towards humanity that make it hard to breathe while reading. Oh, and Lord Henry reserves particular offense for the female of the species, to wit: My dear boy, no woman is a genius. Women are a decorative sex. They never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly. Women represent the triumph of matter over mind, just as men represent the triumph of mind over morals. . YES folks...he absolutely did. One of the most intriguing quotes I have seen from Oscar Wilde regarding this book is his comparison of himself to the three main characters. He said that he wrote the three main characters as reflections of himself. Wilde said, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry is what the world thinks me: Dorian is what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.” I was somewhat floored by this as I found Dorian to be a truly stark representation of evil and could not see how Wilde could find an idealized form within the character. When I say evil, I don't mean just misguided or weak-minded, someone bamboozled by the clever lectures of Lord Henry. I found Gray to be selfish, vain, inhumanly callous and sadistically cruel. I intend to try and learn more about Wilde’s outlook on this character as it truly escapes me. Regardless, this is a towering piece of literature. Beautifully written and filled with memorable characters and a deeply moving story. A novel deserving of its status as a classic of English Literature. 5.0 stars. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!! P.S. For of audiobooks. I listened to the audio version of this read by Michael Page who has become one of my favorite narrators. His performance here was amazing.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book reminded me why I hate classics. Like Frankenstein, it starts out with a great premise: what if a portrait bore the brunt of age and sin, while the person remained in the flush of youth? How would that person feel as they watched a constant reminder of their true nature develop? And like Frankenstein, it gets completely bogged down in uninteresting details and takes forever to get to the interesting bits. Seriously, in a 230-page novel, the portrait doesn't even start to change until 10 This book reminded me why I hate classics. Like Frankenstein, it starts out with a great premise: what if a portrait bore the brunt of age and sin, while the person remained in the flush of youth? How would that person feel as they watched a constant reminder of their true nature develop? And like Frankenstein, it gets completely bogged down in uninteresting details and takes forever to get to the interesting bits. Seriously, in a 230-page novel, the portrait doesn't even start to change until 100 pages in. And it's so damn flowery. Every time Lord Harry starts talking (and believe me, he likes to talk) he's so witty. Witty witty witty. Ahahaha, you're soooooooo worldly wise and charming. And entirely cynical! You just have a quip for everything, don't you? Look, reader, look. See Harry. See Harry corrupt Dorian. Corrupt, Harry, corrupt! I actually ended up skimming most of the book. I really thought about stopping, but I hoped it would redeem itself by the end. It didn't. I should have just skipped to the last page. So to save you, dear reader, the same pain I went through, is the summary of Dorian Gray (spoilers, of course): Dorian semi-consciously makes Faustian bargain to transfer all his sins and signs of age to his portrait. He sins and feels guilty about it, but keeps doing it anyway. He finally decides to get ride of the portrait/evidence and stabs the painting. Surprise, it breaks the spell, and he is left ugly, old and dead while his portrait returns to its original form. The end. You can thank me later. UPDATE 9/3/12: Since this review is still around and kicking four years later, I thought I might point like-minded individuals to a new parody of classic literature to the tune of Call Me Maybe: Call Me Ishmael!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Scoobs

    Oh Dorian. Oh Dorian. When I first read this book in the fruitless years of my youth I was excited, overwhelmed and a blank slate (as Dorian is, upon his first encounter with Lord Henry) easily molded, persuaded, influenced, etc. Certain Wildisms (Wildeisms?) would take my breath away. Would become my mottos to believe in. To follow. To live. Lines like: "It is silly of you, for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." "But beauty, real Oh Dorian. Oh Dorian. When I first read this book in the fruitless years of my youth I was excited, overwhelmed and a blank slate (as Dorian is, upon his first encounter with Lord Henry) easily molded, persuaded, influenced, etc. Certain Wildisms (Wildeisms?) would take my breath away. Would become my mottos to believe in. To follow. To live. Lines like: "It is silly of you, for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." "But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face." "If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat." "Genius lasts longer than Beauty. That accounts for the fact that we all take such pains to over-educate ourselves. In the wild struggle for existence, we want to have something that endures, and so we fill our minds with rubbish and facts, in the silly hope of keeping our place." "You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know." Re-reading this masterpiece and coming upon these highlighted lines was possibly more interesting than the book this time. Why had I highlighted these lines? Do they still mean the same thing to me, as they did when I first took note of them, enough to highlight them? I still love all of those lines. But no longer feel so strongly for them. Now these are lines that stick out still to me. Or were newly underlined on the second pass through. New Wildisms to mold me. "Oh, I can't explain. When I like people immensely I never tell their names to any one. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy. It seems to be the one thing that can make modern life mysterious or marvelous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town now I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I dare say, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one's life. I suppose you think me awfully foolish about it?" "Yes; she is a peacock in everything but beauty." "Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one." "I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects." "Ah! this Morning! You have lived since then." "what brings you out so early? I thought you dandies never got up till two, and were not visible till five." --A new personal favorite. That I follow very seriously. "She behaves as if she was beautiful. Most American women do. It is the secret of their charm." 'He thought for a moment. "Can you remember any great error that you committed in your early days, Duchess?" he asked, looking at her across the table. "A great many, I fear," she cried. "Then commit them over again," he said, gravely. "To get back one's youth one has merely to repeat one's follies." "A delightful theory!" she exclaimed. " I must put it into practice." "Besides, each time that one loves is the only time one has ever loved. Difference of object does not alter singleness of passion." It turns out that all of these quotes occur in the first 45 pages, except that last one which is right near the end. And it seems most of my reviews end up being mostly quotes from the book itself, but I figure this is what shaped and informed my reading, so I want to share it with all of you. What do you think of it all? That said, poor Sybil Vane! Poor James Vane! Poor Basil Hallward! Shit, even poor old Lord Henry Wotton! And Dorian! Oh Dorian! Lead the life you did and for what? That's all I am going to say about the book. I don't think I shall read Against Nature, for fear of being seduced like Dorian. If you're tired of this review or just tired in general, stop now and come back later. I am going to include two more quotes from the book that truly fucked me up. So much I had to read them at least 3 times in a row. And then transcribe them here for you. The last section, thats the one that did it. Beautiful. Here goes: "There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral-immoral from the scientific point of view." "Why?" "Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly-that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one's self. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry and cloth the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals; the terror of God, which is the secret of religion-these are the two things that govern us. And yet-" "And yet," continues Lord Henry, in his low, musical voice,"I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream-I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal-to something finer, richer than the Hellenic ideal, it may be. But the bravest man among us is afraid of himself. The mutilation of the savage has its tragic survival in the self-denial that mars our lives. We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sins, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful. It has been said that the great events of the world take place in the brain. It is in the brain, and the brain only, that the great sins of the world take place also. You, Mr. Gray, you yourself, with your rose-red youth and your rose-white boyhood, you have had passions that have made you afraid, thoughts that have filled you with terror, day-dreams and sleeping dreams whose mere memory might stain your cheek with shame-" "Stop!" faltered Dorian Gray, "stop! you bewilder me. I don't know what to say. There is some answer to you, but I cannot find it. Don't speak. Let me think, or, rather, let me try not to think." Whew. And: "There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamored of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those who minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie. Gradually white fingers creep through the curtains, and they appear to tremble. In black, fantastic shapes, dumb shadows crawl into the corners of the room, and crouch there. Outside, there is the stirring of the birds among the leaves, or the sound of men going forth to their work, or the sigh and sob of the wind coming down from the hills and wandering round the silent house, as though it feared to wake the sleeper, and yet must needs call forth Sleep from her purple cave. Veil after veil of thin, dusky gauze is lifted, and by degrees the forms and colors of things are restored to them, and we watch the dawn remaking the world in its antique pattern. The wan mirrors get back their mimic life. The flameless tapers stand where we had left them, and beside them lies the half-cut book that we had been studying, or the wired flower that we had worn at the ball, or the letter we had been afraid to read, or that we had read too often. Nothing seems to us changed. Out of the unreal shadows of the night comes back the real life that we had known. We have to resume it where we had left off, and there steals over us a terrible sense of the necessity for the continuance of energy in the same wearisome round of stereotyped habits, or a wild longing, it may be, that our eyelids might open some morning upon a world that had been refashioned anew in the darkness for our pleasure, a world in which things would have fresh shapes and colors, and be changed, or have other secrets, a world in which the past would have little or no place, or survive, at any rate, in no conscious form of obligation or regret, the remembrance even of joy having its bitterness, and the memories of pleasure their pain." Yep.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emily May

    "The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul." And so begins this tale of art and sin. I would highly recommend first watching the movie Wilde, a film which takes the audience on a journey through the life of the tormented writer, from the beginnings of his fame "The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul." And so begins this tale of art and sin. I would highly recommend first watching the movie Wilde, a film which takes the audience on a journey through the life of the tormented writer, from the beginnings of his fame to his later incarceration for "gross indecency" - a charge used to imprison individuals when it was impossible to prove sodomy. Wilde was sentenced to two years hard labour and died not long after being freed due to health problems gained during those two years. Looking at Wilde's story from a twenty-first century perspective, it is sad and horrifying to realise this man was indirectly sentenced to death for being gay. The "hard labour" prescribed was carried out in various ways but one of the most common was the treadmill: This machine made prisoners walk continuously uphill for hours on end and had many long-term effects on people's health. Why do I think it's important to know this? Because, as Wilde claims, in every piece of art there is more of the artist than anything else. And I believe this is especially true of The Picture of Dorian Gray more than perhaps any other fictional work I've read. In this novel, Wilde explores the nature of sin, of morality and immorality. The homoerotic undertones between Dorian Gray, Basil Hallward and Lord Henry Wotton are, I think, the author's little expression of his own secret "sins" within his work. Rarely does a work of fiction so deeply seem to mirror elements of the author's life. By 1891, when The Picture of Dorian Gray was published, Oscar Wilde had met and fallen in love with Lord Alfred Douglas and they had begun a semi-secret affair. By which I mean that many were suspicious of the relationship but didn't argue with Wilde's claims that they shared a Socrates/Plato teacher/student kind of love. The idolisation of Dorian Gray's youth and beauty, his tendency to be mean at random... these characteristics all fit with the description and personality of Lord Alfred Douglas. For me, there is no real question as to whether part of Dorian is meant to be Mr Wilde's lover. I think if you familiarise yourself with Oscar Wilde, this becomes a very personal novel, much more than just a disturbing horror story where a man sells his soul. But even without any additional information, I think this is a sad and haunting book that tells of the joyful naivete of youth and the sad wisdom of maturity. Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube

