The Picture of Dorian Grey is in my opinion the best work from the ever-quotable Oscar Wilde. That being said it is the only book I have read By Wilde. It is the great study of shallowness, vanity, casual cruelty and hedonistic selfishness, all written with absolute perfection. The level of cynicism and societal disregard that Wilde’s characters display towards humanity is simply staggering. This novel is a guide for how to live a life of pure decadence. It is packed with impeccable wit, clever one-liners and an excessive amount of egotistical vanity. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a tale of a youth whose features, year after year, retain the same appearance of innocent beauty while the shame of his abhorrent vices becomes mirrored on the features of his portrait. At the very least, this book will show you the glory and the pitfalls of being the best looking chap around.
This story reads somewhat like a dark, corrupted Jane Austen in that the writing was snappy and pleasant on the ear, but the feeling it leaves you with was one of hopelessness and despair. Despite the darkness, or maybe because of it, I found this is one of the most engaging, compelling and lyrical pieces of literature I have read. It is one of my absolute favourite books which I can read re-read and read again!
I’m in love with this book, my first experience in reading Oscar Wilde who up until reading this i had only ever enjoyed via detached quotes with no real relevance behind them. I think it’s a book more suited to men, as the views expressed are well, read and see!