30 December 2012

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Oscar Wilde
Format: Paperback
Pages: 256
Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary (I love you, Goodreads): Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life; indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" was a succes de scandale. Early readers were shocked by its hints at unspeakable sins, and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at the Old Bailey in 1895

My Thoughts: Dorian bothered me, to begin with. I know that he had to be self-centered for the story to work but still. Also, he said he was in love but got over her so quickly? Please! Then it goes awry and he's over it in no time. That's hard to believe. I know, I know, it needed to be so for the story. I did feel sorry for him though. He thought that the only thing that was important was his good looks. That's pathetic in itself. I love it when he goes kind of crazy. He moves the picture like that would make him feel better.

Some of the more minor characters bothered me but it might not have been them but rather how they treated Dorian, a human being, not a god or child yet impressionable to a fault. They weren't very smart when they were around him. Maybe it was just how people were during that time period but I don't really care...

I didn't like that the novel felt the need to go off on tangents. There was some useless information which is hard with classics because they are already hard to follow. You can get lost in the nonsense. I always have issues with getting off track. The older language and big words don't help that either but you do learn a lot of words.

The concept of this book is a bit crazy. Imagine that it actually happened. Also, imagine the fear that would eat at you if you had a portrait like that hanging around, waiting to be found, of course he goes crazy! I was sad that I knew how it ended. That's another problem with classics, you know how most of them end.

Final Thoughts: I thought that the story was enjoyable but it isn't close to being my favourite. Plus, for so few pages, it took a long time to read. I don't regret reading it at all, it's a good part of culture and I also understand his character in A League of Extraordinary Gentlemen better now (Good movie by the way).

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