Steve (riverc0il) wrote in thebookreport,

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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Author: Oscar Wilde</a>
Title: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Hardcover ISBN: 0679600019
Published 1992 by Random House
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
254 Pages

...but this story surely was not worthy of the same! This fascinating account of three well to do English men is centered around Dorian Gray who is a young and extremely good looking young man whom one of the other English Gentleman that is a painter becomes obsessed about. The painter has Dorian Gray sit to have a painting made and when the portrait is completed it radically changes both Dorian and the painters' lives. The third gentleman is a Lord Henry is rather ammused at the whole affair and remains intrigued by Dorian Gray and his ever youthful personality.

This story would make a fantastic screenplay for a movie as a psychological thriller. Surprisingly, Oscar Wilde chose to write this story as a novel instead of a play for which he is more well known for. The book would definitely have been more pleasurable to read as Wilde's diologue is witty, fast moving, and thought provoking whereas his descriptions and narration are long winded, over wordy, and tiresome. The book could be pared down by up to 50% without losing any of the intrigue or substance. It is only for these yawningly boring narrative sections that this book is not nearly a 5.0 on the rating scale.

I wish I had read this book with a pencil and paper on hand to write down some of the fantastic lines of dialogue. Simply fantastic in places! The characters argue morality back and forth often changing their views as influenced by the words of others. Point and counterpoint come fast and furious barely allowing the reader the needed time to properly digest the words and clearify the reader's own view point on the topic. Very often I found myself agreeing with Lord Henry's character who amongst the lead characters poses the most intact view point but is troubled with the perspective of losing is own youth in the face of ever youthful and vital Dorian Gray.

A pleasing read begging to be put into the format of a play, The Picture of Dorian Gray shows Oscar Wilde in full command of the English Language and twisting words everywhere to make one question their own beleif system in relation to society's. It is hardly belivable this book could be published 1890s England with many of its suggestive and morally challenging references. Despite being 125 years old, the book is still every bit relevent to man's word view and continuing self questioning of moral belief systems in relation to how we choose to live our lives.
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