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Wilde, Oscar The Picture of Dorian Gray ISBN 13: 9780140431872

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Softcover

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9780140431872: The Picture of Dorian Gray
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If I were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old...I would give my soul for that! The wish uttered by Dorian Gray as he gazes on his portrait forms the basis of the plot of this brilliant and disturbing story of a gilded and spoil hedonist who, Faust-like, is willing to sell his soul for his beauty. First published to scandalize protest in 1890, Oscar Wilde's fantastic melodrama was widely condemned by his contemporaries as an affront to the value of polite society. It has since become one of the most celebrated works, a brilliant example of his power as a storyteller and of his flamboyant wit and aestheticism.

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Review:
A lush, cautionary tale of a life of vileness and deception or a loving portrait of the aesthetic impulse run rampant? Why not both? After Basil Hallward paints a beautiful, young man's portrait, his subject's frivolous wish that the picture change and he remain the same comes true. Dorian Gray's picture grows aged and corrupt while he continues to appear fresh and innocent. After he kills a young woman, "as surely as if I had cut her little throat with a knife," Dorian Gray is surprised to find no difference in his vision or surroundings. "The roses are not less lovely for all that. The birds sing just as happily in my garden."

As Hallward tries to make sense of his creation, his epigram-happy friend Lord Henry Wotton encourages Dorian in his sensual quest with any number of Wildean paradoxes, including the delightful "When we are happy we are always good, but when we are good we are not always happy." But despite its many languorous pleasures, The Picture of Dorian Gray is an imperfect work. Compared to the two (voyeuristic) older men, Dorian is a bore, and his search for ever new sensations far less fun than the novel's drawing-room discussions. Even more oddly, the moral message of the novel contradicts many of Wilde's supposed aims, not least "no artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style." Nonetheless, the glamour boy gets his just deserts. And Wilde, defending Dorian Gray, had it both ways: "All excess, as well as all renunciation, brings its own punishment."

From the Publisher:
Oscar Wilde's only published full length novel, is the story of a man who sells his soul for eternal youth. In exchange, what does he give up and what does he gain? This novel, by Wilde is a wonderful soul-searching example of the cost of paradise, and the price of a wish.

Read by actor, comedian, novelist, journalist, screenwriter Stephen Fry, Dorian Gray's dilemma comes alive. He has also acted in a variety of films including A Fish Called Wanda, Peter's Friends, and The Wind in the Willows.

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  • PublisherPenguin Classics
  • Publication date1986
  • ISBN 10 014043187X
  • ISBN 13 9780140431872
  • BindingMass Market Paperback
  • Number of pages272
  • Rating
    4.12 avg rating
    ( 1,504,705 ratings by Goodreads )

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780486278070: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Dover Thrift Editions: Classic Novels)

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ISBN 10:  ISBN 13:  9780486278070
Publisher: Dover Publications, 1993
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Pengui..., 2003
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9780141442464: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Penguin Clothbound Classics)

Pengui..., 2009
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9781509827831: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Macmillan Collector's Library)

Macmil..., 2017
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9781949982305: The Picture of Dorian Gray

SDE Cl..., 2019
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