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The Picture of Dorian Gray

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  974,964 ratings  ·  31,190 reviews
Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, ...more
Paperback, Modern Library Classics, 272 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Random House: Modern Library (first published July 20th 1890)
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Cesar Ramirez Because it represents to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit. Or if you think the book is immoral, it is because it shows you your ow…moreBecause it represents to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit. Or if you think the book is immoral, it is because it shows you your own shame.(less)
Madawa possibly how we have an image of ourselves which we try to preserve, but its is our actions that defines us. To look one way and act another is ruinou…morepossibly how we have an image of ourselves which we try to preserve, but its is our actions that defines us. To look one way and act another is ruinous. I think there is a meaning of not pretending, not to be a hedonist and not to follow others blindly.(less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Scoobs
Oct 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Oh Dorian. Oh Dorian.

When I first read this book in the fruitless years of my youth I was excited, overwhelmed and a blank slate (as Dorian is, upon his first encounter with Lord Henry) easily molded, persuaded, influenced, etc.

Certain Wildisms (Wildeisms?) would take my breath away. Would become my mottos to believe in. To follow. To live.

Lines like:

"It is silly of you, for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."

"But beauty, real
...more
Stephen
PortraitOfDorianGray-review
Arguably literature's greatest study of shallowness, vanity, casual cruelty and hedonistic selfishness, Wilde lays it down here with ABSOLUTE PERFECTION!! This was my first experience in reading Oscar Wilde and the man’s gift for prose and dialogue is magical. This story read somewhat like a dark, corrupted Jane Austen in that the writing was snappy and pleasant on the ear, but the feeling it left you with was one of hopelessness and despair.

The level of cynicism and societal disregard that
...more
Paula
Feb 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
chai ♡
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Facts that I know for sure:

1. I got this edition because I'm a slave to the aesthetics and that's exactly the kind of motive the ghost of Oscar Wilde would approve of

2. It’s safe to assume that no matter what I’m doing, at any given moment in time, at least 20% of my brain capacity is perpetually dedicated to making sure I’m clever enough, flamboyant enough, petty enough, gay enough, dramatic enough to earn the approval of the ghost of Oscar Wilde
Emily May
Aug 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul."

And so begins this tale of art and sin.

I would highly recommend first watching the movie Wilde, a film which takes the audience on a journey through the life of the tormented writer, from the beginnings of h
...more
Barry Pierce
So I read all of Wilde's plays a couple of years ago but for some reason I never read this at the time. This is probably the number one most requested book for me to read. So I read it. Are ya happy now!? ARE YA!?

I really rather enjoyed this. Well, obviously. I mean, did you honestly think I wasn't going to like The Picture of Dorian Gray? It's by Oscar Wilde for fuck's sake. His prose is like spilled honey flowing across a wooden table and waterfalling onto the floor beneath. The viscous liquid
...more
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
”He grew more and more enamoured of his own beauty, more and more interested in the corruption of his own soul.”

I think I must have been about fifteen when I read “The Picture of Dorian Gray” for the very first time and I was totally blown away by it. There was this book, written in such a beautiful way, using such colourful and flowery language and there were those three amazing characters that made me feel and wonder and question their lives and decisions!

You might say that up until I picked
...more
Sean Barrs
I finished reading this last night, and afterwards I spent an entire hour staring into space so I could contemplate over the majesty of this work. It left me speechless. This book is exquisite; it is an investigation into the human soul, the power of vanity and the problems of living a life with not a single consequence for your actions. It’s truly powerful stuff.

It begins with a simple realisation, and perhaps an obvious one. But, for Dorian it is completely life changing. He realises that bea
...more
Elyse  Walters
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first time I've read this classic book....but I've loved Oscar Wilde for as long as I can remember.

There is much to take away from this book. Themes exploring shallowness, selfishness, superficiality, hedonism, morality, and flaws of life and being human.

The dialogue is witty and humorous.
Oscar Wilde had great insights on beauty....
I love this quote:
"But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys t
...more
Henry Avila
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"A face without a heart", so said Shakespeare in Hamlet, but it applies to the portrait of Dorian Gray even better.... When the young gentleman Dorian Gray from a wealthy aristocratic family in Victorian England, has his picture completed something is missing, Basil Hallward, the painter senses it and insists that no one sees his greatest work, except a few people ... The witty Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian's soon to be best friend seems amused, a shy artist! All three are fascinated by the painting ...more
Jim Fonseca
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: irish-authors
Even if we haven’t read the book everyone knows the plot. A painter paints a portrait of a beautiful young man. The portrait ages while he keeps his beauty. But the portrait also reflects his evil, not just aging, but turning eventually into a portrait of a devil.

