Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

dorian grayWithout doubt one of the most intriguing books I’ve read. I didn’t know very much about this going in to it, for some reason it’s a book that has sort of flown under my radar for a long time.

This is one of the best character studies I’ve read. This is a gothic, psychological look at how vanity can affect a person and how obsessed with material possessions and looks society was (and still is!) It’s a lot darker than I had thought it would be and I was grateful of it.

To summarise the plot; Dorian Gray is a handsome young man who is interested in rather superfluous things – appearance, beauty, image and his youth. Upon getting his portrait painted by a friend, Basil, he expresses a desire that he could remain youthful and the portrait could carry his marks of life, ageing in his place. Well, we can all guess where this goes from there!

I wish that there was more focus on the spiral that this takes and less focus on society and rather pompous dialogue but nonetheless, this was overall a wonderful read.

It is very hard to put this book in to words, just the writing alone is outstanding. Some sentences were, in my opinion, far too long and some was a bit pompous or seemed out of place from the plan plot. But damn, it was just such beautiful imagery and there are some absolutely beautiful passages that I had to read more than once to just appreciate fully. Oscar Wilde was a genius. I can’t even pick a quote as my favourite because there are just so many beautiful passages that I could pick. Instead, check out the Goodreads Quotes Page for this book because you’ll definitely want to read it then!

I thought long and hard while reading this what to rate it. I knew it was amazing, but in the end it’s not a book I’d hurry to reread and some bits I did have to slog through. Ultimately, 4/5

2 thoughts on “Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

  1. Ah Dorian Grayyy!! Without a doubt, it has the best preface to a novel that I have ever read. And I’m kind of a massive fan of flowery, emotive, poetric, metaphotical prose, so it was right up my alley haha!
    Have you seen the film? I watched it first and quite liked it, but it is so, so different from the book! I can’t remember exactly (it’s been too many years and my memory is awful), but I know that they changed some pretty major sub-plot points!

    • No I haven’t seen the film! For some reason this book and the whole story has managed to fly completely under my radar until lately. I guessed there was a film but I do tend to read books first. Would you recommend an older adaptation or the more recent one with Colin Firth? I need some movies to take on holiday with me!

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