Dorian by Will Self
An Imitation

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Synopsis

Henry Wotton, gay, drug addicted, and husband of Batface, the irrefutably aristocratic daughter of the Duke of This or That, is at the center of a clique dedicated to dissolution. His friend Baz Hallward, an artist, has discovered a young man who is the very epitome of male beauty — Dorian Gray. His installation Cathode Narcissus captures all of Dorian's allure, and, perhaps, something else. Certainly, after a night of debauchery that climaxes in a veritable conga line of buggery, Wotton and Hallward are caught in the hideous web of a retrovirus that becomes synonymous with the decade. Sixteen years later the Royal Broodmare, as Wotton has dubbed her, lies dying in a Parisian underpass. But what of Wotton and Hallward? How have they fared as stocks soar and T-cell counts plummet? And what of Dorian? How is it that he remains so youthful while all around him shrivel and die? Set against the AIDS epidemic of the eighties and nineties, Will Self's Dorian is a shameless reworking of our most significant myth of shamelessness, brilliantly evoking the decade in which it was fine to stare into the abyss, so long as you were wearing two pairs of Ray-Bans.
 

About Will Self

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Will Self is the author of numerous books of fiction and nonfiction. He also writes for newspapers and magazines, and appears regularly on television and radio. He lives in London.
 
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 289 pages
Genres: Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Dorian

The Guardian

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Dorian: An Imitation by Will Self Viking £16.99, pp288 In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde set the gold standard for chroniclers of decadence.

Sep 29 2002 | Read Full Review of Dorian: An Imitation

The Guardian

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Dorian: An Imitation by Will Self 288pp, Viking, £16.

Sep 21 2002 | Read Full Review of Dorian: An Imitation

Publishers Weekly

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The prose is laced with epigrammatic, lightly amusing pseudo-Wildean wit ("I want my sins to be like sushi—fresh, small and entirely raw," says Wotton), but its wordplay and evocation of debauchery also owe something to Evelyn Waugh and Martin Amis (channeling Hunter Thompson and Irvine Welsh).

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Entertainment Weekly

Originally posted Jan 24, 2003 Published in issue #692-693 Jan 24, 2003 Order article reprints

Jan 24 2003 | Read Full Review of Dorian: An Imitation

Arts Fuse

Editor Nicholas Frankel is right to argue that familiarity with Oscar Wilde’s original manuscript of The Picture of Dorian Gray deepens its vision, suggesting that the 1891 novel is a far less morally reassuring tale than readers have thought.

Apr 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Dorian: An Imitation

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