The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde


“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” – Oscar Wilde

Synopsis: Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.” Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”

I am finding it extremely hard to write a review about this book. I don’t know if I enjoyed it or if I found it terrible. Before I started reading it and this book was high on my list of classics to read, I was very enthusiastic about it and was sure I was going to love it. Honestly, I found the story hard to get through and a bit dull.

The first part of the book was dull. We don’t get to experience a lot of exciting moments. People gushing over Dorian Gray, which I thought I would like but actually was a bit over-romantic for me. Also, Dorian is a very annoying person. Though I do feel like it made the story and my thoughts about the book better. It takes a lot to create a character that you can hate.

The story started to get good for me when Dorian started to commit a crime and things got darker. That’s when I started to feel the pace of the storyline pick up and I felt exciting things coming up. That was also the moment when I felt that the whole point of the book was showing at it’s best. There were also some macabre things happening, which was such an opposite against the romanticism in the first part of the book.

I gave this book 3/5 stars. It’s like a love-hate relationship. Definitely not my favorite classic, but on the other hand it keeps popping up in my mind.

Happy reading everyone!


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