I would read anything by Simon Vance, he is a delight to listen. The book was good but is not for everyone. If you enjoy descriptions, dark humor and some philosophy you will like this book.
I wanted to read some of the classics, but I have a hard time staying interested when they're slow-moving. Dorian Gray is a really great book, but I honestly think the credit goes to Simon Vance for making it come alive. There is a HUGE difference when actors narrate books, and this book is a perfect example of that. If you're trying to differentiate between the 15 different versions of Dorian Grey on Audible, get this one.
I'm a mom. I have drama in my life. I don't want books with the F-bomb, nor graphic violence. I read for fun and to bring my family together. I read for reducing stress levels. We have never had a television in our home and our children are now mid twenties to 19. We listen together and look for belly-wrenching laughter. So what is it like to live without a TV? Awesomely educational and inspirational. Each new book is a marvel.
I have not read this book before, I have not had to read Cliff's Notes and report on this, nor have I seen a movie based on this book. I did not expect this ending and I was kept captivated by the reader Simon Vance. I would recommend this book to others and certainly would look for other books narrated by Simon. WOW!
As always Simon Vance was incredible.
This is a powerful story. So well written. Interesting philosophies. The preface in itself was fascinating.
If I could give this more stars I would.
Competently written narrative but absolutely ridiculous and unbelievable dialogue between some English snobs. Did people actually talk like this? To say nothing of the incessant themes of misogyny and latent homosexuality. A horribly dated and largely forgettable book.
The reader was excellent.
Not worth your time.
The narration, the tone, rate and manner of speech perfectly fit the characters. It really brings them alive. The female voices can be a bit silly, but there are only very occasional female speaking characters.
The story played out beautifully! My mind was blown once I reached the ending... It most definitely left me completely satisfied. PS: The man narrating was exquisite.
I never read the book or saw the movie, but when i read about it i thought it was going to be a book full of sins and depravation, i was not seeking that, but i was surprised that it didn't go into details of what Dorian Gray did to become so evil. That is the only part that i didn't love, maybe it could explain how he gets to be so bad.
On the other part the hedonist and cynical point of view given through Lord Henry is excellent, i think that is what made this book so important and influential.
I loved the ending.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
There is a passage early on where Lord Henry Wotton, the Mephistopheles character in this little morality play, offers a definition of the word 'influence' that encapsulates the central issue of the book. The word 'influence' is repeated often enough in this short book that I think Wilde must have intended that significance. It's something I overlooked the first time I read this book 40 years ago. I must have overlooked a lot because the book has improved a great deal in that time. It helps to have more context about Wilde and his times. And it helps too to know how much the extravagant descriptive passages owe to Wilde's French inspiration, À Rebours, a book sadly not available on audio.
Watching Dorian deteriorate under the influence of Lord Henry, while the positive friend, Basil Hallward, refuses to influence him at all, it strikes me that Wilde is making a rather strong case for morality in contradiction to the usual libertine motives ascribed to him. One thing that I think is often overlooked about Dorian is that he is described by Basil at the beginning as having some kind of special unique personality. Who he would have become if left uninfluenced is one of the mysteries that makes the story poignant.
One wishes Wilde had explored that possibility. One wishes that Dorian, as he ages, would become a person with a more defined persona. But he remains a rather unformed cipher right up to the end. That is yet another mystery Wilde left unexplored. What was it about Dorian that kept him from becoming "the hero of his own life" as Dickens phrased it?
Still, the questions Wilde chose to explore have managed to produce one of the iconic books of the Victorian Age. One might ask what it was about the puritanical moralistic Victorians that has left us with such a collection of horrific Gothic legacy: Dorian Gray, Dracula, Jekyll and Hyde, etc.
The painting itself plays such a small part in the book, one is tempted to wonder if the title is actually referring to the painting or not. I am inclined to believe the title really refers to the book itself (i.e., a narrative picture rather than a visual one).
My little sister who never got into reading actively started a discussion about this book when she was reading it in school, for which I'm grateful. An interesting novella, especially when paired with The Curious Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As both struggle with the inner vs the outer person. Though very different takes on it.
Dorian Grey is a young beautiful man who poses for a painting. When it is finished he wishes that the he will always stay that beautiful and that the painting would take all the marks of his living. This comes to pass, but the consequences spiral out of control. The painting becomes a reflection of Dorian's very soul baring the stains of his sins.
I can't say anymore without giving things away, so listen to it.