The Picture of Dorian Gray (Bring the Classics to Life: Level 4) Audio CD – Audiobook, 1 Jan 2008
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A lush, cautionary tale of a life of vileness and deception or a loving portrait of the aesthetic impulse run rampant? Why not both? After Basil Hallward paints a beautiful, young man's portrait, his subject's frivolous wish that the picture change and he remain the same comes true. Dorian Gray's picture grows aged and corrupt while he continues to appear fresh and innocent. After he kills a young woman, "as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife", Dorian Gray is surprised to find no difference in his vision or surroundings. "The roses are not less lovely for all that. The birds sing just as happily in my garden."
As Hallward tries to make sense of his creation, his epigram-happy friend Lord Henry Wotton encourages Dorian in his sensual quest with any number of Wildean paradoxes, including the delightful "When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy." But despite its many languorous pleasures, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an imperfect work. Compared to the two (voyeuristic) older men, Dorian is a bore, and his search for ever new sensations far less fun than the novel's drawing-room discussions. Even more oddly, the moral message of the novel contradicts many of Wilde's supposed aims, not least "no artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style." Nonetheless, the glamour boy gets his just deserts. And Wilde, defending Dorian Gray, had it both ways: "All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Oscar Wilde just got a little wilder." --Marcia Kaye Toronto Star 15th July 2012
"The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray is the latest edition of Wilde's only novel, but it is also the first. Editor Nicholas Frankel has followed the manuscript Wilde submitted to Lippincott's magazine in early 1890. Frankel poured over the original typescript and about 3,000 handwritten words Wilde added to it, restoring subtle but important romance between the three lead characters... The effect is not radical...but it is noticeable, and the book is more satisfying for his efforts... Frankel's uncensored version is closest to what Wilde intended before editors and hostile critics intervened, and it is also the most pleasurable to read... The Picture of Dorian Gray is a haunting, beautiful and important novel. -- Michael Ruffles Bangkok Post 20120910 Now, for the first time, we can read the version that Wilde intended...Both the text and Nicholas Frankel's introduction make for fascinating reading. --Sadie Stein, Paris Review, 27th June 2012
" The Picture of Dorian Gray is just as spine tingling, relevant, and original now as it was in 1891. From the compelling story to the musicality of the prose to the symbolism, The Uncensored Picture of Dorian Gray is a great read. " --Catherine Ramsdell, PopMatters, 8th October 2012 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
And with his wish granted, Dorian Gray sets out to test all of the virtues and vices that life has to offer, free from the fear that his experiences will leave a mark upon his face. But, to his horror and dismay, Dorian begins to realize that while the mirror reflects the state of his face, the picture reflects the state of his soul.
This book is considered one of the modern classics of Western literature, and it is easy to see why. The book shows off Oscar Wilde's (1854-1900) writing talents to great effect, with the book seeming more like poetry at times. But, the story itself is quite fascinating. "What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" asks Lord Henry, quoting Jesus Christ.
Overall, I found this to be a fascinating read. Oscar Wilde was a great thinker, and in many ways this book shows him at his best and at his worst. Which character represents Mr. Wilde, Lord Henry, Basil Hallward, Dorian Gray, or all three? I would say all three.
This is a great book, one that everyone should read, a book about living and what you do and what you are underneath. I give this book my highest recommendations!
The book follows the highly narcissitc Dorian Gray, who after having a portrait of himself painted, wishes he would not age and the painting does. The statement be careful what you wish for is stark and powerful here, as we witness the slow demise of the aristocrat. The characters are built wondefully, with Wooton being a personal favourite. The settings are rich in vivdness and the language sublime. This is surely a masterpiece.
I could not have been more wrong.............Like the earlier reviewer suggested I had a very vague notion of Dorian Gray and the ideals he stood for but reading the novel it seems incredibly relevant to todays image obsessed society and the linked declines in morality.
The book itself is dark in places but still infused with humour and insights into human society and is a delight to read.
On the strength of this experience I have ordered several other "Classics" by authors I otherwise would not have touched.
As Dorian's wish is granted the book becomes a story of decadence, of murder and of suicide: locked away in the attic of his palatial London house, the portrait ages and, over a period of 18 years, reflects every aspect of his self-indulgent and hedonistic lifestyle. Until, finally...
The novel itself (the only novel written by Oscar Wilde) contains, of course, a superb collection of his epigrams. At several places, particularly when Lord Henry Wotton is expounding - ad nauseam? - some subtle point of morality, it's easy to appreciate Oscar's comment `I am so clever that sometimes I don't understand a single word of what I am saying.'
Or, from a different and much earlier source, comes that more profound question `For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?'
In 1945 The Picture of Dorian Gray 1945 (region 2) was produced as a movie starring George Sanders.
They are at Basil's house and Basil is telling Lord Henry about the painting he has created of a young, stunningly good looking man called Dorian Gray who comes and sits for him. He explains how Dorian Grey has changed the way in which he paints, how he has improved his character, his art and his view on life including his obsession with him.
By chance, whilst Lord Henry is there, Dorian drops by. On being introduced to Lord Henry, even his cynical character is surprised at the beautiful looks of Dorian. He observes Dorian for a while and comes to the conclusion that while Dorian is extremely handsome he is not really aware of his good looks.
Lord Henry decides to take Dorian out into the garden and have a quiet word with him and basically tells him he has youth and looks on his side. But these will only last a few years, and when they begin to fade, nobody will be interested in anything he has to say or do. So he should live for the moment using and taking everything he can by utilizing his looks and youth to live life to the full and experience the sensual world.
These words really strike a chord with Dorian as nobody has ever pointed this out to him before.
Dorian returns to inside Basil's house and resumes to sit for the picture. Basil completes it and tells Dorian he will not be exhibiting it but will give it to Dorian as a gift.
When asked to look at the finished painting, on seeing it, Dorian bursts into a fit of tears.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece, his classic novel about a young man who wants to remain young forever, and who sells his soul for that to happen. Read morePublished 9 days ago by SocialBookshelves.com
The Picture of Dorian Grey was stylistic and well written with a beautiful use of the english language. Read more
Classic story, another favourite of mine that everyone should readPublished 18 days ago by BlondeBananas
Enjoyed the movie but always wanted to read the book. Wilde writes in that pretentious but thought provoking manner that demands a re-readPublished 24 days ago by Mr. S. Rashid