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The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Writings

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  6,710 ratings  ·  251 reviews
Flamboyant and controversial, Oscar Wilde was a dazzling personality, a master of wit, and a dramatic genius whose sparkling comedies contain some of the most brilliant dialogue ever written for the English stage. Here in one volume are his immensely popular novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray; his last literary work, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol,” a product of his own prison ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 487 pages
Published October 1982 by Bantam Books (first published 1898)
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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 ·  6,710 ratings  ·  251 reviews

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May 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone name Basil
Recommended to Donna by: Mr. Whedbee and Myhien
I once knew a woman who was the modern day equivalence of Dorian Gray. When I met her, she was nearing her 53rd birthday but didn't look a day older than 35. She was the splitting image of a brunette Grace Kelly. Beautiful was, if even possible, the only word I can use to describe her. From afar or in passing, she looked as if she is the nicest person to ever walk the earth. She looked regal, striking, and sympathetic. But to my surprise, she was nothing like the princess. Her angelic face hid t ...more
Miss Maya
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
--What of Art?
-It is a malady.
-An Illusion.
-The fashionable substitute for Belief.
--You are a sceptic.
-Never! Scepticism is the beginning of Faith.
--What are you?
-To define is to limit.

"The Picture of Dorian Gray" is a poetic mixture of philosophy, fantasy, crime and fiction. A great example of engaging and gripping literature.
Essie-Marie W.
This book is a classic for a reason. I don't know what that reason is, but that doesn't mean I'm saying there isn't one. This is a subjective opinion.

Dorian Gray was. . . what even? Why would anyone like this? Dorian is the most vain, emotionally volatile, irrational human being in existence, his friends are interesting, but it feels like Wilde uses them as mouthpieces to spout his philosophical jargon. I quit halfway through.

I didn't get through Lady Windermere's Fan either - it didn't feel lik
Davis Aujourd'hui
Oct 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
So you want to remain eternally young? This book will tell you an engrossing moralistic tale that paints the picture of where the deadly sin of vanity can take you. It will take you into a descent into a hell full of shadows where the light will never touch you.

This is a classic dark tale of intrigue. It is filled with the depths to which the human condition can sink. It is a page turner, but it may leave you feeling empty at the end. That is what it did for me. Nevertheless, it is a haunting bo
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Just a review of Picture of Dorian Gray: While certainly compelling in premise, I found the execution to be somewhat lacking. The novel contains many sections of overly gratuitous descriptions and largely inconsequential dialogue that I found to really slow the pace down. Whilst Wilde is an obviously eloquent writer, I do wonder if perhaps the book would have worked better as a short story more in the vein of Poe, embracing more of the gothic and horror elements that the book only really hints a ...more
This is the type of story that catches you off guard. There is a huge turn. You don't expect anything. You have big hopes in the beginning and then they slowly start to deteriorate as the story progresses. This is the type of story that I would recommend for someone who is slightly melancholic. It is a solemn read. There is much sadness. It causes you to search into the depths of your soul as the main character does. The narrator is third-person but has a deep look into the mind of the main char ...more
Sometimes, a book and I cross paths with a serendipitous sense of timing. It's a magical, sublime thing when that happens because I love being dazzled with literary perfection and achingly personal relevance while pretending like my life really is a grand-scale movie script where things actually make sense in a deus ex machina sort of way. I like it when life validates every overly romantic notion I have about getting lost in a mighty good story.

And then I sometimes stumble upon a dud of a readi
Jan 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: classic
The literary content of the book was awesome. very introspective. the whole book is about dorian gray finding out how horrible of a person he is. the reason i give this book a three is because I found it quite boring. there really was never a story. My husband loves this book and thinks it is genius. I on the other hand am glad I read it but, it just had too many chapters where it just talks about how dorian gray like jewelry or music. It was just all over the place and didn't keep me intirgued ...more
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've wanted to read The Picture of Dorian Gray since forever, and finally opted to do so along with some of Oscar Wilde's other writings. TPoDG really is a finely crafted tale, and even though I already knew the basic premise it was still a delight to enjoy the writing of Oscar Wilde. I'll admit its actually the only tale I've read so far, but on its own is enough to earn the book five stars. ...more
Sayed Mohammad Mahdi Sadrnezhaad
It is the very simple story of how arrogance could end up with going down and failed to keep humanly qualities.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
So many reviews exist on Goodreads that I don’t have anything fresh to add. Suffice to say that Wilde’s novella is a fascinating look at the psychology of self-love and self-loathing. I often wish that I could come up with as many clever quips and comments as Wilde.