There are thousands of reviews so I’ll just copy the next paragraph from the GR book blurb:

Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is
...more
Anne
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I should probably admit that most of what I thought I knew about Dorian Gray came from pop culture references. In my defense, I'm actively trying to branch out and read more than comics and trashy romance novels, but it's slow going and I've got a lot of catching up to do.
Shockingly, I didn't bother to read the blurb, and it turns out this was a bit more complex than I thought it would be.

description

Point is, I had no idea it was about gay dudes!
And I'm always thinking that the guys in classic novels seem
...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a hard book to review. After reading such eloquent, beautiful, and rich writing, I am at a loss for how to command my comparatively paltry ability to use words to express how I felt about this book.

Forgive me as I go back to AP English for a few moments. I asked myself what were the themes of this novel. Here is my list:

Identity
Experience
Beauty
The triumph on senses over reason
Accountability


I will attempt to build my review, in part, around the discussion of these t
...more
Melanie


“Some day, when you are old and wrinkled and ugly, when thought has seared your forehead with its lines, and passion branded your lips with its hideous fires, you will feel it, you will feel it terribly.”

So, I wanted 2018 to be the year that I try to get back into classics! In the past, I’ve found some of them daunting to read, or just too boring to ever feel invested in. But I feel like The Picture of Dorian Gray was the perfect start.


Beautiful art by saku-chann on Tumblr

I originall
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
809. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical novel by Oscar Wilde, first published complete in the July 1890 issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine.

The Picture of Dorian Gray begins on a beautiful summer day in Victorian era England, where Lord Henry Wotton, an opinionated man, is observing the sensitive artist Basil Hallward painting the portrait of Dorian Gray, a handsome young man who is Basil's ultimate muse.

While sitting for the painting, Doria
...more
jessica
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
‘behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.’

and boy, this story was an exquisite tragedy. wilde admits that the books which the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame. and this is one of the most immoral books i have ever read.

this is a story about the loss of innocence, of revelling in sin and debauchery, and everything in between. but its also an examination of the human soul, its struggle with vanity, and a life lived without any sort o
...more
Petra-X
Possessing eternal youth and beauty produces exactly the same effect as sentencing a man to life without the possibility of parole. Both have nothing to lose and morals disappear before the desire for immediate self-gratification in all things. And so it is with Dorian Gray. It's a moral story so eventually his evil catches up with him and he dies, as does the criminal.

Is Oscar Wilde saying that it is man's essential nature, to be so internally psychopathic and selfish that so long as he can ke
...more
Trevor
Mar 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literature
This is another of those books I’ve been meaning to read for ages and kept putting off. Although I’ve a particularly good reason for putting this one off, as a very good friend of mine, who died a couple of years ago, spoke to me about this book and I was worried that might make it hard to read for quite other reasons.

He said that when he read this book as a young man it made him certain that he was not homosexual. Now, that in itself was enough to make me curious about the book. This is a book
...more
Paul Bryant
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
I don't know what I was quite expecting here. It's a psychological horror story with a lot of comic relief, in the form of the endless witty paradoxes. After page 30 you are thinking that if Lord Henry makes just one more crack you're going to knock his monocle off his family crest and grind it underfoot. Oscar often clearly thinks he's being hilarious with his wit with a capital W – and maybe it's me, but Oscar Wilde often sounds like a parody of Oscar Wilde, like in the Monty Python sketch

WHIS
...more
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
I really don't know why goodreads deleted the rating of my favourite book, but as it seems it happened?! O_o

WTH? *lol*
Well anyway, of course it's a five star, did you expect any different? XD

I'll definitely reread it one day and will write a proper review, because this book deserves such an awesome in-depth review that 3.500 words certainly won't be enough! *lol*

One day, this screen page is going to crack with my gushing.
That's a promise! ;-P
Johann (jobis89)
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic."

Under the influence of a captivating aristocrat, Dorian Gray sells his soul in exchange for prolonged youth and vitality. Part of the deal is that a full-length portrait of Dorian will age and record his sins, whereas he remains unblemished.

