“The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde – narrated by Simon Preble

This book was one of Audible’s new daily deals. I’ve discovered some good stuff I probably never would have stumbled upon or been willing to spend a credit on. The book I’m reading now is gooood and it was also a daily deal. That review will be fun.

I didn’t know anything about Oscar Wilde when I started reading ‘Dorian Gray’. I had heard his name and new this book was a classic but that was the extent of my knowledge of him. I didn’t get far into the book before I had to look him up. Immediately I noticed some homosexual undertones as the three main characters were introduced. In my reading of the entire Wikipedia page on Wilde, I discovered why. What a truly fascinating story! I skipped the section on the book so nothing would be spoiled. I read the Wikipedia page on the book the day I finished it. I ended up determined to finish it Saturday because I longed to move on to something else.

That is not to say I didn’t enjoy the book. However reading the Wikipedia page on it helped me understand the parts that pushed me to wanting to just finish it already. The book was controversial from the beginning when Wilde published it to a magazine and of course the homosexual undertones were a big reason. So he had to add a lot of details to the plot to shut up the critics. At least that was the conclusion I drew from what I learned about it all.

It’s really too bad and I wish the version I had gotten had been abridged. *gasp!* Yes, I admit it. I despise abridgement but if it restored the book to Wild’s original, I’d be all for it.

Dorian Gray was a beautiful young man with a kind and loving nature, so beautiful in fact that his artist friend Basil longed to paint his portrait and when Gray begins to sit for him, Basil quickly deems Dorian his muse. He unwillingly introduces Dorian to his friend Lord Henry, begging Henry not to ruin Dorian.

Let me just say that I grew to hate Henry. During a break from the portrait sitting, Dorian and Henry have a chat and the corruption begins. Henry lets Dorian know that his looks are everything and Dorian wishes, after gazing upon his portrait, that the portrait would age in place of himself. What follows is a tragedy in the making and while I steadily grew to dislike Dorian, I pulled for him, that he might find his way and get out from under Henry’s influence.

I don’t think I’m necessarily a fan of Wilde’s writing, though it’s unfair to judge him on one work. One of the things that drove me crazy was the fact that the characters didn’t so much have a dialogue, as one gave a speech to the other. I kept thinking that must be due to Wilde’s experience as a playwright. I’m pretty sure I could tell the passages Wild added later. They were long and rambling, giving details that to me, didn’t seem to be necessary. That’s why everything clicked when I read the Wikipedia page on the novel. So many times I found my mind wandering and then it would “come back to earth” as the plot thickened. (dun dun dun)

The ending went where I thought it would but not quite how I thought it would. It was a holy whoa moment, for sure. I enjoyed this book. I just wish I had gotten Wilde’s original.

Rating: Entertaining, though if not for Wild’s critics, it would have gotten a so good.

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” at Audible ~ ”The Picture of Dorian Gray” at Amazon

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Random Happy

I’ve decided to start including things I read in the mornings that make me happy. Yesterday’s post gave me the idea. Enjoy today’s!

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Filed under 2013 Book List, Audio books, NaBloPoMo 2013, plugs

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