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The Picture of Dorian Gray and Three Stories

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4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,575 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
"The Picture of Dorian Gray, " Wilde's only full-length novel, is the enduringly eerie fable of a portrait that ages and decays as its model remains ever young and beautiful. Dorian Gray, a naive and irresistible young man, is lured by decadent Lord Henry Wotton into a life of depravity. Dorian becomes steeped in sin, but his face remains perfect, unlined - while only his ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 1st 1995 by Signet Classics
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(showing 1-30 of 2,684)
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Mendi
May 28, 2013 Mendi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favourite book of all time.
It is so wonderfully written, that I feel the need to underline sentences on nearly every page. And not only is the style of the writing amazing: the story itself is marvelous. To be forever young and beautiful has been a dream of many a man. Oscar Wilde made a story out of it that truly holds all genres in one. Furthermore, you can't help but to feel that you actually know the characters. Dorian Gray, whose change you can feel along with him inside you, Lo
...more
Jordan
May 05, 2013 Jordan rated it it was amazing
-On The Picture of Dorian Gray:

Dear Professors and Instructors who have thus far withheld this classic from my literary education: you are all bastards. This book embodies all that I love about literature and language.

Dorian Gray is an angelic youth in Victorian London, who captivates Basil Hallward and Lord Henry Wotton with his fine looks and overall innocence. A portrait by Basil is commissioned, and Dorian absently wishes he could preserve the portrait's beauty in himself.

His wish comes t
...more
Johnny Waco
An entertaining marriage of the gothic and the decadent, two genres that often overlapped, just never before with quite so many witticisms. Wilde's prose is deliriously easy to read, skating along on a shiny surface of rapid-fire exchanges and facile summaries of the fin-de-siècle worldview, but there are certainly some intriguing things going on beneath that surface. The link between outer beauty and inner beauty, so beloved by the Renaissance, is reexamined but not necessarily disproven, just ...more
Michele Lee
Aug 30, 2015 Michele Lee rated it it was ok
Review by Jason Lush

One hundred and ninety pages of political masturbation disguised as a supernatural suspense story. Of the three main characters we have; Dorian Gray, who is a brainless puppet the personifies vanity; Basil Hallward, the artist who painted the fabled portrait and represents the sorrowful conscience; and Lord Henry Wolton, who is the quintessential 19th Century fop whose sole purpose in the book is to act as Wilde's voice on politics, religion and homosexuality and as a driving
...more
D
Aug 18, 2009 D rated it really liked it
I've always loved the plays and short fiction of Oscar Wilde, but for whatever reason I've never been able to finish this book. I guess it's one of those books you just have to be ready to read. I always knew once I got through the book I would love it, and I can now safely say I was right. I have to admit I was bored out of my mind for maybe two chapters, mainly as all 9000 of Dorian's hobbies were being described. Aside from those few and far between moments i found the book charming. I just l ...more
The Writing Reader
My Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)

I was excited to read this book, having already spent enough time on Goodreads reading quotes one could easily write an essay on.

However, DNF at 30%. I fell asleep one too many times listening to these characters say stupid shit that sounds smart.

There aren’t many women in this book, with the exception of actress Sybil Vane (who is an overly exaggerated beautiful fool). The men are annoying. It’s the victorian era version of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert in terms
...more
Cattie
May 12, 2015 Cattie rated it really liked it
I have been a fan of Oscar Wilde for a while now and when I saw this edition at the used bookstore in my town, I knew I needed to have it.

This book contains Wilde's only novel "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and three short stories:
the tales "The Happy Prince" and "The birthday of the Infanta"
as well as "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime".

Only Lord Arthur was unknown to me and I read it on one evening.
It tells the story of Lord Arthur, who is told by a fortune teller, that he has blood on his hands. Savil
...more
Emily Dones
Feb 01, 2016 Emily Dones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finished reading The Picture of Dorian Gray.
I must say this is an incredible novel.
Throughout it you can see how a simple statement can change somebody and how much influence people have on one another.
We see Dorian turn from a beautiful young boy to selfish man. It all begings with Lord Henry at first I loathed him for staining or corrupting Dorian with his philosophy of
" Nothing can cure the soul but the senses". And since then Dorian is in search of new sensations using his looks to get them
...more
Si
Sep 15, 2011 Si rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2012, count
In my third attempt, I finally completed reading the Picture of Dorian Gray, the only novel of Oscar Wilde, the Lord of Paradox. First two attempts failed at beginning chapters where Lord Henry obsessively enjoys his colloquial persuasions accompanied by endless arrogance and self-contradictions, bearing all the signatures of our always controversial author. Without reading a synopsis beforehand, I became bored rather quickly. This time, I have sufficient time to wait for the drama to jump in ar ...more
Brenda Cregor
Jan 30, 2010 Brenda Cregor rated it really liked it
Wilde's brilliant wit is even apparent in this dark tale of self-indulgence and moral decay, though one has to look for it amongst the lies and empty lives of the characters.
If Wilde was trying to defend and uphold an individual's right to give in to their darkest deepest passions, he accomplished his goal. However, if he ever had the intention of making the audience of this masterpiece believe this hedonistic lifestyle is uplifting, exalting, and has the power to make a person's existence repl
...more
Thing Two
Nov 02, 2014 Thing Two rated it really liked it
Recommended to Thing Two by: Book Club
“Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital.” ~ Oscar Wilde