  5. 5 out of 5

    Chaima ✨ شيماء

    Facts that I know for sure: 1. I got this edition because I'm a slave to the aesthetics and that's exactly the kind of motive the ghost of Oscar Wilde would approve of 2. It’s safe to assume that no matter what I’m doing, at any given moment in time, at least 20% of my brain capacity is perpetually dedicated to making sure I’m clever enough, flamboyant enough, petty enough, gay enough, dramatic enough to earn the approval of the ghost of Oscar Wilde

  6. 5 out of 5

    Barry Pierce

    So I read all of Wilde's plays a couple of years ago but for some reason I never read this at the time. This is probably the number one most requested book for me to read. So I read it. Are ya happy now!? ARE YA!? I really rather enjoyed this. Well, obviously. I mean, did you honestly think I wasn't going to like The Picture of Dorian Gray? It's by Oscar Wilde for fuck's sake. His prose is like spilled honey flowing across a wooden table and waterfalling onto the floor beneath. The viscous liquid So I read all of Wilde's plays a couple of years ago but for some reason I never read this at the time. This is probably the number one most requested book for me to read. So I read it. Are ya happy now!? ARE YA!? I really rather enjoyed this. Well, obviously. I mean, did you honestly think I wasn't going to like The Picture of Dorian Gray? It's by Oscar Wilde for fuck's sake. His prose is like spilled honey flowing across a wooden table and waterfalling onto the floor beneath. The viscous liquid flowing slowly over the edge. His plot, perfectly paced, moves slowly as we wade deeper and deeper into Dorian Gray's maniacal life. Over the edge we go as everything goes wrong, there's death, there's pain, there's long conversations about art. We hit the floor as we finish and we see nothing but sweetness amassing around us as we escape from Wilde's prose. Putting the book down you see the light has hit the stream and it glows and it shines and it sparkles and you stand there mesmorised by what you're witnessing and you put the book back on your shelf and feel sorry for the book you read next. So, yeah, it's good.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    ”He grew more and more enamoured of his own beauty, more and more interested in the corruption of his own soul.” I think I must have been about fifteen when I read “The Picture of Dorian Gray” for the very first time and I was totally blown away by it. There was this book, written in such a beautiful way, using such colourful and flowery language and there were those three amazing characters that made me feel and wonder and question their lives and decisions! You might say that up until I picked ”He grew more and more enamoured of his own beauty, more and more interested in the corruption of his own soul.” I think I must have been about fifteen when I read “The Picture of Dorian Gray” for the very first time and I was totally blown away by it. There was this book, written in such a beautiful way, using such colourful and flowery language and there were those three amazing characters that made me feel and wonder and question their lives and decisions! You might say that up until I picked up “The Picture of Dorian Gray” I was as innocent as Dorian himself. I didn’t know that there were books like that out there, that there actually existed morally grey characters, corrupted characters, book characters that felt like real people and could make you question their behaviour. It was an entirely new world for me and I was totally fascinated by it. So I read this book and I savoured every sentence, I devoured its wisdom and got lost in its pages! Looking at it in retrospective I think that Oscar Wilde actually was the first writer who didn’t only make me love classics but also the first author that ignited my undying love for villains and complex characters. And for that I’ll always be grateful! I don’t know how often I read this book by now (goodreads your count doesn’t even get close to the actual number *lol*), but no matter how often I already read it, I’m still captivated by it. My fifteen year old me loved it as much as my 31 year old me does and if you ask me that’s exactly what makes a good classic. ;-) I’m sure I’ll never get tired of reading this book and I’ll always discover new things about it. And I genuinely hope that many other people will read it as well. It’s definitely worth it! ;-) The characters: Warning: You are now entering the gallery of “Spoilery Spoilers” and since this is one of my all-time faves I’ll probably end up writing an entire essay about it. If you prefer to stay innocent you better leave before my spoilers get to you and corrupt your soul! ;-P Dorian Gray: ”It held the secret of his life, and told his story. It had taught him to love his own beauty. Would it teach him to loathe his own soul?” Dorian Gray! I don’t even know where to start! I love his character to bits and pieces and he’s definitely one of the most intriguing book characters I ever had the pleasure to read about. At the beginning of the book he’s so innocent and naïve and I totally agree with Lord Henry when he says that this is charming. Dorian definitely is a charming character! He’s beautiful and pure and whenever I read the beginning of the book I get a sudden urge to protect him against everything that’s going to happen over the course of those 256 pages! He’s like a child that gets corrupted by the bad influence of others and when I write this I really mean it! Even at his worst he still seems to retain that innocent outlook at things. I mean he was corrupted and tainted by Lord Henry, and he ends up corrupting and tainting his friends but despite all of this he still wonders why they have become like that. He’s completely oblivious to his own role in their downfall and when Basil confronts him with it, he doesn’t believe him. He is convinced that his friends could have done the right thing and that his influence on them isn’t as strong as Basil claims it to be. What is even more intriguing is that Dorian actually wants to be good! There’s a part of him that’s still innocent and hopes that he can be redeemed, but there’s also that other side of him that whispers that he’s entitled to do whatever he wishes to do. It’s obvious that he’s fighting an inner struggle and that he seems to have lost his way. It’s the century old question every person has to ask her/himself. Do I want to be good? And even more important: Can I resist being bad? It’s so easy to do the wrong thing and it’s so tough to do what’s right. I mean that’s the main reason why actors and role-players love to be the baddies! Being bad is fun, it gives you a lot of freedom and if you’re good at it the consequences never catch up to you. ;-P So Dorian constantly finds himself at a crossroads. Will he do the right thing or is he going to give into his bad side? Is his bad side truly that bad? Is having a little fun with his friends and to indulge in pleasure wrong or is it just a part of being human? The fate of Dorian Gray makes you think and it involuntarily causes you to face your own demons and weaknesses. It ultimately causes you to acknowledge your own vices and fears. In short: It makes you pause and forces you to ponder your own life-choices! And this is nothing but awesome! XD ”I want to be good. I can’t bear the idea of my soul being hideous.” ”He felt that the time had really come for making his choice. Or had his choice already been made? Yes, life had decided that for him – life, and his own infinite curiosity about life. Eternal youth, infinite passion, pleasures subtle and secret, wild joys and wilder sins – he was to have all these things. The portrait was to bear the burden of his shame: that was all.” ”I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them and to dominate them.” ”He was prisoned in thought. Memory, like a horrible malady, was eating his soul away.” Lord Henry: ”You seem to forget that I am married, and the one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties. I never know where my wife is, and my wife never knows what I am doing.” Ahh Lord Henry! How much I love that bastard! *lol* He’s quite literally the devil in this book. He’s the person that stirrs Dorian’s soul! He’s the man who leads him down that dark road and just like Dorian he is completely oblivious to the magnitude of his influence! Yes, he knows that he’s corrupting Dorian, he even finds pleasure and joy in it, but throughout the entire book he never truly realizes how much his words actually changed him! How much damage they did to his soul! Lord Henry is the kind of character you just got to love. Arrogant, intelligent, wise, self-confident, brutally honest and completely unapologetic about his inappropriate behaviour. It’s no wonder Dorian is so fascinated by him and isn’t only willing but also eager to spend his time in his company. Lord Henry is basically the embodiment of temptation and young and innocent Dorian wants to be seduced! And honestly, who wouldn’t be drawn towards a character like Lord Henry? I swear he says the wisest things and vocalizes the most accurate statements regarding society! He’s exactly the kind of devil you’d love to have on your shoulder! Plus there’s so much truth in his words that it hurts! XD ”I make a great difference between people. I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects. A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies.” ”I like persons better than principles, and I like persons with no principles better than anything else in the world.” ”We are punished for our refusals. Every impulse that we strive to strangle broods in the mind, and poisons us. The body sins once, and has done with its sin, for action is a mode of purification. Nothing remains then but the recollection of a pleasure, or the luxury of a regret. The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it.” Basil Hallward: ”When I like people immensely I never tell their names to anyone. It is like surrendering a part of them. I have grown to love secrecy.” If Lord Henry is the devil on Dorian’s shoulder then Basil certainly is the angel that sits on his other side. The painter functions as Dorian’s consciousness and as long as they know each other he always appeals to his good side and tries his best to sway him on a righteous path. He’s clearly the counterweight to Lord Henry’s corruption, but unfortunately he doesn’t have a lot of leverage. Well, at least not as much as Harry does! I mean the saying: “Come to the dark side, we got cookies” exists for a reason, right? ;-P In the end Dorian can’t stand his bad conscience any longer and does the only thing that’s seemingly able to liberate him. He kills Basil in order to silence his remorse and regrets, but what he didn’t expect is that this dark deed makes him feel even more tainted and guilty. So in the end Basil’s death only increased his sense of guilt and caused him to feel even more haunted. In my opinion the murder of Basil is the final nail in Dorian’s coffin and from that moment on he couldn’t be saved anymore. ”You were the most unspoiled creature in the whole world. Now, I don’t know what has come over you. You talk as if you had no heart, no pity in you.” The relationships: Dorian Gray & Basil Hallward: ”He won’t like you the better for keeping your promises. He always breaks his own. I beg you not to go.” Dorian Gray laughed and shook his head. “I entreat you.” The lad hesitated, and looked over at Lord Henry, who was watching them from the tea-table with an amused smile. “I must go, Basil,” he answered. And this is the key moment! The very first time Dorian Gray finds himself at a crossroads and choses the wrong path. You gotta love Oscar Wilde for the subtle intensity of this scene! There’s nothing extraordinary or special about it, yet it’s still the first choice that leads Dorian down his dark descent. It’s unagitated, ordinary and so very powerful! It’s obvious Basil loved Dorian and when I talk about love here, I’m talking about true love and not just friendship. He’s infatuated with him and basically worships the young and innocent Dorian. After he realises what Dorian has become, it’s already too late for him though. Poor Basil, if he would have known what his picture would make of Dorian, if he would have known how much Lord Henry’s negative influence would change his innocent and pure friend…. ”One has a right to judge of a man by the effect he has over his friends. Yours seem to lose all sense of honour, of goodness, of purity. You have filled them with a madness for pleasure. They have gone down into the depths. You led them there.” ”There was nothing evil in it, nothing shameful. You were to me such an ideal as I shall never meet again. This is the face of a satyr.” “It is the face of my soul.” “Christ! what a thing I must have worshipped! It has the eyes of a devil.” “Each of us has Heaven and Hell in him, Basil,” cried Dorian, with a wild gesture of despair. Dorian Gray & Lord Henry: ”Words! Mere words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid and cruel! One could not escape from them. And yet what a subtle magic there was in them!” Okay, and here comes the moment when I say that Lord Henry and Dorian Gray are in love with each other. *lol* It’s so freaking obvious!! They are fascinated by each other, they are besotted with each other and they want to spend every free moment in each other’s company! So yeah, there’s that! I think their dynamic and their interactions are very interesting and to me it seems like Lord Henry is some sort of catalyst. He’s the impulse that changes Dorian’s soul, he’s the first person who opens Dorian’s eyes and tells him that he’s beautiful. Oscar Wilde uses him as his tool to initiate Dorian’s monumental change. Which is kind of interesting, if you consider that Oscar Wilde was gay. It feels like Dorian’s and Henry’s relationship is wrong and I’m not even sure if Wilde was aware of that? I mean yes, their friendship led Dorian into the abyss of his soul, which is pretty obvious if you ask me, but there’s some subtle note about their “relationship”. It’s like deep down Oscar Wilde thought that it was wrong to have intense feelings for another man. And if you consider the time in which this was written it’s not surprising that he might have felt that way. Lord Henry represents Oscar’s sins and vices and it becomes quite apparent that some small part of him might have bemoaned his sexual orientation. In contrast to Wilde no one holds Dorian Gray to account though. He gets away with all of his sins and in the end this eventually causes him to destroys himself! What a moral punchline! XD ”Talking to him was like playing upon an exquisite violin. He answered to every touch and thrill of the bow…” ”Yes,” continued Lord Henry, “that is one of the great secrets of life – to cure the soul by means of the senses, and the senses by means of the soul. You are a wonderful creation. You know more than you think you know, just as you know less than you want to know.” ”The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are, of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted. "You know how a voice can stir one. Your voice and the voice of Sibyl Vane are two things that I shall never forget. When I close my eyes, I hear them, and each of them says something different. I don't know which to follow." ”The soul is a terrible reality. It can be bought, and sold, and bartered away. It can be poisoned, or made perfect. There is a soul in each one of us. I know it.” Conclusion: This book is a gem! It’s perfection and so quotable that I could probably highlight each and every single passage! No matter how often I read it, there is always something new I didn’t notice before! I still wonder and guess about certain characters and “The Picture of Dorian Gray” still causes me to think. The writing style is so beautiful I can’t help but fall in love with it. I fall in love with this book over and over again. Every time I read it I love it even more and I’m sure that I will adore this masterpiece until I’m wrinkled and old. Oscar Wilde drags us into the dark depths of the human soul, and once you get there you don’t want to return to the surface anymore. P.E.R.F.E.C.T.I.O.N! That’s what this book is. <333

