The Picture of Dorian Gray – In review

19 06 2012

I thought I’d do another book review. This time I’m going to make sure it isn’t so long-winded. So without any further ado:

A review of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I had been meaning to read this book for a number of years but I never got around to doing so. It was actually during a chat after watching the film “The Hunger Games” that I thought to download it on my Kindle. I forget exactly how it came up but the girl I had seen the film with and myself were talking rather excitedly about reading The Hunger Games and I said I would download it. In this conversation she informed me that not only was The Picture of Dorian Gray a fantastic book but that it was also free to download. And so I did and I cannot explain how much I urge you all to do the same if you haven’t read it. It is brilliant.

The story, as many of you probably know, is of a young man(Dorian Gray) living in London who has a portrait painted of himself; this portrait then takes on all the scares of aging and corruption which Dorian should experience as he goes through life. In essence the picture ages whilst he stays forever young. But really this is only a premise for the story to sit behind. The real story is of corruption and influence.

At the beginning of the book Dorian Gray is a creature of pure aesthetic; he exists only as a thing of beauty in others eyes without an original thought in his head. He himself is unaware of his own beauty and it is this that our other main character (Lord Henry) uses as a catalyst that begins the corruption of Dorian Gray. Lord Henry, whilst not sharing the title of the book, is an equally important character and it is he that drives Dorian Gray through the book. He begins by filling Dorian’s head with ideas and this leads him to live a life where the ultimate goal is the beauty and pleasure of experience, no matter how corrupting it may be. It is this idea that runs through the book and is the primary focus of the story; and it is done astonishingly well. The characters and the writing had me entirely hooked whilst reading and although there are areas of dialog from a single characters that are over a page in length I never found myself bored or uninterested in what was being said.

So, a result…

“Brilliant”Well written, engaging and enjoyable throughout. And FREE. Read it immediately.

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