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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
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The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)

by Oscar Wilde

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
21,87333061 (4.01)13 / 889
1890s (7)
Romans (26)
Unread books (1,017)
  1. 190
    The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (chrisharpe)
  2. 140
    The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (sturlington)
    sturlington: Read Oscar Wilde at his finest.
  3. 120
    The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings by Edgar Allan Poe (WSB7)
  4. 72
    Death in Venice by Thomas Mann (roby72)
  5. 61
    The Stranger by Albert Camus (SanctiSpiritus)
  6. 40
    Against Nature by Joris-Karl Huysmans (roby72, Zeeko, JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Wie in Wikipedia zu 'Gegen den Strich' beschrieben: "Ein französischer Roman, der den Protagonisten in Oscar Wildes Roman Das Bildnis des Dorian Gray zu dekadenten Ausschweifungen inspiriert, wird häufig als Anspielung auf À rebours gedeutet. Wilde war - wie auch Stéphane Mallarmé - ein Bewunderer des Romans."… (more)
  7. 63
    Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind (spiphany)
  8. 30
    The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill (OneMorePage)
  9. 30
    The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde by Neil McKenna (unknown_zoso05)
    unknown_zoso05: McKenna touches upon what influenced Wilde to write "The Picture of Dorian Gray".
  10. 31
    Oscar Wilde: A Certain Genius by Barbara Belford (veracity)
    veracity: Belford discusses both editions of Dorian Gray.
  11. 66
    The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne (chrisharpe)
  12. 00
    Shadow Dance by Angela Carter (rbtanger)
  13. 00
    Picture of Evil by Graham Masterton (Scottneumann)
  14. 11
    Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello (SandSing7)
  15. 12
    A fehér tigris by Ervin Lázár (Lucy_Skywalker)
  16. 01
    The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares (StevenTX)
  17. 03
    Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber (Joles)
  18. 48
    Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: Heart of Darkness could be paired with Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray or the strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyse by Robert Louis Stevenson. In all three novels the authors depict the struggle of people against the forces of evil.
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English (308)  Spanish (8)  French (6)  German (3)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hungarian (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (330)
Showing 1-5 of 308 (next | show all)
Loved it and it was so different from the movie! It had such a strong message that was lost when made into film. ( )
  ChewDigest | Sep 12, 2014 |
Loved it and it was so different from the movie! It had such a strong message that was lost when made into film. ( )
  ChewDigest | Sep 12, 2014 |
I approached this book more as a classic I felt I "ought" to have read than as a book I was genuinely excited to read, but I found the story compelling, on the whole, and while I probably won't read it again, I'm happy to have read it once. ( )
  Katya0133 | Aug 28, 2014 |
What if you could look and be young forever? That is the premise behind The Picture of Dorian Gray. When Gray has his portrait painted by a enamored artist, he wishes to look like that forever and have the painting bear the years for him. Unfortunately, his wish is granted.

Although the book did start out slow and there are many pages of nothing but description, Wilde paints a vivid picture not unlike his young artist and leaves the reader with many philosophical parodies of parables from the lips of Gray's devil on his shoulder, Henry Wotton.

Definitely would recommend to someone who can survive the long descriptions and old English. ( )
  PhxDan | Aug 28, 2014 |
Shelf Notes Review

Dear Reader,

This is THAT book. The book that you know exists, you know you should read, you can even confidently say you know you'll enjoy it... but haven't read it yet. I'm in my mid 30's and I just read THIS book, the book that I know is the perfect classic for me. It has the creep factor, the large and thoughtful ideas, the punch in the stomach, and the shock value! ALL of this is included in your very own copy of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and yet, I had not read it yet. No longer! I can now say that I've read THIS classic that has all those traits I love. This wasn't my favorite "classic" book, but it surprisingly didn't disappoint. My expectations were completely met with this book. I wasn't overly impressed but on the same token, wasn't disappointed.

So if you're anything like me, you know the basics behind the story but I'll fill you in anyways. There's this guy named Dorian Gray, a wealthy young gentleman who associates with the aristocrats and artists of his time. He befriends a particular artist that develops a slight obsession with Dorian while painting his portrait. After the portrait is painted, Dorian wishes that the painting could hold all of his sins and his age. Why? Well, because of his corrupt and incorrigible "friend" Lord Henry. This man is despicable and corrupts Mr. Gray slowly and surely throughout the story. His first known "corruption" deals with convincing and lecturing Dorian on age and pointing out that this painting of him will forever be younger than Mr. Gray himself. So, from the beginning, we see Dorian as a nice enough guy, one who thinks well of others and has good intentions BUT he starts getting a little self involved (especially on his looks). So Dorian looks upon this newly painted portrait of himself and begins to hate what it represents... AGING! He wishes the painting could hold his sins and age and all of a sudden "poof", (we find out a little later on) this is EXACTLY what has happened. Boy, oh boy... could you imagine a gift more important than that? You get to live forever AND not suffer from your sins? That can't backfire can it? Hahahahaha.

Poor Dorian Gray, we see his slow descent into corruption, becoming an overall terrible human being. He becomes even worse than Lord Henry, which I would have never guessed that could happen. Without giving the ending away, I must say... this story has a lot going for it, SO many "morals". To delve a little deeper below the surface, we start to realize that Lord Henry gives us TONS of fuel to fire our inner rage. How can you not be upset when he acts as if women have no worth, the only person that matters is yourself and you shouldn't care about anything else. Ugh, so frustrating to read his lengthy horrible spouts of monologues. I think Arianna said it nicely, in her review of this book. She had a hard time liking it because the characters had such horrible qualities, and I completely agree with Arianna on this one. It was hard to finish the book because I hardly cared for Dorian by the end.

