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The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Works (Halcyon Classics)

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The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Short Stories is a compilation of short stories by Oscar Wilde, along with his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was originally published in 1888 under the title Stories: Oscar Wilde. Some of the short stories within include "The Sphinx Without a Secret," "The Model Millionaire," and stories from the previously-published collec The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Short Stories is a compilation of short stories by Oscar Wilde, along with his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was originally published in 1888 under the title Stories: Oscar Wilde. Some of the short stories within include "The Sphinx Without a Secret," "The Model Millionaire," and stories from the previously-published collections "A House of Pomegranates" and "The Happy Prince and Other Tales." This book is sure to interest Oscar Wilde fans and fans of Victorian literature. OSCAR WILDE (1854-1900) was a celebrated Irish-born playwright, short story writer, poet, and personality in Victorian London. He is best known for his involvement in the aesthetic movement and his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as his many plays, such as Lady Windermere's Fan, The Importance of Being Ernest, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and Salom . During his imprisonment for gross indecency, he wrote De Profundis, and later, The Ballad of Reading Gao.


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The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Short Stories is a compilation of short stories by Oscar Wilde, along with his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was originally published in 1888 under the title Stories: Oscar Wilde. Some of the short stories within include "The Sphinx Without a Secret," "The Model Millionaire," and stories from the previously-published collec The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Short Stories is a compilation of short stories by Oscar Wilde, along with his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was originally published in 1888 under the title Stories: Oscar Wilde. Some of the short stories within include "The Sphinx Without a Secret," "The Model Millionaire," and stories from the previously-published collections "A House of Pomegranates" and "The Happy Prince and Other Tales." This book is sure to interest Oscar Wilde fans and fans of Victorian literature. OSCAR WILDE (1854-1900) was a celebrated Irish-born playwright, short story writer, poet, and personality in Victorian London. He is best known for his involvement in the aesthetic movement and his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, as well as his many plays, such as Lady Windermere's Fan, The Importance of Being Ernest, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and Salom . During his imprisonment for gross indecency, he wrote De Profundis, and later, The Ballad of Reading Gao.

30 review for The Picture of Dorian Gray and Other Works (Halcyon Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sizzleb

    How have I never read this book until now? Beautifully written, thought-provoking look at the life of a young man who has it all...but pays a great price for it. 4.5 stars because a couple of times Wilde gets bogged down in relaying minute details that add little or nothing to the story itself, but I extremely enjoyed 99% of this book, especially the characters' witty banter. And I appreciate that the author didn't shy away from the only appropriate ending. As Wilde, aka Lord Henry quotes "What How have I never read this book until now? Beautifully written, thought-provoking look at the life of a young man who has it all...but pays a great price for it. 4.5 stars because a couple of times Wilde gets bogged down in relaying minute details that add little or nothing to the story itself, but I extremely enjoyed 99% of this book, especially the characters' witty banter. And I appreciate that the author didn't shy away from the only appropriate ending. As Wilde, aka Lord Henry quotes "What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose'—how does the quotation run?—'his own soul'?”

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mariam Abood

    This book was absolutely stunning, it was a shame it didn't contain any of Wilde's poetry or De Profundis but other than that this book was wonderful. The beautiful purple cover with the patterns and gold pages just made this a pleasure to read, I enjoyed picking this up and the feel of it. The only downside to this is obviously I can't fit this in my handbag, but collection books are supposed to go in handbags so I'm being a little petty. Wilde is a phenomenal writer and it was a shame his life This book was absolutely stunning, it was a shame it didn't contain any of Wilde's poetry or De Profundis but other than that this book was wonderful. The beautiful purple cover with the patterns and gold pages just made this a pleasure to read, I enjoyed picking this up and the feel of it. The only downside to this is obviously I can't fit this in my handbag, but collection books are supposed to go in handbags so I'm being a little petty. Wilde is a phenomenal writer and it was a shame his life was cut short due to social prejudice and intolerance. Gorgeous book and I think the Barnes and Noble leather bound classics editions of book would make a wonderful present for anyone, because I sure as hell would love someone eternally for getting me this. Bit pricey, but for the quality this is actually quite fair and reasonable, and I could not rate this book any higher :)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kluxorious Kluxces

    full review soon Story 5/5 Character 5/5 Development 5/5 Enjoyment 4/5 Style of writing 4/5 Overall 4.6/5

