Hello and good morning! We all have that one friend who recommends us amazing books. My friend Laura has been urging me to read The Picture of Dorian Gray for nearly two years, and today I finally finished it! It was really different than I expected and I loved how it was kind of a fantasy novel. Without spoiling too much, I will say that everything that happened with the painting shocked me. When I first read about it I was really surprised, and the ending was amazing. I’m going to go back and re-read the last chapter because so much happens within the span of ~10 pages, but I must say that I loved the ending. Just a warning, there a minor spoilers ahead.
And Dorian’s attitude throughout the book really helped to create a creepy vibe. Everything that he does and how he influences the people around him basically have horrible consequences, but he’s so flippant about it all. “Oh yes, I forgot to mention that this guy committed suicide” or “I was messing around with someone but I left them and I don’t care how they feel because I feel like I did a good thing”. Everything that he does is solely for himself, and I think that that’s why the ending is what it is. He stabbed the painting for a selfish reason, and all that he had been through, all the lessons that he has almost learned, did nothing.
What I loved about this book was that nearly all of the supporting characters were interesting in their own way. Lord Henry was perhaps one of my favourite characters. One could say that he is the reason that Dorian became who he was, as it was out of his curiosity about Dorian’s character that he gave him the book and began to talk to him. But you also see a caring side when he attempts to dissuade the duchess from flirting with Dorian, or when he talks about missing his wife even though he knows that there wasn’t really any love. His character is really fascinating to read, and he has some great lines. I also really liked Basil. I feel so bad because he only had everyone’s best intentions at heart, and he really drew the short end of the straw.
The flow of the book was also pretty good. One of my favourite chapters was Sybil’s chapter. She was so naive and sweet, and I feel like she was almost a foreshadowing of Dorian. My least favourite chapter was when Wilde literally just described all of Dorian’s collection. I’m just gonna say that I skimmed that chapter. But nearly everything else was very easy to read, and it was intriguing enough that even during the parts of the story that dragged a little you were interested enough about what the outcome would be that you stuck with it.
Altogether, The Picture of Dorian Gray wasn’t at all like I imagined it. I think I’d rate it a 4/5 star book, with the deduction for the parts that dragged a bit. I really enjoyed it and I’m going to read Wilde’s ‘The Happy Prince’ next! (I’ve been told it’s super sad, but I’m ready).
Have a good day ducks!
(PS – can you tell I spend a lot of my time in coffee shops?)