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The Picture of Dorian Gray
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The Picture of Dorian Gray > The Picture of Dorian Gray - First Impressions *No Spoilers*

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message 1: by Kim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kim This month we are reading the Victorian classic, The Picture of Dorian Gray. I've heard about this story many times over the years but this will be the first time I've read it. And so far it's not like I thought it would be at all. Not for the better either.

I've never been a big "literary fiction" fan. So far I'm finding this nothing but vanity and selfishness, though I believe I'm meant to, and quite boring. It's only a short book though so I'll soldier on and see where it goes.

What do you think?

message 2: by Heidi (new)

Heidi Marie (sunshineyheidi) Haven't started it yet, but I have a long flight tomorrow so maybe I will then!!

Regan | 35 comments I just read this a couple of months ago for my book club. Actually, I was supposed to have read it last year and hated it so much that I couldn't finish it. Then on a kick to really plow through a few book club reads that I rejected in the same way, I trudged through it.

In the end, I found it full of selfishness (but, yes, I think that's the point) and illogical. I didn't find it spooky at all.

Of course, it does contain some great Wilde-isms like "There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about." But you can get those from the internet and save yourself the tedium of reading this book.

I love Wilde's plays, but this I can't recommend.

message 4: by Wastrel (new)

Wastrel | 17 comments Haven't read it for a while, but I remember thinking it was a beautiful failure. As a novel, it doesn't really work. Too little actual plot, too waffley, and what plot there is is hamstrung by the morals of the day (we can't SEE Dorian descend into depravity, because that would be far too depraved for us to read and we might faint). On the other hand, there's some really beautiful writing, and a conceit that has a good book in it somewhere.
I also think to some degree that Wilde didn't know what he was trying to do. His plays have a great concision to them, but some of his other work is more about style than substance. I sort of felt he wasn't sure whether he wanted to write a play in prose, or else a long prose-poem, and ended up with something that isn't really either - that's too concerned with plot and character to be an all-out beautiful writing exercise, but not concerned enough with them to compel the reader along in the way the plays do.

But as I say, haven't read it in a while.

message 5: by Michael, Mod Prometheus (new) - rated it 2 stars

Michael (knowledgelost) | 1255 comments Mod
I've read this a while ago and I didn't care for it much; needless to say I won't be reading it again any time soon

message 6: by M.L. (last edited Jun 02, 2012 11:36AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

M.L. | 309 comments Wilde's social criticism, when it's done with wit (The Importance of Being Earnest) or by direct simple pathos (The Birthday of The Infanta), is unbeatable, he's the best. In novel form, the callous, self-centered aspect is distilled and it does not seem to breathe, so it's hard to empathize and more of a struggle to read.

What would have been fun is . . . Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, in ... The Mysterious Case of Dorian Gray.

message 7: by Kim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kim Well that's over and good riddance. I won't say much more in this thread at the moment as it's only the start of the month and I'll wait til others have read it.

If you want to read what I said about it my review is here -
There's some spoilers but I'm sure most people know how it ends anyway.

message 8: by Michael, Mod Prometheus (new) - rated it 2 stars

Michael (knowledgelost) | 1255 comments Mod
It's really hard to give first impressions when I read it ages ago. But I remember going into this novel thinking I know what this book was really about.

message 9: by Amelina (new)

Amelina I'm on Chapter 7. At first I wasn't too enthused, but now I find that I am actually liking this book.

message 10: by Ana A (new) - added it

Ana A (anabana_a) The whole first half I was thinking "When is this going to get interesting?" But I kept going until about the middle of the book and I did find it interesting enough. I just hope it will stay that way till the end of the book.

Emily (robinsonem) It has been a few years since I read this book, but I remember liking it and still think well of it. Sometimes when you like a book or at least some part of it, you're willing to forgive its other faults. I actually listened to an audio book of this in my car to and from work, so I probably tuned out some of the boring parts too.

Franky I started to read this book years ago, but kind of got busy and lost interest, so I never pursued finishing it. I did see the film, which I found a little more interesting than the first half of the book. Once I locate my copy I'll give it another go.

Andrea I'm into the seventh chapter- not too far along- but I am quite enjoying it. I always read more than one book at a time and so when I find myself beginning to lose interest, I pick up one of the others I'm reading and give it a go for awhile, then come back to The Picture of Dorian Gray.

  Luna  (lunaluss) hmm, I may read it if i have enough time.. It seems interesting.

message 15: by Guy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Guy (Gopi108) | 1 comments Could not finish the book... the intellectual ranting of one of the main character was like a miniature hell... and Dorian was too grey!

Lauren (youratlass) | 11 comments I am only two chapters in and absolutely LOVING it. I think the story line has become so well known that it is interesting to read exactly what was said to Dorian to influence him in such a way.

Heidi I agree with a lot of others in this post that I had picked it up years ago, nearly finished it, and put it down after getting bored with it. We'll see how it goes the second time around.

Cheryl | 2 comments I read this in March just before I offered it as a choice novel to my 12th grade students. We usually read Frankenstein, but this year we decided to offer a choice of gothic novel: Frankenstein or Dorian Gray. As I read it, I thought my students would find it dull and boring, but many said they liked it. I think it is more interesting if you learn about Wilde's romantic background and see the novel in light of the stuffy Victorian time period Wilde lived in.

Rosia_lady This book was very interesting because it emphazise how dangerous can be our physical apperance when our soul is ugly. This book have a message , we have to be careful what we wish for because it can destroy us. I loved the book, the description at the beggining was brilliant . I love it because it a classic and I like to read classics books.

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

I loved this book, although I read it many years ago. It's snarky and witty at the same time, much like Wilde himself. The writers of that time were very partial to long sentences weren't they? A different style of writing that could be seen as a bit dry and long-winded, if judged by modern tastes.

message 21: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Hunt | 104 comments i think the spooky nature of this book is that it is an idea that we've all entertained at some point. i think its a reflection of something we'd all like to be able to do but shows us what would happen if we did...

Jayme I am midway and I'm stuck. I have read 3 books since I've put it aside. I really don't know why I am finding it difficult to open again. I enjoyed what I had read. Hopefully I will be inspired this weekend to knock it out.

message 23: by Kim (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kim Jayme wrote: "I am midway and I'm stuck. I have read 3 books since I've put it aside. I really don't know why I am finding it difficult to open again."

I had a feeling I'd find it difficult so I made sure I didn't start any other book til it was finished or else I'd never complete it.

message 24: by Franky (last edited Jun 13, 2012 09:06PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Franky I'm rereading and about half way through and I've had about all I can of Lord Henry's windbag life philosophies. And now I'm remembering why I stopped reading the first time. The level of pompousness in this book is off the charts...and Dorian, melodramatic about Sybil's performance....("You call THAT acting. You ruined my life with that performance!) I'm paraphrasing, of course.

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