  4. 4 out of 5

    Janine Hannis

    I want to read more Classics for 2021, so started with Picture of Dorian Gray. The writing is fantastic and I really loved this short novel. Excellent character development, but for me it was truly the writing that made it outstanding.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ksandra

    4.25/5 Stars First off, I fell in love with Oscar Wilde's works when I first saw The Importance of Being Earnest when I was 13. So why not finally sit down and read the rest of his works? Since this novel was a collection, I shall be breaking this review into parts. Part One: The Picture of Dorian Gray This book did not begin how I thought it would. Since it is such a well known classic, I thought I would begin with Dorian Gray already knowing about the painting. Instead, it started with him being a 4.25/5 Stars First off, I fell in love with Oscar Wilde's works when I first saw The Importance of Being Earnest when I was 13. So why not finally sit down and read the rest of his works? Since this novel was a collection, I shall be breaking this review into parts. Part One: The Picture of Dorian Gray This book did not begin how I thought it would. Since it is such a well known classic, I thought I would begin with Dorian Gray already knowing about the painting. Instead, it started with him being a petulant child who makes a ridiculous wish. However, after reading the long-winded, contradictory statements of one character that corrupts Dorian, this novel became more of what I thought it would be. We see Dorian corrupt all those around him without caring. Since I was accustomed to Wilde's plays, it was intriguing to read an actual novel by him. Though his language could be round-a-bout and confusing, overall I rather enjoyed this classic. Part Two: Short Stories Alright, now his short stories is where he lost me a bit. It was almost like he was trying to do an Aesop's Fables type of thing. They all seemed to have a moral, but again, with his round-a-bout writing it got muddled. Plus, there was one about Shakespeare's sonnets that I pretty much skimmed because it was boring to read. Part Three: Plays My favorite section! I already told you of my love for The Importance of Being Earnest, so reading that one was nostalgic. It was just as amazing and full of conundrums that I remembered. However, I noticed a trend with his plays. The ones that had to do with London Society all had characters that never spoke outright. There was a lot of double meanings and hiding events. Unfortunately, I believe Wilde was simply writing how society was in that time. I did love all the plays. And I realize that the conflict is what makes the plays. But sometimes, as a reader, you simply wish the characters were truthful and forthcoming with information.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This books tells the story of Dorian Grey a handsome and rich young man who at the beginning of the book has his portrait painted by Basil Hallward, a local artist. After meeting Lord Henry and consequently becoming considerably more vain, Dorian pronounces a wish that the portrait would be the one to age while he himself stayed always young and handsome. The rest of the story relates the slow and total corruption of his character through terrible acts. And as he wished it, Dorian Grey finishes This books tells the story of Dorian Grey a handsome and rich young man who at the beginning of the book has his portrait painted by Basil Hallward, a local artist. After meeting Lord Henry and consequently becoming considerably more vain, Dorian pronounces a wish that the portrait would be the one to age while he himself stayed always young and handsome. The rest of the story relates the slow and total corruption of his character through terrible acts. And as he wished it, Dorian Grey finishes the book as a young, handsome but very corrupt man. Not having changed outwardly, but having a daily reminder of his black soul. The book was not my favorite, I found the particulars of this book rather disturbing as I read it... But I do think that the idea behind the book is very interesting and I have found myself thinking about it quite a bit. If you had a painting to absorb the consequences of every wrong action you took, would you be a better person? Would the painting of your conscience be enough to make you think twice? Although the idea is purely fictional, this book has made me wonder what my painting would look like and what I could do to make it better. That is worth something.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Haarika

    I'm not a great writer. Definitely not worthy of writing a review on Oscar Wilde. His stories are not only entertaining but also flamboyant, intelligent and has underlying theme which makes it memorable.I simply love him. I'm not a great writer. Definitely not worthy of writing a review on Oscar Wilde. His stories are not only entertaining but also flamboyant, intelligent and has underlying theme which makes it memorable.I simply love him.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lynette Koh Webster

    The Picture of Dorian Gray is as exquisite as the portrait itself, as described. Difficult to see how Oscar Wilde would have been able to ever top such an achievement.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Denise Wright

    Loved The Picture of Dorian Gray story however the other stories were just ok. Not sure I'll ever be rereading those stories. Loved The Picture of Dorian Gray story however the other stories were just ok. Not sure I'll ever be rereading those stories.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Rhea

