The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
(Modern Library Classics)

74%

39 Critic Reviews

After reading the book, I feel like I managed to pick up the main ideas that Oscar Wilde was trying to convey.
-Guardian

Synopsis

Dorian Gray, an extraordinarily beautiful youth, looks at his newly-painted portrait and despairs at the thought of how time will alter his looks. If only he could be beautiful forever - yes, he would give his soul for that!


Under the influence of the decadent Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian begins to lead a life of hedonistic depravity. Strangely, none of his excesses touch his face or figure. But the painting tells a different story.



A fascinating study of the corruption of a soul

 

About Oscar Wilde

See more books from this Author
Jeffrey Eugenides is the award-winning author of The Virgin Suicides; Middlesex, which won a Pulitzer Prize; and The Marriage Plot. Originally from Michigan, and educated at Brown University, he now lives in Berlin with his wife.
 
Published June 10, 2015 by Commerx. 289 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Gay & Lesbian, Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, History, Comics & Graphic Novels, Horror, Biographies & Memoirs, Children's Books, Romance, Arts & Photography, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Humor & Entertainment, Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Action & Adventure, Law & Philosophy, Erotica. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Picture of Dorian Gray
All: 39 | Positive: 31 | Negative: 8

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Miss Ella on Sep 29 2014

After reading the book, I feel like I managed to pick up the main ideas that Oscar Wilde was trying to convey.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Reenie on Aug 17 2014

The Picture of Dorian Gray shows that even if someone has everything they desire, including never ending youth, ultimately they will not be truly happy.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Darragh McManus on Apr 29 2010

No arch one-liners to deflect attention, no glib protestations that it was all just a joke, not to be taken seriously. This is authentic, almost painfully so; this is Oscar laid bare.

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Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Marcia Kaye on Aug 15 2012

Either version is worth a read. Not only is the portrait one of the most enduring images in popular culture, but our relentless lust for good looks at any price is perhaps more relevant today than ever.

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

Good
Reviewed by Brooke Allen on Apr 26 2011

It is not often that a piece of serious scholarship is accorded such deluxe treatment, and in this case it is a cause for real celebration...

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The Gospel Coalition

Good
Reviewed by Trevin Wax on May 19 2014

Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray is a thought-provoking novel...Wilde’s command of the English language is almost unparalleled in recent literature.

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The Satirist

Above average
Reviewed by Dan Geddes on Apr 28 1999

I liked the scenes where Dorian first discovered the sneering portrait, and the pains he takes to hide it. I found Dorian’s murder of Basil to be a little forced. But Wilde is telling a morality tale. Obviously realism is not at the top of Wilde’s priority list.

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The Mancunion

Above average
Reviewed by Paul Reilly on Oct 16 2013

At turns deeply philosophical and wickedly funny, The Picture of Dorian Gray is both a thought-provoking and hugely entertaining novel.

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Teen Ink

Good
on May 30 2014

I believe that Oscar Wilde was an amazing person, and that 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' is an incredible book that changes the way anybody views the world. A real good read.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by historyfreak on May 30 2014

The language of the book is wonderful. Although not simple, it is not incomprehensible either. There is a perfect harmony between simplicity and elaboration.

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by inkers on May 30 2014

Overall, I absolutely adored reading this book, and I might consider reading more from him in the future.

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Sarah D on Nov 07 2010

...throughout The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde shows his potential self through Dorian, and his two opposing viewpoints of his actual self through Basil and Lord Henry. Wilde is seen as a paradoxical, yet inevitable moral aesthete.

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Yahoo! Voices

Below average
Reviewed by Kelli Petersen on Oct 13 2009

Just as both Wilde and Lord Henry suggests art should be, the book is beautiful but superficial... It reminded me a lot of Anna Karenina because of its tendency to drone on and on about subjects which aren't really necessary to the story itself.

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Yahoo! Voices

Excellent
Reviewed by Ida D. on Dec 23 2008

There are so many questions proposed in this book and so many lessons. The grand finale is stirring and the story lingers. It is so thought provoking that I half want to pick it up again - just days after finishing it - for another read.

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Yahoo! Voices

Above average
Reviewed by Alexandra Morgan on Aug 23 2006

Oscar Wilde's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, offers a narrative rich in degradation, isolation, and sin, but there is a moral within it.

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Fantasy Book Review

Above average
Reviewed by Floresiensis on Jan 27 2014

...the nature of this truly great and essential novel means that The Picture of Dorian Gray is, and will continue to be, Oscar Wilde’s most accessible work, and the perfect introduction to this marvellous writer.

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http://www.bookdrum.com

Good
on May 30 2014

The reader is drawn in by the beauty of the language, tickled by Wilde’s wit, shocked or moved by the moral issues explored, and morbidly fascinated by the novel’s supernatural elements.

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Parental Book Reviews

Above average
on May 30 2014

The ending of the novel is a controversy of sorts. Readers may experience a lack of utter injustice when they succumb to the knowledge of Dorian’s fate.

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The Blue Bookcase

Above average
Reviewed by IngridLola on May 30 2014

Like I said, I enjoyed this book, but I still need to have a good discussion with someone about it before I can say whether I loved it. Verdict: Stick it on the shelf. Certainly worth the read.

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Lit Lovers

Above average
Reviewed by Molly Lundquist on Jan 27 2014

Somewhat preachy at the beginning, even silly and dated, but keep reading—there's a nice payoff. And Wilde's nuggets? Not to be missed...

