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on 14 May 2015
Not bad
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on 15 August 2016
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. His youthful looks remain, but a painting of him grows older and more grotesque as it reflects his hedonistic lifestyle. That’s all I’m going to tell you about the plot, because this is one of those books that everybody should read, and so I think you should go and read it and enjoy the plot for yourself.

Why? Well, Wilde’s writing is at its best here, and the story is also unique – I’ve never read anything quite like it, except for some of the parodies that are out there. Part of what makes this so fascinating is the fact that it was Wilde who wrote this – it’s such a perfect reflection of his personality, and one wonders whether Wilde would have made a similar bargain for his soul. One doesn’t wonder it for long.

Overall, then, I’m a big fan of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and whilst I haven’t re-read it since the first time, I wouldn’t rule it out, and I’ve listened to some audio books and seen some movie adaptations. It’s probably the best place to start if you’re new to Oscar Wilde’s work, in my opinion – that is, unless you’d prefer to start with a play. Go read it!
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I've long had a vague idea about the picture of Dorian Gray, but have never read the book itself. I thought it was about time I remedied that failing. I remember reading a novel about Oscar Wilde a few years ago, and about his wife and marriage, and thinking what an odd fellow he must have been, and impossible to live with.

Basil Hallward has found his perfect muse, the young, beautiful and enigmatic Dorian Gray. Basil's friend Lord Henry Wotton finds himself giving advice to Dorian to ensure he enjoys every moment of his youth, for it is fleeting. As Dorian views the finished portrait of himself that Basil has just completed, he finds himself dreading aging, and envying the portrait for remaining ever young; if only he could find a way that would allow him to remain young and the portrait age instead. In a wonderful gothic tale, the portrait takes on the aspects of Dorian's life as he explores the world of the senses to its fullest. The degeneration, or is it in fact the true revelation of his nature is shocking to follow.

The unfolding horror of Dorian Gray is wonderfully captured in this Victorian novel; I can see why it would have been considered shocking in its day. Wilde did not shrink (at least in this uncensored version) from references which although tame to us in this day and age, would have been considered risque or inappropriate in his day. And the inner darkness of a man's soul is not something that would normally be written about in this way; I think maybe some of those in Wilde's circle who would have read this book may have been touched by it being a bit near to the bone. But certainly there is depth in the analysis of a man and his conscience in this book, and the writing is philosophical as well as very evocative of a very different time and place, and the men and women who lived there. I'm really glad I read this; I think it is a classic that has stood well the test of time.
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I have read this story countless times, seen two film versions and even a stage play, but like many other people this story has stayed with me long after I have closed the book, and I thus come back to it again and again. This is the only novel by Oscar Wilde and if you follow the publication history of this you will see why that probably is. What Wilde wrote was originally censored for its publication in a magazine, and then Wilde re-wrote and extended the tale for its final book publication, which is what we are presented with here. Originally when this story first appeared in ‘Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine’ it caused a bit of an outrage and the story was also used against Wilde when he was prosecuted.

Nowadays though, with all the things we are presented with in the media and what we see on the internet some will consider this very tame. Although arguably it has never been what is mentioned in the tale, it is what is hinted at and how good your imagination can be.

I expect most people who decide to read this will already be quite familiar with the tale and so know the main plot. Dorian Gray of the title is soon to come into money, is a bit vain, relatively kind hearted and means well, and very handsome, and then he meets Basil Hallward, an artist, who wishes to do his portrait. So far not much to write home about, although Basil obviously makes Dorian vainer, and there are definite tones of amorousness between the two, and then he meets Basil’s friend Lord Henry. As a friendship develops between Dorian and Lord Henry, Dorian is led into a more hedonistic lifestyle. What Dorian doesn’t realise though is that he has unwittingly entered into a Devilish Pact caused by the portrait of him. As Dorian’s life becomes more lurid, perverted and diabolical he never seems to age, but his portrait becomes something truly terrible to behold.

One of the reasons this works so well is that apart from a few details and some undertones of promiscuity between males and females we never really know what Dorian’s actual actions are. We know that to become involved with him can leave you tainted, but we have to use our imaginations to create what we think he gets up to. Another reason why this works and is still very popular today is due to the fact that it plays upon our vanities. With cosmetic surgery, Botox and numerous unguents that are supposed to make us stay looking young on the market, it would seem that many of us are afraid of getting a wrinkle or blemish. Indeed whilst this remains so then there is no reason to suppose this book will fall by the wayside. And on top of that this story is a really good read with some scintillating dialogue between the characters.
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on 30 June 2016
The book is exatly what i've seen in the library..perfect conditions. I love it
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on 21 January 2013
If it is possible to fall in love with a book then I have truly fallen in love with thia one. It has to be the most stunning book I have ever owned. I love the story and wanted to treat myself to fancy version I doubt I could do any better it is beautiful and I hope to have it stay so forever and pass it on to my daughter when she is older as it really is fit to be a heirloom.
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on 6 November 2015
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a fine piece of literature- a tale of excess, of corruption, of decay and of facades.

Basil Hallward, an artist, paints a picture of Dorian Gray, a handsome and vain young man, whom the artist is besotted with. Dorian Gray sells his soul for eternal youth, in a Faustian bargain, whereby all the age , decay corruption will show in the picture , while Grey's appearance will stay eternally young and fresh.

Encouraged by the hedonistic cynic Lord Henry Wotton, Gray embarks on a life of corruption, decadence and cruelty. Lord Henry is also the vehicle through which Wilde put down his many uniquely Wildesque epigrams into the novel, such as " Conscience and cowardice are really the same thing, Basil. Conscience is the trade name of the firm. That is all"; " Those who are faithful know only the trivial side of love. It is the faithless who know love's tragedies"; "There is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about" ; "The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it." ; " It is better to be beautiful than to be good. But it is better to be good than to be ugly." And " As for the virtuous poor , one can pity them of course , but one cannot possibly admire them".

The bargain made by Gray can only lead to eventual destruction , and the novel is a statement by Wilde on humanity and society , in the cavalier and irreverent way that only Wilde could.
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on 26 July 2010
it is a very good book and it was very well deliverated in very good conditions
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VINE VOICEon 19 February 2017
At first Dorian does not realize his wishes been granted. He falls in love with a beautiful young actress who is every woman that Shakespeare ever wrote about. But once again due to Lord Henry's influence, he realizes that she's just a common girl.

Starting with absent-minded acts Dorian slowly sinks into debauchery. And with every new act his picture becomes more grotesque while Dorian stays is young and as innocent looking as the day his picture was painted.
What will become of Dorian?
What will become of Dorian's painting?
What would you do if you were Dorian?

Oscar Wilde paints a picture himself as he describes Dorian Gray's dilemma. And we as readers travel with Dorian as each decision is made. In some places in the story Oscar Wilde seems to drag on and on with detail; however we find that this detail is necessary to set the next scene.

Oscar Wilde himself led a risky life that lead to a jail sentence; is attitudes can be seen in the dialogues in this book.
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on 8 September 2010
I always felt until now that works by Oscar Wilde would be overly flowery and "superficial" and only got this book because it was free on Kindle.
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.

Highly recommended.
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