    'The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame' By far, one of the best books I have ever read! 'The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame' By far, one of the best books I have ever read!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rory

    4.5 Stars

  12. 4 out of 5

    Leena Anandhi

    Thoughts on The picture of Dorian Gray Oscar wilde starts the book with a preface, which forestalls any judgements that the reader could have made just reading the story. His wit, his cunning, his aesthetic shines through the plot. Even as he is weaving this unconventional tale, one could feel his caution, sometimes to the point where you begin to wonder that he embarks on a perilous journey and he arrives pretty unscathed in the end. He tries hard to be extraordinary, to break free yet in the e Thoughts on The picture of Dorian Gray Oscar wilde starts the book with a preface, which forestalls any judgements that the reader could have made just reading the story. His wit, his cunning, his aesthetic shines through the plot. Even as he is weaving this unconventional tale, one could feel his caution, sometimes to the point where you begin to wonder that he embarks on a perilous journey and he arrives pretty unscathed in the end. He tries hard to be extraordinary, to break free yet in the end, conforms. In that I felt it had shades of Dostoevsky's 'Crime and punishment' in it'. The paralells being that the crime necessarily is followed by punishment or drives one to confession. It is a profound tale where one feels that the dichotomy of body and soul is a universal struggle. Although, in a civilised society, order is brought about by building a conscience...it is more through suppression, fear and shame which leads to people living double lives like a la Jekyll and Hyde. It is a critique on a society that revels in order in public but encourages decadence in private. The questioning of this hypocricy then is the centre of the plot. When the protagonist turns a new leaf, he expects that his portrait would change back into its original splendour. What it shockingly reveals instead is that it has turned more reproachable, giving him his 'aha' moment where he realises that authenticity goes beyond good and evil. One can be good but ugly on the inside. True goodness then means genuineness. To be one's true self or to reveal one's true self may not be pretty but it still is authentic and hence closer to truth. These are the themes which he dabbles with. One reads of Oscar Wilde's own life, his sexuality, his travails and wonders if the plot is heavily influenced by it. Any effort to do that is only speculation but one can confidently say, that although Wilde was a proponent of 'art for art's sake' he was writing his world view and convictions perilously at a time it was disdained to be what he was and the pain and grief of living a double life on what he wanted to be.. free of shackles of societal norms, and what he was forced to be. The cynical observer, as in the character of Sir Henry who speaks in epigrams which to begin with are amusing, witty, true and philosophical becomes more of an annoyance later. An annoyance because he seems like the modern day 'Guru' who speaks without empathy, spouting wisdom without understanding the enormous influence or consequence (good or bad) he is having on his audience. Or rather he understands but is indifferent to it. In fact he revels in the kind of influence he has on his listeners! The ending was artistic, bordering to moralist undertones. Seems like it was offered as an apology, which is disappointing in its abruptness and simplicity. The story on the whole is extraordinary, bold and ahead of its times. It is definitely a mirror to the hypocrisies prevailing in the society. It is an ode to authenticity beyond good and evil. It is a timeless saga where man as an individual and man as a social being would conflict. It attempts to encourage thinking in how one can resolve the conflict without being cynical or becoming nihilistic or a hypocrite.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Rajul

    The Picture of Dorian Gray is a highly acclaimed novel by Oscar Wilde. I don't know why I haven't read this one before because I have always loved Oscar Wilde's work. Dorian Gray is a beautiful young man. Basil Hallward, who is an exceptional painter, takes a fascination to him and thinks his art is improved since Dorian has started sitting for him. Basil's friend Lord Henry, takes a fancy to Dorian as well and Basil understands the implication and warns him not to take him away with his undue inf The Picture of Dorian Gray is a highly acclaimed novel by Oscar Wilde. I don't know why I haven't read this one before because I have always loved Oscar Wilde's work. Dorian Gray is a beautiful young man. Basil Hallward, who is an exceptional painter, takes a fascination to him and thinks his art is improved since Dorian has started sitting for him. Basil's friend Lord Henry, takes a fancy to Dorian as well and Basil understands the implication and warns him not to take him away with his undue influence. Basil paints an exquisite portrait of Dorian Gray and upon looking at it Dorian exclaims. "How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June. . . . If it were only the other way! If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that—for that—I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give! I would give my soul for that!” And that's what ensues.. Dorian pursues a life of pleasure, indulging in all the sins known to mankind, destroying hearts and lives in the process. He remains eternally young and beautiful even though he is 40 but his portrait keeps on growing ugly and scarred. It's darkest before the dawn though and after the last darkest sin he commits, he repents and wants to reform. But would it be possible now? The book is quite reminiscent of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The book is an interesting read, inspite of being written more than 100 years ago, which delves into the psyche of human mind but what is more interesting is the preface of the book where Oscar Wilde concludes that all art is quite useless.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lilah Gran

