Why you should read ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’


Synopsis: Dorian Gray is a young aristocrat,who is occasionally subject to the whims of youth.After seeing the portrait that his friend,Basil,painted of him, Dorian wishes he could exchange his age with the everlasting youth of his portrait .Shortly afterwards,Dorian’s wish is materialized,but he is quick to detect the price he has to pay for his perennial youth: the portrait decays as he sins; the portrait has become the mirror of his soul.

Reasons why you MUST read ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’:

1.Wilde’s only novel!
Surely,you must have heard of Oscar Wilde in your lifetime.Generally,people either know him for his witty quotes or for his infamous homosexuality (he was charged with sodomy). But do you know who Oscar Wilde really? Do you know how great a genius he was? If not, then this book is a must-read! Wilde’s genius is ubiquitous in this novel.

2. The length
I will deem the book as compendious: it is neither too lengthy nor too short. The novel is comprised of 10 chapters that consist of 2, 3 or 4 pages each. In short,you will not have any difficulty reading  ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’  if ever you’re someone who despises mammoth books.As a matter of fact, I finished it in 3 days,albeit trying my best not to read it so quickly!

3. Delectable piece of art
Yep! I’ve used the word ‘delectable’! The reason behind such an anomaly is that ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ feels just like an eye candy. A recipient of two honours in two classical majors, Wilde knows when to end his story,when to use comic relief, and how to uphold suspense. Additionally, the words used in the novel are beautiful,looking as if they were the finest cherries hand picked from a cherry tree. Don’t be surprised,then, if you finish the book in a couple of days : given its exquisiteness, it is hard to put it down for a long time period of time.

4. Its lightness.
‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’
 is one of the greatest novels of all time,and its author enjoys an equally fine reputation amongst his counterparts,so it is natural that you may get intimidated by what to expect in the book: maybe the novel is heavy? or maybe you’ll find its complexity hard to cope with?However,you may heave a sigh of relief,for there is no need for such apprehension.Indeed, this book is amongst the easiest I’ve ever read,and oddly enough, such accessibility doesn’t take away any of the book’s beauty. Therein lies one the reasons why I so love this book.( I have multiple editions of it!)

5. Wittiness at its acme!
So far-I assume-you’ve only seen Wilde’s quotes in various corners of the Internet; however ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ offers you the opportunity to discover them in their respective contexts,hence giving you a new outlook on quotes that everybody seems to ‘know’. In fact, you’ll find that they will appear even much wittier in the book,for you’ll witness that their witty nature does not correlate with the serious tone of the questions that triggered them.Besides, you’ll discover less known quotes of Oscar Wilde that are just as witty as the well known ones.

6. The suspense!
As I said earlier, Wilde knows how to uphold suspense in his book. He builds a sort of  expectancy within the mind of the reader and knows when to break it :he implements a completely unexpected event in the very part in which the reader’s expectation was supposed to be met.

Reasons why  ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ might not be the book for you: 

1. None! 
I can’t figure out why one might not want to read this book. It is not a sexually graphic novel – not once is the word ‘sex’ mentioned – and is easy to read. Most importantly, it is one of the greatest novels of all time.

Verdict: The beauty of  ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’  goes well beyond what is normally expected of a good book.It is a consummate piece of art that deserves to be tasted at least once in one’s lifetime. To miss out on reading such a book would be an absolute shame!


12 thoughts on “Why you should read ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’”

  1. Ok, you just totally sold this book to me. I have had this gathering dust in my shelf for years but now I will have to pick it up soon! Thank you for all your recommendations!

    1. Oh God! Did you read that review? And I see you ‘liked’ my review of God of Small Things as well!

      I wrote those when I was pretty immature in my writing,that is,during the blog’s first months.I always tell myself I’ll give them a lifting,but forget to do so afterwards! I almost feel embarrassed now! My analysis wasn’t in-depth at that time and even my language wasn’t the best!

      As a matter of fact,I’m more satisfied with my later reviews (as from Animal Farm and onwards) than with the earliest ones!

      And yeah.The Picture of Dorian Gray is superb.From the language to the plot,it is a delight to read.It is also quite autobiographical in nature.For me,it is one of those books that show people that classics aren’t always boring,archaic books.I know some people who didn’t like the magic realism,so I hope it won’t bother you.And pay attention to the preface.It is just beautiful,in my opinion. 🙂

      1. Yes, I did and even if you find your old writing immature it still helped me to get a picture of what would await me so don’t worry ;D (also, English is only my second language so I don’t know what you are talking about. Your writing is very good and I just hope that mine will grow as well.)

  2. One of my favorites! I love this book so much! And I love your review about it! I actually chuckled out of loud when I read “So far-I assume-you’ve only seen Wilde’s quotes in various corners of the Internet” haha 😛

    I wish Wilde had written more novels. Have you read his plays or short stories?

    1. I will definitely read his other stories.The thing is I have so many things to read that I forget to buy his fairy stories!!
      I heard The Importance of Being Earnest is pretty good.I’m also quite curious about his short stories.

      Oh,thanks for liking the review.It was one of my earliest posts here,so it doesn’t have the ‘maturity’ that tends to fill my other later reviews.

      1. I read “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Ballad of Reading Gaol” recently and I enjoyed them—but they don’t have the caliber as “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. It’s like “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a class of its own and nothing can compare 🙂
        Let me know when you read his fairy stories or other ones and if you’d recommend them or not 🙂
        Yayyy glad we have the same taste in books! 😀

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