A review by seawarrior
The Picture of Dorian Grey, by Oscar Wilde

challenging dark mysterious tense 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


While some passages in this book were terribly dull to me, Wilde's dazzling language and audacious characters kept drawing my interest back in. I'm fortunate to have just read the works of a few of the philosophers referenced in this book for college, though I'm sure there were several references to other works of literature and ethics systems that went over my head. The edition of the book I had access to did not provide citations of other works Wilde referenced, but I imagine one that did would have only made my reading experience richer. 

I'm sure that most of what I can say about this book in regards to its philosophy and history has already been said by someone more knowledgeable that me, so I won't go into my thoughts on those matters. As a horror story I think it still holds up well in the modern day. Dorian's descent into soullessness grows more chilling by the chapter, as his sins culminate and lead to his ultimate end. Wilde's wit and descriptive language made the scenery and characters come alive, and as the book went on I felt it less challenging to make sense of his dense paragraphs and philosophies. I would recommend this book to other readers. It remains a classic not only for Wilde's adept writing, but the controversy it caused at the time of publication. 

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