The picture of Dorian Gray, (The Modern library of the world's best books) Unknown Binding – 1918
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|Unknown Binding, 1918||
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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!
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.
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.
The novel chiefly addresses the role of art in (Victorian) society, and does so while maintaining an intense depiction of London life during the period. Wilde considers life as a play; a book; or a piece of music. Dorian, who represents at the beginning of the novel a shallow yet unspoiled character, is gradually corrupted and is taught by Lord Henry to consider looking on his life as an outsider - banishing reality and imagining that he were a spectator of an extensive play; the plot of which is his own life.
By revealing to us the grave consequences of doing so, Wilde also ensures that the reader has a clear idea of the hypocrisy and dangerous attitudes of 19th century polite society. The reader feels fascinated by the erudite conversations between Lord Henry and his friends, often appalled by the carelessly constructed opinions. Such opinions are at the very heart of Dorian's corruption and eventual downfall, and we gradually begin to see his mind consumed by Lord Henry's thoughts. The distant narrative also allows the reader to come to his own conclusions, which perhaps makes the novel even more powerful.
The plot is fantastically simple, and indeed very little happens other than dinner parties and trips to the theatre. However, this makes the work nonetheless gripping (with a potently dramatic ending), and this book is certainly not waffly or tedious. Far from it; Oscar Wilde delivers a masterpiece to all of us, and reveals the terrifying consequences of vanity, thoughtlessness and, most of all, sin.
"The Picture Of Dorian Gray" is a masterpiece without doubt, and for £2 is difficult to reject. A "must read" for anybody.
So wrote the venerable American critic when assessing the artistic message of Dorian Gray. Although Oscar Wilde distanced himself from the idea that his works should have a moral message, he would surely have appreciated the artistic flair that Ellmann displayed in his critical writings. Indeed, his biography of Wilde is infused with a love and a largesse of spirit that Wilde displayed throughout his life and proved, in the end, to be his downfall. Wilde once quipped "I have put all my genius into my life; I put only my talent into my works". However, such epigrammatic brilliance masks that he did indeed put genius into his works. His place in the pantheon of great writers is assured for he mastered many forms: fiction, drama, poetry, children's stories and critical essays. Wilde didn't like his stories for children to be classified solely for children, insistent that they could be read whether you were 8 or 80 years of age. This alludes to an intrinsic aspect of Wilde's writing: his sense of wonder and amazement at the world around him, key faculties that every child possesses and which are very easy to lose as we grow older. These qualities coupled with his fierce intellect mean that to enter the kingdom of Wilde is to be continually surprised, refreshed, entertained and energised.
There are many writers, poets and thinkers who I greatly admire. But if I was to choose a desert island choice, it would have to be Oscar. Having recently re-read The Picture of Dorian Gray (a book which I have given to countless people), I never fail to be charmed and astounded by the radiance of his writing.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
well written and a classic tail, watched the film years ago and enjoyed it so was curious if the book was as interesting, gotten around a quarter way through so far and very much... Read morePublished 2 days ago by boo
The order came through so quickly! At the time I needed this for college and I was seriously surprised at the quality of the book for its price. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Sara
The book is exatly what i've seen in the library..perfect conditions. I love itPublished 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
Do you know what I really like in a novel is when the end is just as good ( or better ) then the start. This has both! Read morePublished 1 month ago by YorockJr.