Enjoy this title right now, plus millions more, with a free trial

Only $9.99/month after trial. Cancel anytime.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Read preview

The Picture of Dorian Gray

ratings:
4/5 (7,435 ratings)
Length:
213 pages
2 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Apr 10, 2015
ISBN:
9786155565069
Format:
Book

Description

"It is your best work, Basil, the best thing you have ever done," said Lord Henry, languidly. "You must certainly send it next year to the Grosvenor. The Academy is too large and too vulgar. The Grosvenor is the only place."


"I don't think I will send it anywhere," he answered, tossing his head back in that odd way that used to make his friends laugh at him at Oxford. "No: I won't send it anywhere."


Lord Henry elevated his eyebrows, and looked at him in amazement through the thin blue wreaths of smoke that curled up in such fanciful whorls from his heavy opium-tainted cigarette. "Not send it anywhere? My dear fellow, why? Have you any reason? What odd chaps you painters are! You do anything in the world to gain a reputation. As soon as you have one, you seem to want to throw it away. It is silly of you, for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. A portrait like this would set you far above all the young men in England, and make the old men quite jealous, if old men are ever capable of any emotion."


"I know you will laugh at me," he replied, "but I really can't exhibit it. I have put too much of myself into it."
Lord Henry stretched his long legs out on the divan and shook with laughter.
"Yes, I knew you would laugh; but it is quite true, all the same."


"Too much of yourself in it! Upon my word, Basil, I didn't know you were so vain; and I really can't see any resemblance between you, with your rugged strong face and your coal-black hair, and this young Adonis, who looks as if he was made of ivory and rose-leaves. Why, my dear Basil, he is a Narcissus, and you--well, of course you have an intellectual expression, and all that.


But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself an exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face. The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid. Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions. How perfectly hideous they are! Except, of course, in the Church. But then in the Church they don't think. A bishop keeps on saying at the age of eighty what he was told to say when he was a boy of eighteen, and consequently he always looks absolutely delightful. Your mysterious young friend, whose name you have never told me, but whose picture really fascinates me, never thinks. I feel quite sure of that. He is a brainless, beautiful thing, who should be always here in winter when we have no flowers to look at, and always here in summer when we want something to chill our intelligence. Don't flatter yourself, Basil: you are not in the least like him."

Publisher:
Released:
Apr 10, 2015
ISBN:
9786155565069
Format:
Book

About the author

Murat Ukray, aynı zamanda yayıncılık da yapan yazar, 1976 yılında İstanbul'da doğdu. Üniversite'de Elektronik Mühendisliği okuduktan sonra, Yazarlık ve Yayıncılık hayatına atıldı. Yayınlanmış -16- kitabı vardır. Çöl Gezegen, Yazarın 16. Kitabıdır.Yazarın yayınlanmış diğer Kitapları:1- Kıyamet Gerçekliği (Kurgu Roman) (2006)2- Birleşik Alan Teorisi (Teori - Fizik & Matematik) (2007)3- İsevilik İşaretleri (Araştırma) (2008)4- Yaratılış Gerçekliği- 2 Cilt (Biyokimya Atlası)(2009)5- Aşk-ı Mesnevi (Kurgu Roman) (2010)6- Zamanın Sahipleri (Deneme) (2011)7- Hanımlar Rehberi (İlmihal) (2012)8- Eskilerin Masalları (Araştırma) (2013)9- Ruyet-ul Gayb (Haberci Rüyalar) (Deneme) (2014)10- Sonsuzluğun Sonsuzluğu (114 Kod) (Teori & Deneme) (2015)11- Kanon (Kutsal Kitapların Yeni Bir Yorumu) (Teori & Araştırma) (2016)12- Küçük Elisa (Zaman Yolcusu) (Çocuk Kitabı) (2017)13- Tanrı'nın Işıkları (Çölde Başlayan Hikaye) (Bilim-Kurgu Roman) (2018)14- Son Kehanet- 2 Cilt (Bilim-Kurgu Roman) (2019)15- Medusa'nın Sırrı (Bilim-Kurgu Roman) (2020)16- Çöl Gezegen (Bilim-Kurgu Roman) (2021)


Related to The Picture of Dorian Gray

Read More From Murat Ukray

Related Books

Related Articles

Book Preview

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Murat Ukray

Contents

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Chapter XIII

Chapter I

The studio was filled with the rich odor of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.

