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The Picture of Dorian Gray Audiobook
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Written by: 
Oscar Wilde
Narrated by: 
Simon Prebble
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 (938 )
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4.2 (795 )
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Performance
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  •  
    melanie 10-28-15
    melanie 10-28-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Patrick 09-25-15
    Patrick 09-25-15

    Et tu, Brute?

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    "A Study of Shallowness & Vanity"

    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."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David San Jose, CA United States 08-06-15
    David San Jose, CA United States 08-06-15 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Simple"

    I enjoy Wilde's use of language. In some ways this is probably one of the most simple stories. I found myself asking questions about my own life and choices. I can imagine, in my youth, I would have made all kinds of poor bargains. It's a quick read. I've seen this book as assigned reading to the young. I wonder if they can really get it? I wonder too if they can follow all the literary references.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TorLance Castle Rock, CO 07-24-15
    TorLance Castle Rock, CO 07-24-15
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    "Moral Tale"

    The story was fascinating and interesting. There were parts where it was easy to see the moral comparisons of the characters to society in general. I often wondered during the telling if one of the main characters was going to be revealed as the devil incarnate. I felt at once both sorry for Dorian Gray and loathed him. I think the end was a fitting one. The story did its job well. I have much to think on

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louis E. Colon 07-10-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Excelente reas and reader!"

    TPODG is a very interesting and mysterious story exploring the nature of human beings. Tragic in the midst of such beauty!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alexx 05-27-15
    Alexx 05-27-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Incredible"

    Wonderful book - talented reader. By far my favorite audiobook. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a riveting story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen 04-18-15
    Ellen 04-18-15
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    "What a sexist bigot Wilde was."

    It was tedious and offensive on many levels. Never reading him again. I suppose it must have seemed good at one point in the past.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeveret 04-16-15
    Jeveret 04-16-15
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    "Painful Experience"

    I know this book is supposed to be a "classic" but I really did not like it. That is all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristin J. Johnson 04-12-15

    Three-time published author

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    "Brilliant Portrait of sin and Art"

    Simon Prebble is the perfect narrator. He does fine with the voices, but it is his wry smiling cheekiness even in the most grotesque moment that embodies the spirit of Wilde.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BullBoxerInc.99 03-07-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Very well done"

    The narrator was brilliant. Gave life to all characters. Good action. Not many dull moments. Very melodramatic. A good listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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