Jasmin's Reviews > The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
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really liked it
bookshelves: owned-books, 2017

This review has been originally posted on jasmin's library.

Actual rating: 3.5/5 stars

“Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic.”

A picture that wilts and ages instead of the man whom was painted. A wonderful basic for an interesting story, one can assume. I owned my copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray for quite some time now - considering I actually bought it because of the beautiful cover - but I never got myself into reading it. This month is was picked for me from another member of Goodreads and I simply loved the challenge that came with it. The older english language of this classic wasn't easy for me as a not native speaker.

I had some problems with Wilde's long sentences - the first i stumbled over was half a page long and almost killed me because I had to read it several times to understand it. I also discovered that classics might not be my kind of books. The used language is simply too old for me. Another problem was the following - I do have a kind of pet peeve with authors that use a word slightly too often. Oscar Wilde seemed to love the word "cried". I cannot explain how many times I've read the word in while wanting to throw the book against a wall. But after quite some time of fretting about this fact I accepted it and tried to read over it.

The plot of the novel was really slow in my opinion. It took a lot of pages until the action started and the puzzle pieces came together. From the beginning it was not fast-paced enough, the story lingering on the wrong places too long. I wished for more to happen and only got this when there were roughly 80 pages left. While I thought about quitting the book on earlier moments, I extremely enjoyed the last chapters even though I couldn't connect to the characters enough. I felt more like an observer than being a part of the story - and this actually hurts me. I wanted to love the book since the story was such a promising one. I also would die to see a more modern story based on this one - I can imagine that this could be really good.

But as said before I throughly liked the latter part of the book so it still got a quite good rating from me. On the contrary I'm sure that classics aren't my genre and that I don't want to pick up another one for some time.
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Reading Progress

July 20, 2014 – Shelved
December 19, 2016 – Shelved as: owned-books
December 26, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
March 9, 2017 – Started Reading
March 9, 2017 –
page 0
0.0% "Oh this will be a wild ride ..."
March 13, 2017 –
page 84
39.25% "If I have to read the word 'cried' once more, I'm going to scream."
March 15, 2017 – Finished Reading
February 7, 2018 – Shelved as: 2017

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Daisy Awesome review, Jasmin! Sorry to hear you found the writing difficult. Would never have guessed you weren't a native English speaker though - I can't imagine how much harder that would make it! That's interesting that you found he overused the word "cried", I've never noticed that. For me it is the word "art" that seems to be repeated a lot - definitely a major theme in this book!

I can see where you're coming from on the book being slow, and I agree the final chapters are the most thrilling - glad to hear you liked that bit. I love what you said about feeling like an observer of the story, not a part of it - that's such an interesting way of looking at a book. :)

Jasmin Daisy wrote: "Awesome review, Jasmin! Sorry to hear you found the writing difficult. Would never have guessed you weren't a native English speaker though - I can't imagine how much harder that would make it! ..."

Thank you for the compliments, though! But yes, as a non-native speaker it was really hard. But nonetheless I kind of enjoyed the book even if I criticized a lot in my review. I incredibly thankful for you picking it for me because it was still an extraordinary experience for me! :)

Daisy I do that a lot - I'm quite an analytical reader I think, so often I'll go really in depth about the problems I had with a book in my review, so it sounds like I hated it, even if I actually quite enjoyed it! Aw, you're welcome - it was my pleasure to pick it for you! Have you read many English classics before? :)

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