The Picture of Dorian Gray is an 1891 philosophical novel by Irish writer and playwright Oscar Wilde. In this celebrated work, his only novel, Wilde forged a devastating portrait of the effects of evil and debauchery on a young aesthete in late-19th-century England. Combining elements of the Gothic horror novel and decadent French fiction, the book centers on a striking premise: As Dorian Gray sinks into a life of crime and gross sensuality, his body retains perfect youth and vigor while his recently painted portrait grows day by day into a hideous record of evil, which he must keep hidden from the world.
I fell in love with Oscar Wilde’s wit and sarcasm when I read THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST, but I’d never read his novel until now. I’m not a huge fan of the classic literary style (which is why I gave this four stars) but just loved his insights, thoughtfulness, and ability to entertain. While it’s hard to really comprehend the lifestyle lived by Dorian Gray and his friends, the snark and message come through clearly regardless of the time period.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for social commentary woven in to fiction. The book does both well.