For a time this novel has been my favourite piece from the classic literature of the nineteenth century. As Wilde’s only novel, it’s elegant language and gradual portrayal of the corruption of man begs the question of both why he did not write more, whilst simultaneously answering this owing to it’s near perfection.
The story itself has become famous over the years, portrayed in a number of films and on television, however this original is still in my own opinion a piece which cannot be replicated. From the hazy beauty of sipping tea in a parlour, to the rife degradation of greed, lust and pride within a corrupted man, Dorian’s gradual journey is one which can be interpreted differently according to each of his readers.
My only slight concern was however a long series of pages with endless description within the novel, which I felt sobered me from my immersion into the artfully written plotline. However, upon looking back this now makes sense to me as an important break within the novel, to which a clear separation can be made from before to after.
Though a rather short novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray kept me pouring over its pages for some time, Wilde’s elegant descriptions washing over whilst carrying a slowly building notion: When a man has everything, he truly has nothing.
Length: 224 (Wordsworth Classics)
Overall Rating: 4.5 stars