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ana O

    “Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.” This book is dark unicorns and rainbows. It's chocolate ice cream with cherries on top. It's a pizza with everything on it. It's a fluffy kitten. It's ice cold lemonade on a hot summer day. It is absolutely marvellous. I couldn't help but include this in my review. Keanu Reeves is the real life Dorian Gray.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

    I finished reading this last night, and afterwards I spent an entire hour staring into space so I could contemplate over the majesty of this work. It left me speechless. This book is exquisite; it is an investigation into the human soul, the power of vanity and the problems of living a life with not a single consequence for your actions. It’s truly powerful stuff. It begins with a simple realisation, and perhaps an obvious one. But, for Dorian it is completely life changing. He realises that bea I finished reading this last night, and afterwards I spent an entire hour staring into space so I could contemplate over the majesty of this work. It left me speechless. This book is exquisite; it is an investigation into the human soul, the power of vanity and the problems of living a life with not a single consequence for your actions. It’s truly powerful stuff. It begins with a simple realisation, and perhaps an obvious one. But, for Dorian it is completely life changing. He realises that beauty is finite. It won’t last forever. It’s like a flower, temporary and splendid. So if you’re a young man whose appearance is your singular quality, then this is some damn scary news. People only want to be with you because you’re attractive and charming; they want to be near you, and with you, for your looks only. So when that goes what do you have left? Nothing. No friends. No love. Only age. So what do you do? How do you retain your singular quality? Well, the answer is simple, you copy Doctor Faustus (The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus) and sell your soul to the devil! "How sad it is!" murmured Dorian Gray with his eyes still fixed upon his own portrait. "How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June. . . . If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that -- for that -- I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!" And this is where the real depravity begins. Dorian’s world has no consequences. Everything he does is attributed to the painting, everything. Any regret or malice leaves him quickly and is transferred to the canvas. So he can’t technically feel emotion for an extended period of time; thus, his attitude becomes one of nonchalance. He becomes a shell, an emotionless creature who can only seek his sin: vanity. He surrounds himself with beauty. His house is full of art, brilliant music and every luxury known to man. You name it. Dorian’s got it. Only through seeking new experiences, these pleasures, can Dorian’s being remain animated. I intentionally used the word “being” for Dorian’s body no longer harbours his soul; it’s in the painting. Everything he does is for his own indulgence; he just doesn’t care what affect his presence has on others. The prefect moment is all he lives for. “I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.” The character of Dorian Gray is an interesting study because he is representative of many things. He shows how a seemingly pure soul can be corrupted if it’s left in a sense of privation and given terrible guidance. Also he is suggestive of the Victorian ideal of the perfect societal image. One must be respectable at all times, and have all the appropriate airs and graces. But behind closed doors, or perhaps even a curtain, anything goes. He is suggestive of the hidden evils of Victorian society as behind the mask was many dark things. For example, the Empire and colonialism to the Victorians was a wonderful thing; it built wealth and structure, but in reality it destroyed culture and subjected peoples to slavery. The same things can be said of child labour, the exploitation of women and terrible working conditions. Everything exists behind a veil of grandeur, and this is no less true for Dorian. The homosexual suggestions are practically ground-breaking. Wilde wasn’t the only Victorian author to suggest such things. Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde can be read in a similar vein, but Wilde was much more explicit. It’s not cryptic; it’s just plain homosexual lust for all to see on the part of Basil and (perhaps?) even Sir Henry later on. It’s still rather horrific that Wilde was actually arrested for homosexual acts. Silly Victorians. The novel also shows that despite being corrupted to such a degree, to commit murder in such a terrible sense, Dorian (the Victorian man?) isn’t beyond all redemption. He can still come back from his deeds and end it all. The ending was perfection. This has great allegorical meaning.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    The Picture of Dorian Gray is a hard book to review. After reading such eloquent, beautiful, and rich writing, I am at a loss for how to command my comparatively paltry ability to use words to express how I felt about this book. Forgive me as I go back to AP English for a few moments. I asked myself what were the themes of this novel. Here is my list: Identity Experience Beauty The triumph on senses over reason Accountability I will attempt to build my review, in part, around the discussion of these t The Picture of Dorian Gray is a hard book to review. After reading such eloquent, beautiful, and rich writing, I am at a loss for how to command my comparatively paltry ability to use words to express how I felt about this book. Forgive me as I go back to AP English for a few moments. I asked myself what were the themes of this novel. Here is my list: Identity Experience Beauty The triumph on senses over reason Accountability I will attempt to build my review, in part, around the discussion of these themes. Identity Dorian Gray was a flawed man who was essentially empty inside. He was very young when this story began, seemingly full of potential. Sadly, he invested all his sense of worth in his external beauty, doing little to grow the inner man; unless you consider his descent into depravity, discovering more and more excesses for the meaningless value of those experiences (since his mentor Lord Henry taught him that experience has no value), yet he was strangely curious as to how they would affect the portrait of his soul. He was not quite a tragic figure, because I could not feel sorry for him. He had made this horrible decision (and I believe he had opportunities to repent of it, which he didn't take), but he chose never to take responsibility for himself. Which leads to the next theme. Accountability As I said above, I could feel no sympathy for Dorian Gray. Why? Because he never took responsibility for his actions. Being accountable for one's own actions is a crucial aspect of self-development, at least in my humble opinion. If a person cannot do that, they are doomed to eternal immaturity. This was Dorian's fate. It was Basil's fault for painting the picture. It was Sybil's fault for being a bad actress, and making him fall out of love with her. All the people he ruined in his relentless pursuit of pleasure and debauchery ruined themselves. He took no part in their ruination. Ultimately, he even blamed the picture, and sought to destroy it as the only true evidence of his black soul. I feel like this: If you're going to be a bad, selfish person, own up to it. Don't try to act like your sins should be laid at other people's feet. That was the route the Mr. Dorian Gray took. Experience Lord Henry was the man who opens Dorian's eyes to the fact that the only thing he has to his advantage is the beauty of his youth, that he should enjoy life while he is young enough to experience it fully. He states that experience is not a teacher, and that men don't learn from the mistakes they make as they live. Your experiences don't count for anything. It seemed to be a self-fulfilling prophecy for Dorian Gray. Instead of realizing how his selfish, shallow actions could hurt and destroy others, he never did do that. He merely went from one fixation to the other, marking the effects on the portrait that he guarded jealously. In the end, there was no value to what he experienced. He was just wasting time (in my opinion). The triumph of sensation over reason Dorian Gray became a voluptuary, lost in sensations. He didn't focus on becoming a learned person, only experiencing what he encountered in his pursuits, wallowing in those sensations; until he grew bored, and moved onto the next one. Lord Henry seemed like a good mentor. A man who appeared so intelligent, with a saying for everything. A witty, entertaining man, who had a reputation for saying utterly wicked things. But he wasn't a deep man. He didn't believe what he said. It was an image that he projected for lack of anything else to do as an aristocrat who had no need to work for a living. Dorian Gray took this as gospel, and took it to the next level. As a result, it made his life utterly meaningless. Sadly, his friend Basil, who was a fairly wise person, was dismissed, and made fun of by Lord Henry. I almost felt like Basil and Lord Henry were the warring aspects of Dorian's conscience, at times. Beauty What is beauty? I tend to think it's a double-edged sword. We are all attracted to things that are beautiful, that have a physical appeal. But, should we be content with merely a comely appearance, while the inside is rotted? Dorian Gray was a man of such unearthly beauty that people could not believe he was capable of the debauchery he had committed. Those who didn't heed the warnings given to them, came to rue it. Basil, who painted the young Dorian's fateful picture, couldn't accept that Dorian had become such a horrible person. What a sad fate that was for Basil. I felt several things as I read this book: interest, curiosity, disgust, sadness, and ultimately, a sense that justice had been done, in a very strange, but fitting way. One thing that became very apparent to me as I read this novel, was Oscar Wilde's considerable wit. I imagine he was quite entertaining to be around. In the preface, Oscar Wilde says that all art is meaningless. What was he trying to say with this story? Nothing? I have trouble believing that. This was a novel I couldn't dismiss and treat as mere brain candy. There was some message there that hammered away at my brain. I do believe that Mr. Wilde hints at the subjective nature of art (which includes literature). I think that we could all read the same story and take away different things from it. Our brains are so very different, and the pathways are nurtured and developed by our various experiences, and our own values. So, that we will all come away from viewing a picture or reading a story with a hand-tailored message. Maybe that's what he means by saying that an artist strives not to be present in his work. Instead, it is a mirror reflecting the viewer. That makes sense to me, actually. What message did I come away with? At the end of the day, I believe that Dorian Gray led a worthless life. His eternal youth counted for nothing. He never grew as a person, and he used the bounteous gifts he'd been given selfishly. He did horrible things that made it even worse. He was lucky in that he didn't live long enough to count the full cost of those actions. He allowed the portrait to take the weight of those sins intead of letting them rest where they belonged. If anything really bothers me as a person, it's the thought of my time on this earth being wasted. Never having accomplished anything of value. For that reason, I found Dorian Gray to be a very sad man, but I could not feel sorry for him. So, is this a horror novel, you might ask? I think this is a thinking person's horror novel. It is a study of how the sins we commit cannot be hidden, even if we lie to ourselves about that. Interestingly enough, Mr. Wilde does not elaborate on what vile acts Dorian committed. We are left to our own expansive imaginations to surmise the bulk of what he'd done. Some people don't believe in such a thing as sin. If you don't believe in sin, how could it have a cost? It didn't matter that Dorian Gray didn't acknowledge his sins. They caught up with him in the end. The horror is how he confronted the consequences of his sins, yet turned away from them, locking that manifestation away in the attic to view with a detached sort of curiosity. The horror is the lives he destroyed, but never felt more than a moment's remorse. Fundamentally, Dorian Gray was an angelically beautiful monster. The horror is that we can look upon beauty, and we can be fooled into never asking what lies beneath it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    "A face without a heart", so said Shakespeare in Hamlet, but it applies to the portrait of Dorian Gray even better.... When the young gentleman Dorian Gray from a wealthy aristocratic family in Victorian England, has his picture completed something is missing, Basil Hallward, the painter senses it and insists that no one sees his greatest work, except a few people ... The witty Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian's soon to be best friend seems amused, a shy artist! All three are fascinated by the painting "A face without a heart", so said Shakespeare in Hamlet, but it applies to the portrait of Dorian Gray even better.... When the young gentleman Dorian Gray from a wealthy aristocratic family in Victorian England, has his picture completed something is missing, Basil Hallward, the painter senses it and insists that no one sees his greatest work, except a few people ... The witty Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian's soon to be best friend seems amused, a shy artist! All three are fascinated by the painting, discussing it at length in Mr.Hallward's house. The lord is a notorious man, with a well- deserved evil reputation, warned by many to stay away from him. Nevertheless Gray's a lonely orphan, needs excitement in his dreary life, Wotton tells Dorian to have fun while he is still young, it will not last long. Mr.Gray has good looks, and like a moth to a flame the boy can't resist. Dorian wishes that the portrait ages while he remains young, as time goes by, Dorian would give his soul for that, Lord Henry laughs at the oath, strangely his request is fulfilled shortly afterwards. Dorian meets a beautiful seventeen- year- old actress, both fall madly in love, later the nervous Sibyl Vane, gives a really bad performance in front of Gray , and his two friends, Wotton, Hallward, the young gentleman is crushed , and so disappointed he leaves her. Sibyl then kills herself, James her brother had pledged to annihilate anyone who harms his sister, he will cause Mr.Gray much concern subsequently. The wicked lord tells the distraught youth to forget about it, "Eternal youth, infinite passion, pleasures subtle and secrets, wild joy and wilder sins". All this and only the picture to show its evil, a great bargain Dorian feels. Rumors abound about Dorian, they the people look at his face and see only purity, Gray continues his hedonistic life, murder , another suicide and a killing results ... In a locked, quiet, dark room upstairs at his home, where the curious Mr.Gray keeps the picture, it Grotesquely Changes, whenever more wickedness is committed by the owner. The ugly side of Dorian, only he sees... Later into the shadows , Dorian goes to get opium, he wants salvation through drugs, blackout his memories but gloom is everywhere, a thick atmosphere of foreboding, intense desperation and immense helplessness, prevails. Reaching for something, that will save his poor soul, make him feel worthwhile that life has some meaning, is all lost? A mournful torrent rushes Dorian forward always forward, into the abyss, the darkness, the endless unknown regions, next oblivion? The light is going out, Dorian must face his destiny, he couldn't escape himself ...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jim Fonseca