Picking one quote from this book was like being asked to read just one book for the rest of your life - nigh-on impossible. I hadn't even thought about how difficult it would be until Tes
...more
Lisa
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
We are living the life of Dorian Gray.

We sacrifice our souls to the illusion of beauty and youth. We are using surgery and photoshopping to hide the real portrait of ourselves growing older and darker as our pleasures feel more and more hollow by sheer repetition. The likes of Bret Easton Ellis, who try to depict the "sinful" lives of modern-day Dorians, are less shocking than tedious and boring.

We are constantly looking for instant gratification to soothe our nerves: new foods, new clothes,
...more
Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
Last year, I challenged myself to read one classic a month...

...And it pretty much took me all of last year to finish just this book...and Peter Pan - AKA the two shortest classics I have in my library. So there's that...

description

Now lesser mortals might be embarrassed by this; but, thankfully, I am completely and utterly secure in the magnificence of my mediocrity...and so I shall merely endeavor another try.

I'm sure the classic I select for 2020 (see how I've adjusted my standards and accepted that it
...more
Greta
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”

The simple plot of the most immoral Victorian novel:
A painter paints a portrait of a beautiful young man named Dorian Gray, who exchanges his soul for eternal youth. The portrait starts to age for him, while he keeps his beauty. But the portrait doesn‘t just age, it reflects all his sins and evil. Thereby the portrait eventually turns to the devil, while Dorian stays indifferent to his actions.

The book in a pict
...more
Fabian
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Perfect, exquisite, everything that was promised to you. This one has quite a high degree of FOLLOW THROUGH. "Gray" is majestic, about the superficial love for oneself. It poses many questions, & as a book of ideas, perhaps the most innovatory in the latter part of the 19th century of them all, it is exactly what a reader wants. Absolute flawlessness, like the young Dorian himself. It's ESSENTIAL. Indeed, at the pinnacle of Gay Lit. Comes to us in the rare tradition of too-good-to-be-trueness, a ...more
Leo .
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story. Imagine being immortal. Wow! To still be around after hundreds of years. One thing is true, you would know what really happened in the past. Let's face it you would have witnessed something first hand. And today you would read the modern history books and maybe, just maybe...Lol!

All history is just what it means. His. Story. History was predominantly written by men. Left brain and in a draconian way. Most History was written by monks on behest of the Vatican!
History to me, whomever
...more
Peter
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Consequence
The Picture of Dorian Gray, apart from being a classic work of literature and written by one of the greatest writers of all time, is a book that has readers searching for meaning and it opens up a debate on the consequences of our actions. The consequence of remaining young and transferring the ageing process to a portrait was more than just the outward reflection of Dorian Gray, it also affected his internal soul and moral compass. Along with the painter Basil Hallward and his asso
...more
Kalliope
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: britain, art, 2014, france, ireland

Funny how books are moulded by the circumstances in which they have been read.

In Dorian Gray, some of its aspects are very easy to grasp and do not need great explanations.

For example, Wilde’s epigrammatic style is so very distinct. I have had a lot of fun selecting quotes and peppered with them my reading progress.

His sentences are like small diamonds. They can be held and set against the light and moved around so that their different facets will shine and reflect the world around them. They a
...more
Jonathan Terrington
Sep 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: classic readers, those who enjoy morals
The Picture of Dorian Gray could also be titled A Portrait of the Human Soul, for in his dark and tragic commentary Oscar Wilde spares no liberties in discussing morality, religion, society and the depths of the human condition. It is a deeply moving and inspired novel centering around the defining power of art. It is not an easy novel to read with its dark elements. For in paying heed to Dorian Gray's demise one is drawn into a reflection of their own spiritual condition.

For those who have no i
...more
Khush
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book. Wilde was anything but subaltern.
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THOUGHTS 8 112 Nov 22, 2020 01:15PM  
Reading the Classics: The Picture of Dorian Gray - Nov 8-14: C5-9 4 11 Nov 15, 2020 03:36PM  
Drop Everything A...: The Picture of Dorian Gray 9 58 Nov 13, 2020 07:46AM  
Reading the Classics: The Picture of Dorian Gray - Nov 1-7: C1-4 5 15 Nov 08, 2020 06:41PM  
A Million More Pages: The Picture of Dorian Gray - Feb 8 11 49 Nov 04, 2020 10:11AM  

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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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