Reviews

The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

gr1zzlybe4r's review against another edition

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challenging dark reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

andreadelo's review

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dark mysterious reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

emmainthesun's review against another edition

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dark emotional mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

readem_andweep's review against another edition

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4.0

Dorian Gray is beautiful and there’s no doubt about it. Everyone knows his name and adores him, especially his good friend Basil. Basil, a painter, is obsessed with Dorian and creates his greatest masterpiece with Dorian as his subject. But when Dorian meets Basil’s friend Lord Henry, everything starts to change. Lord Henry has a very crude, cynical outlook on life, and he preaches his theories and philosophies to Dorian. Henry tells Dorian that youth is the most precious thing in life, and that without it, Dorian will slowly wither away into nothing. Dorian becomes frantic, and seeing Basil’s beautiful painting of himself in all his youthful glory, shouts that he would trade anything in the world – including his own soul – to remain eternally youthful, like the painting. He should have been careful of what he wished for.

The idea of this novel is incredibly interesting to me. The story is told in third person and focuses on Basil, Henry, and Dorian. A lot of the novel revolves around Henry teaching Dorian his theories and philosophies, and it’s really quite interesting to read about. The dialogue is fantastic — Oscar Wilde is a master at dialogue, and he proves it here. The banter between characters is great and really keeps you engaged in the story. The novel starts off pretty strong, then gets a little slow, then picks up with excitement, then teeters off again until ending with a bang. It was a crazy rollercoaster and it was a lot of fun to read. At one point in the novel I just lost it and almost threw the book. It was like, 2am and I just shouted WHAT!? at the book and my girlfriend was not amused. I was also not amused, Oscar Wilde… Thanks a lot… Towards the end it started to get a little predictable, but it was still interesting to read. It took me a little while to read because the content was so heavy, but the lighthearted dialogue was a nice break. I was a little disappointed that it took almost half the novel to even mention the importance of Dorian’s painting, but that’s okay. I would definitely read this again.

There is only one character in this whole damn novel that I actually like, and it is Basil. That man is so wonderful. You hear less of him throughout the novel and that made me sad. He reminded me a lot of Nick Carraway from Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. I had so much sympathy for this man while reading the novel. Most of the novel focuses heavily on Dorian Gray, of course, and at first I was okay with that because he seemed like such a cool character, but the closer he got to Henry, the more I hated him. I really liked Henry and his cynicism for a while, but then I started to realize how disgusting and horrible he was. Dorian just became a carbon copy of Henry and that upset me. Dorian blamed Basil for his decent into madness, but I know it was actually Henry’s fault. Henry’s theories, philosophies, and books poisoned Dorian, and that is a fact. It’s hard to read a novel when you dislike the main character so greatly, but Oscar Wilde made is possible and actually interesting.

This is Wilde’s only published novel, and it’s a damn good one. Every word, every sentence, bleeds sarcasm. Wilde is such a fantastic writer! This novel is so quotable! I loved it. He’s so cynical towards women, especially American women, and it’s kind of hilarious:
She behaves as if she is beautiful. Most American women do. It is the secret of their charm.

That’s not even the worst comment he makes. It’s terribly degrading, but I find it funny. I love Wilde’s writing and I encourage you to read this. Just…try to remember the time period in which it was written.
from my book blog, The Ultimate Book Geek

reading_writing_rithmetic's review

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challenging reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

fayepages's review against another edition

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dark reflective tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

inestvres's review

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dark emotional mysterious reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

paper_queen's review

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dark reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

annabajorek's review

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dark reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

valdi's review against another edition

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challenging dark mysterious reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75