    I love how this book was written. For a classic book, this is an easy approach. The Picture of Dorian Gray to me is a self relfection book. Basil's painting mirrors how Dorian sees himself, and this book mirrors how the reader sees himself. The characters are easy to love. The friendship between Lord Henry, Dorian, and Basil is a marvel to read about and explore in the first few chapters. The conversations are structured in a way that gives us readers an overview of high society bachelors' aftern I love how this book was written. For a classic book, this is an easy approach. The Picture of Dorian Gray to me is a self relfection book. Basil's painting mirrors how Dorian sees himself, and this book mirrors how the reader sees himself. The characters are easy to love. The friendship between Lord Henry, Dorian, and Basil is a marvel to read about and explore in the first few chapters. The conversations are structured in a way that gives us readers an overview of high society bachelors' afternoon. It's interesting to know what they usually talk about. I definitely felt like I was "one of the boys". The first biggest turning point in this book, which involved the actress, may not as well be that BIG of a turning point. In fact I couldn't bring myself to empathize with Dorian because in my eyes, he was justified in doing so, being too gullible and idealistic at a young age. But soon, the book started to unwrap more and more mishap. I came to the conclusion that sorrow and suffering occurs because of succeeding dark events, not merely one. This book also taught me how one man's voice can greatly influence another. That it is important to find different friends with different point of views and be open to those views. I'm sure there is a lot more to discuss in this book. But I'll leave it here. Overall, I enjoyed it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anushia Ningthoujam

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It was my first time reading Oscar Wilde and I absolutely loved it . Quick summary : The book starts off with our young Dorian who is quite handsome, rich, cultured and pure. One day, he has his portrait painted by his friend Basil. This portrait means everything to the painter. Through Basil, Dorian meets the impish Lord Henry Wotton. Dorian gets really influenced and inspired by his hedonist teachings that he ends up selling his soul to look young forever as he descends into this life of sin, It was my first time reading Oscar Wilde and I absolutely loved it . Quick summary : The book starts off with our young Dorian who is quite handsome, rich, cultured and pure. One day, he has his portrait painted by his friend Basil. This portrait means everything to the painter. Through Basil, Dorian meets the impish Lord Henry Wotton. Dorian gets really influenced and inspired by his hedonist teachings that he ends up selling his soul to look young forever as he descends into this life of sin, corruption and narcissism. I enjoyed reading the book and there were parts were it made me very melancholic towards Dorian especially chapter 7 and chapter 8. Spoiler: I sense that Dorian took Sibyl Vane's virginity as the importance of virginity of the woman at those time has been linked to the property rights of men over women, a pattern with awful long tradition that had a massive effect on Sibyl emotionally. It is vague but it is hinted, also with homosexual visibilities and undertones between Basil and Dorian. Definitely check this book out.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    "To influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here for." (Wilde, 1890, p.20). I'm going to try to keep this review short and sim "To influence a person is to give him one's own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly - that is what each of us is here for." (Wilde, 1890, p.20). I'm going to try to keep this review short and simple, so let me begin by saying this book is easily one of my new favorite classics. The writing style is easy to read unlike some other classics I have previously read, and features writing that is beautiful, as well as full of meaning. Although I'm sure there are many different takeaways from this book, the strongest for me was the influence we have on others, even when we may be unaware of it. I highly recommend this book, and truly believe this is one that everyone should read during their lifetime.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Derek Neveu

