The Picture of Dorian Gray The Picture of Dorian Gray discussion

Basic Work for any reader

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Gina When i was 12 years old my father offered me my first "real" book:
it was "first love" by Tourgueniev, or in french "Premier Amour"

If i had to advice one first book it would be "The Picture of Dorian Gray". So smart, so subtle...

Leslie T. Really? When I think of a great first book to give to a KID, it's not The Picture of Dorian Gray. Dorian's a horrible person who really doesn't have a single redeeming quality. He doesn't even learn his lesson in the end.

Amandaj While it is not my first "real" book that I read, "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is probably one I picked up when I was 14. It became one of my favorite books. And I have probably read it at least 3 times now. I think it would make a great first "real" book read for someone that is interested in the story.

Leticia Duret Villanueva Definitely - an essential novel for everyone interested in literature. It was also one of my first "real" books as you called them.

Lily I didn't read it until I was in my sixties. I am curious as to why some of you consider it a particularly interesting first "real" book. (Mine were probably Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice), Twain, Longfellow, Washington Irving, ....)

Emily I am curious as to what you all mean by "real" books. When does one receive this first "real" book? In my own experience, my choice in books has evolved so gradually that I could not tell what my first "real" book was, even if I did understand the phrase. And without this understanding, I cannot say which book I would advise, though I do think it would be best to tailor the suggestion to the child. I have read The Picture of Dorian Gray and it is one of my favorites, but I do not think every 12-14 year old could read it. Thank you in advance, for your help.

Nicole i agree. i guess that for reading The Picture of Dorian Gray it is necessary some consciousness about the time of the story, the values, ethics... those kind of stuff. The philosophy given to us throught those amazing characters needs to be understand by the reader. Weel, we can't ask to a children to understand... I think the reading of this particular book is only completed with some reflective interpretation from the reader. Every books are real in my personal opinion... ones better than the anothers, but still real. The Picture of Dorian Gray is absolutely essential for everione who loves reading and needs something different, but fresh.

Mejix I'm not sure about Dorian Gray as first serious book. Maybe Don Quixote?

Emmy I'd give Dorian to a high school aged teenager, but I would not recommned it as a first "real" book. It's just too dark. I do however, think it is WONDERFUL ...just not as a first book. I'd have to agree with Mejinx who suggested Don Quixote. I'd also possibly suggest Frankenstein.

message 10: by Sara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sara Frankenstein is really, really dark, too. If you want to go with something "lighter," why not Much Ado About Nothing or Midsummer Night's Dream, which has the added kid-pleasing titillation of including a man who literally becomes an ass? Now THAT is fun.

Paracelsus I read it when I was a teenager and it really had a great impact on my life and character. I think it is a wonderful book and he is a great character. I do not believe anyone who says they don't care getting old. I definitely would barter my soul for eternal youth and beauty.

message 12: by Laura (last edited Feb 17, 2015 03:42AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura Herzlos I disagree with recommendations for large or "difficult" books (in one way or another), like Don Quijote or Frankenstein, for the very first one, especially at a very young age. There is, of course, a chance that the kid will like it, but I would recommend starting with "lighter" readings, and I don't mean necessarily the subject. It doesn't matter if it's too dark or if it conveys a "good moral" in the end (that will depend on other things), that's not what concerns me, because I'm talking about introducing people to books, cultivating the pleasure of reading, not only and exclusively educating.

For the very first, I would go for something shorter (Dorian Grey isn't bad length for a first book) and with a catching/interesting story plot (according to the tastes and interests of the person), which can keep them "trapped" enough to keep reading. Reading, as a habit, may take time to develop. I would get ready two or three options around the subjects the person likes and see how it goes.

This could be independent of age. I read Don Quijote when I was 9 (and loved it), but it was not my first "real" book (if I understand what the OP means by this). The language alone is a challenge (the original version is written in this old Spanish that nobody speaks anymore), then the descriptions of pieces of garments and armor are another full load of vocabulary that is commonly unknown, and so on. I wouldn't advise this for a first tackle on a "real" book!

message 13: by Rut (last edited Feb 28, 2015 12:12PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rut I know we are talking about "real" books. But when I first read this discussion subject, I immediately smiled. It made me think of the set of "Winnie Pooh’s adventures" books my dad gave me when I learned to read. It was meant to be a prize. It's one of the nicest gifts he has ever given me. A little later, he gave me my first "real" Bible. That would be my first real book, but of course I did not read it complete then...Meanwhile, my older sister gave me her first "Little Women" book and made me promise I would always take care of it. Another marvellous gift! I still have it.

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