    Even if we haven’t read the book everyone knows the plot. A painter paints a portrait of a beautiful young man. The portrait ages while he keeps his beauty. But the portrait also reflects his evil, not just aging, but turning eventually into a portrait of a devil. There are thousands of reviews so I’ll just copy the next paragraph from the GR book blurb: Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is Even if we haven’t read the book everyone knows the plot. A painter paints a portrait of a beautiful young man. The portrait ages while he keeps his beauty. But the portrait also reflects his evil, not just aging, but turning eventually into a portrait of a devil. There are thousands of reviews so I’ll just copy the next paragraph from the GR book blurb: Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” The various nuggets of philosophy and thoughts and acerbic wit that the author intersperses throughout are a pleasure to read. Just a few examples: On a painter’s reputation “…as soon as you have one, you seem to want to throw it away. It is silly of you, for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” “The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world.” About a hostess introducing her guests: “She either explains them entirely away, or tells one everything about them except what one wants to know.” “I make a great difference between people. I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects.” “Words! Mirror words! How terrible they were! How clear, and vivid, and cruel!… Mere words! Was there anything so real as words?” “Nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul.” [She] is so dreadfully dowdy that she reminded one of a badly bound hymn-book.” [of an uncommunicative old man] “…he had said everything that he had to say before he was 30.” “He was always late on principle, his principle being that punctuality is the thief of time.” “Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious: both are disappointed.” “…his guardians, who were extremely old-fashioned people and did not realize that we lived in an age when unnecessary things are our only necessities…” Here are three vicious descriptions just going around a single dinner table: A woman with “…the remains of a really remarkable ugliness.” A man who is “…one of those middle-aged mediocrities so common in London clubs who have no enemies, but are thoroughly disliked by their friends…” A man who “…like so many of his class, was under the impression that inordinate joviality can atone for an entire lack of ideas.” In his short life (1854-1900) Wilde was part of the movement called aestheticism – “art for art’s sake,” not for its deeper meanings. Wilde’s brief preface give us his ‘manifesto,’ bits of which are: “To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim…Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated…There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all…All art is at once surface and symbol…It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors…All art is quite useless.” I should also say that the edition I read, 2018 by Read Books Ltd., had two errors in dates on the cover blurb. Does it matter? Not really, but it makes you wonder what else is sloppy inside the text. Top image from wikipedia London street around 1900 from cloudfront.net The author from thedailybeast.com

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    This is the first time I've read this classic book....but I've loved Oscar Wilde for as long as I can remember. There is much to take away from this book. Themes exploring shallowness, selfishness, superficiality, hedonism, morality, and flaws of life and being human. The dialogue is witty and humorous. Oscar Wilde had great insights on beauty.... I love this quote: "But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys t This is the first time I've read this classic book....but I've loved Oscar Wilde for as long as I can remember. There is much to take away from this book. Themes exploring shallowness, selfishness, superficiality, hedonism, morality, and flaws of life and being human. The dialogue is witty and humorous. Oscar Wilde had great insights on beauty.... I love this quote: "But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face. The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid. Look at the successful men in any of the learn professions. How perfectly hideous they are! Except, of course, in the Church. But then in the Church they don't think. A bishop keeps on saying at the age of 80 what he was told to say when he was a boy of eighteen, and as a natural consequence he always looks absolutely delightful". Very reflective read....a little like looking into a mirror!

