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The Picture of Dorian Gray Hardcover – Sep 5 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library; Library edition edition (Sept. 5 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679600019
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679600015
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 12.5 x 18.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #839,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Wilde's only novel contains some of the greatest dialogue of any literature written in the english language. There are few books that could be considered more quotable, and even fewer that could be considered more insightful. The novel is enjoyable even upon a cursory reading, but its splendor is revealed only when it is studied. Wilde reveals so much of himself in his art, and through reading of Wilde's biographies, plays, and the literature that inspired him, the reader becomes intimate with Oscar, and is able to understand him more throughly than most authors would allow from a study of their work. This is a piece I have truly enjoyed, and continues to be one of the premier pieces of English literature.
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By A Customer on Oct. 26 2003
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book on a whim at a local bookstore knowing little to nothing about Oscar Wilde. This story kept me entranced the entire time. I, like Basil, was completely infautated with Dorian Gray from the moment his name was annouced. A beautiful boy completely unspoiled by the darkness in the world. A boy immeressed in the decendance of his times. When Dorian realizes he too must face mortality and it's grip on his beauty he makes a wish to never lose his youth and beauty, to instead let his painting age for him. This the painting does... from the curve of his lips to the look in his eyes. Dorian uses this completely to his advantage and commits selfish and horrible acts all the while hidden under a charming smile and innocent face. A Picture of Dorian Gray is now one of my most favorite books of all time. If only Wilde had written more than one novel!
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Format: Hardcover
The novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde is yet another triumph for this talented author. The dark tale of a young man who unknowingly sells his soul in order to stay forever young is wittily brought across through three main characters, each resembling a different part of Wilde himself.
Dorian, the main character, represents what Wilde himself said he would like to be, yet Dorian also clearly resembles part of Wilde: the part that was once young and innocent before becoming corrupted by the world he lived in.
Henry Wooton, the man responsible for the corruption of Dorian Gray, is the side of Oscar Wilde that the world thought was the true Wilde: carefree and conceited, caring nothing for other people, yet extremely witty. This is also Wilde, as far as the witty and carefree parts go. Only when Henry displays his rare moments of care for other people does this character seem like Wilde.
Basil, the man who paints the infamous picture of Dorian, is the character who Wilde found himself to be the most like. Quiet and withdrawn, Basil is a caring man with a good consience who completely adores Dorian. Out of the entire novel, Basil is one of the few truly good people.
This novel does, however, have it's shortcomings. Lord Henry Wooton's wife is introduced in a scene and given an extremely interesting description. She is a nervous woman who laughs often and also displays the wit that Wilde was so famous for. This description, however, makes one think that she will be extremely important later, when in truth, she never shows up again (though she is mentioned once by Henry). There is also a chapter that delves a little too deeply into the obsessions that Dorian went through, going into long run-on sentances and too-long descriptions.
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Format: Hardcover
When Wilde landed in America in 1882 for a lecture tour, he was asked if he had anything to declare. He responded, "Only my genius." Okay now, an attitude like that didn't exactly make me want to read any of his works for a long time. Finally, I decided to try The Picture of Dorian Grey, and I found that it really was a work of genius.
The novel is the story of Dorian Grey who at the beginning of the novel has his portrait painted by Basil Hallward. The picture turns out to be remarkable, and Grey becomes jealous because the picture will remain young and beautiful while he will age. He expresses a wish that the picture would age instead of himself. To his delight, his wish becomes true, and believing himself to be immortal, he embarks on a path of of hedonism. He always searches for pleasure above happiness, and above all things he loves beauty. Along the way, the portrait chronicles the total moral decay of Dorian Grey.
The are a lot of interpretations to this novel. My favorite is to read it as a moral tale warning of the consequences of leading a life of hedonism. It could almost be read as "The Picture of Oscar Wilde" as he seems to be criticizing his own lifestyle. This is probably also the most ironic reading of it since Wilde continued after the novel to preach aestheticism. But anyway, taken within itself, the novel is marvelous. The prose is well-polished. The pacing is elegant and the plot is always interesting. The points is makes are important. The Picture of Dorian Grey deserves its classic status, and Oscar Wilde actually was a bit of a genius.
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