From the corner of the divan of Persian saddle-bags on which he was lying, smoking, as usual, innumerable cigarettes, Lord Henry Wotton could just catch the gleam of the honey-sweet and honey-colored blossoms of the laburnum, whose tremulous branches seemed hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so flame-like as theirs; and now and then the fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitted across the long tussore-silk curtains that were stretched in front of the huge window, producing a kind of momentary Japanese effect, and making him think of those pallid jade-faced painters who, in an art that is necessarily immobile, seek to convey the sense of swiftness and motion. The sullen murmur of the bees shouldering their way through the long unmown grass, or circling with monotonous insistence round the black-crocketed spires of the early June hollyhocks, seemed to make the stillness more oppressive, and the dim roar of London was like the bourdon note of a distant organ.

In the centre of the room, clamped to an upright easel, stood the full-length portrait of a young man of extraordinary personal beauty, and in front of it, some little distance away, was sitting the artist himself, Basil Hallward, whose sudden disappearance some years ago caused, at the time, such public excitement, and gave rise to so many strange conjectures.

As he looked at the gracious and comely form he had so skilfully mirrored in his art, a smile of pleasure passed across his face, and seemed about to linger there. But he suddenly started up, and, closing his eyes, placed his fingers upon the lids, as though he sought to imprison within his brain some curious dream from which he feared he might awake.

It is your best work, Basil, the best thing you have ever done, said Lord Henry, languidly. You must certainly send it next year to the Grosvenor. The Academy is too large and too vulgar. The Grosvenor is the only place.

I don't think I will send it anywhere, he answered, tossing his head back in that odd way that used to make his friends laugh at him at Oxford. No: I won't send it anywhere.

Lord Henry elevated his eyebrows, and looked at him in amazement through the thin blue wreaths of smoke that curled up in such fanciful whorls from his heavy opium-tainted cigarette. Not send it anywhere? My dear fellow, why? Have you any reason? What odd chaps you painters are! You do anything in the world to gain a reputation. As soon as you have one, you seem to want to throw it away. It is silly of you, for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about. A portrait like this would set you far above all the young men in England, and make the old men quite jealous, if old men are ever capable of any emotion.

I know you will laugh at me, he replied, but I really can't exhibit it. I have put too much of myself into it.

Lord Henry stretched his long legs out on the divan and shook with laughter.

Yes, I knew you would laugh; but it is quite true, all the same.

Too much of yourself in it! Upon my word, Basil, I didn't know you were so vain; and I really can't see any resemblance between you, with your rugged strong face and your coal-black hair, and this young Adonis, who looks as if he was made of ivory and rose-leaves. Why, my dear Basil, he is a Narcissus, and you--well, of course you have an intellectual expression, and all that. But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself an exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face. The moment one sits down to think, one becomes all nose, or all forehead, or something horrid. Look at the successful men in any of the learned professions. How perfectly hideous they are! Except, of course, in the Church. But then in the Church they don't think. A bishop keeps on saying at the age of eighty what he was told to say when he was a boy of eighteen, and consequently he always looks absolutely delightful. Your mysterious young friend, whose name you have never told me, but whose picture really fascinates me, never thinks. I feel quite sure of that. He is a brainless, beautiful thing, who should be always here in winter when we have no flowers to look at, and always here in summer when we want something to chill our intelligence. Don't flatter yourself, Basil: you are not in the least like him.

You don't understand me, Harry. Of course I am not like him. I know that perfectly well. Indeed, I should be sorry to look like him. You shrug your shoulders? I am telling you the truth. There is a fatality about all physical and intellectual distinction, the sort of fatality that seems to dog through history the faltering steps of kings. It is better not to be different from one's fellows. The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit quietly and gape at the play. If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat. They live as we all should live, undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet. They neither bring ruin upon others nor ever receive it from alien hands. Your rank and wealth, Harry; my brains, such as they are,--my fame, whatever it may be worth; Dorian Gray's good looks,--we will all suffer for what the gods have given us, suffer terribly.

Dorian Gray? is that his name? said Lord Henry, walking across the studio towards Basil Hallward.

Yes; that is his name. I didn't intend to tell it to you.

But why not?

Oh, I can't explain. When I like people immensely I never tell their names to any one. It seems like surrendering a part of them. You know how I love secrecy. It is the only thing that can make modern life wonderful or mysterious to us. The commonest thing is delightful if one only hides it. When I leave town I never tell my people where I am going. If I did, I would lose all my pleasure. It is a silly habit, I dare say, but somehow it seems to bring a great deal of romance into one's life. I suppose you think me awfully foolish about it?

Not at all, answered Lord Henry, laying his hand upon his shoulder; not at all, my dear Basil. You seem to forget that I am married, and the one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception necessary for both parties. I never know where my wife is, and my wife never knows what I am doing. When we meet,--we do meet occasionally, when we dine out together, or go down to the duke's,--we tell each other the most absurd stories with the most serious faces. My wife is very good at it,--much better, in fact, than I am. She never gets confused over her dates, and I always do. But when she does find me out, she makes no row at all. I sometimes wish she would; but she merely laughs at me.