  14. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    ‘behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.’ and boy, this story was an exquisite tragedy. wilde admits that the books which the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. and this is one of the most immoral books i have ever read. this is a story about the loss of innocence, of revelling in sin and debauchery, and everything in between. but its also an examination of the human soul, its struggle with vanity, and a life lived without any sort of ‘behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.’ and boy, this story was an exquisite tragedy. wilde admits that the books which the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. and this is one of the most immoral books i have ever read. this is a story about the loss of innocence, of revelling in sin and debauchery, and everything in between. but its also an examination of the human soul, its struggle with vanity, and a life lived without any sort of accountability. and whilst dorian realised that physical beauty is finite, the beauty of this story is not. the complex characters, multifaceted plot, relevant messages, and elegant writing are what make this a powerful and timeless masterpiece. so i will take an immoral story over a moral one any day. because its the exquisite tragedies that prompt the best introspection and show us the most accurate picture of ourselves. ↠ 4.5 stars

  15. 5 out of 5

    Petal X

    Possessing eternal youth and beauty produces exactly the same effect as sentencing a man to life without the possibility of parole. Both have nothing to lose and morals disappear before the desire for immediate self-gratification in all things. And so it is with Dorian Gray. It's a moral story so eventually his evil catches up with him and he dies, as does the criminal. Is Oscar Wilde saying that it is man's essential nature, to be so internally psychopathic and selfish that so long as he can ke Possessing eternal youth and beauty produces exactly the same effect as sentencing a man to life without the possibility of parole. Both have nothing to lose and morals disappear before the desire for immediate self-gratification in all things. And so it is with Dorian Gray. It's a moral story so eventually his evil catches up with him and he dies, as does the criminal. Is Oscar Wilde saying that it is man's essential nature, to be so internally psychopathic and selfish that so long as he can keep his reputation he will wreak havoc on people's lives and not care in the process of enriching his own? Oscar Wilde was a man who held some very nasty views and only cared when extremely similar ones were turned upon himself. (He was imprisoned for homosexuality, but felt it was ok for Dreyfus to be imprisoned on a trumped-up crime but really because he was Jewish. He chose the wrong side on that one and lost even his best friend). I don't like the author, but I do love his prose. I read this book years ago. But the psychological story of a man's realisation that there are no consequences to his actions, nothing is forbidden, everything is permitted, you never forget.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    This is another of those books I’ve been meaning to read for ages and kept putting off. Although I’ve a particularly good reason for putting this one off, as a very good friend of mine, who died a couple of years ago, spoke to me about this book and I was worried that might make it hard to read for quite other reasons. He said that when he read this book as a young man it made him certain that he was not homosexual. Now, that in itself was enough to make me curious about the book. This is a book This is another of those books I’ve been meaning to read for ages and kept putting off. Although I’ve a particularly good reason for putting this one off, as a very good friend of mine, who died a couple of years ago, spoke to me about this book and I was worried that might make it hard to read for quite other reasons. He said that when he read this book as a young man it made him certain that he was not homosexual. Now, that in itself was enough to make me curious about the book. This is a book that could only have been written by a homosexual male and it is a book about homosexuality in very many ways. The obsession with youth and beauty is almost a cliché of homosexual obsessions – though the ‘dandy’, the vanity of men, is much more common now, I think. We are increasingly a culture obsessed with appearance. I wonder if reading the book and seeing this obsession was the thing that convinced my friend he was not homosexual, if that was the thing that made him say, ‘no, that’s not me’. Or rather if it was the expression of desire very early in the book for Dorian Gray by Basil, his painter and ardent admirer, that convinced him. Lord Harry is one of those talking desk calendars, in fact, other than Hamlet, I think it would be hard to find a book with more quotable quotes per page. Some of them are deliciously funny and others are just the sort of illumination that a match struck in a dark room makes. There were moments in this book, as there are in other works by Wilde, when one gets a feeling of premonition of his fate – it is hard to think of a sadder story than that of the last years of his life, or one that makes more plain how incredibly stupid are societies that punish people for their sexuality. There would be very little I could not forgive Wilde for, particularly after he wrote The Importance of Being Earnest – this book, his only novel, is nearly as good. Our sins are not quite displayed as clearly on our faces as is assumed here, but our lives do mark us – it is a pity that in our obsession with youth that we forget how beautiful our scars can be and that love, real love, the love that touches us most deeply, is when another accepts our scars and loves us for them, rather than in spite of them. One of the most quotable quotes in this book is an attack on realism in fiction – “That is the reason I hate vulgar realism in literature. The man who could call a spade a spade should be compelled to use one. It is the only thing he is fit for.” I understand this is hardly a ‘realistic’ story – I mean, it is really a myth and takes liberties with ‘reality’ so as to comment on the world through the form of a myth – but like all such stories centred on something that is clearly ‘over-the-top’ it is contained in a shell that struck me as remarkably realistic. There was no time when I felt Wilde was calling a spade an implement for cultivation or some such silly phrase. His writing is always clear and to the point. The most ‘flowery’ language is perhaps when he is describing the perfumes Gray becomes fascinated in and seeks to understand ‘what there was in frankincense that made one mystical, and in ambergris that stirred one’s passions’, but even this is hardly as romantic or less real than TS Eliot’s (that most ‘modern’ of writers) “In vails of ivory and coloured glass / Unstoppered, lurked her strange synthetic perfumes,” Even at his most flowery, Wilde is hardly ‘unrealistic’. I came to this book expecting it to be much ‘sillier’ than it turned out to be. I’ve no idea why I thought this – perhaps because I knew that the central idea of the book was that a man has an odd relationship with a painting in that he stays young while the painting gets old. But the book wasn’t nearly as silly as I thought it would be. I really did enjoy it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥

    I really don't know why goodreads deleted the rating of my favourite book, but as it seems it happened?! O_o WTH? *lol* Well anyway, of course it's a five star, did you expect any different? XD I'll definitely reread it one day and will write a proper review, because this book deserves such an awesome in-depth review that 3.500 words certainly won't be enough! *lol* One day, this screen page is going to crack with my gushing. That's a promise! ;-P

