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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

1001 Book Update - The Picture of Dorian Gray

I just finished up reading The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. This is the only work by Oscar Wilde I have read and I have to say that it was a pretty good story. Talk about a great gothic novel for October!

In all honesty, I had tried reading this book years ago and got pretty bored the first few chapters and didn't finish it. I had thought my mom had recommended it to me until I realized she had recommended The Portrait of an Artist as A Young Man by James Joyce....yeah, a completely different type of novel. :)

Anyway, the story opens up with Basil Hallward, an artist, painting Dorian Gray's portrait. Dorian Gray is in his early twenties, beyond handsome, and innocent. Also present is their mutual friend Lord Henry Wotton. Basil's finished portrait of Dorian is exquisite. Dorian see's this masterpiece and hates knowing that while he will grow and age, the portrait will always remain young and perfect. So he makes a silly off-hand wish...that the portrait will age and he won't.

But the wish comes true. And along with Lord Henry being a corrupting role model...Dorian Gray through the years becomes a truly vulgur human being while looking like perfection personified. And hidden in his house is the portrait that tells the truth.

I thought this was a great novel...and it's pretty short if you want to read it. Make sure you make it past the part where Lord Henry gives Dorian a particularly corrupting book as a present. That second half of the book is where the truly gothic aspects of the book come out. And I loved reading Oscar Wilde's writing about the dark aspects of Victorian society. And I kept imagining Ruppert Everett's voice for Lord Henry.

Oh, and for you movie buffs...a new movie called Dorian Gray is scheduled to come out next year staring Colin Firth which I heard about on this great blog.

This has been yet another book for Carl's R.I.P. III Challenge
Also Reviewed By:
Trish's Reading Nook


  1. Mr. Darcy, Prince Caspian, and period clothing in the same movie? I'm so there.

    I really ought to read this one, especially since it's fairly short and we make joking references about it *all the time*.

  2. I read this last year and enjoyed it. It wasn't what I was expecting.

  3. I didn't know about the movie. I'd love to see it. I really enjoyed the book.

  4. Thanks for the heads up with the movie! I think Colin Firth would do a great job. And blah to Portrait of the Artist--sooooo boring. :)


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