Captain Tuttle’s CBR4 Review #51 – The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
I tell people I love Oscar Wilde, but I had never really read anything beyond The Importance of Being Earnest. Until now. Wow. Dorian’s a naughty boy.
An artist, Basil Hallward, paints Dorian’s portrait. He’s so beautiful, Basil is enraptured. Basil’s a good guy, who has some pretty bad friends. One such friend is Lord Henry Wotton, who becomes friends with Dorian, and shows him the ropes of degenerate high society. Dorian falls in love with an actress because of her skills. They become engaged, he brings Basil and Wotton to see her act, and she totally throws it. She did it because she was leaving the stage and didn’t care. So of course he falls out of love with her, breaks the engagement, and leads her to kill herself. It’s a black mark on his soul. When he looks at the painting, he sees that it’s kind of sneering at him. He realizes that the painting takes all of his sin, so he can still appear to be a beautiful angel.
Dorian takes complete advantage of this, getting into all sorts of mischief, and developing quite a nasty reputation (well-deserved). A lot of the debauchery takes place “off camera (page?),” but there’s enough said about it that we can figure out what he’s done. He has also ruined a few people, and is well known down in the seedy parts of town.
There’s murder, mayhem, revenge, and all kinds of nasty bits. I can’t believe it took me this long to read Dorian Gray. If you’ve been waiting, get to it.