  18. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    I don't know what I was quite expecting here. It's a psychological horror story with a lot of comic relief, in the form of the endless witty paradoxes. After page 30 you are thinking that if Lord Henry makes just one more crack you're going to knock his monocle off his family crest and grind it underfoot. Oscar often clearly thinks he's being hilarious with his wit with a capital W – and maybe it's me, but Oscar Wilde often sounds like a parody of Oscar Wilde, like in the Monty Python sketch WHIS I don't know what I was quite expecting here. It's a psychological horror story with a lot of comic relief, in the form of the endless witty paradoxes. After page 30 you are thinking that if Lord Henry makes just one more crack you're going to knock his monocle off his family crest and grind it underfoot. Oscar often clearly thinks he's being hilarious with his wit with a capital W – and maybe it's me, but Oscar Wilde often sounds like a parody of Oscar Wilde, like in the Monty Python sketch WHISTLER: Your Majesty is like a stream of bat's piss. (gasps) THE PRINCE OF WALES: What? WHISTLER: It was one of Wilde's. OSCAR WILDE: I, um, I, ah, I merely meant, Your Majesty, that, ah, you shine out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark. THE PRINCE OF WALES: Oh, ho-ho, very good. But of course, some of it is very good stuff : The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception absolutely necessary for both parties. I never know where my wife is, and my wife never knows what I am doing. When we meet we tell each other the most absurd stories with the most serious faces. The fact was, one of her married daughters had come up quite suddenly to stay with her, and to make matters worse, had actually brought her husband. One of those middle-aged mediocrities so common in London clubs who have no enemies but are thoroughly disliked by their friends. But his character Lord Henry goes on and on with the wit and the aphorisms She is a peacock in everything but beauty…she tried to found a salon and only succeeded in opening a restaurant…. One can't stand other people having the same faults as ourselves. And you get a lot of guff about women No woman is a genius. Women are a decorative sex. They never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly. A man can be happy with any woman, as long as he does not love her. As for conversation, there are only five women in London worth talking to, and two of these can't be admitted into decent society. (that last one reminds me of the weird quote from Captain Beefheart – "There are only forty people in the world and five of them are hamburgers". Oh, how rude of me – Oscar, allow me to introduce Captain Beefheart. Captain Beefheart, may I present Mr Oscar Wilde – I believe you may have heard the name. ) Then there's the necessarily undeclared but pretty open gayness. How the two older men worship this young Adonis Dorian – they openly salivate! - and how he reciprocates too. He says to Lord Henry 30 minutes after meeting him : I feel I must come with you. Do let me. And you will promise to talk to me all the time? No one talks so wonderfully as you do. What a flirt. I don't think boys talk to each other like this anymore. They're a little more discreet these days. So as the story saunters along, and at a couple of points you think there never will be a story, the banter and the brittle conversations die away and Dorian, his portrait miraculously ageing instead of him, realises he can "sin" without consequence. He turns into a vicious voluptuary, a promiscuous profligate, an effulgent epicurean and a licentious libertine. In time the word gets round, and society reacts with the strongest possible disapproval : He was very nearly blackballed at a West End club… and it was said that on one occasion when he was brought by a friend into the smoking-room of the Churchill, the Duke of Berwick and another gentleman got up in a marked manner and went out. That would cut a fellow to the very quick, though, wouldn't it. What would be the modern equivalent? There isn't one. Both Dorian and the novel turn strange. You might think that the life of a young handsome sensualist would consist of orgies and opium, roofies and deflorations, and maybe a black mass thrown in for kicks, with goats and orphans, but you would be wrong. Dorian plunges into a life of strange obsessions – for ten pages we get elaborate lists of a) perfumes, b) jewels, c) tapestries, and d) world music – yes, that came as a surprise to me too : He used to give curious concerts in which mad gypsies tore wild music from little zithers or grave yellow-shawled Tunisians plucked at the strained strings of monstrous lutes So WOMAD then. Dorian collects instruments like the furuparis, human bone flutes, sonorous green jaspers, the clarin, the teponazali, some yotl-bells and a Stratocaster made from the skulls of Tibetan lamas. No, I made up the last one. But this is a real quote : "he had a special passion, also, for ecclesiastical vestments". I was kind of disappointed. Is this really debauchery? I don't think Ozzy Osbourne would recognise it as such. With the change of gear in the book, we find that Oscar can come out with some quite extraordinary sentences. Here is a favourite : There are few of us who have not sometimes wakened before dawn, either after one of those dreamless nights that make us almost enamoured of death, or one of those nights of horror and misshapen joy, when through the chambers of the brain sweep phantoms more terrible than reality itself, and instinct with that vivid life that lurks in all grotesques, and that lends to Gothic art its enduring vitality, this art being, one might fancy, especially the art of those whose minds have been troubled with the malady of reverie. Oscar's solitary novel is a gothic tale of a man who came to think that he could commit sin without consequence. And he couldn't. It's either curiously conservative – God will smite you down, there's no escape, and nor should there be – or it's a coded message of revolution : the idle rich have got it coming to them. I think Oscar became a convert to some form of socialism round about the time he wrote his novel, so I'm going with the latter interpretation. It suits me. I think there are fifty shades of Dorian Gray even now cashing in their half million dollar bonuses and thinking that they'll be young and invulnerable forever. But vengeance will come like a thief in the night.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    809. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical novel by Oscar Wilde, first published complete in the July 1890 issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine. The Picture of Dorian Gray begins on a beautiful summer day in Victorian era England, where Lord Henry Wotton, an opinionated man, is observing the sensitive artist Basil Hallward painting the portrait of Dorian Gray, a handsome young man who is Basil's ultimate muse. While sitting for the painting, Doria 809. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical novel by Oscar Wilde, first published complete in the July 1890 issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine. The Picture of Dorian Gray begins on a beautiful summer day in Victorian era England, where Lord Henry Wotton, an opinionated man, is observing the sensitive artist Basil Hallward painting the portrait of Dorian Gray, a handsome young man who is Basil's ultimate muse. While sitting for the painting, Dorian listens to Lord Henry espousing his hedonistic world view, and begins to think that beauty is the only aspect of life worth pursuing. This prompts Dorian to wish that the painted image of himself would age instead of himself. ... تصویر دوریان گری - اسکار وایلد (دبیر / کمانگیر) ادبیات، تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه ژوئن سال 1987 میلادی عنوان: تصویر دوریان گری؛ شاهکار: اسکار وایلد؛ تهران، کانون معرفت، 1327، در 108 ص موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایرلندی - سده 19 م عنوان: تصویر دوریان گری؛ شاهکار: اسکار وایلد؛ مترجم: رضا مشایخی (فرهاد)؛ تهران، کانون معرفت، 1344، در 295 ص عنوان: تصویر دوریان گری؛ شاهکار: اسکار وایلد؛ مترجم: داریوش شاهین؛ تهران، مهرگان، 1353، در 429 ص عنوان: تصویر دوریان گری؛ شاهکار: اسکار وایلد؛ مقدمه: آندره موروا؛ علی دشتی؛ مترجم: رضا مشایخی؛ تهران، کمانگیر، 1363، در 339 ص عنوان: تصویر دوریان گری؛ شاهکار: اسکار وایلد؛ مترجم: همایون نوراحمر؛ تهران، جمهوری، 1366، در 408 ص عنوان: تصویر دوریان گری؛ شاهکار: اسکار وایلد؛ مترجم: همایون نوراحمر؛ تهران، دبیر : جاوید، 1369، در 407 ص عنوان: تصویر دوریان گری؛ شاهکار: اسکار وایلد؛ مترجم: حبیب گوهری راد؛ تهران، هزاره نو، 1383، در 323 ص، شابک: 96439289232؛ عنوان: تصویر دوریان گری؛ شاهکار: اسکار وایلد؛ مترجم: لیلی فردهی؛ تهران، آموزش و سنجش، 1388، در 208 ص، شابک: 9786005177183؛ عنوان: تصویر دوریان گری؛ شاهکار: اسکار وایلد؛ مترجم: همایون جوانمردی؛ تهران، جامی کمانگیر، 1388، در 303 ص، شابک: 9789642575644؛ عنوان: تصویر دوریان گری؛ شاهکار: اسکار وایلد؛ مترجم: ابوالقاسم تهامی؛ تهران، نگاه، 1391، در 312 ص، شابک: 9789643517939؛ عنوان: تصویر دوریان گری؛ شاهکار: اسکار وایلد؛ مترجم: حسین زمانی؛ تهران، همشهری، 1391، در 61 ص، شابک: 9789642412044؛ عنوان: تصویر دوریان گری؛ شاهکار: اسکار وایلد؛ مترجم: محسن سلیمانی؛ تهران، افق، 1393، در 255 ص، شابک: 9789643698690؛ عنوان: تصویر دوریان گری؛ شاهکار: اسکار وایلد؛ مترجم: رویا منجم؛ تهران، نشر علم، 1393، در 280 ص، شابک: 9789642243204؛ رمان گوتیک، فلسفی، و شاهکار «اسکار وایلد»، نویسنده ی مشهور اهل ایرلند است. «اسکار وایلد»، با نگارش این رمان، و البته نمایشنامه «اهمیت ارنست بودن»، به شهرت جهانی رسیدند. تصویر دوریان گری، به سبب تازگی موضوع، و شاید به سبب آنکه چهره ی خود نویسنده را، می‌نمایاند، آوازه ای بزرگ یافت. «وایلد» با این اثر تمثیلی، خواسته اند نشان دهند: همچنانکه هر قطره‌ ای در دریا، به مروارید ویژه، تغییر شکل می‌دهد، در عالم هنر نیز، هرچه وارد شود، به زیباترین تبدیل می‌گردد. این رمان در سال 1890 میلادی نوشته شده؛ یعنی ده سال پیش از درگذشت «اسکار وایلد» بزرگوار. هشدار: «اگر خود میخواهید کتاب را بخوانید از خوانش ادامه ی این ریویو خودداری کنید.»، «دوریان گری»، جوان خوش‌ سیما، و برازنده‌ ای ست، که تنها، به زیبایی و لذت، پایبند است؛ و پس از آنکه دوست نقاشش، از او پرتره ای در کمال زیبایی، و جوانی میکشد، با دیدن آن پرتره، از اندیشه ی گذشت زمان، و نابودی جوانی، و زیبایی، در اندوهی ژرف فرومی‌رود، پس در همان لحظه، آرزو می‌کند، که: چهره ی خودش، پیوسته جوان و شاداب بماند، و در عوض، گذشت زمان و پیری و پلیدی‌ها، بر تصویر او، به پرتره ی او منتقل شود. پس از مدتی، متوجه می‌شود، که آرزویش برآورده شده؛ ولی یکی از دوستان او، به نام «لرد هنری»، کم‌ کم او را به راه‌های پلید، می‌کشاند، و تصویر دوریان گری، در پرتره، به مرور، پیرتر، پلیدتر، و کریه تر می‌شود. دوریان گری، به مرور، تا جایی پلید می‌شود، که نخستین قتل خود را، انجام می‌دهد، و نقاش پرتره ی خویش «بسیل هاوارد» را می‌کشد. او با گذشت زمان، هر روز چهره ی خود را، در پرتره اش فرسوده‌ تر، و پیرتر می‌بیند، اما راهی برای از بین بردن پلیدی‌ها، پیدا نمی‌کند، ناگهان خشمگین می‌شود و چاقوی بلندی را در قلب مرد درون تصویر در پرتره، فرو می‌کند. در همان لحظه، مستخدمان صدای جیغ کریهی می‌شنوند، و به سوی اتاق «دوریان گری» می‌شتابند. آن‌ها تصویر ارباب خویش را، در بوم نقاشی می‌بینند، که در کمال جوانی و زیبایی ست، آنچنانکه خود هماره آن پرتره را می‌دیدند، اما بر زمین، جسد مردی نقش بسته است، در لباسی آراسته، و کاردی در قلب، با پلیدترین و کریه‌ ترین چهره ی قابل تصور؛ که تنها از انگشترهایی که به دستش بود، می‌شد هویت او را شناخت...؛ ا. شربیانی

  20. 5 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    "Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic." Under the influence of a captivating aristocrat, Dorian Gray sells his soul in exchange for prolonged youth and vitality. Part of the deal is that a full-length portrait of Dorian will age and record his sins, whereas he remains unblemished. Picking one quote from this book was like being asked to read just one book for the rest of your life - nigh-on impossible. I hadn't even thought about how difficult it would be until Tes "Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic." Under the influence of a captivating aristocrat, Dorian Gray sells his soul in exchange for prolonged youth and vitality. Part of the deal is that a full-length portrait of Dorian will age and record his sins, whereas he remains unblemished. Picking one quote from this book was like being asked to read just one book for the rest of your life - nigh-on impossible. I hadn't even thought about how difficult it would be until Tes (instagram @paperbackbones) pointed this out and then I got sucked into a vortex of reading different Wilde quotes online... that man was a goddamn genius. This book has achieved a significant title in my reading life; the title of "Favourite Classic". It totally blew me away. To be honest, I only vaguely knew the storyline before picking this one up having encountered Dorian Gray in the TV show Penny Dreadful, but not the specific story that Wilde had created. I didn't think it would be so dark, so I was pleasantly surprised. The writing itself was just another level, quite possibly the most beautiful writing that I've had the pleasure of reading. As my buddy reader Abbie (instagram @ab_reads) and I discussed with each other, we quickly recognised so many quotes that are widely known and can easily be found on places like Pinterest. The three main characters are really interesting, it seems to be that Dorian Gray represents a "normal person," Lord Henry is the bad influence, and Basil is the voice of reason. Dorian Gray himself is incredibly intriguing, at the beginning he is presented as the perfect specimen, and he is vain, but this vanity is only worsened following conversations with Lord Henry wherein he reminds Dorian that his favourable characteristics won't last forever. He wishes that he could forever resemble the picture of youth that Basil has captured in his painting, which is where things begin to go downhill... Although Dorian is indeed captivating, I felt like a lot of my attention was actually placed on Lord Henry. He is the standout character from this story for me. His sass, his insights, his wit, his intelligence, it felt like Lord Henry was a representation of Oscar Wilde himself. And Dorian quickly falls under his spell. It's also interesting that although Lord Henry speaks of pursuing immoral behaviour, he himself never partakes in any. Perhaps towards the end of the book, he may lose some of his likability for other readers, but I still was a fan (I can't help but smile at his insights). I honestly could talk about this book forever and the different themes that are found within, but this is not school and I'm not trying to achieve extra credit, so I'll keep those thoughts to myself! Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this classic and I'm particularly thankful that my boyfriend bought this book for me, as otherwise I'm not sure I ever would have picked it up. And now he'll be smug *rolls eyes* But this gets all the stars!! I loved it!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    “Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly.” So, I wanted 2018 to be the year that I try to get back into classics! In the past, I’ve found some of them daunting to read, or just too boring to ever feel invested in. But I feel like The Picture of Dorian Gray was the perfect start. Beautiful art by saku-chann on Tumblr I originally was go “Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly.” So, I wanted 2018 to be the year that I try to get back into classics! In the past, I’ve found some of them daunting to read, or just too boring to ever feel invested in. But I feel like The Picture of Dorian Gray was the perfect start. Beautiful art by saku-chann on Tumblr I originally was going to give this three stars, because I enjoyed it enough, but was never too invested. I felt annoyed at how these characters were so obviously not straight. I mean, a vast majority of this book is about Dorian taking a wife. Meanwhile, every man in this book just has full page monologues telling Dorian how beautiful he is. And then I sat down to do my review, and I started doing my research. It’s no secret that Oscar Wilde was a gay man. Hell, he was even jailed for his sexuality, and died soon after from all the inhumane injuries he endured while in prison. All three major male character in this book read very… not straight. My friend, Destiny, told me that a lot of readers in the Horror circles make strong arguments that Dorian is in fact pansexual, which makes me happier than I can express with words. Yet, I can’t help but think about parallels with this book that Wilde crafted about “secret sin” and how it mirrored his life and perhaps his sexuality that he ultimately died for. You guys, I have no words. In the 1880s people thought homosexuality was some disease, something to be cured, something not okay to simply just be. Something that was a criminal act. Something that Oscar Wilde was jailed and forced to do hard labor for. And once you start seeing the similarities between Wilde’s life and the events that take place in this book, you will realize that like The Picture of Dorian Gray is so much more important that the surface value of just reading this story. Okay, I do suppose I should tell you about the story now. This is a tale that centers around three men that live in an upper-class London society: ➽ Basil Hallward - Artist who befriends Dorian because he is obsessed with his beauty and lives his life painting many portraits of him, but more importantly, he paints the portrait that this story surrounds. ➽ Lord Henry Wotton - Basil's friend, which is how he meets Dorian. Henry is a manipulator that heavily influences Dorian with his views about what is important in life. ➽ Dorian Gray - Our main character, who starts out so young, innocent, and impressionable. He later is harboring a major secret and will stop at nothing to hide this secret and the events that lead him to this secret. “There are only two kinds of people who are fascinating - people who know absolutely everything and people who know absolutely nothing.” In this book, the value of appearance is heavily touched upon. Youth and beauty seem to be everyone’s priority. It’s scary and sad how much this also mirrors 2018. There is also a huge discussion to be had about good versus evil and how we view that grey area in-between. Yet, these discussions are held in this seamlessly woven story. Overall, even though I didn’t five star this, I really enjoyed it and it was able to evoke a lot of emotion from me. More importantly, I recommend you all to read My dear friend Navessa’s review, which ended up evoking even more emotion from me. She linked this article, which then made me weep. Again, this story is so much more than a paranormal painting, and a man trying to hide secrets. This is a masterpiece and my heart will forever break thinking about this story. Trigger/content warnings: death, murder, suicide, and a ton of misogynistic comments. Blog | Twitter | Tumblr | Instagram | Youtube | Twitch Buddy read with Dani! ❤

