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The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Written by Oscar Wilde and Paul Edwards

Narrated by Steve Juergens and Full Cast


The Picture of Dorian Gray

Written by Oscar Wilde and Paul Edwards

Narrated by Steve Juergens and Full Cast

ratings:
4/5 (223 ratings)
Length:
1 hour
Released:
Apr 15, 2009
ISBN:
9781580815642
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

A full cast dramatization of one of the great classics of contemporary Western literature. Dorian Gray, an effete young gentleman, is the subject of a striking portrait by the artist Basil Hallward. Gray’s narcissism is awakened, and he embraces a lifestyle of hedonism and casual cruelties. Increasingly consumed by his own vanity, he is forced to confront his true inner-self, in a manner that is as shocking as it is terrifying.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Steve Juergens, Jim Ortlieb, Colleen Crimmins, Roger Mueller, Thomas Carroll, Paulin Brailsford, Rush Pearson and Martin Duffy.
Released:
Apr 15, 2009
ISBN:
9781580815642
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was born on the 16th October 1854 and died on the 30th November 1900. He was an Irish playwright, poet, and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, he became one of the most successful playwrights of the late Victorian era in London, and one of the greatest celebrities of his day. Several of his plays continue to be widely performed, especially The Importance of Being Earnest.

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Reviews

What people think about The Picture of Dorian Gray

3.9
223 ratings / 288 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    I was really surprised by this book. It was better than I thought it would be I really enjoyed it.
  • (4/5)
    People get older and lose their looks. Don't whine about it. Moral of the story.
  • (5/5)
    Great story about some despicable and jaded people.
  • (5/5)
    This is one of the most powerful books I have ever read. I wish I had read it long ago- I was really missing out. The writing is absolutely beautiful and drew me into the book right from the first page. The story is fascinating, the characters are complex and the plot unfolds perfectly. What I liked most was that I didn't find the book predictable. I really did not see the ending coming and was surprised at every change Dorian went through. I went from loving Dorian to hating him to not being sure how to feel about him. He was quite a nasty character at times but also fascinating. The book came together nicely in the end and overall it was just wonderful.

    For more of my reviews and recommendations, visit my blog: here
  • (5/5)
    Oscar Wilde turns his hand to the gothic horror tale and it's brilliant.
  • (3/5)
    This is a great book. I did not find it tedious or boring at all. It's a great read!
  • (5/5)
    I know this book was a little controversial but I still thought it was a great read. didnt get the whole controversy about it though.
  • (4/5)
    A brilliantly written novel enclosing important life lessons. A bit dragged out towards the end though.
  • (4/5)
    exellent timeless classic...!
  • (5/5)
    A fascinating study of beauty gone evil.
  • (4/5)
    I think Oscar Wilde was a genius, but some of his passages were too weighty for me.
  • (3/5)
    It was based on an interesting premise: A man makes a wish that he will remain as young and beautiful as a painting of himself at age 20. The wish comes true and the painting ages and worse, shows the sins of the man over time. The story is about the effect on Dorian Gray and his soul.The writing was beautiful, poetic at times. I listened to it on CD, and I think the entire disk 4 (or maybe 3) was basically a poetic narrative of Dorian's life from age 20 to 38. I got lost and my mind drifted because there were no scenes. It was way too much summary in my opinion. Of course, the book was written in the late 1800s, so it was probably appropriate for the times. But my biggest issue was the characters. I have a difficult time loving books if I can't identify or at least root for a character. And there was nothing to like about Dorian. He was a rich, vain man who did nothing but take advantage of his looks. Getting into his deluded mind was very creepy, especially when he killed (won't say who) someone with no remorse. At the end, I thought he might redeem himself as his began to realize how terrible his sins were. But even then, he made excuses and continued to act selfishly. And I didn't like his friend, Sir Henry much better.
  • (4/5)
    I knew I would love this book, and love it I did.

    You probably know the story, or you know bits of it. But actually reading it is a different experience. It's everything you expect of Wilde: witty. dry. philosophical. hilarious.

    The humour meets the dark undertones of sin well, and it makes the story feel full and complete. It's always interesting, although the pages when it goes on with philosophy can be tough to read at times (although usually ultimately humourous, as the characters are all idiots).

    All in all, it's a great read. I have nothing bad to say here.
  • (4/5)
    A cigarette is the perfect type of a perfect pleasure. It is exquisite, and it leaves one unsatisfied. What more can one want?

    Most people assume we on Goodreads have read everything. It was a shock to many that I had never read Baudelaire until last week. It was a similar disclosure which saw me read this novel for the first time.

    This is a bitchy book. My brain afforded the late George Sanders the vocal delivery. Yes, I know he was in a film adaptation, but this sordid sophisticate morality tale demands such. His own end illuminates the pages.