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Literary Exploration

Above average
Reviewed by Michael Kitto on Jun 28 2012

Though the book itself is more about the life and morality, Oscar Wilde did a brilliant job of capturing this element of the book. For me the biggest downfall of this book was that Lord Wotton was too loud and dominates throughout the entire book.

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Vulpus Libris

Above average
on May 30 2014

The book is replete with vivid but subtly shaded characters, beautifully delineated in Wilde’s own inimitable way; but one of them – above all the others – has always haunted me. Sibyl Vane. The beautiful, talented, naïvely romantic young actress...

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The Lit B***h

Good
on Jun 06 2011

I would highly recommend this book to Gothic lit fans….not only is this book a classic, it is also a Gothic classic. It was an enjoyable story that really grabs you and sucks you in.

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The Book Stop

Good
Reviewed by curlygeek04 on Feb 11 2011

This book was eerie and thought-provoking at the same time, and made me want to know a lot more about Oscar Wilde.

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https://suite101.com

Above average
Reviewed by Jason Parent on Jan 13 2010

Although The Picture of Dorian Gray is, at its core, a fascinating and macabre tale of horror, it also serves as a scathing commentary on contemporary class structures, the era’s politics, morality, art's usefulness, and “the importance of being earnest.”

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Diary of an Eccentric

Above average
Reviewed by Anna on Feb 21 2012

There are tons of things to discuss in The Picture of Dorian Gray, from the complexity of the characters and how much influence someone really has over another person to how much of a role a book given to Dorian by Lord Henry played in Dorian’s downfall.

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Diary of an Eccentric

Above average
Reviewed by Anna on Feb 17 2012

...I ultimately liked The Picture of Dorian Gray as a captivating character study. The story was a bit over the top at times, but humorous, creepy, and quite sad in places as well.

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Musings of a Bookish Kitty

Below average
Reviewed by Literary Feline on Sep 23 2007

I am glad I took the time to read The Picture of Dorian Gray. I did not dislike it so much as to want to toss it in the unread pile. I liked it enough to finish it.

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Peace Love Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Jessica on Apr 30 2013

During this time of pleasurable sensations and indulgence, it was so interesting to see how Wilde portrayed the complete giving into that lifestyle. As far as classics go, this is probably one of my favorites.

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Bookfoolery and Babble

Good
on Jan 26 2013

Highly recommended. Wonderful writing, a classic full of wit, humor and decadence with a brilliant plot and a knock-out ending. It's no wonder this classic has survived and thrived on many must-read lists.

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Entomology of a Bookworm

Good
on Jul 09 2012

Wilde's only novel is so excellently crafted that it left me wishing he had written more in his lifetime. The Picture of Dorian Gray reveals Wilde's ability to peel back the layers of society, and of individual action, to reveal the truth that lies hidden beneath appearances.

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http://www.dawn.com

Good
Reviewed by Mehar Khursheed on Dec 08 2012

There is nothing about the novel that is not aesthetically sound. You want to write down every sentence somewhere for fear of it flitting away from your mind.

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Savidge Reads

Good
on Sep 16 2009

I found the whole book a truly dark and delicious read. It doesn’t quite fall under the exact ‘sensation’ definition but I definitely think its great reading if you like books like that or a classic from around that era.

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Nyx Book Reviews

Below average
Reviewed by CelineNyx on Apr 30 2013

The Picture of Dorian Gray is an amazingly written book that consists mostly of dialogue, rhetoric and descriptions. Seekers of action won’t find it here – people that like to think of issues and morals will find some very interesting food for thought in this book.

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Hungry like the Woolf

Good
on May 30 2014

I am half-inclined to believe that The Picture of Dorian Gray was conceived as a vehicle for Harry’s witty persona...Remember, Wilde’s highest praise is that a book is well-written. This one is and exquisitely so.

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Alex in Leeds

Below average
Reviewed by Alex on Feb 14 2012

Dorian’s story is a wonderful example of horror that creeps up on the character and the reader...But the rest of the book is much worse than I remember it...I’d forgotten just how flowery the speeches are about how grand passion and art can be as long as women aren’t involved.

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Stefan's Bookshelf

Above average
on Mar 02 2014

Oscar Wilde’s prose is beautiful to read and adds such an air of romance to the book that every page blossoms. The characters are very passionate, not just in a physical sense, but in everything they do.

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Fleur Fisher in her world

Good
Reviewed by Fleur on Jan 24 2009

I loved this book. It combines wonderful writing with a striking and engrossing plot and it has contemporary resonances that make it truly worthy of the overused label “classic”.

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https://bcfreviews.wordpress.com

Good
Reviewed by kyliel on Apr 21 2008

The Picture of Dorian Gray misses out on a perfect 10 only because I found Lord Henry’s ramblings a little hard-going at times. He’s a very quotable man (or should I say, Oscar Wilde is a very quotable man), not that I agreed with much of what he said. It took me a while to get into the book, but once the story picked up, it flew along.

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Reader Rating for The Picture of Dorian Gray
82%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 1320 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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Joaquin alarcia 11 Feb 2013

Rated the book as 4.5 out of 5

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Sepúlveda Fuentes Luisa 16 Feb 2015

Rated the book as 3.5 out of 5

Sepúlveda Fuentes Luisa

Sepúlveda Fuentes Luisa 16 Feb 2015

Has read the book

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Sepúlveda Fuentes Luisa 16 Feb 2015

Liked the book

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JENNA AUBREY 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list

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Joaquin alarcia 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list