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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
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The Picture of Dorian Gray

207 ratings, 27 reviews

The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde's best-known work and only novel. Published as a novella first in 1890, it features a beautiful young man who is swept up in a Faustian bargain. Dorian Gray, who has recently been inspired to live as an aesthete, becomes the subject of a painting by his friend Basil Hallward. The painter, who believes that Dorian has opened up a new vein of brilliance in his art, claims it is his finest work, and promptly falls in love with young man. The man responsible for Gray's hedonistic mindset is Lord Henry Wotton (or Wilde himself), a man who espouses a life of sensual pleasure over morality or ethics. Upon witnessing the painting, Dorian expresses his wish, however whimsical, that the painting would age and not he. When his wish becomes true, Dorian, who feels no repercussions for his actions, spirals into a life of of vice and debauchery.

Upon its publication in novella form, both in the US and in England, reviewers condemned Wilde's work as horribly shocking and amoral. To address his critics, Wilde expanded his work into a full length novel, which was published in 1891. It included a preface of epigrams by Wilde which elucidate the aesthetic and decadent ideals in life and art: its essence is "art for art's sake," which upended the dreary notion that art should have social, moral or utilitarian purposes. Life is fleeting, and the most important thing is to relish the exquisite sensations life brings, especially those stimulated by a work of art.

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Tony Shortt

December 30, 2015

Saw the film many years ago but the book is far better


June H

December 03, 2013

It is a really good book, sends shivers down your spine feeling Dorian's character development. Wilde is very clever in driving his readers emotions as they read the book, especially uncomfortable and horrified by what Dorian does during the progress of the book. The picture of Dorian gray is definitely a masterpiece of writers being able to move the readers. However, the book is in some case a bit unpleasant, chilling or scary for my liking to give a five star rating.


Veronica Greenfield

October 10, 2013

This is now one of my top favorite books! Oscar wilde is amazeing, am must read for everyone. Wish i had read it sooner.


Brandon Neurenberg

September 18, 2013

Amazing and "pure genius" lol


Isaac Elkins

September 15, 2013

Fantastic! Grabs your attention and never let's it go. The story centers around a man, Dorian Gray, that has mysteriously stopped aging do to a picture that somehow "absorbs" all his wrong doings and age. This leaves him young and beautiful but his inside grows ever darker. What makes this so wonderful is all the philosophical questions it stitches into the story. By the end you find yourself asking questions about life you never even considered (or maybe you have, whatever). I would recommend this to anyone with a working brain who knows how to read. It is one of my favorite novels to this day!


Charity Sacy

July 06, 2013

I love this book! It really sucked me in, and had a great story line.


Graham Leonard

May 31, 2013

I love this man .. His writing is nothing but pure genius got me into reading .. "Real books"


Merlin Ellis

March 31, 2013

Well written, but creepy, book about extreme selfishness.


Zuzana Forrest

March 19, 2013

One of my favorite tales.


Ranko Mirovic

January 08, 2013



Kakah Akhenaton

December 26, 2012

As all wilde books, it repeats itself a little. Its still amazingly well written, beautiful and with so many wise sentences to underline.


Jeanette Curry

December 21, 2012

Absolutely loved this book, couldn't put it down!


Sashank Kini

November 14, 2012

Well I know Wilde was a hedonist and being a great fan of Tolstoy and his ideology, I was annoyed by the flagrant attention Wilde draws towards opulence. There is an entire chapter covering every single hedonistic pursuits Dorian Gray indulges in, and that was my boiling point. The 'suspense' and 'thriller' in the story are surprisingly well written though, and I was impressed with how Wilde increased the pacing of the novel towards the end. The entire story would've much better had Wilde not spent half the book praising the characters, their features (who really cares about the shape of his bose, the partings of the hair) and other stuff in his typical highfaluted way.


C Devries

October 30, 2012

I remember watching this movie decades ago and being frightened out of my wits. The book is much less frightening or perhaps it is just that I am older. It is a good story!


Jon Callaghan

August 18, 2012

Just spectacular. Each page drips with a vicous cocktail of passion, evil, beauty and human frailty. There are too many oneliners to highlight.


Elizabeth Lyles

August 04, 2012

So sinister...the dark side of humanity. Great read.


Miranda Harcourt Marsh

July 04, 2012

I thought it was an interested read! Not bad at all


Miranda Harcourt Marsh

July 04, 2012

I thought it was an interested read! Not bad at all


Miranda Harcourt Marsh

July 04, 2012

I thought it was an interested read! Not bad at all


Maria Prata

June 09, 2012

Absolutely amazing.


Sonnie Stover

May 04, 2012



Anthony Clarke

May 03, 2012

The definition of gothic writing, this book is brilliant.


Joan Apps

March 16, 2012

Detestably delicious !


Cameron Binns

February 23, 2012

Sucked hated it


Cassidy Morgan

January 18, 2012



Kattia Ramirez

December 30, 2011

I love every point of view of life.


William Cleveland

September 17, 2011

An amazing book, and one that I have read quite a few times.