If it were I who were to be always young and the picture to grow old, I would give my soul for it So says Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde s brilliant creation who sells his soul for youth and beauty TEMPTATION From the moment the unfortunate Eve bit into the forbidden apple, to these current days, when we lesser mortals are lured by the overpriced electronic Apples , Temptation has been shadowing us humans A baneful prelude to our vices, very few amongst us can claim to have overcome temptation While we are protected by various constraints that help us overcome our temptations social stigma, fear of gods, fear of law and so on once in a while even the most saintly amongst us blinks and lets temptation cause mayhem.The corrupt lot never lets any constraints stop them, while the Holiest few never let temptations taint them It is the ordinary beings in the middle that suffer the most at the hands of Temptation Pulled by the pleasures on one side, barred from it by principles and penal codes on the other, this middle lot bears the onslaught of temptation grudgingly How often have we craved to indulge in the vices to which we are lead sometimes by becoming invisible, some other times by transforming ourselves into someone or something else We have all wanted to relish the baser pleasures of life, without letting their effects stain our souls This book then is the expression of such a desire on the part of Oscar Wilde.Yes This is a book on temptation, manipulation and eventual corruption Except that here the protagonist or, is it the antagonist is never tainted by his sins The corruption of his soul is borne by his portrait instead of its carnal sheath.Dorian Gray is a charming young boy knocking on the doors of adulthood Lord Henry is a wealthy, hedonistic idler whose only purpose in life is to seek pleasure and pleasurable sensations Basil Hallward is a simple, righteous persona and a talented painter that adores Dorian A chance meeting of all these three on the fateful day Basil puts his heart and soul into painting Dorian designs the rest of the tale Lord Henry teaches innocent Dorian to take pride in his own physical beauty, which is temporary and urges him to indulge in the pleasures suited to his age Manipulated by Henry thus, Dorian becomes aware of the flush of youth in his veins, as truthfully depicted by Basil in the portrait, but is also dejected at the prospect of growing old and haggard someday In one god forsaken moment, he loudly wishes that he would even exchange his soul to stay as beautiful as he is and let that wonderful portrait feel the passage of Time.Starting with the simple pleasures of life, Dorian once commits a serious injustice to the girl he falls in love with Back at home, Dorian finds his portrait slightly changed to show signs of cruelty amidst all that boyish charm Dorian realizes that his wish has come true and all the sins of his soul will leave their stains on the portrait instead of his face or his youth But just as he repents and tries to make amends for his grave error, Lord Henry, a mentor as vile as there could ever be, sets him again on the wicked ways Tempted also by a book lent by Henry, and untouched by the effects of his sins , Dorian falls deep into the pits of life, all the while watching the portrait turn from ugly to ghastly with each sin that he commits Was Dorian able to mend his ways Did he ever get to redeem his soul This book is a tale that answers those questions.Oscar Wilde wrote this novel his only one while English society was reeling at the height of Victorian morality Being a homosexual himself, Wilde was condemned, ostracized and left to die in penurious exile It is quite an irony then that a book which brought its author all the infamy must be one of the best selling books of our modern times.Going through the book, I couldn t help wondering whether Dorian Gray and Lord Henry were Wilde s alter egos Remember, we writers have a knack of lending a part of our soul to the characters that we lovingly create The sense of importance lent to the statements of Henry, the weakness with which the other characters contradict him and finally end up agreeing with him, the hold that this hedonistic idler wields on the whole tale are all evidence enough that Henry, than even Gray, is the alter ego of Oscar Wilde Basil, the moral person that he is, sounds feebly like the other part of Wilde that regrets his mistakes.Not just for the author, but for us the readers too, this book holds a mirror While stating the moral decadence that Dorian falls into, Wilde does not elaborate on the kind of sins Dorian takes pleasure committing In that sense this feels akin to Robert Louis Stevenson s The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde There also, the protagonist leads a double life, being a noble gentleman as Dr.Jekyll while lurking in the darkness as Mr.Hyde sating his gore hungers But what kind of immoral activities that Mr.Hyde indulges in is never articulated, leaving it to our guess Here also, Dorian s one sin is to indulge in narcotics, but the rest of the decadences are left unsaid, like a blank canvas on which we can paint the nature of