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    We are living the life of Dorian Gray. We sacrifice our souls to the illusion of beauty and youth. We are using surgery and photoshopping to hide the real portrait of ourselves growing older and darker as our pleasures feel more and more hollow by sheer repetition. The likes of Bret Easton Ellis, who try to depict the "sinful" lives of modern-day Dorians, are less shocking than tedious and boring. We are constantly looking for instant gratification to soothe our nerves: new foods, new clothes, n We are living the life of Dorian Gray. We sacrifice our souls to the illusion of beauty and youth. We are using surgery and photoshopping to hide the real portrait of ourselves growing older and darker as our pleasures feel more and more hollow by sheer repetition. The likes of Bret Easton Ellis, who try to depict the "sinful" lives of modern-day Dorians, are less shocking than tedious and boring. We are constantly looking for instant gratification to soothe our nerves: new foods, new clothes, new gadgets, new devices, new places. As long as we are on the run, we may forget the true portrait - which we don't hide in our home anymore: we carry it in our pocket. In our smartphones, we collect the sum of our ugly selves like an extended string of photos or an eternal search history. We can delete, but it isn't gone. It is there as a trace of our superficial neediness. Our smartphone, the portrait of our sold soul. Did you just google your neighbour's salary and position? Did you spend hours trying to find the perfect online diet to lose ten kilos in two days, so that you can fit into the dress you ordered yesterday? Did you have an argument via Whatsapp while at work? It is all there, somewhere, in the back of your head, in the depth of your pocket. We are Dorian. And sometimes, we show a glimpse of the real portrait by accident. That is when we need to take the novel's most valuable advice: "Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world's original sin. If the cave-man had known how to laugh, History would have been different." Imagine the peace in the world if we could laugh at ourselves? Imagine the freedom...

  23. 5 out of 5

    JV (semi-hiatus)

    To attain Power, Love, Youth, or even Beauty, to seek beyond what we are capable of, what part of you are you willing to sacrifice? "For this — for this — I would give everything! Yes: there is nothing in the whole world I would not give!" With prodigious erudition and eloquence, Wilde, a master of inversion and antithesis, concocts a rather harrowing yet legendary tale of a young man who never aged. With dashing prose, debonair characters, and graceful execution, Wilde becomes wild enough to n To attain Power, Love, Youth, or even Beauty, to seek beyond what we are capable of, what part of you are you willing to sacrifice? "For this — for this — I would give everything! Yes: there is nothing in the whole world I would not give!" With prodigious erudition and eloquence, Wilde, a master of inversion and antithesis, concocts a rather harrowing yet legendary tale of a young man who never aged. With dashing prose, debonair characters, and graceful execution, Wilde becomes wild enough to narrate an autobiographical account of men living double lives during the Victorian period. Dorian Gray leads an innocent life. Basil Hallward, an artistic painter, becomes enamoured with the charming Dorian and offers to paint a portrait of the young lad. Later on, he gets introduced to Lord Henry Wotton and Dorian gets smitten with the older man. His once spotless world is now upended. With an uncanny passion for hedonism and pursuit of worldly sensations, he leads a blissful, shallow life. He succumbs to the inevitable corruption of his soul, with his deepest and darkest desires fully realized. "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it — and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself, with desire for what its monstrous laws have made monstrous and unlawful." While Dorian didn't age one bit, there's something quite bemusing about the beautiful portrait painted by Basil — something truly graphic and horrifying to witness, that our bonnie lad decided to keep the artwork permanently locked in the attic, away from prying eyes. "This portrait would be to him the most magical of mirrors. As it had revealed to him his own body, so it would reveal to him his own soul." The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray is an excellent literature that examines and explores homoerotic desires and homosocial relationships vis-à-vis the pursuit of art and pleasure. From another perspective, it can be interpreted as a critical look at human nature. One can also look at this in a religious (angel-demon) context, sort of, a tug of war: Basil: "Don’t take away from me the one person that makes life absolutely lovely to me and that gives to my art whatever wonder or charm it possesses." Lord Henry: "Yes, Dorian, you will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you have never had the courage to commit." In this unaltered, original version, as envisioned by Oscar Wilde, the sexual allusions and references are far more graphic than the 1891 version edited by Lippincott’s Joseph Marshall Stoddart, in which five hundred words were completely expunged due to its homosexual content. Take this one passage as an example: "It is quite true that I have worshipped you with far more romance of feeling than a man should ever give to a friend. Somehow, I had never loved a woman. Well, from the moment I met you, your personality had the most extraordinary influence over me. I quite admit that I adored you madly, extravagantly, absurdly. I was jealous of every one to whom you spoke. I wanted to have you all to myself. I was only happy when I was with you. When I was away from you, you were still present in my art." The repressed Victorian era deemed this as "gross indecency" and such publication would be very vulgar if released, thus, the need for some censorship and emendations. I do honestly think that the sensibilities of those who lived during the Victorian times was rather conservative or far too reserved, that the editors of Wilde's novel decided that it was absolutely necessary to remove the sensual, homoerotic parts to fit the publication's voice, tone, and format as well as to sensationalise things. This classic novel, right here, is a symbol of homosexual emancipation. Regardless of gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation, no one should be persecuted or criminalized just because he/she is different from the general population. I have to thank Wilde for this honest and liberating book. If you want the unbowdlerised version, be sure to pick this one up! "Each of us has Heaven and Hell in him, Basil."

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kalliope

    Funny how books are moulded by the circumstances in which they have been read. In Dorian Gray, some of its aspects are very easy to grasp and do not need great explanations. For example, Wilde’s epigrammatic style is so very distinct. I have had a lot of fun selecting quotes and peppered with them my reading progress. His sentences are like small diamonds. They can be held and set against the light and moved around so that their different facets will shine and reflect the world around them. They a Funny how books are moulded by the circumstances in which they have been read. In Dorian Gray, some of its aspects are very easy to grasp and do not need great explanations. For example, Wilde’s epigrammatic style is so very distinct. I have had a lot of fun selecting quotes and peppered with them my reading progress. His sentences are like small diamonds. They can be held and set against the light and moved around so that their different facets will shine and reflect the world around them. They are also so tightly self-contained with an inner perfect structure that cannot be easily modified. They are perfectly balanced. I am thinking of sentences such as: Nothing can cure the soul, but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul. These nicely constructed phrases seem to form part of the collection of precious objects that are presented in this novel as in a gallery or Kammerschatz. There is an abundant series of orchids, amethysts, velvety tapestries, emeralds, ivory caskets, jonquils, skull-caps parsemés with pearls, Japanase Foukousas, hyacinths, ear-rings of emeralds, Arabian aspilates, carbuncles of cinnamon-stones.... Yes, Wilde's precious epigrams could dangle nicely from a bracelet. Wilde got clearly infected with préciosité during his extended visits to France. This novel has such an obvious debt to the French aesthetic tradition, with its explicit references to the Symbolistes and personalities such as Gautier (with his consolation des arts) and Huysmans, that I almost felt embarrassed. Wilde liked to shock but he himself was bewildered by Huysmans À rebours, published about six years before his own work, in 1884. This “book without a plot” and with that curious jewelled style,.. that characterizes the work of some of the finest artists of the French school of Symbolistes is the culprit of Wilde’s novel. As he diagnoses: Dorian Gray had been poisoned by a book. If Wilde’s book echoes the luscious elements of the French A Rebours, it, however, does have a plot. It is burdened with a very Gothic intrigue which I associate so strongly with Britain and the Victorian puritanical culture. Even if at the time of publication the book run into trouble with the authorities and was partly censored, the moralist background is there. Another clearly discernible aspect is its Faustian theme. And this has fitted very well in my recent book choices. I have lately read the original anonymous Doktor Faustus, plus three of its later variations (Marlowe, Mann, Banville). Dorian Gray presents an interesting adaptation in which Art is the Devil and one of the characters, Lord Henry Wotton, who, like Wilde, loves to pronounce epigrams, plays a sort Mephistophelian role as the messenger or instigator. Wotton spells out the Faustian theme: By the way, what does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose – how does the quotation run?—his own soul. P. 209. Another echo to my parallel reading is the Dantean contrapasso that unfolds in some sections of the story, for each crime bears its misshapen brood. But the aspect that has intrigued me the most is less obvious and has to do, again, with the circumstances surrounding the moment I have chosen to read this book. Unavoidably these shape my interpretation. I have recently read Balzac’s Le Chef-d'œuvre inconnu and visited a couple of art exhibitions for which this novel is relevant. Both Cézanne and Picasso were fascinated by Balzac’s work because they identified with one of the characters, Frenhofer, the artist who seeks to represent the ideal in art, with tragic repercussions. In several of his paintings Picasso developed Balzac’s theme: the painter in front of his canvas trying to extract from the model its inner qualities and the ability to represent them through beauty. Cézanne’s practice of working and reworking a given motif confirms a similar obsession in this quest for the ideal. So, it is to this particularity in Dorian Gray that I have devoted most thinking. For Wilde has also developed this theme: the relationship between the artist, the sitter and the painting. But in his pen, it becomes a devilish dance, and, as in Balzac, it also proves to be fatal. Art and life and the act of representation. A trio. Which one is to have the upper hand? In his Dorian Gray, Wilde does away with the creator once he has achieved the ideal. The artist has become redundant when it is recognized that his painting had gone quite off. It seemed to me to have lost something. It had lost an ideal (p.208). Without the artist, the process of representation is corrupted and the nature of the sitter is not captured but instead comes apart. Beauty and eternity are split in the pact and the canvas grabs the soul. The trio becomes a duel and just one survives. Art withstands. ------- Picasso had felt the threat and he rabidly fought and counterclaimed the role of the painter in face of the negation of the artist that PopArt implied. His painters, his paintings, would not be annihilated. His art is with us. It was his doing.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Terrington