I hate the way you talk about your married life, Harry, said Basil Hallward, shaking his hand off, and strolling towards the door that led into the garden. I believe that you are really a very good husband, but that you are thoroughly ashamed of your own virtues. You are an extraordinary fellow. You never say a moral thing, and you never do a wrong thing. Your cynicism is simply a pose.

Being natural is simply a pose, and the most irritating pose I know, cried Lord Henry, laughing; and the two young men went out into the garden together, and for a time they did not speak.

After a long pause Lord Henry pulled out his watch. I am afraid I must be going, Basil, he murmured, and before I go I insist on your answering a question I put to you some time ago.

What is that? asked Basil Hallward, keeping his eyes fixed on the ground.

You know quite well.

I do not, Harry.

Well, I will tell you what it is.

Please don't.

I must. I want you to explain to me why you won't exhibit Dorian Gray's picture. I want the real reason.

I told you the real reason.

No, you did not. You said it was because there was too much of yourself in it. Now, that is childish.

Harry, said Basil Hallward, looking him straight in the face, every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the colored canvas, reveals himself. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown with it the secret of my own soul.

Lord Harry laughed. And what is that? he asked.

I will tell you, said Hallward; and an expression of perplexity came over his face.

I am all expectation, Basil, murmured his companion, looking at him.

Oh, there is really very little to tell, Harry, answered the young painter; and I am afraid you will hardly understand it. Perhaps you will hardly believe it.

Lord Henry smiled, and, leaning down, plucked a pink-petalled daisy from the grass, and examined it. I am quite sure I shall understand it, he replied, gazing intently at the little golden white-feathered disk, and I can believe anything, provided that it is incredible.

The wind shook some blossoms from the trees, and the heavy lilac blooms, with their clustering stars, moved to and fro in the languid air. A grasshopper began to chirrup in the grass, and a long thin dragon-fly floated by on its brown gauze wings. Lord Henry felt as if he could hear Basil Hallward's heart beating, and he wondered what was coming.

Well, this is incredible, repeated Hallward, rather bitterly,--incredible to me at times. I don't know what it means. The story is simply this. Two months ago I went to a crush at Lady Brandon's. You know we poor painters have to show ourselves in society from time to time, just to remind the public that we are not savages. With an evening coat and a white tie, as you told me once, anybody, even a stock-broker, can gain a reputation for being civilized. Well, after I had been in the room about ten minutes, talking to huge overdressed dowagers and tedious Academicians, I suddenly became conscious that some one was looking at me. I turned half-way round, and saw Dorian Gray for the first time. When our eyes met, I felt that I was growing pale. A curious instinct of terror came over me. I knew that I had come face to face with some one whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself. I did not want any external influence in my life. You know yourself, Harry, how independent I am by nature. My father destined me for the army. I insisted on going to Oxford. Then he made me enter my name at the Middle Temple. Before I had eaten half a dozen dinners I gave up the Bar, and announced my intention of becoming a painter. I have always been my own master; had at least always been so, till I met Dorian Gray. Then--But I don't know how to explain it to you. Something seemed to tell me that I was on the verge of a terrible crisis in my life. I had a strange feeling that Fate had in store for me exquisite joys and exquisite sorrows. I knew that if I spoke to Dorian I would become absolutely devoted to him, and that I ought not to speak to him. I grew afraid, and turned to quit the room. It was not conscience that made me do so: it was cowardice. I take no credit to myself for trying to escape.

Conscience and cowardice are really the same things, Basil. Conscience is the trade-name of the firm. That is all.

I don't believe that, Harry. However, whatever was my motive,--and it may have been pride, for I used to be very proud,--I certainly struggled to the door. There, of course, I stumbled against Lady Brandon. 'You are not going to run away so soon, Mr. Hallward?' she screamed out. You know her shrill horrid voice?

Yes; she is a peacock in everything but beauty, said Lord Henry, pulling the daisy to bits with his long, nervous fingers.

I could not get rid of her. She brought me up to Royalties, and people with Stars and Garters, and elderly ladies with gigantic tiaras and hooked noses. She spoke of me as her dearest friend. I had only met her once before, but she took it into her head to lionize me. I believe some picture of mine had made a great success at the time, at least had been chattered about in the penny newspapers, which is the nineteenth-century standard of immortality. Suddenly I found myself face to face with the young man whose personality had so strangely stirred me. We were quite close, almost touching. Our eyes met again. It was mad of me, but I asked Lady Brandon to introduce me to him. Perhaps it was not so mad, after all. It was simply inevitable. We would have spoken to each other without any introduction. I am sure of that. Dorian told me so afterwards. He, too, felt that we were destined to know each other.