I still feel strongly about the depth of ideas the Author was trying to convey, so deep that I have a hard time describing what that IS. I keep coming back to the conscience and relating it to the "Pinocchio" story. Just like Pinocchio, Dorian has a friend that leads him astray (Honest John the Fox was the character who led Pinocchio astray). Pinocchio ends up being coaxed to Pleasure Island and we find out "IT'S A TRAP". This is similar to what Lord Henry does to Dorian with all his talk on egotistical philosophy, which ultimately leads Dorian to his own Pleasure Island (that magical place where you can be completely selfish and disregard the emotions of others). You want to scream at the book and at Dorian, telling him to STOP listening to Lord Henry and START listening to his conscience. At one point, the star-struck Artist comes to speak with Dorian and tries to warn him of this dark path he is going down (like Jiminy Cricket?), but at this point Dorian is too far gone and finds his help insulting. I won't go into what happens from that point on, this is something that you have to find out on your own. I can't say I really enjoyed reading the book per se, but I do think Oscar Wilde made a very large statement with it. I think this is an important read, it delves into subjects that very few books bring up (or none that speak too deeply on the subjects), I would most certainly recommend it as a classic and one not to miss.

Happy Reading,
AmberBug ( )
  yougotamber | Aug 22, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (110 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Wilde, Oscarprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ackroyd, PeterIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beraud, JeanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brassinga, AnnekeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bristow, JosephEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Callow, SimonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Calzini, RaffaeleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cauti, CamilleIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Clark, Emma ChichesterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Corcos, LucilleIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crossley, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drew, John M LIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eugenides, JeffreyIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaulke, JohannesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gómez de la Serna, JulioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gullvåg, HåkonIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heuvelmans, TonAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, GarethDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kaila, KaiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
König, Eva-MariaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kosztolányi, DezsőTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Manso, LeoIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mathias, RobertCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maurois, AndréIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mighall, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Morgan, JohnDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Murray, Isobel M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Naugrette, Jean-PierreIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Novák, Jiří ZdeněkTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nuis, AadAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Page, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piglia, PaolaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ross, TonyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sheen, MichaelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shi, YuanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toledo, RubenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Trugo, LuiIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Welsh, IrvineIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
White, EdmundIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winwar, FrancesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Dedication
First words
The studio was filled with the rich odor of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amid the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink flowering thorn.
La fragancia de las rosas llenaba el estudio y, al soplar entre los árboles del jardín la suave brisa estival, entraba por la puerta abierta el fuerte olor de las lilas o el perfume más sutil del rosado espino en flor.
Quotations
'Your rank and wealth, Harry; my brains, such as they are -- my art, whatever it may be worth; Dorian Gray's good looks -- we shall all suffer for what the gods have given us, suffer terribly.'
'Harry,' said Basil Hallward, looking him straight in the face, 'every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul.'
He played with the idea and grew willful; tossed it into the air and transformed it; let it escape and recaptured it; made it iridescent with fancy and winged it with paradox. The praise of folly, as he went on, soared into a philosophy, and Philosophy herself became young, and catching the mad music of pleasure, wearing, one might fancy, her wine-stained robe and wreath of ivy, danced like a Bacchante over the hills of life, and mocked the slow Silenus for being sober. Facts fled before her like frightened forest things. Her white feet trod the huge press at which wise Omar sits, till the seething grape-juice rose round her bare limbs in waves of purple bubbles, or crawled in red foam over the vat's black, dripping, sloping sides. It was an extraordinary improvisation. He felt that the eyes of Dorian Gray were fixed on him, and the consciousness that amongst his audience there was one whose temperament he wished to fascinate seemed to give his wit keenness and to lend colour to his imagination. He was brilliant, fantastic, irresponsible. He charmed his listeners out of themselves, and they followed his pipe, laughing. Dorian Gray never took his gaze off him, but sat like one under a spell, smiles chasing each other over his lips and wonder growing grave in his darkening eyes.
Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.
The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.
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Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Please do not combine with any adaptation, abridgement, etc.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Dorian Gray has just had his portrait painted. It is a perfect likeness of the quite extraordinary beautiful young man, and it prompts him to make a mad wish for eternal youth. In the years to come, he devotes his public life to and aestheticism-and his private one to decadence and debauchery.
AR7.7, 14 Pts
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375751513, Paperback)

A lush, cautionary tale of a life of vileness and deception or a loving portrait of the aesthetic impulse run rampant? Why not both? After Basil Hallward paints a beautiful, young man's portrait, his subject's frivolous wish that the picture change and he remain the same comes true. Dorian Gray's picture grows aged and corrupt while he continues to appear fresh and innocent. After he kills a young woman, "as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife," Dorian Gray is surprised to find no difference in his vision or surroundings. "The roses are not less lovely for all that. The birds sing just as happily in my garden."

As Hallward tries to make sense of his creation, his epigram-happy friend Lord Henry Wotton encourages Dorian in his sensual quest with any number of Wildean paradoxes, including the delightful "When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy." But despite its many languorous pleasures, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an imperfect work. Compared to the two (voyeuristic) older men, Dorian is a bore, and his search for ever new sensations far less fun than the novel's drawing-room discussions. Even more oddly, the moral message of the novel contradicts many of Wilde's supposed aims, not least "no artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style." Nonetheless, the glamour boy gets his just deserts. And Wilde, defending Dorian Gray, had it both ways: "All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment."

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:24:35 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

An exquisitely beautiful young man in Victorian England retains his youthful and innocent appearance over the years while his portrait reflects both his age and evil soul as he pursues a life of decadence and corruption.

» see all 45 descriptions

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Audible.com

36 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Six editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439572, 0141037687, 0141442468, 014119264X, 0143106147, 0141199490

Urban Romantics

An edition of this book was published by Urban Romantics.

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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