The Picture of Dorian Gray

September 6, 2013 Classics, Fiction 9

DG-10pvb52Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Author: Oscar Wilde
Source: library
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Dorian Gray is a beautiful and likable young man until presented with opportunity to remain unchangingly young. The influence of an immoral friend and the temptation to do wrong without showing any signs of his corruption soon prove too much for Dorian.

The most intriguing part of this story is the premise and it’s possible I would have enjoyed it more if each revelation of what was happening had surprised me. As is, I felt like there wasn’t much of a plot.  There was a certain fascination to the beginning of the story, although it was a fascination I felt bad for, like I was watching a car crash. Even that interest want away after Dorian realizes what’s happening. The story becomes a lot of excessively specific descriptions of all of things Dorian collects mixed with excessively vague descriptions of what he’s actually doing.

Like many classics, the book was an interesting reflection on human nature. In addition to the plot itself, the characters have many conversations about morality and beauty. However, with no characters expressing a view of human nature I could agree with, I found those sections un-enjoyable as well. Despite the interesting premise, the book itself was turned out to be fairly bland and disappointing.


9 Responses to “The Picture of Dorian Gray”

  1. Charlie

    I’m both looking forward to reading this one day and not. What you’ve said has summed a lot of that up, especially the plot aspect. Disagreeable characters are an interesting subject. One or two and you can look past it, but it’s hard to like a book where no one is nice, even if you can appreciate it as a work of fiction.

    • DoingDewey

      It’s true! I don’t even like too many unlikeable good guys or friends of the main character. I prefer to only have an unlikeable bad guy or two and that’s it 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      That is one nice thing about it being a classic! At least if I didn’t enjoy it, I’ve still read a book that other things might reference; which a lot of other people will probably read; and which has enough literary merit that it’s become a classic worth reading just for the experience 🙂

  2. Patty B

    I have not read this but seen both movies…when I saw it available for my kindle I snapped it up. Can’t wait to read the book – the movies were great especially the original one.

    • DoingDewey

      I haven’t seen either of the movies but am hoping to soon. I was planning on watching the new one, but perhaps I’ll watch the original first 🙂

      • Patty B

        I saw the one with I believe Jane Seymour first and only recently saw the B & W version, it was so different but I think better.

    • DoingDewey

      It was a good thing it was short because otherwise I either would have given up or I’d have really hated finishing it! Hopefully the movie will be more enjoyable 🙂