And how did Lady Brandon describe this wonderful young man? I know she goes in for giving a rapid précis of all her guests. I remember her bringing me up to a most truculent and red-faced old gentleman covered all over with orders and ribbons, and hissing into my ear, in a tragic whisper which must have been perfectly audible to everybody in the room, something like 'Sir Humpty Dumpty--you know--Afghan frontier--Russian intrigues: very successful man--wife killed by an elephant--quite inconsolable--wants to marry a beautiful American widow--everybody does nowadays--hates Mr. Gladstone--but very much interested in beetles: ask him what he thinks of Schouvaloff.' I simply fled. I like to find out people for myself. But poor Lady Brandon treats her guests exactly as an auctioneer treats his goods. She either explains them entirely away, or tells one everything about them except what one wants to know. But what did she say about Mr. Dorian Gray?

Oh, she murmured, 'Charming boy--poor dear mother and I quite inseparable--engaged to be married to the same man--I mean married on the same day--how very silly of me! Quite forget what he does--afraid he--doesn't do anything--oh, yes, plays the piano--or is it the violin, dear Mr. Gray?' We could neither of us help laughing, and we became friends at once.

Laughter is not a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is the best ending for one, said Lord Henry, plucking another daisy.

Hallward buried his face in his hands. You don't understand what friendship is, Harry, he murmured,--or what enmity is, for that matter. You like every one; that is to say, you are indifferent to every one.

How horribly unjust of you! cried Lord Henry, tilting his hat back, and looking up at the little

You've reached the end of this preview. Sign up to read more!
Page 1 of 1

Reviews

What people think about The Picture of Dorian Gray

4.0
7435 ratings / 265 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (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)
    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)
    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.
  • (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.
  • (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...!
  • (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.
  • (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*
  • (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.
  • (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)
    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.
  • (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)
    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)
    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.
  • (3/5)
    Prachtige sfeerschepping, sterk thrillerachtig, vol spitse oneliners en cynische filosofietjes.
  • (5/5)
    Amazing read!
  • (5/5)
    It's a classic for a reason - good book. This is my first introduction to Oscar Wilde, but I have many more on the reading list, plus biographies, which I'm looking forward to!
  • (3/5)
    A very interesting tale of man, sin, and soul. Very thought provoking and highly thematic and philosophical. However, I believe it is a bit overdone at times and suffers from boring diatribes and tirades. Nevertheless, a good example of highfalutin and verbose use of the English language.
  • (5/5)
    Cool book. I recently read Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, which makes a nice companion piece to this since they're sortof about the same thing. Dorian Gray was published in 1890, Jekyll & Hyde in 1886; Wilde's apparently on record as admiring Jekyll & Hyde.

    I think Wilde's lack of experience writing novels shows sometimes. James Vane is introduced so clumsily that it's instantly clear that Sibyl will come to an unfortunate end and James will take revenge. There's no other reason for his character to exist, right? "If he ever does you any wrong, I shall kill him." Not brilliantly subtle.

    Jekyll & Hyde, by contrast, is a tidy little package by a master storyteller. But it doesn't reach for the same heights that Dorian Gray does. Wilde's not always successful, but I think he's set his sights higher.

    I'm a little afraid that Wilde thinks Lord Henry is as charming as everyone in the book seems to. From quotes I've read, and from Wilde's preface to this book ("All art is quite useless"), Henry's paradoxical style seems to be an exaggerated version of Wilde's own. The problem is that Henry's a total bore. He's just constructing elaborate nonsense based on a formula. You could probably write a software program to deliver Henry-isms. "I'm tired!" "I tire only of sleeping." "That girl's hot!" "There's nothing so ugly as a pretty girl." Oh, shut up.
  • (5/5)
    I found The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde a complex yet detailed observation of a young man’s character as he exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Although his outward appearance remains fresh, youthful and handsome, inside he is hedonistic, vain and amoral. He is tied to a portrait that was painted of him and while he remains unchanged, the portrait continuously ages and shows the flaws and corruption that have tainted him. The picture grows ever more hideous as the years go by. Tremendously quotable, extremely witty, Oscar Wilde’s prose is a joy to read. As he explores the nature of sin and the amorality of mankind, phrases run tripping off the tongue and although the subject matter was quite horrible, his words are almost musical. I read this book through installments from Daily Lit and I am glad that I have finally read it and can now understand why Oscar Wilde is rated so highly, although I certainly didn’t always agree on some of the things he wrote about women but I expect that is more to do with the times he lived in rather than his sexuality. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a sad and haunting tale that presents the idea that there is no sinning without consequence. This fable about the human condition encourages it’s readers to contemplate their own spirituality giving this book both a timeless quality and ensures it's place as a classic.