The Picture Of Dorian Gray
By Oscar Wilde
Published in: 1890
Time taken to read: 2 weeks
Ok yes I realise that I’ve stuck a movie poster in this post instead of the book cover… but come on, it has Benjamin Barnes on it. He is damn fine. *Drool*
And although I knew about this movie beforehand, it only just clicked about 20 seconds ago that this movie is about this novel I just read (yes I am a tad slow sometimes. I prefer to say I’m ‘special’).
So I’m attempting to read my way through the classics, and so far this year, this is my fourth novel (Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice, Anna Karenina, and now The Picture Of Dorian Gray). This book was one I looked forward to reading. The whole concept is just brilliant. A man is eternally youthful but a portrait painted of him ages instead. But this book was like all the other classics I have read this year- dull, long-winded, and with chapters seemingly dedicated to nonesense that has absolutely nothing to do with the book.
Example: There was an entire chapter that devoted pages to describing vast riches and the various stones used on these pieces. I sat there reading about gemstones. Thinking to myself “WTF has this to do with anything in this book?”. I realise that it shows the decadance of the character and his social class or whatever, but really, was it necessary? no.
So basically, although the idea of this novel is damn brilliant, it has been written in a way that I found it rather boring. The painting doesn’t really show up until well into the novel, the characters are uninteresting and annoying, the action of this story doesn’t even occur until about the last 4 chapters…. I must say that I am severly dissapointed with all these classics I’ve been reading. Instead of being the inspiring literature masterpieces that they have been touted as, they are all just plain boring to me, especially when compared to the stuff that authors are publishing now, which is all exciting and exellently written and so imaginative and inventive that it blows your mind. Sigh.
Dorian Gray rating: I gave it a 2/5 on goodreads. Meaning that it’s ok, but nothing special. really its an average story, an excellent idea that I recon could be re-written into something way more fantastical than that, but the novel itself is just lacking in so many areas. Then again, the time it was written in accounts for this I suppose.
Would I re-read it? I don’t honestly know. I would like to give it another shot, to be honest. Perhaps I didn’t really understand the subtle meanings behind words or something, and the story is as excellent as I had hoped. but not likely. Maybe in like 10 years time, when I’ve forgotten how horrible I thought it was originally, I shall re-visit it. Or if I decide that I wanna take the idea but re-write it to something better, then perhaps I’ll give the story another read.
Who would I recommend it to? erm… well literature buffs, people who enjoy learning about the 1800’s social classes… people who like me, think the idea is brilliant… people who like me are attempting to broaden their minds by reading all the classical literature works.
So I read this as a free e-book on goodreads. Here’s the link, in case you’re interested:
And as I’ve said for each and every one of these classic literature novels that I’ve hated, don’t decide not to read it just because I didn’t enjoy it. Different people enjoy different things, whose to say you won’t find it to be the most brilliant thing ever? And even if not, you should still read these types of novels as they are pieces of literature that generations have enjoyed. It’s always great to read these things to try and understand why people enjoy them, as well as being able to expand your knowledge and way of thinking and other such nifty things that come from reading. Enjoy
Oh, and I am so scouring the local video rental store for the movie version starring the lovely Ben Barnes. Perhaps the theatrical version will be better than the novel. And if not… well at least I get to drool over the loveliness of Benjamin. Yum!