The Picture of Dorian Gray Review

  • Author: Oscar Wilde
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Horror/Classic
  • No. of pages: 264
  • Year published: 1890
  • Dates read: 24.08.19 – 28.08.19
  • Rating: 4 stars

How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June…. If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that—for that—I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!”

– Dorian Gray

Plot: Posing for a portrait, Dorian Gray talks with Lord Henry Wotton, who says that men should pursue their sensual longings, but laments that only the young get to do so. Taken with the idea, Dorian imagines a scenario in which the painting will age as he stays youthful. His wish comes true, and his boyish looks aid him as he indulges his every whim. But when a stunning revelation forces him to see what he’s become, Dorian faces some very dangerous questions. (Taken from Wikipedia)

I loved the writing style. Normally, I’m not fussed about writing unless it’s insanely boring but I loved Wilde’s style in this book. The writing was incredibly poetic and conjured up beautiful and detailed images in my mind which really helped the scenes.

I really enjoyed Wilde’s obvious commentary of society in the 1890’s. His obvious criticism was really interesting to read about and gives you an insight into what life was like for rich people in those times. It was also interesting to see things mentioned that I still see happening today such as judgemental people, the poor treatment of women and the focus on vanity.

I really enjoyed reading about Dorian’s character arc from a naive young boy to a cruel and heartless adult. It was intriguing to see him develop and what moments caused him to slowly change heart.

That being said, this book did drag on and I started losing momentum with it. The first half was really fast-paced and I was really engaged but the second half was getting slower and slower with each chapter until the ending.

I also wanted a bit more plot and less reflection on life or a character reflecting on themselves as this led to it feeling like it dragged on as you would have pages of self-reflection and nothing else much happening.

Sin is a thing that writes itself across a man’s face. It cannot be concealed.

– Basil Hallward

The next book I hope to review is The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. This will be a re-read for me as I read it when I was about 14, I think.

3 thoughts on “The Picture of Dorian Gray Review

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