- Series: Dover Thrift Editions
- Mass Market Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications; Reprint edition (October 13, 1993)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0486278077
- ISBN-13: 978-0486278070
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2,978 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Picture of Dorian Gray (Dover Thrift Editions) Reprint Edition
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From the Back Cover
In this celebrated work, his only novel, Wilde forged a devastating portrait of the effects of evil and debauchery on a young aesthete in late-19th-century England. Combining elements of the Gothic horror novel and decadent French fiction, the book centers on a striking premise: As Dorian Gray sinks into a life of crime and gross sensuality, his body retains perfect youth and vigor while his recently painted portrait grows day by day into a hideous record of evil, which he must keep hidden from the world. For over a century, this mesmerizing tale of horror and suspense has enjoyed wide popularity. It ranks as one of Wilde's most important creations and among the classic achievements of its kind.
About the Author
Poet and playwright Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) remains best known for his comedies of the 1890s, including The Importance of Being Earnest, and for his tragic imprisonment and untimely death.
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I absolutely despise Dorian Gray, but I am sure that was Wilde’s intention. How could you like a man that is so selfish, narcissistic, and obsessed with his own youth and beauty at the cost of all others around him? Dorian truly represents the ugliest that humanity has to offer, and I am happy that he pays for his sins in a fairly poetic nature.
To lighten the serious tones of this book is Lord Henry, easily my favorite character. Nearly every line he speaks is a life-quote and his character gives insight to Wilde’s own thoughts regarding the world and the people in the world. A few of my favorites:
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it & your soul grows sick with longing for things it has forbidden itself.”
“Some things are more precious because they don’t last long.”
I liked this book so much that I want to re-read it immediately :).
In this case, the title refers to "other writings" but it does not seem to contain any other writings. In any case, it is hard to tell because there is no table of contents. Chapters do not begin on a new page but (to save money) a new chapter will begin anywhere on the page.
Sometimes there are smart quotes. Sometimes there are unformatted quotation marks.
Margins are very close to the edges of the pages, again to save money.
Most troubling, the original Bantam edition was about 450 pages; this edition is 190 pages.
So, I would recommend you go with a name brand publisher instead of ordering this version.
Why did I not give it one or two stars? Because I did not notice typos and the entire text of "The Picture of Dorian Gray" appears to be contained here, plus the front and back covers, which contain old portraits of the author, are attractive.
So, I wanted 2018 to be the year that I try to get back into classics! In the past, I’ve found some of them daunting to read, or just too boring to ever feel invested in. But I feel like The Picture of Dorian Gray was the perfect start.
I originally was going to give this three stars, because I enjoyed it enough, but was never too invested. I felt annoyed at how these characters were so obviously not straight. I mean, a vast majority of this book is about Dorian taking a wife. Meanwhile, every man in this book just has full page monologues telling Dorian how beautiful he is. And then I sat down to do my review, and I started doing my research.
It’s no secret that Oscar Wilde was a gay man. Hell, he was even jailed for his sexuality, and died soon after from all the inhumane injuries he endured while in prison. All three major male character in this book read very… not straight. My friend, Destiny, told me that a lot of readers in the Horror circles make strong arguments that Dorian is in fact pansexual, which makes me happier than I can express with words. Yet, I can’t help but think about parallels with this book that Wilde crafted about “secret sin” and how it mirrored his life and perhaps his sexuality that he ultimately died for.
You guys, I have no words. In the 1880s people thought homosexuality was some disease, something to be cured, something not okay to simply just be. Something that was a criminal act. Something that Oscar Wilde was jailed and forced to do hard labor for. And once you start seeing the similarities between Wilde’s life and the events that take place in this book, you will realize that like The Picture of Dorian Gray is so much more important that the surface value of just reading this story.
Okay, I do suppose I should tell you about the story now. This is a tale that centers around three men that live in an upper-class London society:
➽ Basil Hallward - Artist who befriends Dorian because he is obsessed with his beauty and lives his life painting many portraits of him, but more importantly, he paints the portrait that this story surrounds.
➽ Lord Henry Wotton - Basil's friend, which is how he meets Dorian. Henry is a manipulator that heavily influences Dorian with his views about what is important in life.
➽ Dorian Gray - Our main character, who starts out so young, innocent, and impressionable. He later is harboring a major secret and will stop at nothing to hide this secret and the events that lead him to this secret.
“There are only two kinds of people who are fascinating - people who know absolutely everything and people who know absolutely nothing.”
In this book, the value of appearance is heavily touched upon. Youth and beauty seem to be everyone’s priority. It’s scary and sad how much this also mirrors 2018. There is also a huge discussion to be had about good versus evil and how we view that grey area in-between. Yet, these discussions are held in this seamlessly woven story.
Overall, even though I didn’t five star this, I really enjoyed it and it was able to evoke a lot of emotion from me. More importantly, I recommend you all to read My dear friend Navessa’s review, which ended up evoking even more emotion from me. She linked this article, which then made me weep. Again, this story is so much more than a paranormal painting, and a man trying to hide secrets. This is a masterpiece and my heart will forever break thinking about this story.
Trigger/content warnings: death, murder, suicide, and a ton of misogynistic comments.