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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Title:
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Author:
Oscar Wilde
ISBN:
086307667X
ISBN13:
978-0863076671
Formats available:
txt mbr mbr lrf
Category:
Classics
Language:
English
Publisher:
Marshall Cavendish Ltd.; First edition & printing in this form edition (1986)
PDF size:
1299 kb
FB2 size:
1415 kb
EPUB size:
1938 kb
086307667X

Reviews:
  • Frey
This was easily one of the best books I have ever read. This book was written over a century ago and still remains popular and insightful. Oscar Wilde’s perception of humanity is, in my opinion, spot on. Every word of this book has depth and meaning.
I absolutely despise Dorian Gray, but I am sure that was Wilde’s intention. How could you like a man that is so selfish, narcissistic, and obsessed with his own youth and beauty at the cost of all others around him? Dorian truly represents the ugliest that humanity has to offer, and I am happy that he pays for his sins in a fairly poetic nature.
To lighten the serious tones of this book is Lord Henry, easily my favorite character. Nearly every line he speaks is a life-quote and his character gives insight to Wilde’s own thoughts regarding the world and the people in the world. A few of my favorites:
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it & your soul grows sick with longing for things it has forbidden itself.”
“Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.”

I liked this book so much that I want to re-read it immediately :).
  • Karon
I am getting very tired of ordering what I think are professionally prepared books and finding that they are print-on-demand works probably put together by one person that do not adhere to certain standards of the book industry.

In this case, the title refers to "other writings" but it does not seem to contain any other writings. In any case, it is hard to tell because there is no table of contents. Chapters do not begin on a new page but (to save money) a new chapter will begin anywhere on the page.

Sometimes there are smart quotes. Sometimes there are unformatted quotation marks.

Margins are very close to the edges of the pages, again to save money.

Most troubling, the original Bantam edition was about 450 pages; this edition is 190 pages.

So, I would recommend you go with a name brand publisher instead of ordering this version.

Why did I not give it one or two stars? Because I did not notice typos and the entire text of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" appears to be contained here, plus the front and back covers, which contain old portraits of the author, are attractive.
  • Gio
This is a ‘dark’ novel in the Gothic style, cleverly told with all the wit of Oscar Wilde. Artist Basil Hallward paints a full-size likeness of a new and admired young friend of his, a Mr. Dorian Gray. Amidst a flurry of clever, witty, philosophical repartee ongoing between Gray and (visitor to Hallward’s studio) Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian wistfully wishes to stay young and let his portrait age: “…it were I who was to be always young and the picture that was to grow old! For that for that—I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!” This becomes his ‘curse’.

The novel is full of the hedonist thoughts of Lord Henry which corrupt Gray to a life of debauchery. Wilde is quoted as saying, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry is what the world thinks of me: Dorian is what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”

And, so this read will give, more than most novels, a glimpse at its author. This is a short and easily readable novel that acts as a platform to carry some serious philosophical opinions and observations of Lord Henry (Wilde?) - some of which are surely out of date in the 21st century. Here is an interesting musing from Lord Henry…

“Modern morality consists in accepting the standard of one’s age. I consider that for any man of culture to accept the standard of his age is a form of the grossest immorality.” This read will illustrate that misogyny and anti-Semitism were a large part of the ‘standard’ of one’s age’ in ~1890 - so be willing to accept (hold your nose at) some of the author's observations and opinions, expressed through Lord Henry. But, even with its “warts”, it is a literary masterpiece and well worth a read!
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