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The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
By: (1854-1900)

A novel that disturbs you 160 years after it first appeared in print, The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, has so much relevance and resonance even today.

Dorian Gray is a strikingly handsome young man whose beauty attracts a debauched aristocrat Sir Henry Wotton. Dorian's picture has been painted by a talented artist Basil Hallward and Sir Henry becomes desperate to meet Dorian, though Basil himself is against it. Sir Henry persuades Dorian to pose for a picture painted by Basil and during the painting sessions, Henry “educates” the young and impressionable Dorian about life. Sir Henry's vicious nature, his obsession with youth and his cynical, materialistic outlook on everything begin to slowly affect Dorian. Dorian descends into a horrifying world, where he commits all manner of abhorrent deeds with all round him feeling the effects. Lives are destroyed, crimes are committed but Dorian's self-indulgent and depraved life continues. The story takes a bizarre and terrifying twist from here onwards as the picture begins to develop a life of its own.

The Picture of Dorian Gray was first published as a serial in Lippincott's Magazine in 1890 with much apprehension by the editors who feared that it was too corrupt and depraved for readers. Wilde's own scandalous private life was already creating an uproar in society. Finally the novel was published in the magazine but with large-scale censorship without Wilde's permission. As predicted, it caused widespread outrage and condemnation. However, Wilde remained unfazed and proceeded to publish it in book form with a wonderful preface which he called an Apologia, in which he talks about art, philosophy and creativity.

Controversy apart, the story is gripping in its Gothic atmosphere, making it a literary masterpiece, with Wilde's brilliant touches of characterization, emotional sensitivity and understanding of human nature. Today's modern emphasis on youthfulness, fighting age and obsession with external appearance finds echoes in this richly evocative novel. It has been extensively adapted for film, stage and television, with references to Dorian Gray appearing in a wide variety of works of art. Radio adaptations, plays and musicals have been continuously appearing right down to the present day.

The Picture of Dorian Gray has fascinated readers the world over, with its eternal themes of art, youth, beauty, morality and immortality. Dorian Gray remains the symbol of what all mankind seeks even today – the Fountain of Youth - even though it comes with a price tag.

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Reviews (Rated: 5 Stars - 29 reviews)

Reviewer: - March 21, 2021
Subject: Fantastic
Fantastic reading of a great book. Thanks, Bob!
Reviewer: - March 15, 2021
Subject: highly recommended
I am an old Oscar Wilde fan and loved this book when i read it 40 years ago. this wonderful narrator brought it alive for me once again. i thoroughly enjoyed it.
Reviewer: - January 7, 2021
Subject: Wonderful and Thought Provoking
I loved this book! It makes you think! The reader, Bob, is one of my favorite readers and his voice suited the novel!
Reviewer: - March 3, 2020
Subject: Awesome Book
This was a great book. And the reader was amazing. I would probably listen to just about anything he was reading.
Reviewer: - November 11, 2018
Excellent story! I love the fact that it was read by one reader and a very good reader. Had no problem understanding or following the story. Thank you Bob for reading so grand. He was the perfect reader for this story.
Reviewer: - September 20, 2017
Subject: Dorian Gray
Clear and dramatic reading. I really enjoyed it. Thank you!
Reviewer: - May 18, 2017
Subject: Good one
Both reading and the book are very well done. Enjoyed every second of it.
Reviewer: - January 25, 2017
Excellent reading
Reviewer: - October 6, 2016
Great reader. Fantastic book - lots to think over
Reviewer: - June 21, 2016
Subject: Dorian Gray
Reader is well versed, easy to follow and lends character to his reading. Story is intriguing enough.
Reviewer: - May 23, 2016
Always enjoy a reading by Bob Neufeld
Reviewer: - September 30, 2015
Subject: Dorian Gray - Bob Neufeld
I liked the reading by Bob Neufeld very much. Before listening, I would have supposed that a British reader would have been more appropriate, but I think Bob is just right. His pacing is slow enough for us to be able to think about what is being said, a nice quality when listening to a recording. Especially worthwhile when thinking through the epigrams of Oscar Wilde.
Reviewer: - April 22, 2015
Subject: Dorian Gray
The book (story) is absolutely amazing, but I disagree with other reviewers. The narrator does not do it justice. I find the choice of an American man with a slightly raspy, rough voice (don't get me wrong, his voice isn't unpleasant; very soothing) to be an inappropriate choice for a British novel about youth and beauty. Additionally, very little attempt is made to differentiate the voices so I often get lost in the longer conversation passages. But I still recommend it. Just be prepared to listen to it a couple of times before you really get everything that happens.
Reviewer: - December 16, 2014
Subject: Dorian Gray
I'm with everyone else on this one, by far the best reading from this provider I've found so far. Very well done!
Reviewer: - September 18, 2014
Subject: Deckard Cain?
Interesting topic for a book with a lot of dark humour, but the great voice of Deckard Cain (or so I thought at first) was giving it more oomph.
Reviewer: - August 17, 2014
Subject: Favourite
This book has become my favourite on the website! It totally gave me the chills. Also many thanks to the reader.
Reviewer: - March 19, 2014
Subject: Dorian Gray
An absolutely amazing performance from the reader.
Reviewer: - October 8, 2013
Subject: Dorian Gray
The reader really brought the story to life. Listened to it over two days and enjoyed it very much.
Reviewer: - October 5, 2013
Great reader :) love the story
Reviewer: - September 20, 2013
Love the book. Don't think it should be in the "history" section, however.
Reviewer: - September 17, 2013
Excellent reader. Great story.
Reviewer: - September 15, 2013
Subject: Fantastic
Very Enjoyable Book and a Briliiant Reader!!!
Reviewer: - September 11, 2013
Very beautifully read! Thanks so much...
Reviewer: - September 8, 2013
He did read the book very well. :) I agree with the other reviewers.
Reviewer: - August 11, 2013
Fantastic! Really loved this book. A great book read by an excellent reader!
Reviewer: - July 21, 2013
Subject: Dorian Gray
I enjoyed this book tremendously. The reader was excellent.
Reviewer: - June 13, 2013
Very expertly read.
Reviewer: - May 15, 2013
Really good ,bravo to the reader.
Reviewer: - May 2, 2013
Excellently read

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