    The Picture of Dorian Gray could also be titled A Portrait of the Human Soul, for in his dark and tragic commentary Oscar Wilde spares no liberties in discussing morality, religion, society and the depths of the human condition. It is a deeply moving and inspired novel centering around the defining power of art. It is not an easy novel to read with its dark elements. For in paying heed to Dorian Gray's demise one is drawn into a reflection of their own spiritual condition. For those who have no i The Picture of Dorian Gray could also be titled A Portrait of the Human Soul, for in his dark and tragic commentary Oscar Wilde spares no liberties in discussing morality, religion, society and the depths of the human condition. It is a deeply moving and inspired novel centering around the defining power of art. It is not an easy novel to read with its dark elements. For in paying heed to Dorian Gray's demise one is drawn into a reflection of their own spiritual condition. For those who have no idea what The Picture of Dorian Gray is about I shall endeavour to describe. As a novel I would class it among the classics of the Gothic tradition, a horror novel with a didactic aim. The story itself focuses around a young man, Dorian Gray, who through the influence of others around him becomes led into moral disillusionment. He becomes obsessed with a picture of his young, vibrant body that reflects his mortal perfection while at the same time living a decadent and corrupt lifestyle. By some unknown curse his image begins to grow old but he physically stays as young as ever. And all this leads to a fascinating climactic moment! The rest of this review has been moved to my website. To read the full review click on the linked text here!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Khush

    To read 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' is to know Oscar Wilde– the man as well as the writer. I love both. The novel has many fascinating aspects. Wilde writings are not vague in anyways. This is true for his novels, plays and even criticism and they are always deep. One has to stop and re-read very often, his sentences are often crisp, short and yet contain observations that an ordinary person may not 'observe' all his life. One sees such sentences, even paragraphs, which edify and give pleasure, To read 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' is to know Oscar Wilde– the man as well as the writer. I love both. The novel has many fascinating aspects. Wilde writings are not vague in anyways. This is true for his novels, plays and even criticism and they are always deep. One has to stop and re-read very often, his sentences are often crisp, short and yet contain observations that an ordinary person may not 'observe' all his life. One sees such sentences, even paragraphs, which edify and give pleasure, throughout the book. This is probably true of all his writings. One character says in the POD that it is not the invisible, but the visible that is mysterious in the world. Likewise, in Wilde's writing it is the visible that intrigues him because it is so resolutely ignored and over looked by society, for instance, gayness. In his writings, everything is concrete, clear, precise, and yet subtle. He manages to provoke because he speaks the 'unspeakable' truths; he deals with the visible world and explores what is intriguing about it; he renews, refreshes and adds life to mundane things which otherwise might go unremarked. One cannot help not seeing these features in his writings. The novel is known, among many other things, for its homosexual theme (the book is later used to persecute him). In the opening chapters, we see Lord Henry, Basil–the artist, and Dorian the good-looking young boy. There is nothing in their conversation that suggests any 'perversity', but it still alludes to homosexual subculture– certain ways of dealing with sexuality or 'queerness' even today is similar. Lord Henry is married, but he is always away or spends a lot of time in the company of men. He flirts with Dorian, whereas Dorian talks about his lady love. Basil, more than his art, is drawn to Dorian. Henry and Basil almost compete for Dorian's attention. Basil wants Lord Henry to leave him and Dorian. However, later on, the novel grapples with more serious issues, but I suspect that had Wilde stayed with only these three lives and dealt with their love interests and jealousies, he would still have written a wonderful novel. It is also interesting to see how the novel shows scenes that still seem relevant. In the male homosexual world, women are almost absent–gay bars, saunas, cruises, even parties are very often male only. In modern-day gay lives, though, women appear in other ways, but not in any central way. Happy gays are with their lovers when they are happy. They seek others (mostly women friends) to cry their hearts out when they are unhappy with their lovers. In the POD, lives of men are pivotal– women are just decorative sex. The novel is about men, the centrality that the mainstream world assigns to women sharply shifts toward men in the Wildean world– in this case toward Dorian. Women come and go, but they are not real, Wilde does not, cannot respond to them in the same way he can to Dorian. Another acute similarity with the modern times is the practice of cruising. Even though Dorian claims to love a girl, he goes cruising after listening to Henry's hedonistic ideas. As we know him better, we know that his love is just a pretense. Many gays all over the world, without really knowing this, in their intense urgent need to belong, pretend to fall in love with girls, and then, go on to live the pretension as long as they live. As the novel unfolds, toward the middle and afterward, it takes darker tones and plunges into larger, more existential issues of life, death, illusion, a quest for salvation. He is one of those writers who stamps his work with his distinct voice and style. He paid with his life for these very attributes.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Leo .

    Great story. Imagine being immortal. Wow! To still be around after hundreds of years. One thing is true, you would know what really happened in the past. Let's face it you would have witnessed something first hand. And today you would read the modern history books and maybe, just maybe...Lol! All history is just what it means. His. Story. History was predominantly written by men. Left brain and in a draconian way. History to me, whomever wrote it, is theory, opinion and conjecture. How one percei Great story. Imagine being immortal. Wow! To still be around after hundreds of years. One thing is true, you would know what really happened in the past. Let's face it you would have witnessed something first hand. And today you would read the modern history books and maybe, just maybe...Lol! All history is just what it means. His. Story. History was predominantly written by men. Left brain and in a draconian way. History to me, whomever wrote it, is theory, opinion and conjecture. How one perceives history is down to the individual. One does not know what happened if one was not there to witness it. Yes it can be read in a book but, who wrote it? There are conflicting views of history in all books. Different cultures have differing stories of how events happened. Who knows which is telling the truth? Normally the victors would write whatever they wanted, who could argue? It is only his story after all. That is all well and good but, when it is taught in schools and becomes the mainstream then any other debate that says other wise is ridiculed, attacked and (excommunicated) pushed to one side as pseudoscience. It goes against the grain. Information has to stay linear in a civilized society. It has to be taught in schools and universities so the pupils can graduate, owe the state bucket loads of money, and become good civil servants and carry on with the flow of information they have learned, and repeat it over and over. And teach it to the next generation, and the next. All going the right way. The official way. That is what information is. IN. FORMATION. Linear. Ordered. Left brain. Masculine. My story is a mystery, unless I tell somebody else, then it becomes His Story. It is still just a story after all. I always wondered if the word Heresy derives from Her Say, like a woman's view point. It makes sense considering women were persecuted and not allowed to speak back then. The church was a male dominance over the female. How times have changed. Women were not allowed to do anything. They were basically property. There is a reason why the male orientated church suppressed the female, because they are aware that women are the creative of the two genders. The sacred feminine. This is why our history and the world is so riddled with war and violence. Having said that, it is more a spiritual trait. Take Oscar Wilde. He had the more feminine spirit inside of him and he was persecuted for being gay. He was a man but he had the creative essence of the female.🐯👍 Oscar Wilde, he was a gentle man, a creative mind A genius, a story teller, great prose, he left behind Persecuted, hounded, sentenced, for being gay A masterpiece, The Picture Of Dorian Gray How times have moved on! One might say How ironic, how this brilliant mind, is revered and celebrated today. 👍🐯

  28. 4 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    (3.5) This reminded me of why I like classics. Some parts dragged on too long but I enjoyed it overall!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Manny

    "My dear Jordan!" said Lord Rayner expansively, as the butler discreetly closed the door behind his young visitor. "Really, it is too good to see you again! And what brings you to Cambridge?" "Oh, this and that," said the lad, flinging himself casually onto a priceless Ikea divan. "By the way, has there been some mistake in the casting? I thought I was female?" "Well, since we're doing Dorian Gray, I hoped you would have no objection to reversing your gender," said his host. "And besides, is there "My dear Jordan!" said Lord Rayner expansively, as the butler discreetly closed the door behind his young visitor. "Really, it is too good to see you again! And what brings you to Cambridge?" "Oh, this and that," said the lad, flinging himself casually onto a priceless Ikea divan. "By the way, has there been some mistake in the casting? I thought I was female?" "Well, since we're doing Dorian Gray, I hoped you would have no objection to reversing your gender," said his host. "And besides, is there anything quite as female as an attractive young man?" "How could one disagree?" murmured the lad, as a becoming blush suffused his ivory cheek. "So, aren't you glad I persuaded you to read it?" The rest of this review is available elsewhere (the location cannot be given for Goodreads policy reasons)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina

    ”The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” Oh my, my, my This book is a M.A.S.T.E.R.P.I.E.C.E

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