The Picture of Dorian Gray – This was the first book I’ve read by Oscar Wilde. It was our book of the month for June 2012.
It’s hard for me to describe this book. It was just interesting enough for me to keep reading, but had it not been one of our monthly selections, Iprobably wouldn’t have read it. I’m glad that I got the chance to read this, however.
The story takes place in the late 19th century, London. It follows the story of an aristocratic man who has a portrait of himself painted by a local artist, who also happens to be a friend. Through a somewhat joking wish, Dorian asks that he can always stay young, as depicted in the portrait. As a result of this wish, the portrait itself starts to change and shows his age along with the evidence of sins he commits during his life. Over the course of 18 years or so, Dorian remains the same age, at least in appearance. The portrait, which he hides in his attic, starts to turn ugly and grotesque, which is why he doesn’t want anyone to see it.
The writing style of author is definitely old-school. It is easy to read, unlike something by Hemingway, but you can certainly tell that it wasn’t written in the recent past. I liked the book overall, it was good for me to branch out into other forms of literature, but I can’t say that I’m going to rush out and get anymore Oscar Wilde novels anytime soon.