by Oscar Wilde
Category: Classic Fiction / General
Publication date: 19851200
Number of pages: 272
Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray exchanges his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Influenced by his friend Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life, indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only his portrait bears the traces of his decadence. The Picture of Dorian Gray was a succes de scandal. Early readers were shocked by its hints of unspeakable sins, and the book was later used as evidence against Wilde at his trial at the Old Bailey in 1895.
What the papers say:
This is the classic story of Dorian Gray, beautiful and narcissistic, who sells himself for eternal beauty and youth, while his portrait changes with time, reflecting his aging and the evil in his soul. Intellectual snobbery, cynicism, irony, class differences, and philosophizing 'youth is the only thing worth having' are all explored in this rather dark novel, which is lightened with some witty dialog. Accomplished British stage, television, and movie actor Greg Wise's wonderful interpretation of the story subtly voices the characters and varies the tempo and mood so that even the lengthy descriptive passages come alive. And the musical interludes here are appropriate and pleasant. Adults who are familiar with the story will love Wise's performance, although those new to it might find some of the philosophizing a bit tedious. Young adults might have problems getting through it for the same reason. - Sue Rosenzweig, SoundCommentary.com
Born in Ireland, Wilde (1854-1900) was educated in Dublin and Oxford and became the leading exponent of aestheticism. His work includes plays, a novel, poetry and criticism. Imprisoned for homosexual acts, he died after his release in exile in Paris. Robert Mighall has written on Gothic fiction and is the editor of Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde for Penguin Classics.
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