Oscar Wild's only novel is full of murder and mayhem in the life of a self absorbed socialite. It tells the Faustian story of the downfall of Dorian Gray due to his deal with the devil tied up in a painting that captures his aging and moral decay and keeps him young. Very interesting twists.
I have recommended, and will keep recommending, this book/ audio book to anyone and everyone. Lord Henry shows both the impractical and the practical side of a wicked philosophy, while Basil shows the craving for simple, naive, or innocent personalities among those of us who have come into the knowledge of sin and yet resist temptation. Dorian Gray, and the changes he faced throughout this novel, represent the transition from innocence to adulthood and how simple mistakes change us forever. In this hauntingly beautiful novel, Oscar Wilde depicts both this philosophy, and his wit without overpowering the underlying moral takeaway in what has to be one of the greatest novels of all time.
I would not recommend this for Militant (i.e. unwilling to learn) Christians, Atheists, or other firm believers in something absolute. This is a novel for those willing to learn, for in learning, you are re-instituting your very belief system.
This was a really great audio book. i would recommened it to everyone.
I know a very few stories that are able to encapsulate life and art in such a way. through Dorian Gray we can all see our deepest darkest reflection. everything we've ever done or thought of doing. Oscar Wilde truly was one of the greatest artists to ever touch pen to paper
Incredible well told story. I considered reading this book before, but didn't. I am kicking myself for not reading this sooner. Oscar Wilde only wrote one full book and this is it. This story could be a movie today set in any city in the world. It was way before its time. A story of ethics.
Incredibly descriptive and captivating. The plot really thickens in the last quarter of the book and regardless of Dorian's good fortune and abundance of luck, karma catches up to him. Absolutely fantastic read!
First, I would like to commend Simon Prebble's performance. His reading intoned just the right amount of the intended character trait for each individual. The story is a classic study of progression from innocence to pathological madness with the macabre twist. I read mostly modern novels, and it is sometimes tedious to me, as a modern reader, to maintain a high level of interest as Oscar Wilde forces me to endure the painfully boring discourse among guests at an upper class 19th century dinner party. Like the worst Seinfeld episode ever, these scenes are literally about nothing whatsoever other than demonstrating the dreariness of en everlasting life among these boring snobs. But, that was the literary style, and without using 300 words where 10 would have sufficed, The Picture of Dorian Gray would have been merely a superb short story.
In this dark and tragic commentary, Oscar Wilde spares no liberties in discussing morality, religion, society, and the depths of the human condition. This is a book in which beauty seems to be considered as an end in itself — except that Dorian’s great love of beauty ought to have induced in him such a revulsion at the growing ugliness of his character.
Dorian Gray is beauty in human form. His friend Basil Hallward, a painter, sees Dorian's beauty and is driven to portray it on canvas. Per Dorian's wish, he will remain beautiful, and Basil's portrait will bear the ravages of his soul. Basil's homoerotic fascination with Dorian, and its expression in his portrait of Dorian, will unwittingly lead to tragedy.
Overall: This is a deep novel, and requires some thinking about the lessons and messages throughout the writing. It's "a book that has never finished saying what it has to say."