those sins Both these books are similar in letting us decide on the level of moral corruption, thus bringing out the inner demons that we have all been hiding inside us too.The literary fluency of Wilde, his ability to portray in words the England of the late 19th century from flora to the banal do all make it a pleasure to read this book But, I couldn t help noticing his egoistic English self, like most of the British of his days, which made him think of India as the land of snake charmers at least in the fleeting reference.A psychological thriller that stemmed from the unreliable art of physiognomy, this book is a forbidden apple that we must all bite into I have read this story countless times, seen two film versions and even a stage play, but like many other people this story has stayed with me long after I have closed the book, and I thus come back to it again and again This is the only novel by Oscar Wilde and if you follow the publication history of this you will see why that probably is What Wilde wrote was originally censored for its publication in a magazine, and then Wilde re wrote and extended the tale for its final book publication, which is what we are presented with here Originally when this story first appeared in Lippincott s Monthly Magazine it caused a bit of an outrage and the story was also used against Wilde when he was prosecuted.Nowadays though, with all the things we are presented with in the media and what we see on the internet some will consider this very tame Although arguably it has never been what is mentioned in the tale, it is what is hinted at and how good your imagination can be.I expect most people who decide to read this will already be quite familiar with the tale and so know the main plot Dorian Gray of the title is soon to come into money, is a bit vain, relatively kind hearted and means well, and very handsome, and then he meets Basil Hallward, an artist, who wishes to do his portrait So far not much to write home about, although Basil obviously makes Dorian vainer, and there are definite tones of amorousness between the two, and then he meets Basil s friend Lord Henry As a friendship develops between Dorian and Lord Henry, Dorian is led into a hedonistic lifestyle What Dorian doesn t realise though is that he has unwittingly entered into a Devilish Pact caused by the portrait of him As Dorian s life becomes lurid, perverted and diabolical he never seems to age, but his portrait becomes something truly terrible to behold.One of the reasons this works so well is that apart from a few details and some undertones of promiscuity between males and females we never really know what Dorian s actual actions are We know that to become involved with him can leave you tainted, but we have to use our imaginations to create what we think he gets up to Another reason why this works and is still very popular today is due to the fact that it plays upon our vanities With cosmetic surgery, Botox and numerous unguents that are supposed to make us stay looking young on the market, it would seem that many of us are afraid of getting a wrinkle or blemish Indeed whilst this remains so then there is no reason to suppose this book will fall by the wayside And on top of that this story is a really good read with some scintillating dialogue between the characters. I have no doubt that The Picture of Dorian Gray is a great read it is a classic after all This copy, however, is far from a great read I opted for the Kindle version and it reads as though it has been translated out of English and back again which, as I m sure you can imagine, leaves it making almost no sense in some places as shown in the photos.I ve now purchased a different edit of the book which, after the first few pages, has highlighted just how bad this edit actually is. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is set in the Victorian Era The preface highlights Wilde s philosophy about Art and the book, as a whole could be read as an advocation of Art for Art s sake Along with this, it is also a commentary on pretentious society and the dangers of relying too much on another person s opinion..Basil Hallward, the artist who paints the picture of Dorian Gray attempts to keep his friend away from Lord Henry However, Lord Henry influences Gray and poisons his mind, thus making him a cruel, heartless and corrupt person, all of which is reflected in his portrait He continues to compare and evaluate his behaviour, while also continuing to be with the hypocrite Lord Henry The events which happen thereafter made me question the distance between art and reality I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and it is one of the must reads. This is abridged version of Oscar Wilde s masterpiece And as it is with every book of Great Illustrated Classics, there is illustration on every page The sketches do portray the theme of the book well.It wouldnt have made sense to read the abridged version but the editor has very well condensed the story keeping the plot of the story intact For the real pleasure of the dramatic and literary essence of the novel, would recommend to read the original But those who dont want to read full novel