    So why should we return to (or discover) this splendid tale, the twist of which has become a cultural landmark? We learn about beauty and privilege. We learn about the weight of ennui and other French decadence. There is sodomy, opium, and suicide. Perhaps I will open a beer and ponder how Youth bolted out the back door.
  • (3/5)
    A fantastic plot buried under too many words (mostly coming from the mouth of Lord Henry). It would have made a gripping and terrifying novella or short story. To alter an accusation from Dorian and turn it back on Wilde, "You would sacrifice any reader, Oscar, for the sake of an epigram."
  • (3/5)
    I have read this book 3 times. Every time I swear that I didn't read it - I just remember the synopsis - and then I get halfway through and realize I'm rereading it.
  • (5/5)
    Waited a long time to read this book. Glad I did.
  • (4/5)
    There's something in nineteenth-century British literature that I am drawn to—there is a certain musicality or lyricism to it that I love, despite its inspirations often being delusional, fantastical and at times even fetishistic. So it is of little surprise that I found The Picture of Dorian Gray a sweeping read, and one that I had little dissatisfactions with, stylistically.When painter Basil Hallward first sets his eyes upon Dorian Gray, he is a young, captivating soul of speechless beauty. Combined with his social standing, his allure sets his name aflame across countless of social spheres within England. The story begins when Basil makes Dorian his muse, and asks him to sit for a portrait that, little do they both know, will become much more than the painter's magnum opus. Lord Henry, a wealthy friend of Basil, quickly enters the scene, instilling in the Adonis a roaring, dizzying passion for life: “the few words that Basil’s friend had said to him…had touched some secret chord that had never been touched before, but that he felt now was vibrating and throbbing to curious pulses” (21). It is the whimsical, at times paradoxical musings of Lord Henry that transform Dorian Gray, whose adoration for his own portrait become the root of the story’s unfoldment.This was my first proper exposure to Wilde’s work, and it surely was a pleasant experience. I do not know the reason as to why this was his only novel, but it certainly encapsulates his interest in the Aesthetic Movement (“Art for Art’s Sake”). Filled with a rather spiritualistic love for art, humor, and thrill it makes for a lovely (and easy) read, though it lacks the depth, the grittiness, that I was looking for. But this may very well be as a consequence of its loyalty to the values of Wilde’s movement, where art existed free of social, moral and even logical obligations. This novel lacks substance or a core, but ultimately our own conclusions, our own thoughts emerge out of it to appease our own sense of what good literature should be.
  • (5/5)
    I never really wanted to read any Oscar Wilde books; they just didn't interest me. But while I was learning to use CeltX script software, "The Importance of Being Earnest" was included as a free example text. I was hooked immediately.Several plays later, I finally pick up "The Picture of Dorian Gray". It has fast become one of my favorite novels of all time.With each of the characters playing to an extreme of Wilde's personality, rather than getting a picture of Dorian Gray, you get a picture of Wilde's life. And what a rich life it was. Of course, I've been mildly infatuated with the Regency/Victorian since I read "Pride and Prejudice", but Dorian Gray succesfully turned that infatuation into what one might call an obsession.Between the vivid and beautiful prose, the witty dialogue and character relationships, and the compellingly simple story itself, I couldn't put this book down. It's a great read even if you don't like Victorian lit or history--a great read even if you're not a fan of Oscar Wilde--and a great read even if you don't like history. And, of course, if you like any or all of thsoe things, it's an *awesome* read.I recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
  • (4/5)
    I was kind of underwhelmed by this one. Some interesting ideas were brought up, but the story itself wasn't as riveting as I thought it would be.
  • (3/5)
    Not anywhere near as entrancing as the first time I read it - but that's likely due to me aging a decade. Initially, I found Wilde's witticisms (mainly via Lord Henry) thought-provoking and... sparkly:"The reason we all like to think so well of others is that we are all afraid for ourselves. The basis of optimism is sheer terror."This time 'round, they veered more toward shit-stirring, sound-bite nonsense (intentionally? Lord Henry exists to suggest corruption and watch the show). But so long as you don't view it through the lenses of a purely self-indulgent fuck, I agree AMEN:"To be good is to be in harmony with one's self. Discord is to be forced to be in harmony with others. One's own life - that is the important thing. As for the lives of one's neighbors, if one wished to be a prig or a Puritan, one can flaunt one's moral views about them, but they are not one's concern. Besides, Individualism has really the higher aim. Modern morality consists in accepting the standard of one's age. I consider that for any man of culture to accept the standard of his age is a form of the grossest immorality."And it still managed to resonate, albeit less so (which probably means I'm less of an asshole than I was, or just more aware of fellow life):"All ways end at the same point - disillusion."*reread*
  • (3/5)
    I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would. I liked the aging picture thing. Everyone always says that this book has a theme of homosexuality, but I just didn't see it. Perhaps I will re-read it. But ironically it does remind me of being gay, but because of personal things happening at the time with friends rather than what is actually in the book, so you'd think I would have seen it.
  • (5/5)
    Another one I hadn't read since the '70s, and I wondered whether it might have aged badly, but no, like the picture itself, this is one book that has stayed as fresh and young as when it was created.

    Wilde's way with an aphorism is brilliant, and not just Dorian, but Sir Henry Wooton in particular are fully rounded characters, and perfect foils for Wilde's wit and almost casual brilliance.

    I wondered whether the movie representations would change the book for me, but all they have done is remind me how little of Wilde's inimitable style has ever transferred to the big screen.

