Knitme23's Reviews > The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
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Feb 24, 2013

it was ok
Read in May, 2011

Well. Set this for myself to read since the Cornflower Book Club read it in. . . March? and I had never read it. The first 100 pages were a true slog: I hated the characters, I hated the way Wilde threw in these oxymorons all the time: "Men only ever blah blah, while women do nothing else." (Cue light laughter). I hated the looooooooooooooooooong passages of emotional or spiritual description. . . I think I was reading a later version that Wilde had added stuff to, because in one of the notes I saw "If you want the sense of the original, read only chapters 1 - 9 and . . ." but I am tough, I had this edition, and I slogged onward, like a character in a Wilfred Owen poem. THEN we got to the really bad stuff, when Dorian is drinking and drugging and he meets a woman who doesn't fall for him right off and oh he murders someone and the last few chapters passed in QUITE a flash!

So my "hated it" got upgraded to a tawdry "It was okay" because of the penny-dreadful last quarter of the book.

And I am aware that I enjoy Wilde immensely when he's writing comedy. Hmmmm. Portrait is just too damn preachy, I think.

Feb. 24, 2012: Well, I assigned this to my AP Seniors, since my seniors last year had read it in 10th grade and loved it, and my response to it was almost exactly the same as above! This time, I listened to a great deal of it on a librivox recording done by Bob Neufeld, who was stupendously good, and who alleviated the pain of some of the more florid writing by his level, tempered voice. Still, I was yelling at my ipod during the long "things Dorian collected" chapter (11, I think) and during many of Sir Harry's expositions. Still NOT a fan, but still proud of myself!

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