Friday, January 9, 2009

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Rating: 1.3.1
Category: Classic, Sci-Fiction
Published: 1891

Review: 4/5

I listened to this book about 5 or 6 months ago and I never wrote a review because I wasn't sure how many stars to give it. I've decided on 4 out of 5 now and I'll tell you why. While I listened to it, I did enjoy it but found my mind wandering as Oscar Wilde went off on philosophical tangents that I just didn't care very much about. So at the time I thought that though I liked the premise and story of the book, I didn't like all the philosophy that the author goes on about. However, six months later as I think about the book, it is the philosophical questions that are raised by the story that I still think about. If you're not familiar with the premise of this book, it is the story of Dorian Gray and how a thoughtless plea changes his life. He was a very handsome young man who when he saw the portrait that a friend had painted of him, and realizing that his beauty would fade as he aged and experienced life, wished that the portrait would age and change instead of himself. He thoughtlessly bargained that he would give his soul if he could forever remain beautiful as he then was. The influences of Sir Henry and the painter Basil are so interesting as is the basic story. I recognize that this is truly a classic that is brilliant on many levels so it deserves 5 star rating but because I didn't personally enjoy it as much, I've finally decided on 4 stars.

I saw this comic strip the other day and decided that I had to include it with my review. It's a Mother Goose and Grimm comic and you'll get it if you know the story.


KT said...

I actually quit this one about half way through. I liked the concept, but it made me too uncomfortable. I'm glad you liked it though!

Kim said...

I can see that. It's pretty dark. I probably would have had a harder time if I was reading it, but by listening my mind would drift off sometimes and it didn't bother me too much.

Book Lover Lisa said...

I read this book for the first time this past summer. I have to agree that it was a very brilliant book, and deserves it's status as a classic. I found the book to be very disturbing, but I think mainly because the pschological issues explored in the book really hit home, and made me think a bit more deeply than I was comfortable with.

BTW I really like your rating system. The three part separate rating for violence, sex, and profanity is a really great idea. I find that my system is a bit hard for me to classify books with, especially looking back, as I try to remember just how much profanity was in the book.

Book Lover Lisa said...

oh, and that comic is too funny!