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The Picture of Dorian Gray (Illustrated Classics): A Graphic Novel Paperback – January 26, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Illustrated Classics
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; Reprint edition (January 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1411415930
  • ISBN-13: 978-1411415935
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,162,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The classic tale of a man who sells his moral health for the opportunity to retain his youth and good looks, and the portrait that reveals his own corruption to him, is well-suited to this graphic novel adaptation. Edginton retains many of Wilde’s eloquent phrasings, and Culbard’s black-and-white images give us a Belle Epoch London to fit with Dorian Gray’s recklessness. Lord Henry Wooton’s Svengali role is clearly defined here, and the working-class victims of Gray’s appetites and denials—including the Vane siblings—have some of the most distinct and personalized features among the cast of characters. Gray himself verges on cartoon proportions, a fitting tribute to Wilde’s presentation of him as lacking moral depth. Fitting with the original story, Culbard uses scenes from taverns, opium dens, and bawdy houses, and includes an image of an accurately rendered male nude garden statue. Teens who have read the original will appreciate this rendition, and those who haven’t read Wilde directly should be encouraged to give him a try after this taste. Grades 8-12. --Francisca Goldsmith

About the Author

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. Wilde studied at Trinity College in Dublin and at Magdalen College in Oxford, England, before settling down in London and having a long, successful career as a poet, playwright, and author. Wilde is best known for his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray and for his satirical play The Importance of Being Earnest.

Michael Patrick Gillespie is Louise Edna Goeden Professor of English at Marquette University. He is the author of Oscar Wilde and the Poetics of Ambiguity, The Aesthetics of Chaos: Nonlinear Thinking and Contemporary Literary Criticism, and Inverted Volumes Improperly Arranged: James Joyce and His Trieste Library, among others. His edited works include the Norton Critical Edition of The Importance of Being Earnest and James Joyce and the Fabrication of an Irish Identity. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Wilde sees the world more clearly than any writer of fiction in the last century. It is for that reason that his work is so filled with countless paradoxes and contradictions that challenge the mind and titillate the senses. Wilde lived in an infinitely ironic age, when society had grown so influential as to crowd out the individuals that made it up. Today, we have taken for granted this incongruity and so our writers cannot express the kind of irony that Wilde mastered, despite the fact that we all know that something is amiss.

`The Picture of Dorian Gray' is filled with this irony. The plot shows us the ultimate irony of a man giving up his soul for the beauty of youth--the condition that is exalted in the modern age above all else, intellect, truth, justice, life itself. Interspersed are dialogues and epigrams that persist one hundred years later as some of the finest word handling ever recorded. Even a few samples should compel the potential reader:

"The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."

"Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter."

"A man cannot be too careful in his choice for his enemies."

"The only difference between a caprice and a life-long passion is that the caprice lasts a little bit longer."

"Men marry because they are tired, women marry because they are curious. Both are disappointed."

"I love acting, it is so much more real than life."

- "I am on the side of the Trojans, they fought for a woman."
- "They were defeated."

The mastery of wit that Wilde displays must be seen in its context. He was a decadent as much as the characters he portrays are.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Zack Davisson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
"The Picture of Dorian Gray" seems particularly suited to comic book adaptation. The gothic tone of the piece combined with the sublime imagery of the ever-aging, ever-corrupting portrait is ready-made for some illustrator in the Edward Gorey or Tim Burton vein. Black and white is the way to go, as a color adaptation would make Gray's world seem too garish, too vulgar. A delicate touch is required here.

Illustrator I.N.J. Culbard brings that delicate touch, with an art style that is cartoony and gothic at the same time. Culbard does not go for the obvious, which would be an imitation of Gorey or Burton's style. The eternal beauty of Dorian as well as the brashness of Lord Henry who urges Dorian on and the horrible visage of the portrait that reflects Dorian's soul are all portrayed with a deft hand that brings the story to life the way only the best adaptations do.

Praise must also go to story-adapter Ian Edginton who has to cut down the novel to comic book length, keeping only those passages which contain the core of the morality play. "The Picture of Dorian Gray" is one of Oscar Wilde's most famous works, and although not a particularly long novel it is complex with undercurrents and allusions enough to keep a college literature course busy for quite awhile.

Edington does have the advantage of a full graphic novel format to work with. I have read illustrated adaptations of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" before, most recently in the Graphic Classics: Oscar Wilde, but they have always been shorted versions of the story packed into an anthology. With this Sterling Press publication, you get even more of the famous lines and Wilde's unique style.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. M. burgad on April 26, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I used this to write a paper about Oscar Wilde. It has two versions of The Picture of Dorian Gray plus essays about Wilde and the novel. A great resource.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brophus on January 28, 2014
Format: Paperback
Very rich read with total innocence overwhelmed by complete depravity and a good amount of drama in between. Be warned the story ends quite abruptly and leaves the reader expecting more.Character development is near null but its written in a way such things would hinder the reader. Its certainly has the feel of a story easy to abridge to camp fire story It has outlasted much of its peers from this time and will probably live-on forever.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Allegra DiNetta on July 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really like this story, but I'm not crazy about this art style. I know they wanted to make Dorian look like Oscar Wilde, and he does, but also looks kind of like Jay Leno.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rock Climber on October 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a textbook for one of my High School daughter's classes. She said it was great, and I'm looking forward to borrowing it when the course is finished.
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By Stanley Flood on July 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great!
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