or want to get a glimpse of this classic, this book can be a good start I am sure it will provoke the reader to go for the fill length novel.Though abridged and illustrated, not recommended for children.This is review of Hardcover edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray Great Illustrated Classics ISBN 978 0866119986. I want to do something new I want to count my influences rather than my blessings I want to hit the road when I hear the indie music play I want to gulp down an entire bottle of whiskey when I hear the authors talk about their drinking habits I want to travel to Europe when I see the filtered photos of the travel bloggers But these are meagre influences They hit us with excitement and then take a u turn But how much influence is enough for us to take a step into the unknown Or how much influence could act as a catalyst to lose our identity Or are we really losing our identity and not just letting it crack the shell This exquisite piece of literature Wilde builds this classic on the themes of beauty captured in a piece of art and on principles of aestheticism i.e art serves no other purpose rather than to offer beauty After reading the last line, I impatiently searched for my annotated copy of the poem An Ode to a Grecian Urn by John Keats after it hit me that I had read something along these lines in my teenage years and found this underlined sentence Beauty is truth, truth beauty that is all Wilde s prose is like running your hands on a velvet cloth or dipping your fingers into the jar of honey and licking them or sniffing your favourite perfume disguising layers and layers of social commentary Dorian, whose soul gets tainted way too early leaves us wondering whether he was just under a bad influence of Lord Henry and the Yellow book or has Dorian always fancied the darker side of life As I try to catch hold of all my fleeting thoughts because yes this book will keep your mind on your toes, I want to point out that if you re reading a classic this year, let this be it This gothic classic will surely send you into a state of gasmic philosophical musings With brilliant character development this book is my new favourite classic. This is one helluva book by Oscar Wilde It starts quite gently seemingly a story with wishes and whims and the characters that are centred around the plot in a very crafty and masterful way What really swayed me away was the manner in which Oscar Wilde has changed the direction of the book to be centred around the plot in the beginning to the characters who take the main role and the plot takes a backseat.The characters are the plot here It is their wish to achieve the unfathomable in the most astounding of ways To live and achieve something so vicariously is another aspect that Oscar Wilde has deliberated so beautifully in this book Dorian and Basil seemed like nemesis in quite an astute manner even if that was not the intent of the author and may have come around quite inconspicuously A must read if you are a fan of awesome archaic and flowy books. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a fantastic book It s not all that long, and is the only novelised evidence of Wilde s literary talent Personally, it took me two days to read, and I enjoyed pretty much every moment of it There are times when Wilde spends a little too much time describing ancient kings and philosophers of the past, but these don t need to be read in too much detail Probably its finest moments are its beginning, as Dorian realises the importance of youth, and its end.This is a book that will really make you think Its characters are so boldly imprinted on its pages that they are easy to picture this is particularly true of the infamous Lord Henry, who slowly manipulates Dorian over the course of the novel It raises a lot of questions, but rarely answers them In my opinion, this is much preferable to having all your questions answered it leaves a sense of mystery that hangs over The Picture of Dorian Gray and turns it into a fascinating read. 4.5 5 If it was I who was to be forever young and the picture that was to grow old There is nothing in the world I would not give I would give my soul for that The Picture of Dorian Gray is a hard book to review After reading such articulate and beautiful piece of literature, I am at loss of words.Interesting set of characters Original story Dialogue is magical.To read The Picture of Dorian Gray is to know Oscar Wilde the man as well as the writer I love both The novel has many fascinating features.The The Picture of Dorian Gray, isn t about a picture at all It s about a book It s about the conveyance of that book into the mind of Dorian Gray, and the destruction that follows Lord Henry is the real engine of the book Whenever he enters the scene, the novel takes off The reader longs for Henry to show up.I could talk about this book forever and I still wouldn t be able to give it the proper review it deserves Just go read it if you haven t already read it and if you have, read it again.Note I think if you familiarize yourself with Oscar Wilde, this becomes a very personal novel, much than just a disturbing horror story where a man sells his soul.