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The Picture of Dorian Gray

Wilde, Oscar (Book - 2003)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
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A young man's quest for eternal youth and beauty ends in scandal, depravity and death. Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life, indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. The picture of Dorian Gray was a succes de scandale. Early readers were shocked by its hints at unspeakable sins, and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at his trial at the Old Bailey in 1895. This definitive edition includes a selection of contemporary reviews condemning the novel's immorality, and the introduction to the first Penguin Classics edition by Peter Ackroyd.
Authors: Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900
Title: The picture of Dorian Gray
Publisher: London ; New York : Penguin, [2003]
Characteristics: xliii, 252 p. ;,20 cm.
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Notes: "Reprinted with minor revisions 2003"--T.p. verso.
Contents: Picture of Dorian Gray
Selected contemporary reviews of The Picture of Dorian Gray
Introduction to The First Penguin Classics Edition, by Peter Ackroyd.
Summary: A young man's quest for eternal youth and beauty ends in scandal, depravity and death. Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life, indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. The picture of Dorian Gray was a succes de scandale. Early readers were shocked by its hints at unspeakable sins, and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at his trial at the Old Bailey in 1895. This definitive edition includes a selection of contemporary reviews condemning the novel's immorality, and the introduction to the first Penguin Classics edition by Peter Ackroyd.
Local Note: 14 15
Additional Contributors: Mighall, Robert
ISBN: 0141439572
9780141439570
Statement of Responsibility: Oscar Wilde ; edited with an introduction and notes by Robert Mighall
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. xxxviii-xlii).
Subject Headings: Portraits Fiction. Youthfulness Fiction. Conduct of life Fiction.
Genre/Form: Didactic fiction.
Topical Term: Portraits
Youthfulness
Conduct of life
LCCN: 2003267607
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Aug 17, 2014
  • Eosos rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I often read books defined as classics just because they are defined as such. I know many do. Sometimes, this works out in a positive way. I find a book I love. Not this time.
I read this. I read the coles notes to try and understand it. I don't get it. I mean, I do understand the concept of the story but I don't understand the appeal. Not for me anyway.

Jul 28, 2014
  • Levi_1 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Excellent classic novel, something fresh and enjoyable writing, however there is a part of the story that seems more like an authors preaching attitude and it is very dull, but other then that this book is a pleasant read, and does make you question how valuable vanity is.

Odd little book. The subject matter might be a little dark for some people's tastes, but it was just right for me, personally. A cautionary tale done exceedingly well!

Aug 17, 2012
  • yve168 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

this book is a true example of what vanity will bring you in the long run-nothing but grief and bitter disappointment at the expense of many, many others

Jul 15, 2012
  • rod328 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I've read a lot of books, but never have I read a novel with writing anything close to Oscar Wilde's level.

Oct 29, 2011
  • Danay rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Loved it. Oscar Wilde is a beast!

Oct 19, 2011
  • IncendiaAngelus rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book is excellently written and interesting overall. I found it kind of haunting & mildly disturbing, but riveting at the same time. A very good book indeed.

Sep 18, 2011
  • ttiiaann rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of my all time favorite books. The writing is very witty and not overly difficult. I was so impressed with every little detail that I could not put it down. Vanity is the overlaying theme of the story. I really enjoyed Lord Henry's explanations for his philosophy on life which is twisted and backwards but showed Wilde's smart wit. Wonderful read!

Mar 31, 2011
  • vwruleschick rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

wow...guess dorian couldn't live with himself and got what he wanted, yet he didn't want it after all.

I found the relationships between Basil, Harry and Dorian interesting, but also so sad as they were all so shallow in one way or another. I wouldn't be hang out with any of these characters. But the story unfolded intriguingly.

mcchan said on Feb 25, 2010:
I could have seen myself having to had read this for high school and taking it apart.

The_Bill said on May 18, 2010:
Whoa there, how would you have taken it apart? The book is, as Wilde himself said, absolutely perfect.

The_Bill, I think you may be mis-understanding what mcchan is saying by "taking it apart". I think mcchan is saying that he or she would be looking for all the elements of the story by "taking it apart" instead of saying "tearing it apart", which would mean pointing out all the errors, as you seem to have thought mcchan meant.

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Jul 13, 2011
  • haploU5 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Written and set in 19th century England, this gothic psychological thriller is a classic horror story, refreshingly free of the graphic blood and gore that seems to be the standard horror theme these days.

The story begins with Dorian Gray, a young man of extraordinary good looks, having his portrait painted by his friend Basil Hallward. In the midst of posing for the portrait enters Lord Henry, a pompous and self-important character that convinces an innocent Dorian that his looks are his most important characteristic and that he will have tremendous power over people because of them. He tells Dorian that he should enjoy them while they last as like everything else they will fade with time and so will the power that comes with them.
Taking his words seriously, a naïve and melancholy Dorian wishes that his looks would last forever and instead of time ravaging his face and body, his portrait would age instead, leaving him forever young. As the story moves along and to Dorian’s increasing dismay, he starts noticing that his wish has been granted… with a twist. The portrait is noticeably growing more hideous as Dorian’s behaviour becomes progressively more callous and contemptible.
Though dated, the story is fast-paced, well written and an easy read. Its lighter side pokes fun at the aristocracy and their total uselessness while its darker side reveals the level of shallowness and depravity of human nature.

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Sexual Content: Undertones of homosexuality; hints at general promiscuity.

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Apr 28, 2011
  • étoile rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

"When I like someone immensely I never tell their names to anyone. 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 marvellous to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it."

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app02 Version Arkelstorp Last updated 2014/10/23 09:41