Book Reviews

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde


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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

2 stars

Such a disappointment!

Goodreads: Dorian Gray is a beautiful yet corrupt man. When he wishes that a perfect portrait of himself would bear the signs of ageing in his place, the picture becomes his hideous secret, as it follows Dorian’s own downward spiral into cruelty and depravity.

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.

Book Depository | Free on Amazon Kindle Unlimited


I had heard only good things about this novel from one of my friends and decided to pick it up in hope it would start my classics reading challenge with a success. I couldn’t have been more wrong!

The idea for the plot of this story is brilliant and really en-captured me at first but then I got more into the novel and started to read more and more from the dreadful characters. I understand that the majority of the characters are not meant to be liked but I didn’t even like them as horrible characters – in a way where you like a villain because they are an awesome villian.

The main idea of this story got lost so many times with the amount of random dinner parties and trips to the opera that just ended up boring me. There was just too much going on and there were many times where I was only reading it just to finish it not because i cared about the story.

I do appreciate the litterary devices Wilde uses in this novel and I do think that if I studied it at school and looked more in depth into this novel then I might have enjoyed it more but it was just a massive disappointment.

The only reason I gave this book two stars and not one was because the ending satisfied me more than I thought it would have. As a classic I understand why it is so highly praised but as a novel I hated it!

Have you read The Picture of Dorian Gray? Are you participating in Pretty Books’ classic challenge?

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13 thoughts on “The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

  1. I always feel that as an English literature student I should really enjoy the classics, but that has not happened for a single one I have read. That’s why I just avoid them at all costs now, unless I have to read them for university, because all of them end up disappointing me. I’m glad I know not to change my stance for this one now, the concept does really intrigue me but reading your review just shows me that it will be the same as all the others I’ve tried and failed to finish

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      1. I find that the majority have far too much description for me, and pages upon pages of stuff that just doesn’t further the plot in any way (the same as what you said in this review), I enjoy analysing small passages for my course, but reading the whole book is just not enjoyable for me

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  2. Great review.
    This is actually one of my favourite books, I read it in high school and it blew my mind. I always loved to read about messed up, shady characters. I loved the writing style. I want to read it now that I am older and see how I feel about it now that I’ve read more and experienced more.

    It is scary to re-read books you love so much, when so much time has passed.

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  3. I loved this book because it infuriated me! The characters brought out emotions in me which made me realize that I am invested in the story and the overall message of the book.

    Awesome blog! I love seeing other people’s perspectives (and yes there were one too many parties in the book hahahaha)

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