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The Picture of Dorian Gray Audiobook

The Picture of Dorian Gray

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Publisher's Summary

Dorian Gray, a handsome and narcissistic young man, lives thoughtlessly for his own pleasure - an attitude encouraged by the company he keeps. One day, after having his portrait painted, Dorian makes a frivolous Faustian wish: that he should always remain as young and beautiful as he is in that painting, while the portrait grows old in his stead.

The wish comes true, and Dorian soon finds that none of his wicked actions have visible consequences. Realizing that he will appear fresh and unspoiled no matter what kind of life he lives, Dorian becomes increasingly corrupt, unchecked by public opinion. Only the portrait grows degenerate and ugly, a powerful symbol of Dorian's internal ruin.

Wilde's dreamlike exploration of life without limits scandalized its late-Victorian audience and has haunted readers' imaginations for more than a hundred years.

(P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (762 )
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4.3 (511 )
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Performance
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  •  
    A. Chang Spring Hill, KS, United States 06-25-11
    A. Chang Spring Hill, KS, United States 06-25-11 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Novel, Outstanding Narrator!"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenn HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO, United States 08-05-14
    Jenn HIGHLANDS RANCH, CO, United States 08-05-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Simon Vance brought this book to life!"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina Nibley, UT, United States 12-09-10
    Tina Nibley, UT, United States 12-09-10 Member Since 2016

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I am amazed!"

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucian of Samosata 05-27-16

    N/A

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Picture of Dorian Gray"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The reader was excellent.


    Any additional comments?

    Not worth your time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh 01-06-16
    Josh 01-06-16
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    "Fantastic narration"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren Falcon 08-24-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Must Read!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jorge zambrano 04-28-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent writing, great finale"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-26-14
    Barry Petaluma, CA, United States 09-26-14 Member Since 2008

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The magic word is 'influence'"

    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).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Ewing, NJ, United States 10-30-12
    Joseph Ewing, NJ, United States 10-30-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Got my littleSister to enjoy discussing literature"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy 06-19-12
    Kathy 06-19-12
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    "loved thls story"
    What did you love best about The Picture of Dorian Gray?

    I just really like this story a lot!


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Wonderful reader easy to understand.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It was a sad tale.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Jonathan Gull
    5/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "loved it"

    Loved this immortal classic of gothic fiction. Deep, philosophical, yet witty and sufficiently easy to digest. Simon Vance's experienced voice performance also adds that little extra something.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • HA
    9/2/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Excellent"

    Good book well read. wanted the ending to be in keeping with the drama of the rest of the book. still very enjoyable

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oxleygirlie
    7/13/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Totally different to the film"
    Would you listen to The Picture of Dorian Gray again? Why?

    Yes I would. It was a little slow to get going and I found it difficult to recognise the different characters. I had watched the film and was delighted to find the book was far more in depth with a broader aspect


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dorian; he appeared so innocent to start with and it was sad to see what greed, vanity & society did to him


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Excellent and beautifully read


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    No idea?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cristina Schek
    1/8/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A little bit of Wilde goes a long way!"
    Would you listen to The Picture of Dorian Gray again? Why?

    Yes, I would. Because it's so truthful and blunt.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Picture of Dorian Gray?

    “What of Art?
    -It is a malady.
    --Love?
    -An Illusion.
    --Religion?
    -The fashionable substitute for Belief.
    --You are a sceptic.
    -Never! Scepticism is the beginning of Faith.
    --What are you?
    -To define is to limit.”


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    His incredible ability of creating a different voice for each character.


    Any additional comments?

    Oscar Wilde is fabulous, and clever, and impossibly witty. And Oscar Wilde knows it!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • GenKan
    7/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Simply breathtaking"
    What other book might you compare The Picture of Dorian Gray to, and why?

    Great Gatsby since both contain twisted views on love


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

    Fantastic from start to finish, using different voices when the characters speak was flawless. Gave even more depth to the already colorful characters


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Dorian found out the picture changed, the different stages and that his view of how to live his life would be so different from mine.


    Any additional comments?

    One of the best books Ive enjoyed, wished I had read it as a kid. Lots of life tips on how and what shapes shallowness, romance, arrogance and passion can take.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • hfffoman
    Kent
    4/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A contrary view"
    Would you try another book written by Oscar Wilde or narrated by Simon Vance?

    Simon Vance, yes. Oscar Wilde no.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Oscar Wilde again?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Oscar Wilde's writing is renowned for its intelligence and wit. I found it so irritating I couldn't read beyond a couple of chapters.

    The first problem for me was the pompous chatter of pompous people who have never done a day of work. For some reason, it is wonderful to read Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and many others writing about people who fall in the same category, but Oscar Wilde's characters were, for me, dull and annoying.

    An even bigger problem is the famous Oscar Wilde wit. Every few lines we meet a comment which at first glance sounds pithy, witty and wise. After a while I found that most of them were not clever and wise but over-clever, contrived and pretentious

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel D'Wilton
    10/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfectly read, much easy to listen to."

    I have in the past attempted to read this book, however it does so drag on in it's minor details, which stops the reader from enjoying the whole pleasurable tale.
    THIS audiobook on the other hand is well read, so that the minor annoyances can be ignored and the thrilling story can be enjoyed.
    Good beginning, interesting middle, and satisfying finish. I highly recommend.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • CGrant1978
    8/16/10
    Overall
    "Not bad version"

    although a few of the characters aren't brought to life in a truely believable way this is a fairly good recording of Oscar Wilde's great novel. The narration is well paced and the story comes across well.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    11/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "classic narrative."

    a truly brilliant piece of narrative and good for us to hear it in its true form. however it is difficult to settle in to as the way it was written and therefore preformed is the 1800s

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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