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Group Read Discussions > Dorian Gray - No Spoilers

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10035 comments Mod
Dont ruin it for everyone...


message 2: by Alex (new)

Alex We can spoil other things, though, right? Just to get it out of our systems? Rosebud is a sled.

I started it this morning. I'm like 3% done. I like it so far.

Lord Henry's speaking style reminds me of Lewis Carroll a little. He's given to goody paradoxes like "I can believe anything, provided that it is quite incredible." Basil seems like the mouthpiece for Wilde, and he's constantly reminding the reader that he thinks Henry is full of crap; he's already told Henry twice, "I don't believe that and I don't think you do either." I suppose with time I'll find out if Henry has a purpose beyond sarcasm.


message 3: by Bhumi (new)

Bhumi | 524 comments I've wanted to read this book for so long! I hope to get to it soon.


message 4: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (newtomato) Wilde really loved him some flowers!


message 5: by Alex (last edited Mar 03, 2010 06:19AM) (new)

Alex Ha...I noticed the same thing, Cindy. On one page Lord Henry's disparaging education: "The mind of the thoroughly well-informed man is a dreadful thing. It is like a bric-a-brac shop, all monsters and dust, with everything priced above its proper value." Terrific sentences, but then like two pages later he's waxing rhapsodic about like five different kinds of flowers and exactly what their blooming patterns are. You can't have it both ways, hoss.

I now see what you complained about: these characters really do have an alarming tendency to give speeches. If I had friends like this I would punch them.

(Edit: I thought it was El complaining about the speechifying, but it was you, Cindy. Sorry!)


message 6: by Alex (new)

Alex Now 1/3 through it, and I realize that Basil's actually - at this point, at least - more of a minor character. Lord Henry turns out to be the protagonist. Bold choice.

And Wilde's done a nice job of slowly showing us that Henry's not a goofy comedian; he's actually a monster. He says he's exposing peoples' true character, but really he's just trying to corrupt them. If he can destroy a person's moral center, he can tell himself that everyone's as rotten as him at the core; he's just the most honest about it.

I guess - I hope - that he's a satire, that Wilde doesn't actually agree with his own characters that Henry's a charming devil. 'Cause he's not; he's a bore. At first he's entertaining, sure, but you quickly realize that his trademark paradoxes are formulaic, and he's not really saying anything.


message 7: by Kari (new)

Kari (kiwibee) I'm about halfway through and I already wish that Basil would have been much more forceful in telling Lord Henry to leave Dorian alone at the beginning. Now I just want to punch Lord Henry in the face.


message 8: by Alex (last edited Mar 04, 2010 12:08PM) (new)

Alex The book Lord Henry gives Dorian Gray is apparently A Rebours by Joris-Karl Huysmans. Here's the text of the book, which I haven't read because I'm afraid it will destroy my soul, and because it sounds boring.

Here's Wikipedia on A Rebours, including its significance to Wilde.

Some argue that the book is instead, or also, the conclusion of "Renaissance" by Wilde's tutor Pater.

...just in case anyone was wondering. I was.


message 9: by El (new)

El Hey, I read Against Nature (aka, A Rebours). It's pretty good. There's one image I remember above all involving a turtle and mosaics (I think...) glued to its shell. I gave it 4-stars. Not sure if that's because of the turtle or if the whole story was good. It's been a while.


message 10: by Alex (new)

Alex Well, and did it destroy your soul?

(ps it was gemstones.)


message 11: by El (new)

El GEMSTONES!! Thanks. No, but apparently it destroyed my memory. (This explains so much.)


message 12: by Alex (new)

Alex Shoot...I'd kinda rather keep my memory than my soul. Seems more useful.


message 13: by Stacey (new)

Stacey (schaubchick) | 138 comments I'm finally halfway through and not impressed. I remain hopeful for the rest of the book though! The plan is to finish it tomorrow.


message 14: by Philip (new)

Philip (philiphabecker) When you punch Lord Henry in the face, I want to be there to see it.


message 15: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Frary | 90 comments Good story but was not overly impressed with the book. It got two stars from me.


message 16: by Angie (new)

Angie I love this book!


message 17: by silvia (new)

silvia  | 282 comments started the book yesterday.
I'm regretting my decision of reading a translation, wilde works much better in english. But then I had a copy already and I'm not aloowed to buy books this year


message 18: by astrangerhere (new)

astrangerhere I'm going to re-read this sometime this weekend to participate in group discussion. I'm looking forward to it, as I've not read it since I was a mere undergraduate in college.

I re-read the Canterville Ghost around Halloween ( I LOVE! seasonal reading), and enjoyed it thoroughly.


message 19: by silvia (new)

silvia  | 282 comments I'm halfway rigth now. I just wanted to post that how much I agree with Lordy henry being both tiresome and a monster. I have to say the guilt is so much in the corruptor as it is in the one that allows himself to get corrupted.

If doryan had a little more stregth of caracther and brains he would find every little sillyness that pops out of lord henry's mouth so true


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

I read this book quickly. It's a captivating story with wonderful Gothic mystery woven throughout, which made it difficult for me to put down.


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