The Picture of Dorian Gray

“Is insincerity such a terrible thing? I think not. It is merely a method by which we can multiply our personalities”(The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde)

Well, I must admit I almost feel ashamed about posting about Dorian Gray right after such delightful books as Finn Family Moomintroll and The Little Prince. I picked it out at a rushed bookstore visit in an insane moment of wishing to read something other than children’s or YA literature. One of the main thoughts it prompts is an internal lecture on the virtues of timing. I think my opinion of Dorian Gray would be completely different if I were on a Great Books binge, or even a normal adult literature streak. As it is, I recently started working in a children’s book store and am on a fantastic rediscovery of all the books I missed as a kid, and the novel by Oscar Wilde, however good it may be, simply does not fit into that picture.

In terms of the book itself, I found it interesting how Wilde disguised a highly moral book under the guise of a highly immoral book. It seems that all of the true morality tales I’ve read (Vanity Fair, for example) have been fairly heavy-handed throughout. I must say though, that Wilde seemed to make his point much clearer by showing Dorian Gray at length in all of his pride and vanity instead of just telling the reader how unprincipled he was. I am hard pressed at this point to say whom I would recommend Dorian Gray to, but if you are in the habit of reading silly, light, or even deceptively deep works, I would wait a little while for this one.

Beverage: something absolutely luxurious – the more complicated the name, the better. Most drinks I hear about at Starbucks would certainly fit the bill.

Reminds me… in a loose way, of Wuthering Heights, as they are both rather dark books and each of the main characters seem to take pleasure in making the worst of decisions.


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