    Beautifully written, sharp and incisive and strangely grotesque in places, I was immersed for the duration. A true classic.
  • (4/5)
    As the novel opens, artist Basil Hallward is painting a portrait of an extraordinarily handsome young man, Dorian Gray. In a conversation with his friend, Lord Henry Wotton, Hallward tells him that he believes the portrait is the best work he’s ever done. Lord Henry arranges to meet Dorian and he soon gains influence over the impressionable young man. The finished portrait is remarkable, and Dorian unthinkingly expresses a desire that the portrait would age while he maintained the beauty of youth. Lord Henry encourages Dorian to hedonistic excess. To Dorian’s horror, his portrait becomes uglier as Dorian’s character becomes more and more corrupt. It’s as if the portrait reveals the true state of Dorian’s soul. Although I haven’t seen the academy award-winning film version of this book, I have a feeling that I’d probably like it better than the book. Wilde doesn’t leave enough to the imagination, and much of the horror in the story is diluted by wordiness.
  • (5/5)
    There's a lot going on here for such a slender book, but I should expect nothing less from Oscar Wilde. It reads a little clunky at the beginning, it's just wit-wit-wit and since it's almost all coming from one character in large paragraphs, it doesn't move as smoothly as one of Wilde's plays. Those sections set the tone for the rest of the book, though. Without them, you wouldn't understand Lord Henry, and without that knowledge the book would be very hard to parse indeed. Although it's a character study of Dorian Gray, or a character drama or something like that, Lord Henry is the inciting incident, the fulcrum of the action, and the most complex character. People are constantly insisting "Oh, you don't believe that awful thing you just said," and he doesn't, but that makes him all the worse. Dorian tells him late in the book, "You would sacrifice anybody, Harry, for the sake of an epigram," and that's the horrible truth of him. I wish we'd had some insight into his opinion of his artwork, aka Dorian Gray's twisted nature, after it was finished, but I suppose we don't really need it, and that might have explained things away too much.Dorian is interesting too, though. The gradual development of his character is really masterful, done partly in implications and partly with stated facts. His self-delusion -- acting as if he's the one who's been wronged when a girl commits suicide because of him, and only deepening in the climax -- is perfectly believable. This is a book that would stand repeated readings and analysis to tease out the different threads and their implications, and I won't try to do that here. I must say, though, I'm quite blown away by how the "picture of Dorian Gray" idea seems like such an archetype now, when it's only famous because of this book. I mean to say, the idea of a man staying young while his picture grows old seems like such a mythical, omnipresent idea, like the idea of a vampire or a werewolf, but it wasn't before this. Having now read the book, I'd say the impact is well-deserved, and reading the book is valuable because of how many themes it involves that other books may not be willing to address. A lot of books shy away from depicting realistic selfishness, but this one doesn't.
  • (2/5)
    I never connected with this novel. Probably because I just read "The Importance of Being Earnest," from the very beginning, Lord Henry's aphoristic pronouncements felt forced. In a humorous play they make sense, but here they are awkward and out of place. I don't think the characters or story ever became fully authentic; in the worst parts, they just became abstractions.
  • (4/5)
    I was kind of underwhelmed by this one. Some interesting ideas were brought up, but the story itself wasn't as riveting as I thought it would be.
  • (4/5)
    Loved it. Consistently interesting, though a few of the speeches dragged on as did a few of Wilde's "detailing paragraphs." Though I may not have agreed with everything that was said, overall it was very good, and Wilde is a beautiful writer.
  • (3/5)
    I'm glad I finally got around to reading this classic and I'm a little upset that I didn't like it more. I knew the gist of the plot before I read it because of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman (nerd alert) and because it exists everywhere in pop culture. But I was still completely taken aback by how much I disliked the character of Dorian Gray. He was such a vain, pompous, scumbag that could do no wrong. It does beg the question though, would he have turned out the way he had, had it not been for the influence of his two friends who unknowingly set him on this path of self-indulgence? As a young man Dorian's friend paints a wonderful portrait of him and Dorian is so saddened that this painting will always look lovely and beautiful while he is destined to grow old and decrepit. He wishes that the burden of his sins and aging would fall upon the painting instead of himself, and lo and behold they do. After every wrong deed and every passing year, the painting becomes more dastardly and evil. His morality is long since gone and he has no care for how his actions ruin those around him. How long can the painting carry the burden of Dorian's indulgent, sinful, and lately, CRIMINAL ways. Fascinating concept, but there is too damn much dialogue in this book. Still glad I got around to reading it though!
  • (3/5)
    Overall I enjoyed The Picture of Dorian Gray, it's witty, funny at times and captures the obsession over youth well. At times though the wit became too much and would cause me to lose focus because it was going on for 3 of 4 pages about one not even really related to the story subject. Chapter 11, where it tells what Dorian is up to for the rest of his 20s and early 30, wtf was that? Complete mess. I just started to skim after a few pages of that chapter. I really did like the plot though, from the picture changing and Dorian justifying everything then eventually not caring because he still looked fresh. I really wanted the sailor to kill him though.