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.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, I now live in Southern Oregon on a small farm. Lots of furred and feathered friends and even some human types!
I first read this when I was in my early 20's and at that age, the significance and quality of writing didn't impress. Now that I am in my late 60's, I was stunned to find this book so captivating, it was difficult to put it down. Oscar Wilde wrote brilliantly and so captured the withering of Dorian Grays life as well as those experiences that change us. Admiration indeed for such a wonderful writer!
Simon Prebble was the perfect narrator for this piece. His maturity, inflections and capacity to express the varied emotions of the characters was just right. I will be seeking other works by this talented narrator.
I heartily recommend this book for both the content and the storytelling. Lessons are abundant and despite its 1891 writing, much of what is presented can be compared to life today.
I thought the story was dated, very dated. The things that at one time might have made its readers' jaw drop just aren't a big deal anymore.
Nothing could induce me to sit (squirm) through this again. The extreme pontificating and holding forth ad nauseum becomes unbearable after awhile.
This book is somewhat comparable to Wuthering Heights in that the main characters drain you of any concern or compassion for them because they are determined to be their own worst enemy - all others be damned.
Skilled narration that smoothly, artfully captured both the ennui and the high-flown arrogance of the English upper class.
Initially, yes, but 1/3 into the book the pace and plot progression becomes tiresome and uncomfortably dire.
Despite the painfully forced hedonistic stance and the exhausting extremes of feverish emotions I recommend this book. It eventually succeeds in its moralizing and Wilde's matchless wit and powers of observation are a rare treat. His genius can not be denied.
Great story. Really enjoyed it.
The narrator was a good choice for this book. Very easy listen.
I feel it lacks drama. Some of the insights are deep and moving but towards the end it lost me. I'll try again in a few years but for now it's off to new things. Great narration.
Beautiful story. Very good narration.
A must read or must heard story if you are into classic literature. The novel has rather a simple story line, and most of the author's subjective thinkings/ ideals/ implications are expressed through either Lord henry or Dorian. You'll find yourself fill with questions, wanderings, and thoughts (maybe regrets for Dorian, too).
The novel is written in old style British English, but the narrator did a very good job in differentiating between characters and pausing/ slowing appropriately in very long monologue.
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I read this book because it’s considered to be one of the classics, and the image an aging person withering away on a hidden canvas in an attic has so worked its way into our popular culture that I wanted to read the book that spawned the cliché. It’s the same type of motivation that prompted me to read 1984.
I really don’t have much to say about the book – I didn’t like it that much, the characters didn’t feel sympathetic and I felt there was too much pontification.
Having seen the movie and vaguely recalling the story, I decided to try this daily deal. I was reminded of Robert Greene and his book The 48 Laws of Power because it is mostly full of what I consider to be somewhat misguided and cynical concepts about human nature and the reality of life. In general it's a slow moving plot, often involving long conversations between characters or just drawing out a concept for far too long. It seemed to pick up in the second half. I was drawn into the story and I did want to know what came next and how the story ended as I only remembered it vaguely, hence the 3 stars. However I frequently just couldn't fully stay with the story as I often found my attention wandering.
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