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on 22 July 2016
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 enjoying the story.

Finished the book and I must admit I enjoyed it more than the film I don't like adding snippets from books on my reviews as it might spoil it for other reader'
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on 13 February 2012
I struggle with a lot of 19th century literature. By today's standard, much of it seems overwritten, with long flowery descriptions and rambling philosophical discourses. That may put off a lot of people from reading it, but tastes change - no doubt modern novels would seem shallow to a reader from past times! Oscar Wildes' writing has all the hallmarks of his time, but it's made readable by his razor sharp wit and vivid imagination. No other author I can think of has so many wonderfully quotable phrases. "I can believe anything, providing it is incredible" to pick one example that struck me. And the central theme of the story - the portrait which shows Gray's character, whilst the man remains ageless - is a brilliant concept, the implications and outcomes of which are explored with skill. Not always easy reading, but worth the effort.
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on 25 May 2017
So I bought this loving the story of a magical portrait that can give you everlasting youth but then it happened...So I read chapter after chapter and wasn't gripped at all by the story and and all its pompous dandywandy aristocracy sayings back from the day in 18th century England. If you want to enjoy Dorian Gray then buy the Ben Barnes film adaptation as that's brilliant.
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on 2 October 2010
I tend to have differing tastes in books; I like my fiction to be light, easy to read to escape reality or something like crime that catches the imagination and ensures I can't put it down. I'd heard about Dorian Gray and knew the basics of the story, but it wasn't until I found it on a classic book app on my iPod that I started to read it.

I won't go into the plot, or the specifics; either you know already or you can glean enough from other reviews. I will just say that I found this book to be a visual feast. For something written so long ago the language is descriptive without being too hard to read, and it has inspired me to want to learn more about the themes, motifs and symbols in the book (which I haven't done since English Literature classes 7 years ago).

A book to be treasured (hence why I will be splashing out on the leather bound version) and one I know that I will read again and again and gain something different from each time I do.
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on 8 July 2015
Possibly the greatest factor of this book is Lord Henry. Simply his quotes alone are enough to write several articles on a number of topics, mostly surrounding physiological evaluation. He was the bright intellect that pulled Dorian Gray, and presumably others, to indulge in the darker pleasures of life; Henry himself seeming more to be a Hamlet figure of action, a thinker not a doer.

A brilliantly written novel with all the flair and extravagance that Wilde is famous for. It especially amused me when he talked of how books cannot corrupt a person - perhaps this us an argument to linger in the minds of those who may have found his book/s slightly unconventional for the time?

Either way, a definite read. Highly recommended.
It is from reading this that I now believe Murakami to be Wilde's modern, and notably Asian, counterpart - I certainly felt similarities between this and Kafka on the Shore.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 31 December 2011
Written in 1890, this novel may be short but is packed with allusions to other texts (Faust, Huysman's Against Nature ,Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Pygmalion) as well as Wilde's own response to fin de siècle aestheticism.

It's certainly possible to read it as just a good gothic story, but this is a novel which is also deeply engaged with concerns about morality, responsibility, and the role of art and beauty in the world. Like the figure of Gray himself it's a text which plays with doubleness: so we can enjoy merely the witty, Victorian surface but it's worth also placing this text back into its original context and the debates around l'art pour l'art (art for art's sake) that galvanised writers and artists towards the end of the nineteenth century.
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on 1 April 2012
The Picture of Dorian Gray is playwright Oscar Wilde's only novel, but there are many features reminiscent of Wilde's best plays. Many of his most well-known aphorisms, for instance, are to be found here. But it is the combination of light social repartee with gripping gothic horror that gives Dorian Gray its power and poignancy. The fact that Dorian Gray's hedonistic pact with the devil (unwitting as it may be) has passed into our social consciousness in much the same way as the legend of Dracula or the schizophrenia of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde have done, demonstrates just how well Dorian Gray has stood the test of time as a true classic. And like every great thriller, Dorian Gray has a spectacular and perhaps unforeseen ending.
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Like with The Time Traveller, I saw the film first, but wasn't enthused enough to bother to read the novel. Not even when my Eng lit student son bought the print book last year, as it was a student edition, with small print and lots of footnotes, which I found off-putting. I was delighted to get this novel, which had decent font print and which flowed.

I don't quite know how I missed it in the film, but this starts off being told by Lord Henry and Basil, the latter being the portrait-painter. I recognised both characters' names, but up til now, had thought that DG himself was the painter, duh!

This is an excellent, simple read, one that in its simplicity conveys more than the film ever did for me, and one that I should have read a lot earlier than in my 40's.
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on 23 July 2012
The first half of this book was honestly like nothing i've ever read, which is saying quite a lot. I felt myself completely immersed in the speculation on life from Henry Wotton, whilst Dorian became a wondrous character for which these ideas to be brought to life. I must admit, despite this, around page 100 there was around 10 pages of pure description, with an endless stream of ancient names, that for me stopped the novel and my enjoyment dead. Despite this perhaps ruining the following twenty pages, I soon fell sway to Wilde's beautiful writing once more, and overall the novel was superb. I would definitely recommend to any fan of classic literature or someone wanting to try something a little more 'up-market'.
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on 10 January 2012
I first came into contact with this novel when I was in school. I could remember the basic storyline, but little of the detail (probably asleep at the back of the classroom or staring out of the window).

I was given a Kindle recently however, which has prompted me to have another look at some of the classic novels. The fact that they're free might also have something to do with it.

So, I downloaded the book and for what they're worth, here are my thoughts.

Wilde undoubtedly had a wonderful way with words - his descriptions are detailed and bring the characters and locations to life. The storyline (simply, Gray's descent into depravity and his eventual come-uppance) is a good one and I found the book an enjoyable read.

If like me, you're someone who is more used to modern novels, Wilde's writing (like many of the classic writers) can seem "over-flowery" at times. I found myself reaching the end of some sentences and realising that I wasn't quite sure what the author was trying to say. A quick re-read however and I was (usually!) able to decipher - the Kindle dictionary was a handy assistant.

Wilde is well known for his witty turns of phrase and there's no shortage of them in this book. He goes into quip overdrive on a few occasions however, which personally, I found more distracting than amusing.

Overall though, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is well worth a look and a good introduction/reintroduction to the "classic" novels.
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