In 1890, Oscar Wilde published the first chapters of what would be his only book in "Lippincott's Monthly Magazine" about a man at the pinnacle of his youth who meets two older men - one who paints his portrait, and the other who corrupts his soul.

Dorian Gray sits for portrait artist Basil Hallword in the opening scenes of this story, and the painter captures Dorian's perfection - beauty, you
...more
Bob Hoffman
Jul 06, 2012 Bob Hoffman rated it liked it

The picture that the artist paints of the young Dorian Gray ages—and mirrors the man’s vices-- but the man himself remains forever young. It’s kind of a classic theme of a man selling his soul to the devil. He does get what he bargains for—his desire is to remain as young and handsome forever as Basil Hallward has portrayed him on canvas-- but there is hell to pay at the end. Have had this book on my reading list for a long time. I’d read poems, short stories and plays of Oscar Wilde before—part
...more
Cristina
Jan 21, 2013 Cristina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps the problem with reading this was that I read it a decade too late. After hearing the hype about this book from everyone who had read it in high school or junior high, I went in to my reading of it with high expectations, which sadly weren't met. As much as I loved the last paragraph, the book wasn't good enough to allow its great ending to excuse all its flaws. For one, the book never focused enough on the actual portrait of Dorian Gray, for another, it never delved into the "darkness" ...more
Rebecca
May 04, 2010 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Wilde allegedly said the main characters in The Picture of Dorian Gray were reflections of himself: "Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry is what the world thinks me: Dorian is what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps." This makes me wonder whether Wilde actually read his own book. I can't imagine why anyone would like or appreciate, much less emulate, any of the characters in this book. All of them are selfish, melodramatic, entitled, snobby, prissy, superficial, attention-hung ...more
Naomi
Sep 08, 2009 Naomi rated it really liked it
Shelves: advisory-09-10
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Cooke
Jun 22, 2012 David Cooke rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, classics
This book just doesn't tap anything that interests me. The prose is annoyingly flowery, and the whole morality play just seems trite at this point. So much of the social criticisms read as an angsty teen, and there isn't a likable character in the entire book (which is obviously part of the point, but that doesn't help its readability). Reading this just reinforced my lack of interest in Romanticism - art for art's sake should make a statement. Simply touting your own view of the world and masqu ...more
Tracy Bird
Sep 06, 2015 Tracy Bird rated it really liked it
I wanted to read this as a result of watching "Penny Dreadful" (Dorian Gray is a character in that) and I also had a curiosity about Oscar Wilde. The book, as one would expect, clever and funny in part and also horrific. The book is full of paradoxes, just like Dorian's friend Sir Henry's speeches. I enjoyed it for the most part, but did zone out during the pages and pages about jewels and tapestries Dorian read about and acquired. There were things I had incorrectly assumed after hearing refere ...more
Meagan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
megan-redwitch
Jul 18, 2015 megan-redwitch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it is hard to encapsulate this one but i have to say i loved reading it. the language is amazing and if you like wit oscar wilde really cannot be beat. i have seen some of his plays performed but it was a different reading a novel by him. i wouldn't recommend the book if you don't like period pieces simply because the concerns of the characters are linked to the time they live in. the story itself is eerie and really about dealing w. your place in the world and relations to others, the perceptio ...more
Volkan Kurt
Jun 14, 2014 Volkan Kurt rated it really liked it
Çok güzel sürükleyici bir kitap Lord Henry Wotton'u ıslak kızılcık sopasıyla dövmek lazım.

Ama kitabın sonu çok yavan geldi bir anda oldu sanki oskar wilde'nin sabrı tükenmişte son kısımını artık bitsin diye yazmış gibi geldi. Sonu tahmin etiğim gibi bitti fakat çok kısa anlatılmıştı.