This novella does not age like the attic-locked portrait. Read it for the joy of the language and the insight into the horror and depths that humans too often find within their own souls.
Oct 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Initially, I did not want to read this book, and I opted to read Sense and Sensibility instead since I was more familiar with Jane Austen. But earlier in the year, my best friend told me great tales about this classic, so I decided to give it a shot.

“Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be- in other ages, perhaps.”

Oscar Wilde based his three main protagonists from the three different depictions of himself. As one explores his life,
Apr 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'm really not sure why a lot of people have not read this. It truly is a work that can only be appreciated when read and reread. This is my second time reading through the pages that Wilde weaves with this epigrams and curious cascading delight for words. Each sentence is as interesting and beautiful as the last as he speaks of sin conveyed in the most interesting of manners.

Truly, Dorian is a fall from grace. A Lucifer that could have looked upon what he would become if he had the choice. Perh
Julia Marie
Jul 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Julia Marie by: English class, because I wasn't there to raed it
Wow Oscar Wilde!! I always vaguely knew of this classic, but not the fine details of the story. Completely intricately written. I admit, I got a little bored reading it, especially the nine chapters or whatever about jewels and stuff. Altogether, I thoroughly enjoyed this read and was satisfied upon completing the novel.

Anyway I felt obligated to read this, because when my English class did it, I was not in the country. Maybe I missed a big point by not having literary discussion on it.

What al
Feb 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Vanity is merely noxious waste. A waste of time attempting to avoid the inevitable waste of ephemeral beauty. As with many of Oscar Wilde's novels, I enjoyed it. Idolizing that which was never meant to even be of importance has consequences that may soon be too late to reverse. As always, with all its darkness, Oscar Wilde attracts you with the beauty of words even when dripping with monstroness. (Review for the Picture of Dorian Gray) ...more
Aug 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I don't know how many times I've read it but I get lost in the language each time. The copy I have is a tiny little black hardcover that my high school English teacher gave to me. It's an old library copy with those slippery thin pages that just feels good to hold. Just talking about this makes me want to read it again! ...more
Sep 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is creepy. Not the plays in the back- they're funny- but the Dorian Gray story, I was not prepared for its utter creepiness. I loved it. ...more
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the 2 plays we read: The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Windermere's Fan ...more
SJ Loria
May 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a Dorian Gray Review / Ramble - Zero plot spoilers

Eternal questions to be examined:
Do you have a soul?
Do your actions have an effect on your character?
Is there a right way to live life?
References to other authors / art: Anthony Kiedis (lead singer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers), Oh Brother Where art Thou? The Little Mermaid, Kurt Vonnegut, Shakespeare

One has a right to judge a work of art by how much it makes you think.

Yesterday I was talking to a friend about transgender rights
I had never read any Oscar Wilde before other than The Ballad of Reading Gaol, so it was interesting to read his prose. I thought the poem was okay, but I loved his witty word play in his prose. His plays all seem to be about similar characters. There's always the witty male who doesn't take anything seriously and always has a delightful reply to anything said by others. The attitudes toward marriage and love are also constants throughout the works. I think The Importance of Being Earnest was my ...more
Fu Sheng Wilson Wong
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Goes without saying - *SPOILERS AHEAD*

Technically multiple books meshed into one.

1. The Picture of Dorian Gray
This was a beautiful piece on the mirror to one's soul. One of the most telling moments for me was how Basil, being both the painter of the portrait and which was the origin of Dorian's vanities, was also able to see the putrid soul in the portrait in the same manner Dorian sees it.

The book explores, inter alia, 'biting the fruit of knowledge' (in the case of Lord Henry expressing his id
Kassia Beyer
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Name: Kassia Beyer

Book title: The Picture Of Dorian Gray and Other Writings By Oscar Wilde

I gave this book five stars because I really enjoyed most of the pieces in this book. The first piece The Picture Of Dorian Gray was most definitely my favorite and the most enjoyable to read. I also enjoyed Lady Windermere's Fan,The Importance of Being Earnest, and An Ideal Husband a lot, they were all comedy, and while they were still somewhat serious it ended happily and provided a nice contrast
Jerry Rose
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Aphorisms on a life of decadence.
What conditions breed corruption? How not does the country produce such corruption? What are corruptions effect on the soul? Is the soul a painting set in its final coat?