    The story of Dorian Gray is a curious one. Wilde does at times labor the reader with unnecessary detail, but it is still a very good read. I couldn’t help but think about how curious the idea of a personal portrait is in today’s society and thought about what the 21st century equivalent would be. The answer is simple, social media. If Dorian Gray was alive today he would definitely use social media as the place to expose and expunge all his vanity, cruelty, and sin in a celebratory way. Although The story of Dorian Gray is a curious one. Wilde does at times labor the reader with unnecessary detail, but it is still a very good read. I couldn’t help but think about how curious the idea of a personal portrait is in today’s society and thought about what the 21st century equivalent would be. The answer is simple, social media. If Dorian Gray was alive today he would definitely use social media as the place to expose and expunge all his vanity, cruelty, and sin in a celebratory way. Although it may be a cynical take, I feel that people today overindulge their vain and narcissistic tendencies on social media and social media has become a mirror of what humanity has become. Sadly, it has become as vexing and haunting as Dorian’s portrait was to him, and like his portrait, it has been the tragic undoing of many.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jo The_human

    A much more emotional read than I had prepared for. The addict in me heared such beauty and familiarity in Wilde's mastery of words. Dorian is an incredible and deeply disturbed character, he and the others players really capture and reflect so much of the Victorian sentiment crushing artists of the time. I respect Wilde greatly and think he's an important icon of his time, and beyond. While I don't enjoy his tone, I respect its authors perspective and opinion. A much more emotional read than I had prepared for. The addict in me heared such beauty and familiarity in Wilde's mastery of words. Dorian is an incredible and deeply disturbed character, he and the others players really capture and reflect so much of the Victorian sentiment crushing artists of the time. I respect Wilde greatly and think he's an important icon of his time, and beyond. While I don't enjoy his tone, I respect its authors perspective and opinion.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Zaineb Lokhandwala

    As charming as a classic can be. Old classics seem tedious to read sometimes in this day and age , when we have become so used to the quick reads. Dorian Gray, however , will not bore you a minute. It has a fascinating story. Obviously , at some places it feels like the information should be more direct rather than subtle. Well, that was how it was during those times!

  20. 4 out of 5

    farah alzadjali

    LOVED THE BOOK! Surprisingly this is was my first book to read and that got me into reading Book in the first place. I was a KID when I read it at first. From then this book became one of my favorite and is on the top of the list! Loved the story, the characters and their roles. Made me cry at the end but worth the read!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Leavesley

    Wilde's writing has a brilliant gleam to it, full of wit and beautiful description. I am not sure if I enjoyed reading it, however. The central characters of Dorian and Harry are both utterly loathsome in different ways and the only one I could sympathise with was really Basil. I'm glad I've read it though. Wilde's writing has a brilliant gleam to it, full of wit and beautiful description. I am not sure if I enjoyed reading it, however. The central characters of Dorian and Harry are both utterly loathsome in different ways and the only one I could sympathise with was really Basil. I'm glad I've read it though.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Feriel Mejri

    "Everything's possible for you because you have the only two things worth having: Youth and beauty " a life lesson for those who thinks that they are superior to other just because they are pretty/handsome.... i loved the book ^^ "Everything's possible for you because you have the only two things worth having: Youth and beauty " a life lesson for those who thinks that they are superior to other just because they are pretty/handsome.... i loved the book ^^

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kavita

    With a fitting end, the pages of description of art, thoughts ranging from Basil's innocent ones to Harry's cynic ones saw Dorian as a character growing from what he had not known to which he couldn't ignore anymore. With a fitting end, the pages of description of art, thoughts ranging from Basil's innocent ones to Harry's cynic ones saw Dorian as a character growing from what he had not known to which he couldn't ignore anymore.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Luke Burchell

    I liked this one well enough. It seemed kinda pretentious at times. I thought the ending was really nice. The short stories at the end were cute. Decent work

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    A little bit slow in the last 3/4 with all the things Dorian studies, but overall brilliant.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jody

    I found parts of this book really interesting and then parts dragged on and on. The dialogue sections were the most interesting. Intriguing story line, glad I read it.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tooba Sahar

    Best one!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Henderson

    This was a book I always wanted to read after watching a film that had him in it, enjoyed it

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lin :)

    Yes dorian, but also no dorian at the same time?

  30. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    A little surprised at how conservative this now comes across in parts. Although its aestheticism bothered the victorians, the message seems to be that "decadence" leads to misery and death. A little surprised at how conservative this now comes across in parts. Although its aestheticism bothered the victorians, the message seems to be that "decadence" leads to misery and death.

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