The Victorian artist, Basil Hallward, is captivated by the young and attractive "Adonis" - Dorian Gray, whom he befriends and spends much time with. Dorian poses for Basil's portrait, which later becomes famous as "The Picture of Dorian Gray". Although Basil is hesitant, Dorian meets his friend Lord Henry, who he fears will corrupt Dorian's purity and charm. After seeing his portrait, Dorian becomes obsessed with his looks and becomes increasingly self-centered, leading him to make a series of questionable choices.
Few books have moved me as much as this one has. Perhaps it's because I've been exposed to subpar literature my whole life, but I've gained a newfound appreciation for classic and fiction books (before this, I had a strong preference for non-fiction). A good story is one thing, but an author's writing style is entirely another. Oscar Wilde's writing voice is incredibly powerful; even though The Picture of Dorian Gray is heavy on dialogue, it doesn't require elaborate scene descriptions since the dialogue effectively conveys the story. I can see why Wilde was known for his wit and eloquence in his time; reading just one of his books has already had an impact on me. The preface, often overlooked, was also deeply moving, and I encourage any potential readers to read it several times to fully grasp Wilde's message. I'm not sure what motivated me to purchase The Picture of Dorian Gray, but I'm certainly grateful that I did.
In my opinion, The Picture of Dorian Gray is a truly unique story, particularly given the intolerant climate of the Victorian era in which it was written. The book conveys the author's personal beliefs in a way that is both impactful and seamlessly woven into the narrative, making it a truly remarkable read. It's a book that anyone seeking a compelling story would want to read, particularly those with an interest in Victorian London.
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