Cruelty visibly paints your soul in darkness.
Sundowning -"he does things meant for the dark, not the day"
In Dorian's case, his corruption infects the lives of those close to him. They are left as divorcees, drug addicts, or are pushed to suicide. The Picture of Dorian Gray examines how differen
Imad Rouayi
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oscar Wilde is one of my most favorite authors, he literally just didn’t care who he made mad and wrote about what he loved. He is eccentric, charismatic, and philosophical in his writing style, I just cannot get enough of Wilde.

In Dorian Grey, the reader is introduced to many “monstrous” sides of vanity and pride. We first meet the protagonist, Dorian Gray, as a naive young man who is gentle and kind. He is oblivious to the idea of age, maturity and growing “old”. The story focuses on the moral
Lee Ellen
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I am working my way through a small collection of titles which I have pulled together filling the solution set for this question: "What books are ridiculous oversights in my reading experience?" This is not a guilt-ridden list of things I feel that I should have read; rather, it is a list of items, based on my particular predilections and life experience, I am somewhat embarrassed that I have not completed. Indeed, there are plenty of guilty pleasures here: for instance, I have read neither Good ...more
Jeremy Ray
The Picture of Dorian Gray is still heavily referenced and highly regarded, so I was really excited to read it for myself. (Some of my favorite books of all times are the classics.) 

I know that long-winded moments are an example of the times, and I have enjoyed them in past classics, but I have to be honest and say they were not my thing in this book. For me, the descriptive passages and classical references did not enhance the story, unlike The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. 

Oscar Wilde

[Reviewed as part of The Illustrated Book Club. Contains some mild spoilers]

It's taken so long to produce the cover (apologies), that my memory of the story has dimmed somewhat - I'll write the reviews straight after reading, from now on!

I enjoyed the book greatly. Wilde's trademark wit is evident in abundance, and the wonderful series of aphorisms that preface the book lay out the principles of his Aesthetic philosophy in sparkling fashion. It's interesting therefore that the book itself seems
Natalie Manuel
May 15, 2021 rated it liked it
Hmmm, I enjoyed this but not quite as much as I thought I would.

I enjoyed the lushness of the writing and Harry, whose long misogynistic rants were quite fun to read.

I assume Dorian himself is a rather flat character because he was intended to be a weak enough person to be so influenced by Harry. It seems everyone else but Dorian read Harry as he should have been read- as someone to be amused by and entertain, but not take seriously. Dorian was like a blank canvas that Harry toyed with, and this
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
I didn't like this book the first time I read it, but I gave it another try in preparation for a book club meeting. I disliked it even more this round. I know it's a classic and there are many references to it in literature and general conversation. Still, I didn't care about any of the characters, especially Dorian himself. I guess we aren't supposed to find him attractive, but I didn't warm up to any of them, even his many victims.

The concept of selling one's soul incrementally for wealth or
First of all, I don’t entire hate the novel. I get what it is trying to say. The novel wasn’t bad during the first half of the book. I wasn’t bothered by anything or anyone in particular. That was until the first character death when I realized how annoying and manipulative Lord Henry was. He keeps on talking and talking about his hedonistic philosophy and how Dorian believes in what he says. I hated it. Also, the book Lord Henry gave to him was basically Dorian’s bible as he pursued such pleasu ...more
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The Illustrated B...: Chapters 5 and 6: cover and possibles 1 2 Nov 24, 2017 01:32AM  
The Illustrated B...: Chapter 5: The Picture of Dorian Gray 1 4 Nov 24, 2017 01:22AM  

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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 ...more

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“Because to influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly -- that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to oneself. Of course they are charitable. They feed the hungry, and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked. Courage has gone out of our race. Perhaps we never really had it. The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion -- these are the two things that govern us.” 666 likes
“I wonder who it was defined man as a rational animal. It was the most premature definition ever given. Man is many things, but he is not rational.” 255 likes
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