3 bolume ayrılırsak kitabı

1 giriş 5 yıldız
2 gelişme 5 yıldız
3 sonuç 3 yıldız

ortalama 4,3 ten 4
Tristy
Jan 26, 2012 Tristy rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, historical
My favorite stories in this collection were "The Birthday of the Infanta" and "Lord Arthur Savile's Crime." "The Birthday" was an incredible piece about the beauty of innocence and not being exposed to the "celebrity beauty culture" of that time period. It rings true and real just as much as if it were written today and knowing what a peacock Oscar Wilde was, I find it fascinating that he wrote such a love story to ugliness. And "Lord Arthur" is an excellent piece on free will and the lack of re ...more
Lanier
Sep 27, 2008 Lanier rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wilde has jammed this novel with alliteration, colorful descriptives of nature and the natural Man , while peppering in the unnaturalness of humanity and the state of art and beauty . Did I mention how incredibly funny it is? I’m not sure if I got the immense humor in the supercilious Lord Henry, the first time I read it. Yet, he and Dorian prove that, "Each one of us has heaven and hell [with]in."

I can remember reading this novel about 13 years ago and trying to explain Hedonism to Vinicio, a
...more
Susan
Apr 24, 2011 Susan rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The Victorians seemed fascinated by multiplicity of personality and differences between the public/private self -- e.g., Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, various Dickens characters, the Importance of Being Earnest. This story plays with those ideas but is more preoccupied with theories about the importance of art, the sensual side of life and aging. The surface of the book glitters with clever wordplay, aesthetic theories and beautiful writing. The selfishness and triviality of the main character and an u ...more
Ashley
May 19, 2016 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I did not read the three short stories at the end. I don't intend to read them anytime soon but I'm sure I will revisit them in the future.
This book was amazing. There were a few slow parts with overly-done descriptions. But for the whole, it was a thrilling tale. The only thing that would have made this better would have been to see more of the corruptions that haunted Dorian Gray, instead of them just being hinted at. I would have also liked a chapter or two more at the end to see the fallout.
Krystl Louwagie
Aug 22, 2010 Krystl Louwagie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Audio book review from 2005:

Lovely lovely book. I was drawn in by the first couple paragraphs and that surprised me a lot coming from a "classic". I was in love with the writing in this book as well. I'm re-reading the whole thing from a real book so that I can take down all the wonderful quotes. Which will fill up a small book in themselves.
I was amazed by everything in this book besides the ending which seemed way too predictable and like Oscar Wilde suddenly just gave up.
I loved the homosexua
...more
J. J.
Nov 20, 2009 J. J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: foreign, classics
A great foray into hedonism and the philosophical discussions that surround it. An easy read, but an impossible novel to interpret. Like any good story, there are obvious lessons learned, but to determine what lies beneath requires a better knowledge of the author, in my opinion. 4 out of 5 stars. I'd like to read the 1890 original version (on Wikisource) to see how much he censored the story for the final 1891 novel.

I also read "The Happy Prince", one of the three short stories included in this
...more
Echo
Aug 29, 2009 Echo rated it really liked it
Overall, a good read. It started out strong and ended very well. I admit there were several times in the middle when it dragged a lot. Wilde tended to go on and on and ON about things you just really didn't care about, and sometimes you could just see him giving himself a pat on the back because he was making the characters SO very witty. I know it's a short novel to begin with, but I felt it would have been a lot stronger if it had been even shorter.
There were also three short stories in the ba
...more
Roger
Feb 22, 2008 Roger rated it really liked it
Well, this book certainly took me a while to read! I've been on a reading hiatus for some time and hadn't read anything longer than a novella or trade paperback in forever.

Once I got past the archaic language, I was really flying through this. You really love/hate Dorian by the end of this story. Lord Henry is the most quotable character in the book and its pretty obvious it's just Wilde inserting himself in the story.

Kristy- thank you for loaning this to me AND for putting up with me taking the
...more
Barbara Storey
Feb 05, 2013 Barbara Storey rated it really liked it
Finally read this classic. I found Wilde's style a little too . . . ornate at times, too clogged with his epigrams. Even though I'm sure they served a purpose, and were illustrative of one character's nature, I just found them to be too much after a while. The scene where Dorian's crime is committed was quite chilling, though, very well done. A good story, just not as perfect as I'd expected.

The three short stories were good, especially The Happy Prince and Lord Arthur Saviles's Crime: the first
...more
Jackie
Apr 14, 2011 Jackie rated it liked it
What a dark book! But it does paint a picture of what happens when we let Satan in with the little things (a book we shouldn't read, a new friend who isn't such a great influence, etc.). When we let ourselves be torn down little by little, we still let ourselves be torn down.

Wilde is a fantastic writer. The book kept my attention and made me want to keep reading to find out what happens to Dorian Gray. He also writes so well of the sadness that Gray finds himself in; I couldn't help but feel sor
...more
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Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was an Irish playwright, poet and author of numerous short stories and one novel. Known for his biting wit, and a plentitude of aphorisms, 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 E ...more
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