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The Picture of Dorian Gray Audiobook

The Picture of Dorian Gray

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Audible Editor Reviews

Oscar Wilde’s classic endures with its gems of astute observation and cynical wit. The eerie story follows a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty in the form of a supernatural portrait. Life's mysterious paradoxes are laced throughout Lord Henry's brilliant aphorisms. Gray is urged by Henry to "love the wonderful life that is in you." The novel's qualities are mired in decadence, "art for art's sake," the new hedonism of the Victorian-era upper class, and societal moral corruption. Simon Prebble perfectly achieves Lord Henry's "low, languid voice" and sparkling conversation, while avidly expressing the other characters' more torrid emotions. Prebble brings the fable's gothic horror to life, but the more youthful characters lack believable intonation.

Publisher's Summary

Oscar Wilde brings his enormous gifts for astute social observation and sparkling prose to The Picture of Dorian Gray, the dreamlike story of a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty. This dandy, who remains forever unchanged---petulant, hedonistic, vain, and amoral---while a painting of him ages and grows increasingly hideous with the years, has been horrifying and enchanting readers for more than 100 years. Taking the reader in and out of London drawing rooms, to the heights of aestheticism, and to the depths of decadence, The Picture of Dorian Gray is not simply a melodrama about moral corruption. Laced with bon mots and vivid depictions of upper-class refinement, it is also a fascinating look at the milieu of Wilde's fin-de-siècle world and a manifesto of the creed "Art for Art's Sake."The ever-quotable Wilde, who once delighted London with his scintillating plays, scandalized readers with this, his only novel. Upon publication, Dorian was condemned as dangerous, poisonous, stupid, vulgar, and immoral, and Wilde as a "driveling pedant." The novel, in fact, was used against Wilde at his much-publicized trials for "gross indecency," which led to his imprisonment and exile on the European continent. Even so, The Picture of Dorian Gray firmly established Wilde as one of the great voices of the Aesthetic movement and endures as a classic that is as timeless as its hero.

(P)2008 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (985 )
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4.2 (838 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sam Motes Tampa 05-01-13
    Sam Motes Tampa 05-01-13 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    254
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    Story
    "A picture truly can say a thousand words"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Biker 04-16-13
    Biker 04-16-13
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    "Dual Natured, Dramatic, and Devastatingly Wicked"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael White Bear Lake, Mongolia 10-08-12
    Michael White Bear Lake, Mongolia 10-08-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Loved it"
    What made the experience of listening to The Picture of Dorian Gray the most enjoyable?

    This was a really great audio book. i would recommened it to everyone.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Basil Hallward


    Have you listened to any of Simon Prebble’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    no


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    no


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MysteryL 01-31-13
    MysteryL 01-31-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Mesmerizing"

    Wonderful narration of a witty classic. It was like watching a train wreck, you can't stop listening.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-27-17
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    "Could have been"

    This could have been a good story. The writer went on and on about stuff that wasn't applicable to the story. The narrator could have helped if he had differentiated more between the voices of the three main characters and the narrator more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 12-19-16
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    "Very good classic"

    If you enjoy the strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, this story has many similarities.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C.S Wheatley 09-02-16
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    "not much for novels but this one is the exception"

    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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Neil San Francisco, CA, United States 07-01-16
    Neil San Francisco, CA, United States 07-01-16
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    "This story could play today. Don't think download"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krystal Veverka West Palm Beach, Florida 12-19-15
    Krystal Veverka West Palm Beach, Florida 12-19-15 Member Since 2015
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    "The villain you want to love."

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    melanie 10-28-15
    melanie 10-28-15 Member Since 2012
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    "A frighteningly dark classic"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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